I’ve been building model kits for years and they’ve been an enjoyable way to pass the time on a less than busy day. Painting parts, gluing and building, then finally admiring my handiwork. In the world of plastic model kits, Revell is a huge name and they’ve always been able to cater to all different skill groups ever since their creation in 1945. With their new Halo Model Kits, they’ve been able to add the detail a fan wants with the ease of building that you’d come to expect from a SnapTite kit.
Play over 100 console exclusives on the highly anticipated, newly designed Xbox One S, featuring 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and High Dynamic Range for games and video. With all the biggest blockbusters this year, plus Xbox 360 backward compatibility titles, and the most advanced multiplayer network, Xbox One S is the ultimate games and entertainment system – starting at $299.
ASTRO Gaming, creators of premium video gaming equipment, today announced the upcoming release of a special Halo 5: Guardians Edition A40+MixAmp™ M80 gaming headset. Officially licensed for the Xbox One, the new ASTRO A40+MixAmp M80 Halo 5: Guardians Edition features a custom dark chrome matte finish with metallic blue accents and a subtle yet striking Halo-inspired graphical treatment. With theASTRO A40+MixAmp M80 Halo 5: Guardians Edition, gamers can now enjoy audiophile-grade sound and an unprecedented level of control over their gaming audio environment as they experience the biggest Halo game yet in Halo 5: Guardians, available beginning October 27, 2015 exclusively for Xbox One.
Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries, in conjunction with Vanguard Games, is excited to announce “Halo: Spartan Strike” – an all-new “Halo” top-down shooter – coming to Windows 8 devices and Steam on December 12, 2014 as a digital download for $5.99 ERP
The fourth major expansion in the “Halo 4” Infinity Multiplayer experience, the Champions Bundle, developed in collaboration with Certain Affinity, includes three DLC packs in total (Steel Skin Pack, Bullseye Pack, and Infinity Armor Pack) plus bonus content.
The Champions Bundle is available on Xbox Live for 800 MS Points and consists of the following DLC Packs, with additional bonus content outlined in the corresponding section below:
Each individual DLC Pack is available outside of the Champions Bundle as a standalone offer. The Bullseye Pack is available for 480 MS Points3, and the Infinity Armor Pack and Steel Skin Pack are available for 240 MS Points3 each. The Champions Bundle includes must-have bonus content available through purchase of the bundle.
A full description of each new pack and the Champions Bundle content is below:
Dive headfirst into the exciting Bullseye Pack, which includes the brand new Ricochet game type and two new maps, Pitfall and Vertigo. In addition, Bullseye offers an entirely new armor set based on the Ricochet game type.
Steel Skin Pack
With the Steel Skin Pack, stylize your favorite loadouts with the most elaborate and impressive “Halo 4” weapon skins to date. Inspired by classic steampunk aesthetics, the Steel Skin Pack covers the gamut with ten UNSC, Covenant, and Forerunner weapons, grafting vivid, dynamic plating and textures across your weapon-of-choice.
Infinity Armor Pack
Stand out on the battlefield: from legendary Mjolnir and Special Forces armor to the ancient Forerunner mail of an era long passed, now is the time to update your “Halo 4” Spartan. With the Infinity Armor Pack, you get access to the vintage Mark V armor of “Halo: Combat Evolved,” the rugged armor worn by the battle-hardened ODSTs, and a hybrid Forerunner armor system used by their civilization’s Prefects more than 100,000 years ago.
“Halo 4” Champions Bundle:
Enhance your War Games experience with 3 all-new content packs for one special price4, plus bonus content for those who purchase the “Halo 4” Champions Bundle. The bonus content gives you an excellent selection of upgrades that simply cannot be passed up, including an armor mod: the Resistor Tactical Package, new weapon skins, new armor skins, and new Spartan stances for your player card. And, with the “Halo 4” Champions Bundle, you get the 3 content packs as well: the Infinity Armor Pack sets your Spartan up with legendary new armor, the Steel Skin Pack brings elaborate steampunk style to your UNSC, Covenant, and Forerunner weapons, and the Bullseye Pack delivers 2 new maps, a sports-themed Spartan armor, and 2 week early-access5 to an insane new competitive gravball game type called “Ricochet”. A description of the armor mod included in the Champions Bundle bonus content is below:
At the stroke of midnight next Tuesday, Nov. 15, one of the most eagerly awaited remakes in history – “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” – will take the world by storm like the iconic classic did a decade ago. As millions of fans worldwide prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a video game that reshaped the industry, Microsoft Stores across the U.S. are gearing up for a launch event ten years in the making.
With less than a month until the highly anticipated release of “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” on Nov. 15, Microsoft’s “Halo” studio, 343 Industries unleashed a volley of exciting news at New York Comic-Con this weekend, including the return of the fan-favorite multiplayer map Hang ‘Em High in “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” details about the game’s innovative Kinect integration, and the next evolution of Halo Waypoint, the ultimate online destination for “Halo” fans.
Announced at New York Comic-Con, High Noon, the stunning remake of the classic “Halo: Combat Evolved” map Hang ‘Em High, is set to make its glorious return in “Halo: Anniversary.” High Noon (also known as Hang ‘Em High in classic mode) combines a decade of poignant nostalgia with the adrenaline-pumping thrill of classic “Halo” multiplayer combat, to round out the cavalcade of seven fan-favorite multiplayer maps launching with “Halo: Anniversary.”
HIGH NOON – High Noon returns players to the familiar canyons and catwalks of Hang ‘Em High, the “Halo: Combat Evolved” classic multiplayer map, now reimagined for “Halo: Anniversary” with unprecedented detail. The vast generator complexes, which power this enormous slipspace portal, allow it to connect with an unknown number of locations across the galaxy. High Noon is a densely-packed arena of platforms, corridors and cover, best suited for team-based combat in both Slayer and Objective gametypes (4 – 12 players).
Alongside the reveal of High Noon, 343 Industries also unveiled details about Kinect functionality in “Halo: Anniversary,” including voice commands and a new feature that lets players gather canonical information about its universe as they explore “Halo” and relive the iconic adventure:
Analyze Mode – Analyze Mode is a Kinect-exclusive feature that allows players to “scan” items of interest within the “Halo: Anniversary” campaign to populate the Library, an interactive encyclopedia of “Halo” lore. Once in Analyze mode, new articles of interest can be added to the Library by focusing the reticule on them and saying “Scan.”
The Library – The Library is an expansive index that provides detailed information on items of interest players have scanned through “Analyze Mode,” such as vehicles, characters, enemies and weapons. Through the use of gesture controls, players can explore the entire Library at any time and then return to the campaign to continue unlocking more secrets within the “Halo” universe.
Voice Commands – Harness the technology of Kinect for Xbox 360 to reload your weapon, throw grenades, switch seamlessly between Classic and Remastered graphics and more, using only your voice.
Halo Waypoint has been the ultimate destination for “Halo” fans on Xbox LIVE since 2009, and this weekend, 343 Industries offered a sneak peak at what’s in store for the groundbreaking online service this holiday:
New Halo Waypoint Interface – A revamped design and user interface lets players navigate Halo Waypoint and access the content they want more easily than ever before, whether they’re online, on their Xbox 360 or on their Windows Phone.
Halo Waypoint ATLAS – Available on Windows Phones this holiday, Halo Waypoint ATLAS (Advanced TacticaL Assault System) is a new mobile experience that offers players a detailed, top-down view of any “Halo: Anniversary” or “Halo: Reach” map in real-time, letting them monitor teammates’ movements and positions as they play. This innovative app encourages strategic gameplay and offers a fun companion experience to any multiplayer match.
Custom Challenges – Building upon the “Halo” series’ genre-defining user-creation toolset, 343 Industries is empowering the community even further by introducing Custom Challenges in “Halo: Anniversary” and “Halo: Reach.” For the first time, players will be able to issue custom Challenges and create friendly competitions with Xbox friends, unlocking infinite creative possibilities to invent and test their “Halo” skills against one another.
For example, players can create a Challenge to get a specific number of headshots (say 50) in Multiplayer, within 24 hours. They can then try the challenge themselves, or invite their friends to give it a shot to see who can get the most headshots. Challenges can be created for Campaign, Matchmaking Firefight, Multiplayer and even Custom modes.
Players will also be able to earn “Halo: Reach” Credits by completing Custom Challenges, infusing new creative potential into the game’s deep player progression system, and leveraging all the great new multiplayer maps from “Halo: Anniversary”!
For a sneak peek at Halo Waypoint ATLAS and Kinect functionality in “Halo: Anniversary,” new footage of the iconic level, “The Pillar of Autumn,” and screenshots of High Noon, be sure to check out the new behind-the-scenes videos and screenshot galleries from 343 Industries available today on Halo Waypoint and HaloWaypoint.com.
For more information about “Halo: Anniversary” and the “Halo” franchise, please visit HaloWaypoint.com and follow the 343 team on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
With a bounty of new features including cooperative play over Xbox LIVE, a bundle of some of the most beloved multiplayer maps in “Halo” history reimagined, new challenges and new story to uncover, “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” is a must-have experience, coming exclusively to Xbox 360 on Nov. 15, 2011.
Yesterday I got a chance to check out FanExpo Canada held in Downtown Toronto. FanExpo basically the Canadian Comic Con, but obviously at a much smaller scale. Among the video game publishers that had a presence there were Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and WB Games.
At the Ubisoft booth, I was able to get into a 6-player game of deathmatch in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. The Multiplayer mode in Revelations made Brotherhood feel like a proof-of-concept to me, much like how the Single-player campaign of Assassin’s Creed 2 made it’s predecessor feel like a proof-of-concept. The map that we were playing on looked great; the visual fidelity in Revelation’s multiplayer mode easily matched what we’ve seen in the Single-player of previous AC games. The layout of the map was tighter quarters than the standard maps in Brotherhood, and the pulley system was incorporate into the map to encourage players to use the verticality of the map without being easily spotted. Also, there seemed to be a lot less instances of clones moving around on the same screen. But the biggest change came in the omission of the proximity cone from Brotherhood. Instead, to find your target you must get up close to a character which looks like them at which point you’ll see a circle fill up around their head. After that, you’ll be given a prompt to assassinate if it turns out the person you are tailing is your target. However, you’re still free to Assassinate opponents before the circle fills up in case you have already smoked out who your target is. I did have a little bit of trouble playing the game as it was running on PS3s using the PS3 shoulder button layout, whereas I’m used to the usage of triggers on the 360 side of things. That being said, from what I saw, the multiplayer looks like its going to be a big step up from Brotherhood.
Next up was my time at the Xbox booth. Microsoft didn’t have a huge presence at FanExpo, likely because they already had their own events in the city last week. But they did end up giving hands on time to both the Gears 3 and Halo CE Anniversary multiplayer modes. Halo CE’s multiplayer quite frankly was the Halo Reach multiplayer (with abilities and all) with a map based off of Beaver Creek from Halo 2 called Battle Canyon. The map was slightly different than previous incarnations as it included a tunnel in one of the rock formations on the side of the level. The pistol was also noticeably more powerful than in the standard Reach multiplayer mode (much like it was in the original version of Halo CE). I was regularly getting headshotted by enemies across the map who were using Pistols.
I only took a brief glance at Gears 3 as I had already been in the Multiplayer beta earlier this year, but what I saw was visually stunning. Epic clearly hasn’t been resting on their laurels as the visual quality of the game seemed to have jumped since the last time I saw it during the multiplayer beta.
Batman: Arkham City was another visually stunning game that I got a chance to see a demo of at the WB Games booth. I had to check twice to see if they were running the PC version of the game as the image quality of the game was noticeably better than most games that are available on the current generation of console hardware. The controller was a wired 360 controller, and the inputs going into the TV looked like an Xbox 360 video cable, so it seems as though it was the 360 version. The demo consisted of various short scenarios which were cut from various parts of the full game. At one point, Batman was in a room with a stained glass window. As the player broke his way through the glass, my jaw dropped as the large open world environment came into view. Even the tutorial part of the demo (showing how to take down an opponent from above) was very cinematic and did very little to take you out of the action. This demo of the game easily made Arkham City shoot up to be one of my most anticipated titles to come out this fall.
One final thing I’d like to note about FanExpo. This was the convention where TV technology killed video games. In the Assassin’s Creed Revelations demo, they had given us 3D glasses to wear as most of the stations were running in 3D mode. However, Revelations doesn’t natively support 3D mode and this was an artificial 3D mode produced by the TV. And it did absolutely nothing to improve the image. My demo of Halo CE was marred by the fact that the default control settings were set to a sensitivity of “1” (which I changed after about a minute into a 5 minute demo of the game) which was especially bad since I’m used to a sensitivity of “9”, and the TV was a 120hz TV running in some sort of awful Motion smoothing mode which doubles the framerate of the content you are seeing, but also introduces incredible lag. And even the Arkham City demo station’s monitors had a little too much noise reduction going on. Publishers, please get your stuff together when showing games at these events. Not setting up your TVs properly is only going to turn off people from the games.
Remember the good old days when you would have all your friends come home after school and you would all sit around the TV, busting the high scores or getting to the next level? We don’t get that anymore. Instead, you all go home after school and log onto Live or PSN. There’s no personal connection in Multiplayer anymore. Even just 15 years ago, the popular games were Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., where you could sit with your friends and play. I’m skipping games like Goldeneye, Mario Party, and Twisted Metal. Who doesn’t have great memories playing split screen with friends? Nowadays, all the kids are playing Call of Duty or Halo. Worse, devs are omitting split-screen multiplayer. Uncharted 2, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 are all games that could’ve benefited from Split Screen, yet the games omit them in favor of online modes. Why? It’s obvious that this is just an easy way to sell a few extra copies of the game. Is that good for the industry? That is what devs and publishers need to consider.
Take Hot Pursuit for example. That was a fantastic game of cops and racers. A cat and mouse battle at 200 mph. The game’s main focus was social interaction. You could smash your friend from halfway around the world’s car off the side of a mountain, yet the person sitting next to you has to sit and watch. You just don’t get the same feeling of kicking ass while online than when you and five friends are huddled around the TV, screaming and yelling. Everyone remembers getting first in Mario Kart and jumping for joy, screaming at your friend next to you, while online interaction between friends now is limited to a string of curses and homophobic and/or racist insults.
So does anyone keep this fantastic trend alive anymore? Yes, two big power players in the industry: Activision and Nintendo. Nintendo practically is gaming and is the source for all our great gaming memories. At the very least, they keep local multiplayer in their popular Wii games like New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Everyone and their mothers hates Activision, but they have to be commended for not taking the easy cash-grab route. Guitar Hero (Rest in Pieces) was always about having people over to play together, and this interaction got better with the full band (even if the games did not). Call of Duty, on the other hand, is a game noted for it’s online component. Just one analog stick push down, however, is the oft-ignored “Local” option. It’s a hell of a lot of fun to play, even with just four people.
I digress though. What I’m saying is that the more popular gaming becomes, the more it becomes about making a few extra dollars than delivering the best gaming experience. Some say the social part of gaming is well and strong, but anyone who lived the 90’s knows that is not true. The social part of gaming is slowly and painfully dying.