Let Sleeping Spartans Lie

Halo Reach Master Chief

Halo Reach and Halo 3 Spoiler Alert

At the end of Halo 3, we sped on our trusty Warthogs through an imploding super structure and watched as the Master Chief made his typical, death-defying leap into a waiting escape ship. But this time something was different—this was the end of Master Chief’s saga. It could have ended with Master Chief returning to earth triumphant, but he never made it. Bungie decided to put humanity’s greatest warrior into cryostasis, forever to float in the void of space until, as John-117 famously says, “…you need me.”

This is how Bungie left Master Chief, and this is how he should remain.

Recently, Microsoft commented that they would like to see a sped up Halo production cycle, something similar to what Treyarch/Infinity Ward does for the Call of Duty series. That’s fine with me. I like the Halo universe plenty, and I wouldn’t mind to explore more of the rich back story. But I do not want to play as Master Chief ever again.

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Morality Quickie: Teabagging was soooo 2005

All right Halo fans, here’s a little love just for you. For those of us who played the Halo Reach beta, we all remember the awesome assassinations. What better way to taunt your enemy than by shanking them in the side and letting a long animation play out? It was the best way to establish who-was-whose bitch.

So it makes me happy to say that Bungie announced more news on the assassinations: apparently, we only saw the tip of the iceberg in the beta. There will be over 40 assassination animations, although some of them are campaign only (and I gotta say, I don’t think the campaign’s AI is going to rage quit). Even better, though, is that assassinations are going to be weapon and context sensitive. If I’m standing to the right of an enemy, it’s going to look (presumably) different than if I just stood right behind the enemy.

Halo Reach Assassination

Bungie also revealed a more complete list of objects for us in Forge mode. The new mode is going to be awesome and is basically going to give Halo Reach a near infinite lifespan. For those who don’t know, you can now float objects (thank god), set dedicated angles for pieces (hallelujah), and Forge remakes of old maps appearing in multiplayer hoppers.

Also, landmines in racing gametypes, which are making a comeback from the days of Halo: Combat Evolved. Yes, landmines—the awesome kind that blow up and are a true hallmark of any real racing experience.

Halo Landmine

Personally, Halo Reach is near the top of my must-have list for 2010. Say what you want about the community—admittedly, I’ve said a lot about the community that I stand by—but Bungie knows how to craft an epic gaming experience, and Halo Reach is shaping up to be the definitive Halo experience.

-Joshua “Neutrally Chaotic” Duke

Source: Bungie.net

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Halo Reach for the Stars

Halo is what made me buy an Xbox. I had no interest in the original Xbox until my uncle bought one and told me to play it. I spent days over at his house, fighting the Covenant and later the Flood, until I had blown up that giant ring. I was sold. I had already beaten the game, but I wanted to play it again. I essentially bought a console to play one game. Say what you will about the Halo franchise, but the series is the definition of console seller.

When Bungie announced that the Halo Reach Beta would be open to the public, I was pumped. It was the giddiness of being a kid again, and there was a part of me that was hoping Halo Reach would wash out the bad taste left in my mouth from the disappointing conclusion to the original Halo trilogy (and yes, I believe Halo ODST was better than Halo 3, which smelled like and resembled a big steaming pile of Flood excrement). I wanted the series to be great again, and I kept hearing that Halo Reach would be exactly like Halo of old, and let me tell you something: it certainly is.

It’s too bad that the gaming community has devolved.

When Halo 2 came out, it was awesome for a number of reasons, but the most significant was that Halo 2 created Xbox Live essentially. Console online gaming became a reality. It was a magnificent time to be a gamer, and I actually met people on Xbox Live that were decent human beings, people I added to my friends list and still game with every now and then. Gaming was still fun; even first person shooters were still entertainment rather than a bigot-fest and teabagathalon.

Fast forward to the present, and everything about the Halo community feels douchey and smelly, kind of like the inside of a frat house. You don’t want to touch anything; you have a sneaking suspicion that your “brothers” want to bum rape you. They have this odd fascination with dipping their balls into your mouth. You hear the word “bro” and “dude” more often than your own name. These are your faux-friends, the people that want to “network” with you more so than actually hang out. This is the Halo community today in a nut shell.


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Don’t Drink the Bungie or EA Kool-Aid (NSFW)

I’m sick and tired of us gamers allowing the big companies to push us around.  I’m looking at you, EA and Bungie.  Recently, both companies have made some questionable moves in my opinion, and everyone seems willing to just bend over and take it.  It’s time we realize we’re better than this and don’t have to sit in a circle and drink the red kool-aid in unison.

First of all, Bungie.  Do you really expect us to believe this is actually a beta and not a huge marketing machine?  Obviously you would never put out a buggy and possibly unworking version of anything having to do with your cash-cow that is Halo.  Of course not. This “beta” is as polished as the real thing.  “Oh no, the grenades are too strong, I must see this change before launch!”  Gimme a break, how is this beta any different than the retail version?  Just release a patch, or don’t–who even cares?  Halo has always been a more arcadey shooter than most others, so why complain now when the grenades are unrealistic?  Too late asshole.  And all you’re doing is making Bungie think it’s okay to call this a beta when it’s really just a demo.  Let’s call a spade a spade here.  This is the Halo Reach demo.  They can document changes on their site all they want. I’s just a front for what is clearly a demo.  This is way too polished to be called anything else.

Way back in the year 2002 I was a part of the Sims Online Beta, and you know why you probably didn’t know that? Because IT SUCKED!!!! The game was buggy as hell and it was work to test that piece of shit, and that should be the point. In a real beta, by the time the game has all the bugs worked out you should be so sick of seeing it you never want to see it again.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Clearly Sims Online didn’t do that well, but the point is, I steered completely clear of it on launch.

So then why should Bungie make such a mass production for a beta that could potentially turn away the market for your game?  Simple: it won’t because it’s a freakin demo that’s already been beta-tested!!!  Wake up and stop pretending you’re impacting the game development process, you sheep; you’re not.  Bungie knows exactly what they’re doing and you’re playing right into it.

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