I’m struggling with an introduction this week, after Microsoft announced their massive price-cut it seems like the industry has been fairly quiet away from the whole Twitch plays Pokemon Red hooha. I’m sure there are many other wonderful things taking place on Twitch that haven’t been publicised as much, but that surely shows how our gaming medium is expanding into new territory. If you aren’t streaming anything right now, hit the break to find out what we have been playing in the latest Our Week in Games. …
A large gun, and an area full of people in front of me. In any other genre, there may be some hope of conversation, perhaps a spot of exploring, even. But no, this is a first-person-shooter and all must die. Hesitate, and you either die, riddled with bullets and with a screen full of jam, or the game simply shouts at you and forces a restart regardless.
This isn’t a problem, financially, for many developers and publishers. This is the norm; this is what people expect from a modern FPS and if it wasn’t full-on, balls-to-the-wall bullet-action, fans would be disappointed. Provided it has a pedigree – Call of Duty, Halo, or any number of yearly spin-offs – it will make oodles of cash one way or another, so what’s the problem?
It’s all getting very boring indeed. …
The keys to the Halo engine have been passed on from Bungie to 343 Industries and for the first time since 2007, Master Chief is back! With the Chief of course comes Cortana and the usual sense of feeling that if those two were not in the right place at the right time, the universe would be a whole different place.
“Wake me when you need me” – Master Chief, Halo 3 …
The world wide release of Halo 4 was only a few days ago and excitement surrounding the game has been very high. The release marks the first time 343 Industries are in complete control of a entry into the Halo series and it will be a real test of their capabilities and a measure of the fans approval or disapproval at the change of command and creative direction. As if you needed any more cause to pick up one of the most anticipated games of the year, read on for four reasons as to why Halo 4 will be worth what you pay.
The Beginning Of A New Trilogy
Halo 4 is the first part of a planned trilogy of games that will continue the Master Chief’s story in relation to the Forerunners and possibly further. 343 Industries are the new developers of Halo and they have certainly stamped their creative authority on the game by making many changes and bringing in new components to the game, not just in the single player but multiplayer and further.
It’s been four years since the Covenant war ended and the Master Chief has finally awoken to discover the tattered remains of his ship now floating along side the Forerunner planet of Requiem. Although he doesn’t yet know it, this planet holds a power greater than anything he has ever faced and will put his strength and resolve to the ultimate test. The Halo 4 campaign, as in previous games, can be played cooperatively but this time everyone takes their place as the Master Chief instead of each controlling a different characters, as in Halo 3.
The Master Chief Returns
It’s absurd to think that it’s been five years since 2007’s Halo 3 and the last sightings (bar a brief Easter egg in Halo Reach) of the Master Chief, who was left adrift in the wreckage of the UNSC frigate named ‘Forward Unto Dawn’. Halo 4 sees his awakening and the discovery of the mysterious Forerunner planet Requiem. The Master Chief is back and faces an opponent bigger and stronger than any before.
With the Master Chief of course, comes Cortana, the second half of one of the most memorable and iconic pairings in gaming history. Having spent the time since the end of Halo 3 aboard Forward Unto Dawn with the Chief, Cortana is nearing the end of her life cycle and is at danger of becoming rampant. This mental state, compared with insanity among humans, often ends in the ‘death’ of the AI in question and Halo 4 is set to focus on this issue and the relationship between the Chief and Cortana heavily.
Gone is the Firefight mode and in its place Spartan Ops, the story driven missions that can be played solo or cooperatively with up to four players. These missions focus on the Spartans aboard the USNC Infinity as they encounter the Forerunner planet of Requiem for the first time. 343 Industries plan to release numerous seasons of these missions so expect plenty of DLC and lots of exploration into the lore of Halo 4, behind the scenes of the main Master Chief and Cortana storyline.
The Multiplayer section of Halo 4 has also encountered some changes to its structure whilst still keeping the original feel that fans of the past games will know and love. For starters it’s been renamed ‘Infinity mode’ and has seen all the new additions brought over from campaign such as new weapons and vehicles.
The main change however, sees Halo 4 being shall we say, CoD-ified in relation to its now defunct levelling system. Previously, players who were new to multiplayer would have everything available to them right at the start, gaining levels would allow you to customize the armour of your Spartan and not a lot else. Now players who advance in rank will unlock new and more powerful weapons along with new load-outs to vary the weapons they carry into battle. Another new and very controversial inclusion is the introduction of kill streak-rewards, allowing players such advantages as being able to call down an ordnance drop right in front of them.
While 343 may have made some questionable changes to the unique feel of Halo’s multiplayer system, all the old favourites are still to be seen. Modes such as Slayer and Team Slayer are still present as are armour abilities and lush and open maps that Halo is well known for.
Welcome to The Reticule’s definitive roundup of gaming releases throughout November 2012. All release dates stated are for the EU, across all currently available platforms. Keep this page bookmarked for easy access, as we will link all previews and reviews when we post them on the site.
Still catching up with this months games? October’s release schedule can be found here.
Batman: Arkham City Game Of The Year Edition
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Nike And Kinect Training
Silent Hill: Book Of Memories
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Football Manager 2013
This year’s version allows you to take control of any club in more than 50 nations across the world and includes all of Europe’s biggest leagues as well as database of over 500,000 real-world players and staff. You’re in the hot-seat, which means you decide on who plays and who sits on the bench, you’re in total control of tactics, team-talks, substitutions and pitch-side instructions as you follow the match live with the acclaimed 3D match engine allowing YOU to make the difference!
DS, Wii, 3DS
After thirty years of war with the Covenant, humanity finally found victory. The Master Chief, a Spartan super-soldier, and Cortana, an AI construct of unmatched technical sophistication, put an end to the Covenant, the Flood, and the threat of the Halo Array on a remote installation known as the Ark. Now, in the wake of the conflict, the Chief and Cortana drift through space aboard the remains of Forward Unto Dawn, slowly approaching a mysterious artificial world they will soon come to call Requiem.
Rockstar Games Collection: Edition 1
PS3, Xbox 360
Mass Effect Trilogy
PC, Xbox 360
Angry Birds: Star Wars
Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
The Hip Hop Dance Experience
Wii, Xbox 360
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
F1 Race Stars (Hands On)
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Virtue’s Last Reward
Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Hitman: Absolution is the upcoming fifth title in the Hitman series by producer, IO Interactive, published by Square Enix and co-published by Eidos. The game will be available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows on November 20, 2012. Hitman: Absolution will run on IO Interactive’s proprietary Glacier 2 game engine, combining classic Hitman game mechanics with new mechanics. The game’s story will further delve into the mysterious life of Agent 47, the series’ protagonist.
Rise Of The Guardians
DS, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 3DS
Assassin’s Creed 3
Ben 10: Omniverse
DS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS
Far Cry 3 returns the series to a tropical island setting. Players will assume the role of protagonist Jason Brody, a tourist who has been stranded on an island chain in the grips of violent local conflict for years. Jason has been separated from his girlfriend and, in his search for her, developers have stated he will have to deal with a wide cast of mostly unstable characters who have been trapped on these islands for some time.
Baulder’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Victorious: Taking The Lead
Winx Club: Magical Fairy Party
New Super Mario Bros. U
Mass Effect 3: Special Edition
Assassin’s Creed III
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition
My my, Halo 4 is looking even more beautiful as every day passes as these new screenshots clearly show. Capture the flag has always been a big part of the Halo multiplayer universe and new map Exile looks like a great setting to keep that tradition going. The video at the bottom of the page shows gameplay of the newly revealed Exile map and new melee animations when holding the opponents flag. One thing that still sits uneasy with me is the re-recording of all the gun firing sounds, although I’m interested to learn about that new gun at the very end of the video. Halo 4 is due for release on the 6th of November so expect many more sneak peaks and gameplay videos to emerge before then.
On Saturday we reported about the slump in business for UK retailers, leading to the lowest week in software sales since records began. After the slow summer season salvation may be around the corner however, as the Christmas rush for AAA releases could bring in as much as £320 million to stores across nation. …
Ahead of this year’s E3, the Into The Pixel judges have announced the 16 winners of this year’s competition. Chosen by a range of academics, artists and industry members with the support of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Scientists and Entertainment Software Association, the selected images come from a wide range of games across all the major systems and are, one and all, beautiful.
This Halo 4 video documentary has just been made public, and it looks just a bit impressive. This is coming from someone who has only played the original title, and that on the PC. The video was first shown at the Microsoft Spring Showcase held in San Francisco last week and you can find a big lowdown of the Halo 4 presentation on VG24/7.