Halo 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Halo 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Easiest Way to Get the Halo 2 Scarab Gun Easter Egg https://www.gameskinny.com/62eyf/the-easiest-way-to-get-the-halo-2-scarab-gun-easter-egg https://www.gameskinny.com/62eyf/the-easiest-way-to-get-the-halo-2-scarab-gun-easter-egg Mon, 14 Jun 2021 13:04:27 -0400 Gavin Burtt

Many things make Halo a great series, but the thing that sets it apart the most is its vast catalog of Easter Eggs. The series has no shortage of these, and one of its most popular — the Halo 2 Scarab Gun — is maybe its best. 

Whether you're just looking to play with the legendary hidden weapon or looking to unlock the "Scarab Lord" achievement in the Master Chief Collection, attaining this weapon will be tricky. The traditional method involves luring a banshee all the way through the tunnel on Metropolis, while the new-age method involves using the Feather skull and a rocket launcher to super-launch to the gun.

For this Halo 2 Scarab Gun guide, however, we'll be tackling this Easter Egg with a much more consistent, much cooler method.

How to Reach the Halo 2 Scarab Gun

The Scarab Gun can be found atop a very tall building on the level Metropolis. The method that we'll be using requires two controllers in split-screen on Easy difficulty. You'll use a pelican to fly up to the skull.

Pelicans aren't traditionally pilotable, but by using a glitch called Arbitrary Unit Possession, you can trick the game into spawning you as a marine who can pilot the pelican. 

How to Spawn as a Marine

Load up Metropolis on Easy difficulty in local co-op split-screen with the Envy skull enabled. This skull replaces your flashlight with cloaking, which will be imperative in getting this to work.

As soon as the level loads, enter the warthog to your right with player one and wait for the two marines to hop in. It is very important that you don't shoot, throw grenades, or honk your horn at any point.

Hop into the scorpion with your second player and drive it to the left, towards the corner between the concrete wall and the ledge of the bridge, seen below:

Make sure you are aligned as in the image above, then hold forward and aim about 45 degrees to the right and up. This will allow you to drive partly up the wall, though it can be a bit finicky.

Turn left once you are at the peak of your climb, such that the scorpion is leaning against the other wall. Take your hand off all buttons and the scorpion will slide partly down the wall. Exit the vehicle. The result will be a scorpion resting at a slight upward angle against the left wall.

Exit the warthog with player one and melee your second player to death six times, but be careful not to pick up any of their grenades or weapon drops. After each death, move a few feet to the side, so that they respawn away from their previous corpse. You don't want them picking up old drops either. 

Following the final respawn after the six deaths, have the second player carefully pick up two grenades from the ground and nothing else. Move player two over to the scorpion and have them crouch-walk under it, then towards the lowest point of the tank.

With your first player, jump up on top of the scorpion, then over the edge and off the bridge to your death. If done correctly, you should not respawn, as there is no room around player two to do so. Pause the game and restart the mission.

Enter the warthog and pick up the marines again with player one, then drive to the corner where you previously set up the scorpion. Exit the hog and climb up onto the ledge, but don't jump off the edge yet.

Now, you must progress across the bridge with player two without getting shot at. This means you can't allow the enemies to shoot at all, so you'll have to be sneaky. If you hear a shot of any kind fired at any point (including wraiths, marines, etc.), revert the checkpoint.

Progress along the right side of the bridge to the right of the flipped truck. When you pass it, immediately activate cloaking at the point pictured below and keep running to the next flipped truck.

Keep running forward. The ghosts should ignore you. Once you run past the cab of the red truck, activate cloaking a second time, at the point shown here.

Once you reach the next red truck, hug the right side of the truck and wait for cloaking again. This should be the first time you completely stop moving.

Activate it and run forward and to the right of the white truck ahead. Jump up the incline to your right and hide behind the giant strut on the bridge, as seen below.

Throw two grenades off the cliff, wait for camo, then activate and run forward to the second cable. Crouch here, out of sight, and wait for camo again. Run to the fourth cable, then repeat until you are at the sixth cable.

Wait for camo, then have the player by the warthog jump off the cliff. At the same time that you jump the player off, activate camo with the other player and start jumping and meleeing as you continue to run down the side of the bridge.

Stay to the right of the cables, and even when your camo runs out, keep going, past the wraith. After you've passed four cables, stop jumping and meleeing, but keep running.

Assuming you didn't trigger any enemies to shoot, your second player should now spawn behind you as a marine. The hard part of the trick is now done.

At this point, you are free to shoot as you please. Board the wraith with Chief, kill the driver, then enter the wraith with the marine. Since you are playing as an NPC, the auto-turrets in the wraith will fire for you, and you can boost a lot more frequently, which is pretty neat.

How to Pilot the Pelican

Continue forward until you are in the tunnel and see a warthog appear on your right. Get on the turret with the marine, and in the driver seat with Chief. Drive it up the ramp ahead of you, past the blockade.

The game will keep trying to eject you from the warthog since marines aren't supposed to be in one at this point, but just keep re-entering it. It's essential that the marine is in the warthog when you pass this load zone, otherwise, he can be despawned.

Weave the hog through the debris in this area, then drive up the incline to the right at the end, past the second large blockade. Drive over it, take a right into the small room, then drive through the tunnel ahead and to the left. Continue driving through the level until you reach the section with the two wraiths.

Kill the wraiths, then the snipers that the phantom drops off, and the jackal snipers. At this point, a pelican should swoop in and hover above the bridge closest to the building that you need to enter.

Climb up the stairs to this bridge with the marine and wait for the pelican to come overhead. When it stops, stand underneath the turret at the front, look up and hold the reload button to boot the pilot out. Climb in with the same button and you are free to fly around!

Use the jump button to fly up, and the crouch button to descend. Other than that, the flying controls are the same as a banshee.

Ascend straight up, all the way above the building pictured below. You should be able to see a small orange pylon on the building, with a peculiar plasma rifle sitting atop it. Fly down to it.

This is the Scarab Gun, the most powerful weapon in the series. You can then fly back down to Earth with your newfound superweapon and tear through the rest of the level.

And that's how to get the Halo 2 Scarab Gun Easter egg the easiest way possible. It's still involved, sure, but it's the most effective way to get the gun.You'll even get an achievement for all of your efforts.  

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The Best Core Weapons in Halo History https://www.gameskinny.com/u5lyc/the-best-core-weapons-in-halo-history https://www.gameskinny.com/u5lyc/the-best-core-weapons-in-halo-history Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:57:35 -0500 John Schutt

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The Assault Rifle

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There's a lot of vanilla Halo on this list, but that's where most of the broken weapons lived. The original AR wasn't a world-beater in a game where that pistol lived, but no other version had nearly the magazine size and therefore sheer bullet-hose potential.

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60 rounds. That was how many bullets you could lay into someone before needing a single reload. Later titles cut that number to almost half, in addition to cutting the damage slightly.

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It was a sad day when the Halo 3 assault rifle made its debut. If nothing else, these significant nerfs were a sign of how powerful the weapon had been at one point, even in a game filled with powerful weapons.

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---

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Let us know what memories you made with the best weapons in Halo history.

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Now I'm looking forward to the PC release of Halo Combat Evolved so I can return to Blood Gulch and do... well, Blood Gulch things.

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You know the ones. 

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For more Halo, be sure to check our review of Halo Reach Remastered, Bungie's multiplayer masterclass. 

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The Sniper Rifle

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I'm bending the rules a little bit here, but the best Sniper Rifle ultimately comes down to personal preference. Appearance, sound, ease/skill of use, where you started in the franchise — all of these factor into which sniper is your #1. 

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For me, I think the Halo: Reach sniper is my favorite. I know it's not everyone's choice, but I like the bass of the shot, the clicks of the ejection and reload, and the snappiness of a good headshot across a map. 

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Halo 4 and Halo 3 also have good snipers, and I think I like the sound of 4's is the best, but the total package doesn't do it for me. 

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The Shotgun

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Out of pistol ammo? That would be a problem if you don't have the original shotgun from Halo Combat Evolved.

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If you do have it, well, everything is fine. Every living thing within five meters will be dead momentarily. 

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The original Halo's shotgun could and would kill to a ludicrous distance, had plenty of ammo, and employed just the right amount of speed to its reload. Even better, it had style, gave off a chunky sound when fired, and allowed for a quick melee follow up if anything was still moving after eating a load of buckshot.

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Other games might have had better aesthetics for their shotguns, but nothing beats death by a thousand pellets.

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The Battle Rifle

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On its introduction in Halo 2, the battle rifle — BR for short — became an instant hit. Generous, but not overbearing, auto-aim, and low time to kill paired with a healthy magazine and hitscan mechanics quickly elevated the BR to legendary quality long before Halo 3 was a twinkle in gamers' eyes.

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What differentiated the Halo 2 BR from its counterparts in later entries, including the remaster by 343, were the various button glitches players could exploit to make the weapon even deadlier. The best players could do things more casual players could only dream of. 

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The Pistol

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There's no contest here. You could — and everyone did — snipe other players across the largest Halo maps with the pistol from Halo: Combat Evolved. If you played Blood Gulch, you were sniped by a pistol. And you sniped with the pistol.

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It was just how things worked. 

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The pistol's power came from a near-complete lack of recoil and little if any damage falloff. Add in semi-automatic fire and a low time to kill and a healthy store of ammo, and you've got yourself a killing machine without peer.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halo-splash-bd07d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halo-splash-bd07d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204896","description":"

The Halo franchise is almost 20 years, and in that time, players have had the chance to use a number of different weapons and have had to deal with even more frequent weapon changes. Between each series entry, developers Bungie or 343 Industries tuned the arsenal to their liking, causing the occasional community outcry in the process.

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Still, there is a solid core of Halo weaponry anyone familiar with the series knows and loves: the pistol, battle rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, assault rifle. And throughout the series, each gun in this noble arsenal has seen a king; it's the most powerful version that would be reduced to nothing in future titles.

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Here, we catalog the best weapons in all of Halo, focusing specifically on the core group mentioned above. We've listed the best power weapons separately. 

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Set For PC Release https://www.gameskinny.com/uo1k7/halo-the-master-chief-collection-set-for-pc-release https://www.gameskinny.com/uo1k7/halo-the-master-chief-collection-set-for-pc-release Wed, 13 Mar 2019 12:31:14 -0400 Adamo Umbra

During Microsoft's most recent Inside Xbox stream, it was officially announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is headed to PC. With this collection, PC players will be able to experience the entire Halo franchise up to, and including, Halo 4.

That said, not all of the games included in the collection will be available simultaneously — instead, they will release one by one. This staggered release will allow the community to offer feedback on each individual title, which 343 Studios intends to use to guarantee that a "first class" Halo experience is offered to PC players.

Halo: Reach will be the first game available, and it will be followed by releases of the first four numbered entries in the series. Furthermore, it was also announced that Halo: Reach will release on Xbox One — its multiplayer features will be freely available, while its campaign and firefight mode will be offered as DLC. 

Players will be able to purchase each of the games included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection as they are released. They will be available from the Microsoft Store and Steam.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC is a collaborative effort between 343 Studios, Splash Damage, and Ruffian. This need for collaboration is due to the fact that the bulk of 343's staff is currently working on Halo: Infinite. While not much has officially been confirmed about this forthcoming Halo title, there has been indication that it will offer an experience that is unique to the franchise. 

While the PC release date for Halo: The Master Chief Collection isn't currently decided, 343 may be sharing more information during the upcoming HCS Invitational broadcast, which is set for March 17. If that is not the case, hopefully excited fans will get more details on the collection in short order.

In other Halo news, Microsoft recently announced the Halo Insider Program, which allows players to sign up for early testing on upcoming Halo games, products, and more. 

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Master Chief joining the PC Master Race? https://www.gameskinny.com/ufdpw/master-chief-joining-the-pc-master-race https://www.gameskinny.com/ufdpw/master-chief-joining-the-pc-master-race Thu, 26 May 2016 06:18:32 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

PC gamers rejoice! One of the best first-person shooters might be coming back to PC, if rumors prove true. Kotaku recently released a report about the future of Xbox consoles, and inside that report was a mention of the Xbox One and PC coming together.

The reported project is called Project Helix, and it would involve big franchises like Halo making their way to PC in addition to the Xbox One console.

Kotaku stated:

"Developer sources have told us that Microsoft's new mandate is to release future games–including the flagship Halo series–on both platforms."

PC Gamers have been waiting for the Halo franchise to arrive for a long time now. Microsoft recently announced that Halo Wars 2 will come to PC, as well as the popular Forge mode found in the Halo games. Josh Holmes of 343 industries, the developer of Halo, stated that this is "just the beginning" for the popular Halo franchise on PC.

Along with Halo, other Microsoft franchises including Gears of War and Forza will make their way to a computer near you. I'm sure we will find out more information about project Helix at Microsoft's E3 press conference that takes place June 13th at 9:30 AM PST.

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5 games every gamer should play before they die https://www.gameskinny.com/o3tmb/5-games-every-gamer-should-play-before-they-die https://www.gameskinny.com/o3tmb/5-games-every-gamer-should-play-before-they-die Fri, 30 Oct 2015 07:01:14 -0400 Dennis Adame

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Clementine will remember this list, and so should you next time you're bored and looking for a new game to play. All of these games are amazing and bring something different to the table. These are the kinds of games people will be talking about 20 years from now, and it's because of how much of an impact they had on the gaming industry. 

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If you're looking to pick these games up, most of them can be found on Amazon or at your local GameStop. The only game on this list that may be hard to find is Banjo-Kazooie on N64, but if you have an Xbox One you can buy it via the Rare Replay. 

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Enjoy these games, fellow players, and game on.

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1. Final Fantasy VII

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PlayStation 2 (1997) Coming to PlayStation 4 (Next year)
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Not much can be said about this game that hasn't already been said. Final Fantasy VII is considered by many gamers to be the best game ever made, and is easily the best in the Final Fantasy series. So many great characters are in FF7: Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Barret Wallace, Sephiroth and Yuffie Kisaragi are all characters gamers. Most of the characters in the game are well-known and beloved by gamers all over the world. This game has really stood the test of time, and it will be played for many years to come.

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The story is so detailed that its somewhat hard to explain, but the main idea is that Cloud is a mercenary who agrees to help “AVALANCHE” - a rebel force trying to save the planet. Along the way, Cloud's friend Aerith is taken by the Turks. Cloud and the members of AVALANCHE must work together to get her back. When they find her, the main villain Sephiroth tells the team about his plan to be reborn a god. Aerith goes after him alone. When the team finally finds her again, let’s just say things happen. The team then tracks him down and one final battle takes place between AVALANCHE and Sephiroth.

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The story is deep and emotional, the characters are memorable and the gameplay is satisfying. That's why its so beloved even today, and why you should check it out if you've never played. If you don’t have a PS1, you’re in luck. FF7 is currently being remade and is set to release later next year for PlayStation 4.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/9/b/09b2d782e1e9be2b91c49a095a329c5b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/9/b/tiny_09b2d782e1e9be2b91c49a095a329c5b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"89498","description":"

2. Shadow of The Colossus

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PlayStation 2 (2005)
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This game is simply amazing. The concept is so simple, and it shines above all other games on the PS2. Shadow of the Colossus has a very simple idea: you play Wander, a boy who has come across a mysterious land. You and your horse, armed with only a bow and arrow and a sword, must defeat 16 bosses - aka Colossi. Wander and his horse Argo must defeat each Colossus in hopes of resurrecting Mono, a girl who was sacrificed.

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 It’s an action-adventure game that is unlike any other in the genre. There are no towns, no AI characters to talk to, and no enemies other than the 16 bosses. The game is unique in the fact that each colossus has a different fighting style and a different weakness. This will force players to think on their feet and figure out different ways to come at each colossus. Each boss can also be beaten using different strategies, and it's fun to come up with new ideas every time you play. 

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3. Banjo-Kazooie

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Nintendo 64 (1998) and Xbox One via Rare Replay (2015)
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What can I say about Banjo-Kazooie that hasn’t already been said? The game has such a simple concept, but it's so much fun. This game is over 15 years old and it still stands the test of time. The graphics are still pretty good, and it is easy to spend hours playing, running around collecting everything you can.

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The story is pretty basic. Your sister gets stolen by an evil witch, and it’s up to Banjo and Kazooie to get her back and stop the evil Gruntilda. You run around each world and collect music notes and jigsaw pieces to unlock the next world. Players get to travel to nine different worlds where they will experience pure gaming bliss. In a world where every other game that comes out is ultra-violent, it’s nice to play an older game, have fun, and just relax.

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4. Fallout 3

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 Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC (2008)
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Fallout 3 has to be best game I have ever played (so far). Fallout 3 doesn’t really offer gamers anything ground-breaking. The game took what other RPG games had done before and did it a hundred times better. The world of Fallout 3, the ruins of Washington DC, was one of the most interesting and amazing settings in gaming. It's so fun to walk around the world and see famous monuments and places that can be visited in real life.

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The story is great and gives players a reason to finish the game. Players have to journey into the Wasteland and find their father. He left your vault without telling you, and it’s your job to find out why he did. Aside from the main story, however, there are tons of other side missions that can keep players entertained for hundreds of hours. Fallout 3 is loved by millions, and it’s because of how great Fallout 3 was that Fallout 4 is one of the most anticipated games of 2015.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/8/f9892b994376390ad279a39456716db1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/8/tiny_f9892b994376390ad279a39456716db1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"89485","description":"

5. Halo 2

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Xbox (2004)
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This is not only one of the most beloved game series of all time, but it also had a huge impact on the gaming industry when Halo 2 was released. If you haven’t had a chance to yet, I would definitely recommend watching this documentary about Halo 2’s influence and what it was like to remake the game for the Master Chief Collection.

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Halo 2 was one of the first games to have a great multiplayer experience and featured one of the first big online matchmaking experiences. Fans of Halo went nuts when Halo 2 was released, and they lined up all around the world on release day to be one of the first to buy the game.

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The story of Halo 2 is rich, and the characters and environments are so interesting. The story has so many twists and turns that the players were left sitting on the edge of theirs seats at the end of each level, wondering what was going to happen next. This is one of the must-have games for any Xbox owners and a must-play for all gamers.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/8/de88c359eddb4a820c2113aa8975537e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/8/tiny_de88c359eddb4a820c2113aa8975537e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"89481","description":"

Since the birth of gaming, thousands upon thousands of games have been released. Out of all of those games however, there are some that are a cut above the rest. These 5 games are titles that everyone should play before they die, simply because of how much they impacted on the gaming industry and how loved they are by fans all over the world. These games will stand the test of time and will be remembered as some of the greatest games in history.

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Everything you need to know about Halo universe https://www.gameskinny.com/jx7iu/everything-you-need-to-know-about-halo-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/jx7iu/everything-you-need-to-know-about-halo-universe Sat, 26 Sep 2015 12:22:35 -0400 Sergey_3847

The biggest exclusive for Xbox One is coming out on October 27, 2015 – Halo 5: Guardians. This is the fifth installment in the main series of the Halo games, which began its world domination in 2001. Throughout the years, the universe of Halo has been growing more and more, and it's gotten to the point that if you’ve missed a game or two, it can be pretty hard to put all the pieces back together. Some people have never even played the previous installments, but do want to try Guardians out.

The best case scenario would be to play through all the games in the beloved franchise and gain full personal insight into the story and the characters. But who has time for that? That’s why I'm giving you a brief analysis of the key concepts and events of the Halo universe.

After reading this guide, you will be ready for the events of the upcoming Halo 5 game. However, if you still plan on playing some of the previous games, be prepared for the spoilers. Now, let’s begin from the very basics.

Introduction

The events of Halo take place in the twenty-sixth century. In this far future, mankind continues to explore near-Earth space and begins the process of colonization of other planets.

The first contact with extraterrestrial life forms happens in the year 2525, and the aliens turn out to be extremely hostile creatures. This event unleashes the main conflict, which involves the principal aggressor - the Covenant, a conglomerate of alien races. The only force capable of resisting the Covenant is a team of super-soldiers, known as the SPARTANs, which includes the protagonist of the series - Master Chief.

The Precursors and the Forerunners

First came the Precursors, then the Forerunners. These were the representatives of the ancient races that perished hundreds of thousands of years ago. There isn’t much information about the Precursors, except that they were the creators of all living things, including people. The Forerunners, on the other hand, have a much richer mythology. It is believed that the Forerunners were the ones who overthrew and almost completely destroyed their creators. According to one version, the creators personally acknowledged the Forerunners as a mistake, which eventually led to a riot.

“The Forerunners were a wise, highly intelligent, noble beings and with a belief in justice, in peace, they bravely faced the adversary. They sought to sterilize it.” - Cortana on the Forerunners

Whatever it was, the Forerunners became the strongest and most advanced race in the universe, who took the responsibility to protect other, weaker species.

The Flood (The Parasite)

“One single Flood spore can destroy a species.” - Rtas 'Vadum, Halo 3.

It wasn’t a spontaneous natural phenomenon, although it was just as destructive. An invasion of parasites - Inferi redivivus, was the punishment afflicted on the Forerunners by those remaining few of their creators. The Forerunners had been fighting this plague for three hundred years, but the harder they tried to destroy it, the more parasites spawned from the spores, driven by only one instinct - to infect and devour everything that is sentient.

The Halos

The Forerunners had no choice, and they put all their efforts into creating biological weapons – the Halos (Halo Array, Sacred Rings). This weapon could destroy all of life within the galaxy - that was the only way out, destroying the only source of Flood’s nutrition.

“The only way to stop the Flood is to starve them to death.” - Cortana to John 117 and 343 Guilty Spark.

It’s interesting that the inner surface of the rings was suitable for life. With the help of terraforming, it became possible to create favorable conditions for the flora and fauna to further explore the impact of the Flood on different organisms.

Initially, eighteen rings with a diameter of 8,000 kilometers each were created on an installation facility called The Great Ark – the only place that was protected from the impact of the Halos. Subsequently, some Halos were destroyed or simply lost. However, the remaining seven were enough to put an end to the Flood, and unavoidably, to other life forms in the galaxy, as well.

“Halo doesn't kill Flood. It kills their food. Humans, Covenant, whatever. We're all equally edible. The only way to stop the Flood is to starve them to death. And that's exactly what Halo is designed to do: wipe the galaxy clean of all sentient life.” - Cortana

After activating the Halos, the galaxy was seeded with life once again, and the remnants of the Flood disappeared for many years. This ends the history of the Forerunners and starts a new cycle.

The Covenant

Hundreds of thousands of years later, another group of beings boldly declared itself as the supreme one - the Covenant, a union of many races from different parts of the universe. Each species occupied a certain place within the empire, depending on its abilities.

With all its diversity, the Covenant, like many other nations, was united by one faith. The Forerunners disappeared, leaving almost no traces behind, except a couple of artifacts. Those few relics discovered by the Covenant made its people believe in its supremacy. Since then, they’ve been worshipping the Forerunners like gods, and thinking that Halos were the gates to immortality - the Great Journey, which, of course, was a big mistake.

“None will be left behind when our Great Journey begins! That is the Prophet's age-old promise. And it shall be fulfilled!” - The Prophet of Regret

The Covenant, unlike the Forerunners, developed very slowly and produced most of its weapons and equipment in accordance with the “messages of the gods" and used their processing technology. Nevertheless, they managed to learn enough to be able to build spaceships, military transport, plasma beams, and chemical weapons.

The Conflict

During the search for the new artifacts, the Covenant had its first contact with people, and the subsequent war began. The next relic to be found on the human colonized planet Harvest clarified the true meaning behind the messages of the Forerunners, which said that their true heirs were humans and not the Covenant.

So, the Supreme Council of the Covenant had no choice but to declare humanity as heretics and start the war with them. This war would last for more than thirty years.

“At this point in time, the Covenant is at its most evil. They are hell-bent on the destruction of humanity, on scouring us from the universe.” - Graeme Devine, Lead Writer, formerly Lead Developer

The SPARTANs

Technologically, the Covenant was far ahead of humanity, so people had to create and improve their own weapon base. This war would have ended quickly enough if humans didn't develop their first batch of super-soldiers – the SPARTANs, physically perfect and cybernetically modified fighters.

Dr. Catherine Halsey was considered the creator of the SPARTANs, including the training program and modification of MJOLNIR, the super advanced exoskeleton to which the SPARTANs owe most of their abilities. Subsequent generations of SPARTANs developed without the participation of Dr. Halsey.

“My SPARTANs are Humanity's next step - our destiny as a species.”

- Catherine Halsey, describing the SPARTANs to an ONI interrogator

Initially, the SPARTANs headed peacekeeping missions, in particular missions to crush the rebellion against the unified government of the Earth. Fortunately or unfortunately, they had to deal with another kind of threat.

Master Chief

“He is neither the smartest, nor the fastest, nor the strongest of the Spartans. But he is the bravest, and quite possibly the luckiest. And in my opinion, he is the best.” - Dr. Catherine Halsey to Cortana

The most famous SPARTAN soldier is Master Chief, also known as John-117. Generally, super-soldiers don’t recognize the titles and choose one leader among their peers. However, the authority of Master Chief was so great that he was recognized as the Chief Petty Officer of all the SPARTANs.

The Covenant simply called him "Demon." Due to his efforts, many of their attacks were repelled, the Halo rings were deactivated, and the truce was established. The Covenant subsequently collapsed and some of its members teamed up with humans. The rest of the defeated Covenant races formed the Covenant Remnant and continued to fight.

Cortana

Before gaining popularity as an AI assistant in the new operating system from Microsoft, Cortana was an assistant to Master Chief. Dr. Halsey created Cortana for one of the first operations of the SPARTANs. They needed to hack the AI and gain data analysis. However, Cortana turned out to be much more than that.

In the Halo universe, in order to create an AI, a dead person’s brain was usually used. But in the case of Cortana, Dr. Halsey created a copy of her own brain. One day, studying the ins and outs of the SPARTANs' training program, Cortana swore to defend the Master Chief at any cost - even if she couldn’t last longer than seven years, the life cycle of the normal AI.

“They let me pick. Did I ever tell you that? Choose whichever Spartan I wanted. You know me. I did my research. Watched as you became the soldier we needed you to be. Like the others, you were strong and swift and brave. A natural leader. But you had something they didn't. Something no one saw, but me. Can you guess...? Luck.” -Cortana

The Prometheans

“They're Forerunner robots. Hard light in battle armor. What can they offer us? Nothing but trouble, doctor. They're simply killing machines.”

- SPARTAN Gabriel Thorne.

In Halo 4, we get to fight the new breed of enemies - the Prometheans. They once served as warrior-servants for the Forerunners. In order to avoid the destructive force of the Halos, they turned themselves into digital beings, thus being able to disintegrate into particles. Together with their lord Didact, they disappeared into the primary fortress world - Requiem.

After the defeat of Didact, the Prometheans joined the Covenant Remnant and its leader - Jul 'Mdama. This, as well as the uncertain fate of Master Chief and Dr. Halsey, who was forced to join the Covenant, is where the story picks up in Halo 5: Guardians.

]]>
Glitches: A force for good or evil? https://www.gameskinny.com/hfhct/glitches-a-force-for-good-or-evil https://www.gameskinny.com/hfhct/glitches-a-force-for-good-or-evil Sat, 22 Aug 2015 17:30:02 -0400 cdiponzia

Glitch. This is a term any gamer knows very well. It is (usually) the bane of a gamer's existence. A glitch is what happens when the gaming gods decide to mess with the player. The player will usually find themselves put into an impossible situation that cannot be solved without restarting the game from scratch.  

The Evil

Glitches can do so many things to put the screw to a player. 

Glitches will sometimes make it so a boss can't die. Maybe they will sometimes make your character randomly freeze in place. The best ones are when you randomly die for unknown reasons. Some can be downright creepy. Some of them can be funny or kind of entertaining, but those are few and far between.

I look back and think about all the glitches I have encountered. Right off the bat I will say about 95.7% of them are horrid memories. For example, I remember one time while playing Warframe, my frame suddenly froze in place. I could not move, nor could I use my weapons. My frame randomly decided to stand still and look pretty for the enemies that came up to bite his face off. 

The Good

There is still that 4.3% that tickles my fancy though. That 4.3% is generally made up of memories of Halo 2. For those of you who know Halo 2 online multiplayer well, you know it was filled with glitches. One of the most well-known glitches of Halo 2 is the glitch 'high jump'. 


The reason I bring up this specific glitch is because it is allows you to exploit some of the most entertaining bugs in Halo 2. You will see that the player in the video above uses the high jump to go outside of the levels boundries. When my friends and I played Halo 2, we found a bunch of places where this was possible. It made exploring the multiplayer maps so much more fun, because we would try and discover all the secret locations that existed because of glitches. 

If you were a real jerk, you could also use the high jump to reach places where others could not easily find you. This was so much fun to do in Halo 2 King of the Hill matches (I was so not one of those jerks. I swear).

They can be helpful, too!

It is true that glitches have often caused me a great deal of agony. However, some glitches have actually added to the challenge of a game or even bettered the experience of a game. 

There are some glitches that are even beneficial to players. In Skyrim, there is the infinite book glitch. There is a certain book in Skyrim that can be found infinitely off the corpse of one enemy. Kill the enemy and you can get as many copies of the book as you want. Utilizing this glitch makes it really easy to earn money early on, because you can sell the books for about 50 gold each. 

Thanks to that glitch, I was able to craft the ultimate armors and gear early on in the game. 

Which is it?

So, I begin to wonder which it is. Are glitches good or bad? It is true that glitches have often caused me a great deal of agony. However, some glitches have actually added to the challenge of a game or even bettered the experience of a game. 

I would have to lean towards glitches being a force of good. This is because I enjoy the unpredictable element. Its awesome how something even beyond the scope of what the developers had planned can happen.

It sounds crazy, I know. Glitches usually cause more pain than good. However, think back, can you honestly say there was never a time you thought a certain glitch made a game better instead of worse? Let me know in the comments. 

]]>
The Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs You Probably Missed https://www.gameskinny.com/6arjf/the-top-10-halo-easter-eggs-you-probably-missed https://www.gameskinny.com/6arjf/the-top-10-halo-easter-eggs-you-probably-missed Sun, 05 Apr 2015 17:33:28 -0400 Elijah Beahm

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e620f059875d6b2ce5a462bf861ea864.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e620f059875d6b2ce5a462bf861ea864.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5702","description":"

Tribute Room -- Halo: Reach

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It's rare for a franchise to have as devoted a fanbase as Halo has, so it is fitting that when Bungie had to let go of the reigns of the franchise, they left a passionate goodbye to their fans in the form of this Easter Egg. Not only does it feature the third Siege of Madrigal Easter Egg, but it is a room full of terminals recording and recognizing the greatest fan efforts, from fan series like Red vs. Blue to charities like Fight the Flood.

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The room is also plastered with images from past entries and plenty of in-jokes. Concept art for Reach's protagonists Noble Team can even be found. If you're a big fan of Halo and haven't heard of this Easter Egg yet, I sincerely advise watching the video above and maybe even checking out the Easter Egg yourself.

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Like the Easter Eggs we found? Want to see more? Have you found any we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cab9fadff4a1bcdc0bc61d8bea6c8af.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cab9fadff4a1bcdc0bc61d8bea6c8af.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5701","description":"

Red vs. Blue "We Need Ammo!" -- Halo 3

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Famous Halo machinima Red vs. Blue has had a number of Easter Eggs and cameos in the core series entries, but none quite top this Halo 3 secret. Across Easy/Normal, Heroic, and Legendary difficulties, three different pairs of actors from the show seek to play out individual skits around the simple of act of trying to open a door and get some ammo. I'll just let you enjoy the above video, and say no more.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7bc923961610fc9b094037a253c8b18.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7bc923961610fc9b094037a253c8b18.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5700","description":"

Half-Naked Guy -- Halo 2 / Halo 3

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Back when Halo 2 first released, it was given an M rating for the usual violence and gore reasons, but also a new reason: partial nudity. Everyone assumed the ESRB Rating Board meant Cortana, who looks far more realistic than in the first game. Instead, it was over an Easter Egg of Bungie co-founder Jason Jones, posing half-naked, hidden in the opening cutscene.

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Not to leave a bit of silliness alone, Bungie then later included another cardboard cut out of Jones in Halo 3, hidden in a hard to access room.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b737b0ae88500d288d96d50cb89e47ba.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b737b0ae88500d288d96d50cb89e47ba.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5699","description":"

Microsoft Sam -- Halo 3

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No, your ears are not deceiving you. Hidden away at the end of the Scarab battle in The Covenant, on the opposite side of the gate from where you can hear Siege of Madrigal, hides MS Sam. The famous text to speech program spouts a number of in-jokes and references.

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This Easter Egg has become so hard to find posted on the web, I almost began to think my memory had failed me. Yet here it is, in all its glory. Do yourself a favor though, and skip to 2:44 in the above vid. You'll be glad you just got to the good stuff.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7ddbcc2ba1e3a2da0660175208926489.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7ddbcc2ba1e3a2da0660175208926489.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5698","description":"

The Siege of Madrigal Easter Egg -- Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST

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Shockingly enough, there was a time before Bungie made Halo games. Long before Master Chief was a twinkle in Cortana's eye, Bungie made the Mac-exclusive Marathon series. Seeing as they love to sneak tons of references of Marathon into Halo (to the point fans began to suspect the Halo series was meant to be a loose prequel trilogy), it seems fitting we include the longest running one: Siege of Madrigal.

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You see, Siege of Madrigal is one of the songs from Marathon, and can be found in every Bungie-developed entry in the Halo series in certain locations. It can be found in Assault on the Control Room in Halo: Combat Evolved. It can also be found on the Halo 2 multiplayer map Ivory Tower. Another appearance can be found in The Covenant in Halo 3. There are three places you can find the song in Halo: Reach, in a club, as elevator music at random, and as part of another Easter Egg.

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However, the most eventful appearance that exclusively focuses on the song is its appearance in Halo 3: ODST. What makes it so special? Well, as you can see in the video above, it prominently features former Bungie composer Marty O'Donnel, dancing with hearts to a comedic jazz remix of the theme. The same hearts would also later appear as an unlockable armor aesthetic in Halo: Reach.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9e8ef3363280cfe220b9dfb2487bf7b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9e8ef3363280cfe220b9dfb2487bf7b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5697","description":"

Caveman Family -- Halo 3 / Halo 3 ODST

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Another odd Halo 3 era Easter Egg series was the Caveman. The Caveman first appears as two separate Easter Eggs in the first level of Halo 3. You can find a whole family of primordial humans hiding around a secluded ledge.

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One of the Cavemen is holding a toy bear, which was meant for a cut Legendary Easter Egg where Master Chief would have grabbed the bear right before going into cryosleep. Later, you can encounter a lone Caveman, visible on a cliff by himself.

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The Easter Egg also made its way to Halo 3: ODST in the form of a single Caveman. According to Halo Nation:

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"The internal name for the 'cavemen' is "The Gorillehto". Originally an internal email prank, photoshopping Marcus Lehto's face on a female gorilla."

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cfb122e268fa8db075aa1aebb6f49064.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cfb122e268fa8db075aa1aebb6f49064.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5695","description":"

The Secret Grunts -- Halo: Combat Evolved / Halo 2 / Halo 3

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Bungie sure loves their Grunts, so much so that they've hidden a different talking Grunt in every core entry of the series. First there's the Thirsty Grunt at the very end of Halo: Combat Evolved. Then there's the Cowardly Grunt in Halo 2, when Arbiter starts fighting the Brutes. Finally, in Halo 3, there is the Last Grunt, who is the last enemy in the game (and arguably the most hilarious). You can see them all in the video above.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6cc0ea3d55860be7517bb2394ae44da4.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6cc0ea3d55860be7517bb2394ae44da4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5693","description":"

Happy Birthday Lauren! -- Halo 3

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While it might not be the most amazing Egg on its own, Happy Birthday Lauren! is the latest Easter Egg found in Halo 3. Unlike most of the Easter Eggs on this list, it was only just recently discovered. Much like Megg, it's a heartfelt message to a loved one. To unlock the Easter Egg, you just need to have the right date and time, then load a level in Halo 3.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6fdf1d2f142fcb43240242df8b1f81a8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6fdf1d2f142fcb43240242df8b1f81a8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5694","description":"

Grunt Playtime -- Halo 2 / Halo 2: Anniversary Edition

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This is a rare Easter Egg that has two versions across the Anniversary and regular editions. In the original version of Halo 2, if you looked closely during the opening cutscene, a Grunt could be seen playing with toys. Depending on the difficulty, he might be playing with different things.

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In the new Halo 2: Anniversary version, which you can view above, the grunt instead fights over a plush toy, held out of reach by a Jackal. They are Didact (Easy), Librarian (Normal), Master Chief (Heroic), and Rampant Cortana (Legendary).

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While the new version is easy to find, the original was very hard to see, if you even knew what to look for. As a result, it often is missed even by players who repeatedly run through the game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f357f945f3697c9479272f57ca90137f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f357f945f3697c9479272f57ca90137f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5692","description":"

The Megg Easter Egg -- Halo: Combat Evolved

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Megg is one of the oldest and most obscure Easter Eggs in Halo: Combat Evolved. The required set of actions to trigger it are so specific, it's impressive people figured out how to find it. Megg is also the first of several hidden Easter Eggs left for loved ones in each Halo game.

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A second Megg easter egg exists in Halo 2, but merely requires you complete the level "Cairo Station" without losing your shields once, on Legendary difficulty. One you reach the final room, a sound clip will play: "Megg, please report to the red courtesy phone. Megg, to the red courtesy phone."

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5df85a273e5eaba705480ad95af6b8fe.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5df85a273e5eaba705480ad95af6b8fe.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5703","description":"

The Halo series is one of the most popular shooters in the world, winning hundreds of awards and praise. Yet, there are still secrets most fans don't know are hidden within Bungie's magnum opus for the Xbox. To fill you in, here are the Top 10 Halo Easter Eggs that you probably missed. From loving little gestures to smart mouthed Grunts, there's a lot of ground to cover. Let's roll out Spartans!

"}]]]>
10 Fantastic Cortana Cosplays https://www.gameskinny.com/iyxox/10-fantastic-cortana-cosplays https://www.gameskinny.com/iyxox/10-fantastic-cortana-cosplays Tue, 24 Mar 2015 11:09:29 -0400 Elijah Beahm

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da6e4c90b8ac099fe29f7ac005f68ee7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_da6e4c90b8ac099fe29f7ac005f68ee7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61431","description":"

Arguably one of the best Cortana cosplay's I've ever found, but sadly I am unable to locate the cosplayer's information. If anyone knows who this is, please let me know in the comments below so I may credit her fantastic work!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/96e1771da8348193d6d7039c272bca87.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_96e1771da8348193d6d7039c272bca87.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61429","description":"

SpartanJenzii's ready for a fight with an excellent replica Covenant Plasma Repeater and great bodysuit cosplay of Halo 3's Cortana.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e95b8058ce05276e79842a6dfbeeb3eb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e95b8058ce05276e79842a6dfbeeb3eb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61426","description":"

Th3 Rouge shows off some stunning body paint cosplay of Cortana in Halo 4, along with a fantastic replica Covenant Plasma Sword.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cdc2529086c198c40e1e4f2aae6e26f5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_cdc2529086c198c40e1e4f2aae6e26f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61420","description":"

In this adorable cosplay, xKittyxViciousx's husband and daughter are going out as on Halloween as Master Chief and Cortana.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b8b4d531399ef4ed447871c325d05abc.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b8b4d531399ef4ed447871c325d05abc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61413","description":"

Yukliefay's cosplay of Cortana is stunning not just in the execution (considering this was a spontaneous cosplay), but in just how much she catches you with that stare. Many cosplays convey the aloof or silly nature of Cortana, but not many attempt to emulate her intensity during the events of Halo 2 and Halo 4.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9a8438badb3d490db5a1256ca0ea9182.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_9a8438badb3d490db5a1256ca0ea9182.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61423","description":"

Cosplayer EvieEvangelion pulls off two feats at once. First, the cosplay looks so painterly it doesn't even look like a photo. Second, she has the rare claim to be cosplaying as a never shown on-screen variant of Cortana from the novel Halo: First Strike. It's in the novel that she originally transitioned from her purple form in Halo: Combat Evoled, to her new, blue form in Halo 2.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/321692e0b57c4b496dc69570fc53af31.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_321692e0b57c4b496dc69570fc53af31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61422","description":"

Cosplayer Hyokenaseisou's work is doubly on display in this little but of fun at PAX. Cosplaying herself as Cortana, she went toe to toe with a fellow cosplayer in SPARTAN armor she also designed.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a0e6a7dfe59031c6b23598e25797a2c7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a0e6a7dfe59031c6b23598e25797a2c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61428","description":"

msventress's cosplay of Halo 3 Cortana is particularly impressive, as her body suit is entirely hand-pained with fabric paint.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bbf6ac03cb83ba413f9bdea58ffd8751.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_bbf6ac03cb83ba413f9bdea58ffd8751.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61430","description":"

SpartanJenzii's ready for a fight with an excellent replica Covenant Plasma Repeater and great bodysuit cosplay of Halo 3's Cortana.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f21e5bda3e866f4de2aa10973f41a7dd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f21e5bda3e866f4de2aa10973f41a7dd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61411","description":"

LittleNeko is ready to fight by Master Chief's side in this awesome cosplay of Halo 2's Cortana and Master Chief. Particular props (excuse the pun) for those great Needler and Plasma Pistol replicas!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/997960457e679c42b4d4b935fc47d15b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_997960457e679c42b4d4b935fc47d15b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61417","description":"

In honor of the news that Cortana is returning in Halo 5: Guardians, let's celebrate with some fan cosplay homages to that great lady in blue (and sometimes purple) Cortana! From stunning paintwork to detailed technical work, there is some impressive cosplay out there amongst Halo fans.

"}]]]>
10 Sequels That Blew Away the Original https://www.gameskinny.com/5fi3y/10-sequels-that-blew-away-the-original https://www.gameskinny.com/5fi3y/10-sequels-that-blew-away-the-original Sun, 15 Mar 2015 07:06:08 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7a9839e31ee25a7cb789a10fd1d6e827.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7a9839e31ee25a7cb789a10fd1d6e827.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60982","description":"

Halo 2 - Xbox

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Halo was a landmark game which helped launch Microsoft’s foray into the console world. Halo was a system seller and the reason many of us gathered for grand multiplayer battles with our friends.

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If Halo blew us away, Halo 2 knocked our socks off with a Chuck Norris roundhouse, and then put our socks back on only to blow us out of them again. Halo 2 had a more memorable campaign and more developed story than its predecessor. More importantly though, the sequel’s multiplayer laid the foundation for the multiplayer we know and love today. Besides adding more maps, customization options, and weapons, the addition of online multiplayer via the new Xbox Live service helped invigorate online multiplayer for the console world. When the original Live service was getting shut down, Spartans were still waging battles worldwide.

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The release of the Master Chief Collection has allowed players to relive the glory days in glorious HD, further cementing this classic into the memories of players everywhere.

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Also, the Arbiter > Master Chief. It had to be said. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e607e06fecc2802b348b9262009b341f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e607e06fecc2802b348b9262009b341f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60981","description":"

Diablo 2 - PC

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The original Diablo was a moody hack-n-slash with a dark, Gothic atmosphere and plenty of enemies to transform into gory corpses. The sequel had more of the same, which was not a problem in the case of Diablo, but added even more ways to entice players to play their life hacking away at enemies.

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Blizzard added more classes for the sequel. On top of the additional classes, an item crafting system and a new loot classification system were added, along with a host of enhancements for the online experience. Diablo 2 enticed players to click long into the night and has kept them busy to this day. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c19224bc3964970bff6dd03345a7be0c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c19224bc3964970bff6dd03345a7be0c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60980","description":"

Timesplitters 2 - Xbox, Gamecube, & PS2

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Timesplitters was developed by the team at Free Radical, most notably composed of people who had worked on the classic FPS Goldeneye. Timesplitters was met with a warm reception both by critics and players alike. For the sequel, Free Radical went all-out with the zany and ridiculous, leading to a shooter unlike anything before and after it.

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How many other shooters allow you to play as monkeys, zombies, ninjas, and all sorts of other characters with one of the most robust and fleshed-out multiplayer experiences to date? The campaign was also great, with varied and interesting levels. You know, everything a good shooter should have. Now if only Crytek would hop to an HD release or a new entry in the series.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7d23a869ecc51b73f2062218051b4819.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7d23a869ecc51b73f2062218051b4819.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60979","description":"

Super Smash Bros. Melee - Gamecube

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Ah, Super Smash Bros. Many fond memories were had playing SSB on the N64. When released, our inner fanboys squealed in delight as we realized dreams of Nintendo characters duking it out could be a reality. We tolerated the abysmal framerate and the awkward N64 controller for hours on end, simply for the joy and good times to be had.

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With the release of the Gamecube came the second entry in the series, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and a host of improvements. Once again, improved technology vastly improved the player experience, resulting in a more stable and enjoyable play session. More characters, inventive stages, and a plethora of modes and extras led to arguably the best Smash game to date. The competitive scene certainly thinks so. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9e88610e02632fb0fcd4de91a276e06a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_9e88610e02632fb0fcd4de91a276e06a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60978","description":"

Hitman 2 - Xbox, Gamecube, & PS2

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Hitman: Codename 47 was an interesting release, but was flawed in some key areas. If not for Agent 47’s presence, Hitman 2 could be mistaken for a completely new franchise. Adding more open levels, player freedom, and ironing out stealth mechanics proved successful for IO Interactive and the Hitman series. Hiitman 2 also led to some of the most memorable levels we have seen in the franchise thus far. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a trip to St. Petersburg.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dac7d6f2aaa8e0c13ad09fddbf52c585.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_dac7d6f2aaa8e0c13ad09fddbf52c585.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60977","description":"

System Shock 2 - PC 

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The first System Shock took the world by storm upon its release in 1994. The game was something truly unique and ground-breaking. System Shock 2 was all of that and more. With better technology came a more chilling atmosphere, terrifying enemies, and one of the most unnerving antagonists in gaming: S.H.O.D.A.N. This game is considered one of the greatest and most influential - for good reason, as elements of the game can be seen in releases to this day, most notably the Bioshock series. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1908e4c257ce23a69ff229996b34588d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_1908e4c257ce23a69ff229996b34588d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60976","description":"

Team Fortress 2 - PC

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Some players would debate upon whether TF 2 or TF Classic is superior, but it is difficult to argue against TF 2. Since releasing in 2007, the game has received consistent updates packed with additional (FREE) content, and the game itself is completely free to everyone. Diverse classes, great map design, a dedicated community, and varied game modes have helped launch TF 2 into immortality. Now how about learning to count to three Valve?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/76f0097973baf100d1894c604d908a4d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_76f0097973baf100d1894c604d908a4d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60975","description":"

Saints Row 2 - Xbox 360 & PS3

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Saints Row was a GTA imitator which did not do much to set itself apart from other games of its ilk. For the sequel, Violition decided to go all out in the ridiculous department, giving players an open world game unlike any they had ever seen. The series went from a straight-faced gangster story in the original, to having a mission where players drive a truck that shoots sewage at bystanders in the sequel. The shift worked, and three entries later we have played as the President fighting aliens, been to hell, and wielded a dubstep gun. Wub Wub.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8ee33f3c55b3240b3a03882782045bf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e8ee33f3c55b3240b3a03882782045bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60974","description":"

Just Cause 2 - Xbox 360 & PS3

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Just Cause was met with mixed reception upon launch. Just Cause 2’s launch was the exact opposite and rightly so. Just Cause 2 gave players a massive world to wreak havoc in, as well as the tools necessary to do so. More importantly though, the game gave players the freedom to enact their craziest dreams and a versatile grappling hook to bring those dreams to fruition. You can also surf planes. ‘Nuff said. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5433091b8508b5177385c0bb5448f4aa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5433091b8508b5177385c0bb5448f4aa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60973","description":"

Silent Hill 2 - PS2 & Xbox

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The original Silent Hill was a classic and a huge influence on games, especially the survival-horror genre. Silent Hill 2 was a massive improvement on the original in every way. Having the advantage of the power of the PS2 and the Xbox brought the creepy town and nightmarish monsters to terrifying life. There is a reason this is considered not only one of the best games of all time, but also one of the scariest. It also gave us Pyramid Head. A good thing right? 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fcdc27804009e03a664ab9a5374f5d1a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_fcdc27804009e03a664ab9a5374f5d1a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60983","description":"

Sometimes game sequels are so much improved over the original, they completely obliterate their predecessors. In order to narrow down the list of candidates, I decided to only include direct sequels; otherwise, this list might include a hundred games! Feel free to let us know if we missed any of your favorite sequels.

"}]]]>
Top 10 Most Sadistic Villains in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/wt2bt/top-10-most-sadistic-villains-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/wt2bt/top-10-most-sadistic-villains-in-video-games Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:40:07 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

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Gravemind

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Halo 2 (Anniversary), Halo 3
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A Gravemind is a mass of thousands of bodies, merged to create a super-intelligent being whose sole purpose is to control the Flood. As the Flood are a hive mind, all gathered species will feed the Flood, and thus the Gravemind, with more intelligence.

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The Gravemind speaks in rhyme, which emphasizes its intelligence. If it can manipulate a language on the fly in such a rhythmic and intelligent way, what else is it capable of?

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The Gravemind can also interact directly with AI, which is exactly what happens when Cortana makes the Master Chief leave her on the Flood-infested High Charity. The Gravemind attempts to extract as much information from Cortana as it can.

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The reason the Gravemind is such a great villain is because of its ability to control thousands, perhaps even millions of Flood, and make them organized. It can manipulate technology, which helps it get into the communication systems of the Master Chief's armor in Halo 3. The Gravemind, however, is not the only one in existence, just the only one you see in the games, and they can get bigger.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a1de33e47b0f47371919a96a1046b980.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a1de33e47b0f47371919a96a1046b980.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55363","description":"

Vaas Montenegro

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Far Cry 3
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We all know Vaas, I'm sure. Vaas is quick with his tongue, but quicker with his murder. He blends rambling and insanity in what is the most interesting villain I think games have every had.

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He's a psychopath in every sense of the word, and you definitely want to kill him. But you also just want to hear him talk; strangely you kind of want to get to know the man. He has a lot of charisma.

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The actor who plays Vaas, Michael Mando says:

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"I think Vaas is in all of us. Just like all the monsters in the world, they're not inhuman, they're all human right?"

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That is why Vaas is such a great, complicated and relatable villain.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6097dc3772e353ff5caa93310543e17f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6097dc3772e353ff5caa93310543e17f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55362","description":"

Alma

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F.E.A.R Series
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Alma starts off as a girl who quite literally jumps out at you, making you knock whatever you had on your desk off. She made nothing but flawless jump-scare appearances. When you couldn't see her, you still felt her presence throughout the series. Sometimes the atmosphere would change, plunging the character into a misty red environment, or things would suddenly block your path. You may even hear strange sounds, or see disfigured, blood-drenched corpses. It's chilling to the bone.

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In F.E.A.R 2, Alma is no longer just an angry little girl, she's an angsty teenager who just wants some babies. But her desire for children leads her to subject the player to one of the weirdest and most horrifying scenes in a game. She rapes the player character, impregnating herself, and just vanishes.

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Alma is scary, very scary, but all she really wants is her freedom.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4ebd501a57f66a12691a9691f53273dd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4ebd501a57f66a12691a9691f53273dd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55361","description":"

Officer Tenpenny

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
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Tenpenny deserves to be on this list just because he's a corrupt cop. But he's cemented onto this list because he's a corrupt cop who loves a bit of racketeering, corruption of others, possession, using of all sorts of narcotics, and sexual assault. He causes the riots which bring Los Santos into chaos. And he constantly and purposefully runs into CJ, making you do annoying and seemingly pointless missions.

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But worst of all, you understand that all he wants to do is help the people of Los Santos, his personal greed just kind of gets in the way.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a342047f440c81bdb00d0797bc4bb97d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a342047f440c81bdb00d0797bc4bb97d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55360","description":"

Ares

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God of War, Ascension
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And in the red corner with six razor-sharp bladed tentacles, two giant arms, and hair made of fire, this god stands as tall as the Empire State building. 

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It's none other than the original God of War, Ares!

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Not to mention that he tricks Kratos into killing his family, which earned Kratos the title of the Ghost of Sparta. Of course, Ares later makes Kratos watch his family's death again.

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Does Ares need more justification to be on this list? Oh yes, he wears a skirt because he just wants to make all men feel inferior, I'm sure of it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cfaea7fe6984e9acffe637d46fd7d0ff.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_cfaea7fe6984e9acffe637d46fd7d0ff.png","type":"slide","id":"55359","description":"

Killbane

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Saints Row: The Third
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Killbane is basically just a giant man. He also has a very short temper, he's a murderer, and just all round pretty nasty guy. He has a tendency to kill people on impulse. For example, he kills Kiki DeWynter because she called him by his real name, Eddie. 

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Killbane and the player are very similar, they are both pop-culture icons and they both run gangs; however, Killbane leads through fear and intimidation.

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He doesn't specifically have any unique character traits, but because you understand his motivations, it adds a certain groundedness to a larger-than-life character and game world. Though he's still a horrible person through and through. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0ea0024f8d37336370d535f5906354af.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_0ea0024f8d37336370d535f5906354af.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55358","description":"

Fleming

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Shadows of the Damned
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Also known as the Lord of the Demons, Fleming is a force to be reckoned with, and he's almost invulnerable to everything.

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The death of Garcia Hotspur's girlfriend Paula leads to Fleming holding her captive and his mistress. Paula was once the Unbreakable Huntress, the first female demon hunter. While in The City of the Damned she challenges Fleming, but Fleming manages to win. During the end of the fight, he severs both her arms. Due to her unwillingness to die, he reattaches her arms and keeps her around as his mistress. He constantly tortures her, and has killed her hundreds of times for her escape attempts, each and every time pleasure in her refusal to die.

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That pretty much sums up why he is such a good villain. He's only featured in the game for a limited number of times, but even so he feels like a constant presence, like he could reach out and attack you at any time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d6565359875ed40aebe647e675c9ef8a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d6565359875ed40aebe647e675c9ef8a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55357","description":"

Darth Vader

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 1 and 2
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The name's Vader, Darth Vader. (Wrong series, whoops.)

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How could you not put Vader into a list of good villains? I'm sure everyone knows who Vader is, but he's on this list for one specific reason: He lured the most powerful Sith, Starkiller, directly to him, because he knew he could win. 

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In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 1, Vader kills Starkiller's father directly in front of him. Vader does this for the sole purpose of taking command of The Imperial forces for his own nefarious needs. However, when Starkiller almost succeeds in killing The Emperor, all Starkiller gets as a thanks is literally being stabbed in the back and thrown into space by none other than Lord Vader himself.

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Darth Vader has a certain presence to him, an aura of pure unfiltered evil. The evil which is only broken at the very end of the film saga. He is of course not the only Sith who could be on this list, Darth Malak needs a notable mention.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b016bbf513666f6b74a8c28fb41d9add.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b016bbf513666f6b74a8c28fb41d9add.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55356","description":"

Wheatley

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Portal 2
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Wheatley was designed by a group of the most intelligent scientists to be the dumbest AI ever created. They did this for the sole purpose of taking Aperture Science back from GLaDOS. The theory was the dumbest possible AI would be able to beat the most intelligent, so Wheatley could stop GLaDOS.

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The plan didn't quite work. With the aid of Chell, Wheatley managed to take over Aperture Science. Instead of giving it back to the scientists, he took control and started running it his way. Which leads to exactly why he is such as good villain.

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Good villains often have somewhat relatable goals, but the means they employ to accomplish those goals are what makes them villains . Because Wheatley is so dumb, hilarity and accidental brilliance ensue. He doesn't really have a plan, nor does he really know what he's doing, he simply gets a taste for power and cannot let that go. He also forces Chell to work with GLaDOS, who is reduced to little more than a potato battery. This creates a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenario, which is just damn interesting.

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Wheatley is voiced by the actor Stephen Merchant, who brings a certain charm and humour that Wheatley wouldn't have otherwise.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2958ae76fd5cf4684c6701a40c80b05f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_2958ae76fd5cf4684c6701a40c80b05f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55355","description":"

GLaDOS

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Portal
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GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is the Artificial Intelligence in charge of maintaining the Aperture Science Laboratories and testing. Ever since GLaDOS was turned on, she has tried to kill. However, one particular incident during an annual "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" lead to GLaDOS being fitting with a morality core, which didn't work. The next year, she was activated again, due to her wanting to perform some tests with neurotoxin. She locked the whole laboratory down and killed almost everyone inside, then did her tests on the survivors. 

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Shortly after this is where first Portal game starts, Chell is given instructions to test by GLaDOS, who does not reveal her true intentions, until nearing the end of the tests where she intends to kill Chell.

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GLaDOS is a great villain because she is not only funny and very well-written, but her monotonous voice also gives her an extremely-off-the-chart in chill factor. And she is obviously very intelligent.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c6c6941deae41c678cde701ba2b5358b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c6c6941deae41c678cde701ba2b5358b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55365","description":"

Villains may be villainous, but that doesn't mean they can't be interesting characters. Some villains are so well done that they have to be recognized.

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In no specific order, this slideshow will take you through what I think are the top 10 villains in gaming.

"}]]]>
Halo Master Chief Collection - Combat Has Really Evolved! https://www.gameskinny.com/6vwpp/halo-master-chief-collection-combat-has-really-evolved https://www.gameskinny.com/6vwpp/halo-master-chief-collection-combat-has-really-evolved Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:26:08 -0500 Dazza_1881

Have you bought the latest Halo addition? If not, you're missing out. For all you casual gamers who don't know how to play a game of Griftball - listen up. 343 Industries released Halo: The Masterchief Collection on Xbox One on November 11. And it's shaping up to be revolutionary. Here are a few reasons why:

Graphics

The most impressive feature that makes this game stand out from its predecessors is the exceedingly sharp and lifelike resolution. The new and improved graphics combined with the next-gen gaming platform make an in-depth landscape like never before. You will gasp in awe and admiration as you stare at the jaw-droppingly stunning scenery. When the chief gets briefed with Sergeant Johnson, you will forget that you're playing a game. You'll load up on plasma grenades and bubble shields, preparing for your next encounter with the brutes. Players will also be able to switch between pre and post-remake graphics, highlighting just how far Halo has come in 10 years.

Maps & Story

343 has also included the ability to play ALL original 100+ multiplayer maps on one disk, while also introducing even more maps exclusive to Xbox One. For the Spartan Supreme who doesn't want to play through some of the less exciting campaign levels, you have the choice to jump in wherever you want. In addition, the story seems so much more interesting. Even the novice is able to pick up the controller and play from Halo: Combat Evolved all the way to the series' fourth installment.

The Extras

343 Industries has been exceedingly generous with this new ultimate experience, as they include an epic live-action series in Halo: Nightfall and introduce us to a pivotal character in Halo 5 - Agent Locke. Additionally, another exclusive comes to all those who purchase this must-have package: a Halo 5 : Guardians multiplayer beta which releases on December 29th this year.

So get ready to relive your childhood in ways you never thought possible with this epic new experience that is not to be missed.

Earth, to finish what we started. And this time, none of you will be left behind.

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Halo Master Chief Collection: Subtle Anniversary https://www.gameskinny.com/n2m17/halo-master-chief-collection-subtle-anniversary https://www.gameskinny.com/n2m17/halo-master-chief-collection-subtle-anniversary Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:38:00 -0500 Eric Nicolai

Saturday marks a thirteen year anniversary, not for my wife and me, but for a game that is known worldwide. It is the game that really put Bungie Studios on the map of gaming. 

Halo: Combat Evolved was a game that gamers grasped quickly. The multiplayer was revolutionary, the story was fantastic, and the environments were like nothing that players had seen before. 

Thirteen years down the road Bungie is no longer the studio behind the journeys of Master Chief and Cortana. 343 Industries has taken over within the years and seven or so games later we are now being blessed with a compilation. 

Halo Master Chief Collection will allow players to enjoy the multiplayer of the now retired Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. These games were the lives of many teenagers who counted down the clock every Friday afternoon while sitting in school. Waiting to get a group of eight people bunched in one house to play four versus four.

Also in this collection is Halo 3 and Halo 4, this is where things got really interesting. Still new teenagers and the same people, maybe not teenagers anymore, counted down the clock at work and school until they could play. This time it was not to play with a bunch of body odor engulfed people. By this time in game history we were comfortably playing games across the nation with other players. (Side note this is where I met one of my good friends. My wife and I spent our honeymoon with him across the nation)

Halo Master Chief Collection will give players the ability to relive these memories, maybe not the ones that fill so many people in one room. The thoughts will still be there, and that is all that matters. The games will be just as fun and in what perfect time. Happy anniversary Halo, embrace the weekend of celebration, you've earned it.

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Halo 2: Remaking the Legend Documentary https://www.gameskinny.com/vm89y/halo-2-remaking-the-legend-documentary https://www.gameskinny.com/vm89y/halo-2-remaking-the-legend-documentary Tue, 28 Oct 2014 06:46:39 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

343 Industries is set to release it's documentary on the process of creating the Halo 2 remake, called Halo 2: Anniversary.

The documentary will feature:

  • Key members of the 343 Industries team talking about their motivations behind the creation process.
  • How the new CGI trailers were created, showing the motion capture, music and voice acting work done.
  • The way the new audio for any of the numerous weapons Halo 2 has. In the trailer you can see the SMG, an iconic weapon of Halo 2.

 On the left, Keith David, the voice of the Arbiter.

Why a documentary?

Tina Summerford, Director of Programming had a few words on the scale of the project, saying:

“How do you remake a title that is so beloved by fans?  How do you decide what must stay the same and what can be updated?"

She also says why they wanted to create the documentary, saying:

"It takes an army to build any game and we realized this process was one that the Halo Nation rarely gets a glimpse into, We hit the road to capture the process from top to bottom, talking to all of the key players who helped bring Halo 2: Anniversary into the next gen and giving our fans unprecedented access to this process.”

The documentary will feature interviews with many big names in Halo, including Bonnie Ross, Frank O'Connor, Dan Ayoub, and Phil Spencer.

There will also be a number of interviews with the original Halo 2 team, writer Joseph Staten, multiplayer designer Max Hoberman, and composer Marty O'Donnell.

Master Chief is looking a little spotty.

How, where, and when can I watch it?

The documentary will premier on October 31st on Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

With a number of ways to get the content, everyone should be able to see it. You can download the full documentary for free on Xbox Video. Watch it on the Halo Channel on November 11th. And finally, you can jump onto Xbox's Twitch account at the following times:

  • Friday, Oct. 31 at 11 am PST/2 pm EST
  • Saturday, Nov. 1 at 6 pm PST/9 pm EST
  • Sunday, Nov. 2 at 6 pm PST/9 pm EST

I cannot wait to have this insight into what goes into remaking a game, especially a game as iconic as Halo 2.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is set to release on the Xbox One Worldwide on November 11th, in Belgium November 12th, in Japan November 13th and in France November 14th all in 2014.

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Four Men Caught Smuggling $100,000 Worth of Cocaine in an Original Xbox https://www.gameskinny.com/ngvns/four-men-caught-smuggling-100000-worth-of-cocaine-in-an-original-xbox https://www.gameskinny.com/ngvns/four-men-caught-smuggling-100000-worth-of-cocaine-in-an-original-xbox Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:16:53 -0400 AJ_Labate

The original Xbox: known for jumpstarting Microsoft’s journey into console gaming, granting us gamers several illustrious franchises, and smuggling narcotics.

No, that is not a typo; it appears that the original Xbox is still good for something: drug trafficking. 4 men in Reading, Pennsylvania were arrested last weekend for allegedly using an original Xbox to smuggle over $100,000 worth of cocaine, which was hidden inside the bulky system.

The original Xbox is just about as enormous as the Xbox One, which means it not only takes up valuable closet space, but its cavernous insides can be utilized to hide a decent-sized chunk of something.

In this instance, it was 1100 grams of cocaine.

On Wednesday October 8th, officials with Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and the Border Protection Office of Philadelphia contacted the Berks County Drug Task Force about several kilos of cocaine being smuggled from the Dominican Republic to various addresses in Berks County.

Officials observed a suspect receive a box labeled “Video Game Xbox 360 Use,” then pursued him as he dropped it off in the trunk of a car. They followed the car to a home, where they found the drugs, the Xbox console, many other disassembled consoles, various console parts, counter-surveillance cameras, ammo and a loaded gun magazine, over fourteen cellphones, and various items related to cocaine cutting and packaging.

The four suspects were processed and arraigned at the Berks County Sheriff’s Department Central Processing Center Saturday.

Let’s just hope one of these cocaine-filled systems doesn’t end up in the used section of your local GameStop or video game outlet!

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection's Developers Explain Changes Being Made to the Illustrious Franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/x0d24/halo-the-master-chief-collections-developers-explain-changes-being-made-to-the-illustrious-franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/x0d24/halo-the-master-chief-collections-developers-explain-changes-being-made-to-the-illustrious-franchise Tue, 07 Oct 2014 13:15:37 -0400 AJ_Labate

Master Chief is back and better than ever.

In an official blog post, developer 343 Industries explains that all the game types, custom elements, and more that will be included in the Collector’s Edition version that will be offered in the new release.

With Halo 2 celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the development team has been releasing information about what changes the game will be receiving in the new package. Bungie and 343 Industries are also aiming to introduce some interesting modifications to the gameplay of the first title in the illustrious franchise.

The radar issue within the game has been long a topic of discussion and issue for the player base, and 343 Industries adds,

As is the case with all games within Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we will have a variety of experiences in Matchmaking that cater to a variety of play styles. For example, you’ll be able to find Halo: CE games with radar enabled and disabled in separate playlists.

Gamers will be glad to hear that they will also be able to play on the maps from the first Halo that were PC version exclusive, they will be available in both regular matchmaking and custom modes.

Also, you will be able to select your own weapon sets in Halo: Master Chief Collection from a brand new list of weapon sets. One of the sets will be the classic set, which according to the studio “will not include the Flamethrower or Fuel Rod Gun.”

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is set for release on November 11th in the US, and the 14th in the UK.

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343 Industries Answers Questions About Halo: The Master Chief Collection https://www.gameskinny.com/9xyp3/343-industries-answers-questions-about-halo-the-master-chief-collection https://www.gameskinny.com/9xyp3/343-industries-answers-questions-about-halo-the-master-chief-collection Sat, 04 Oct 2014 18:15:27 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

With Halo: The Master Chief Collection releasing in less than a month for Xbox One, 343 Industries has used their weekly Halo Bulletin to answer some fan questions about the collection of remastered Halo games. 

This week the focus was on the remastered version of Halo: Combat Evolved. According to the Halo Bulletin, Combat Evolved will have all of the game type options that were available for the older version of the game, including custom game types. There will also be options for games with radar enabled or disabled.

Additionally, the remastered edition will include maps for Combat Evolved and Halo 2, which were originally only available for the PC versions of the games. Also, there will be new weapon options for players, including some "classic" weapon options that were originally only for the PC, as well. 

Halo: Combat Evolved will release  for Xbox One along with the rest of the Master Chief Collection on November 11th. 

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Top 5 A.I. and Robotic Guides Before Destiny's Ghost https://www.gameskinny.com/hdxo1/top-5-ai-and-robotic-guides-before-destinys-ghost https://www.gameskinny.com/hdxo1/top-5-ai-and-robotic-guides-before-destinys-ghost Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:44:46 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

Bungie's Destiny has continued its popularity and is still a hot topic of discussion. Whether you have played the game or not, you've most likely heard of the character Ghost, voiced by Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, the player character's artificial intelligence companion and guide. 

The inclusion of artificial intelligence characters like Ghost in video games is nothing new. A.I. characters are often in science fiction and futuristic stories, acting as guides and companions, antagonists, and sometimes a combination of the two. The following list are some of the more memorable A.I. characters that have helped and hindered players in games. 

*Some of these descriptions might include spoilers, if you haven' played the games, yet!*

5. Claptrap--Borderlands I & II and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Claptrap, or CL4P-TP General Purpose Robot, acts as an important source of information and guidance in the Borderlands games, almost from the very start. They introduce players to new people and guide them to new areas. Plus, if you help repair damaged ones they may even lead you to some hidden loot.

Claptrap is also often a source of humor, and can even beatbox sometimes. Claptraps are friendly robots, unlike some of the other artificial intelligence characters on this list, like SHODAN from System Shock.

4. SHODAN--System Shock 12

SHODAN, or Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, is probably the most antagonistic character on this list. She is the main villain, and final boss of both System Shock games, and focused on controlling humans.

She communicates with the player character throughout the first game, and in the second game she acts as a guide under the guise of Dr. Polito, and is only revealed as SHODAN later in the game. Though she's using you to destroy her enemies for her she still acts as your guide, and is one of the few characters you interact with in the games.

3. Legion--Mass Effect 2 and 3

 The Mass Effect series is full of A.I. characters, particularly E.D.I. who guides Commander Shepard, supplying useful information about missions and enemies. However, Legion also acts as a guide for Shepard, and is a very significant character in the series. Legion is a "Geth," who are a robotic race that Commander Shepard spent a large part of the first Mass Effect, fighting. When Legion shows up offering to help in Mass Effect 2 Shepard and other characters are understandably reluctant to accept help from him. 

He proves himself by helping Shepard and guides her in a few quests in Mass Effect 2 and 3. Although the outcome of his storyline is ultimately determined by choices the player makes throughout the series. 

2. Cortana--Halo Series

Cortana is an A.I. in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. Throughout these games Cortana helps the Master Chief with missions, providing information and guidance whenever she is needed. She protects the Master Chief, even going so far as to sacrifice herself to save his life in Halo 4. 

Cortana is a popular and well known character from the Halo series, so popular that Microsoft has developed phones with a personal assistant named after her.

1. GLaDOS--Portal 1 and 2

In Portal, GLaDOS is really the only other character that the player character, Chell, interacts with throughout the whole game. She "guides" Chell to the various tests that she has designed. At first, she only exists as a disembodied voice, but as the game continues more is revealed about her character as it becomes very clear she wants Chell to fail the tests, until finally Chell comes face-to-robotic face with her. 

She returns in the second game at first as an antagonist and then as a reluctant assistant as she once again guides Chell through different tests and challenges. She's at the top of this list because her witty remarks and overall presence are what make Portal 1 and 2 such wonderful games.  

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Halo 5: Guardians Announced -- New Engine, New Rules, New Platform https://www.gameskinny.com/v2l2h/halo-5-guardians-announced-new-engine-new-rules-new-platform https://www.gameskinny.com/v2l2h/halo-5-guardians-announced-new-engine-new-rules-new-platform Fri, 16 May 2014 05:04:14 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Spartans, grab your battle rifles and plasma swords! Halo 5 (now carrying the subtitle Guardians) has been officially announced by 343 Industries and Microsoft. The new Xbox One exclusive will apparently be 343's most ambitious title to date, showing what looks like a second protagonist in the cover art and offering: "... a “Halo” game that runs at 60 frames per second, on dedicated servers, with the scope, features and scale we’ve been dreaming of for more than a decade..."

The game will launch in the fall of 2015, and will apparently have a far grander scope in both content available at the technology powering the game. They also will be taking fan feedback from Halo 4 and are putting more effort than ever before in understanding and embracing a community of gamers who love what lies at the heart of this game.

In With the New

The game will be built on a new engine, according to Franchise development director Frank O’Connor in a post on Halo Waypoint. What's more curious is O'Connor's last paragraph:

"Previous Halo titles, Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 for example, strove to push the entire ecosystem forward – dual stick FPS with big open spaces in the case of Combat Evolved, and broadband matchmaking in Halo 2 – are just a couple of examples of the series innovating or amplifying ideas. So in building Halo 5: Guardians, we want to push the ecosystem as well as the universe. And we’ll have some surprises in store for new and loyal players of the series."

- Frank O'Connor

O'Connor clearly is implying there are new gameplay ideas on the horizon for Halo 5, although we'll unfortunately have to wait until E3 to get a hint at what they are. Considering the grander scale of the game's box art (pictured above), logo (pictured below), and first official piece (pictured further below) of concept art, we might see some even more vastly non-linear levels and perhaps finally some neutral or native NPCs that can be either hostile or friendly?

Not only is Halo 5 covered in the announcement, but the Halo TV series is once again referenced, name dropping only Steven Spielberg in addition to "some of the finest minds in the business." The show will apparently be planned to start rolling out near the same time in Fall 2015.

The only rumored Microsoft reveal for this year's E3 we haven't already heard is whether or not to expect Halo 2: Anniversary for either Xbox 360 or Xbox One. All that is mentioned is that the "journey" spoken of during the last E3 definitely begins in 2014 with a giant leap, rather than one small step.


Are you excited for Halo 5? Do you think Microsoft should be focusing on new games like Titanfall? What do you think about playing with a second protagonist again like in Halo 2? Let us know in the comments below.

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ESports Expert Buckness Sees A Level Playing Field For Female Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/tq2kt/esports-expert-buckness-sees-a-level-playing-field-for-female-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/tq2kt/esports-expert-buckness-sees-a-level-playing-field-for-female-gamers Fri, 09 May 2014 06:36:50 -0400 John Gaudiosi

Doug Fleming is known as "Buckness" to eSports fans. The 27-year-old pro gamer from Oceanside, CA has played Halo competitively over the years. These days, he’s working with Astro Gaming within eSports and is also working on becoming a pro League of Legends player. Fleming reached out to me after he read the Kelly Kelley interview on females in pro gaming and wanted to offer a male perspective on the opportunities eSports has opened up for gamers of both sexes. He explains why we’ll see more females integrated into pro gaming teams in this exclusive interview.

How did you get involved in eSports?

Fleming: “I got involved with eSports when I was 16 years old. I played Halo 2 when it was around its prime in MLG. I was also very into Madden football and watched the Madden Challenge, as well. My good friend Ben Jackson was on a pro Halo team and the more I played with him, the more I got into Halo and wanted to get better and be a part of the scene.”

Can you discuss your career thus far?

Fleming: “My career in eSports has been a pretty fun one. I've played in tons of tournaments around the world. Although I haven’t taken any championships, I have had some pretty consistent results over the years. I’ve also networking with a lot of different gaming companies to be able to reach my goal, which is to ultimately be able to help push eSports to a new high. I currently help Astro Gaming at major gaming conventions and act as an ambassador for them as well.

What have been some of the keys to your longevity in eSports?

Fleming: “The biggest thing is my ability to network and also the knowledge I have about eSports. Of all the people I know in eSports, I think I know more about it both here in the US and overseas then anybody. That has definitely helped me stay relevant, being able to talk about eSports on a player level and a business level. I also think I’ve been around for so long because of the pride I take in being a part of the eSports community. I’m always explaining and telling people about the ins and outs of eSports and explaining things they may not understand about a game they don’t play or a player they don't know. I love talking about eSports and I love spreading knowledge about it.

How have you seen eSports evolve over that time?

Fleming: “When I first saw eSports it was in a little convention center in a not so big hotel. Then I started seeing it in bigger venues. At that time there wasn’t really any streaming, so if you wanted to watch your favorite player it had to be live. Then Tournament sites started streaming their tournaments on websites like MLG, WCG and CGS. All of a sudden I was watching Halo on USA network and I was really excited because we were one step away from being a real sport and running television. When I saw ESPN get involved with MLG I was pumped because what better way to portray eSports then ESPN. I honestly thought that it was going to be the peak. When Riot Games sold out the Staples Center I thought, “we have arrived.” It’s just amazing to me to see that at one point as gamers we barely filled a conference room and now we are selling out stadiums. It’s just amazing to me.

How have you seen female pro gamers compete against the guys over the years?

Fleming: “I’ve seen a lot of girls come into eSports and get eaten alive and I’ve seen a lot of girls destroy a lot of guys consistently. Although sometimes it seems like girls are inferior in eSports, this is untrue. The girls that stay motivated and hungry are the ones who have stuck out and dominated the scene, whether they won a championship or not. Some girls have closed the gap in this male-dominated sport overall. Although there hasn’t been a wave of dominance where all you see is girls winning, for the most part a lot of guys know which ones are a threat and have started to treat them and respect those girls accordingly.

What opportunities do you feel eSports opens up for both sexes?

Fleming: “It gives both sexes a chance to work with the companies that they love, whether it is community management, event staff, game testing, booth modeling, designing, or selling merchandise. This ultimately lets them stay around the things they love, which are games and eSports.  The dream goal for most people is to be able to work for the company that makes their favorite game or their former sponsors. Nowadays companies are looking at the ex-pros and super fans -- both male and female -- who have made a sizable dent in their games community so the company is able market to fans and consumers they maybe couldn’t reach before. If eSports wasn’t as big as it is now, companies wouldn’t be as willing to look at someone with just hands-on experience instead of someone who is fresh out of college with a degree. ESports has definitely opened the doors for people to transition from player to working on the back-end. You have Bravo, who was a pro Halo coach for the top teams now working for 343, you have Xena who was the first Halo pro now working for Bungie, you have the Frag Dolls who now work for Ubisoft, and you have Combofiend, a pro gamer in the fighting game community now working for Capcom. And that’s just a few.”

What are some successful female pros that stick out in your mind?

Fleming: “The biggest ones who stick out to me are the ones who either changed the game, set a standard, or did something no one ever thought was possible because they were female, or put fear in male opponents. There have been a good 50, but a few that are my favorites are Bittersweet, Xena, Smiley, Miss Harvey, Madelisk, Scarlet, Kayane, Hafu and Pixxel.”

What are your thoughts on what Kelly Kelley said about the hardships of females competing in eSports today?

Fleming: “This is a sensitive subject because it can be taken the wrong way by one group of female gamers and embraced by another group of female gamers. It’s harder for the females that don’t want to work for it and cut corners or expect to be handed shortcuts because they are female. This sport has never been easy to break into -- not even for the guys. Girls are treated just like how the pros treat amateurs because you have to prove yourself. You can’t expect to just gain respect because you won a show or you sometimes play in a pro lobby, get Twitch viewers or you dated somebody that has a sizable reputation. It has to be consistent. For some females to only say ‘it’s hard for girls’ is an excuse to a certain extent. The ones who put in 8+ hours a days and the ones who are making the results slowly but surely on LAN are the ones who are getting the respect. Guys are going to respect the female gamer who shows that they are willing to work and grind not the female gamer who hits a certain point and then has their hand out looking for handouts. I’ve seen a lot of them do that and wonder why they are not taken seriously. The way certain females carry themselves at events plays a part to because if you have a reputation as someone who’s there the event after party and not to compete and do well, we all see that. Nothing worth fighting for is easy and if being pro is something you really want, you have to go through the dirt before any success. And that goes for everyone, not just female gamers.”

Do you think a female pro gaming league like the WNBA would work?

Fleming: “I think they would work.There are a good amount of leagues for female pros now like Ironlady, and Zowie tournaments for Starcraft. I don’t think it will be on the same scale as the leagues we have now, just like the WNBA isn’t on the same scale as the NBA. But people will still watch it because it’s still eSports and it would be supported.”

How do you see things evolving moving forward with pro gaming between the sexes?

Fleming: “ESports will still be male dominant but more and more female gamers will start to show face, wanting to be taken seriously and showing their skills that demand respect. We will see more mixed teams as the gap closes, but I don’t think we will see a consistently dominant all-female team in League of Legends or Call of Duty anytime soon.”

More than any other traditional sport, does eSport offer a truly level playing field in which female pros could play with and against guys?

Fleming: “The playing field -- as far as resources and tools to be pro -- is level. We have the same console, games, controller, keyboards and mouse. If you put in work, you will get results. And that goes for both sides. If female gamers put in work like the guys they want to beat, then it will show. There’s no cheat codes to give advantages in skill. It all comes down to a matter of mental expertise.”

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