Halo Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Halo RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 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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Get a Behind-The-Scenes Look at Halo:Warfleet During Livestream Event https://www.gameskinny.com/3il22/get-a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-halowarfleet-during-livestream-event https://www.gameskinny.com/3il22/get-a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-halowarfleet-during-livestream-event Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:56:45 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

On Tuesday, January 16th, the Halo Twitter account posted a tweet announcing a stream that will go in-depth about Halo: Warfleet -- a companion book for the Halo universe. The stream is set to begin Wednesday, January 17th, at 2 p.m. PT on Mixer.

Published on September 5th, 2017, Halo: Warfleet offers more information about various spacecraft found in the Halo Universe. The book also complements Halo Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo, which is a reference book for the Halo universe akin to The Silmarillion for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit universe. Though this may not be the new Halo game fans have been hoping for, people can get a behind-the-scenes look at Halo:Warfleet and Halo lore. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Halo news and announcements. 

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State of the Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/vwid4/state-of-the-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/vwid4/state-of-the-xbox-one Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:05:01 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Ever since the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox were released back in 2000 and 2001 respectively, Sony and Microsoft have been at odds, each battle ending with a clear winner crowned. This new era of the 'Console Wars' has been intense and ongoing since these two consoles have been released. 

The PS2 destroyed the original Xbox in sales. The PS2 ended up selling over 150 million units compared to the Xbox which only sold over 24 million units. Because of this, Sony had their head held high when they released the PlayStation 3 in 2006.

Microsoft beat Sony to market when they released the Xbox 360 a year earlier than the PlayStation 3. Even though Xbox had a head start, the PS3 had a bumpy beginning after starting their console prices at $499 and $599 compared to the Xbox 360 which was priced at $299 and $399. The price disparity allowed the Xbox take a huge lead in sales, which lead to Microsoft winning this round of the console wars.

This leads us to the current generation: the PlayStation 4 against the Xbox One. Microsoft knew they had the video game aspect of the console in the bag, so they decided to focus on the entertainment side of their new console. Sony knew they had to take back the power, and decided to focus mainly on games and console power, which they did. 

PlayStation has easily won this generation due to its exclusive titles as well as confusion over whether or not the Xbox One was meant to be a gaming console or a home media center. We all know that Microsoft have struggled to get the high quality exclusives for Xbox that Sony boasts for its PS consoles. Studios have released many blockbuster games exclusively for the PS4 such as Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne and many more on the way. The Xbox One exclusives include games like like Halo 5, Gears of War 4, Sunset Overdrive, Forza, but not much else. 

The PlayStation 4 has already been named the winner of this console generation, with the PS4 sales at 63.3 million against the Xbox One, which has sold 26 million consoles as of the beginning of 2017. 

Microsoft have not lived up to their own hype

With the release of the Xbox One X later this year, Microsoft is going after the hardcore players that want the best in graphics and performance without having to buy or build an expensive gaming PC. While there are plenty of games lined up to get the 4K patch to make the experience better on this new console, there isn't much else to play if you want something new.

In Microsoft's 2017 E3 conference, Forza 7 and Crackdown 3 were the main exclusive games that used the power of Xbox One X. Forza 7 looked amazing, as expected, but Crackdown 3 didn't look too good. Many fans complained that the graphics didn't live up to expectations. If the consumer is supposed to spend $500 on the 'most powerful console ever made' the graphics should be very realistic. 

Microsoft have been suffering from a serious lack of quality Xbox exclusive titles. Besides Forza and Crackdown 3, the only other 'exclusives' were indie titles like Cuphead or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Where are the fresh IPs? Where is the next Halo? Where is a brand new game that is going to bring gamers back to the console people want to play? 

What can Microsoft do to bring gamers back to the Xbox franchise?

Backwards Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass are great additions to the console and many gamers spend a lot of time on both of these features. However, I don't want to buy a console just to play old games. 

If Xbox wants to bring gamers back to their platform, they need to show more quality games. Yes, people are excited for PC games to be ported to their Xbox One, but that isn't enough. They need to bring fresh IPs to the console. Whether they debut on the Xbox One X or the next console, they need to focus on bringing exciting and high quality titles to their gamers. 

I'd love to see a remaster of Banjo Kazooie for the Xbox One X. With the Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy selling as well as it is and Sonic Mania getting great reviews, it's clear that people want to see the return of these collect-a-thon games. They could either do a remastered version of all the games like Crash Bandicoot, or make a brand new one. We've recently seen that this style of game is in demand. 

The Xbox franchise isn't dead... but it needs work

People want to play games on the Xbox One, but if there are no new games, the Xbox will collect dust. Releasing a beefed up Xbox One is a great idea, but how much replayability is in a 3 year old game that's just repackaged with better graphics?

Phil Spencer and the Xbox team at Microsoft need to step it up and prove to both the loyal Xbox fans and gamers everywhere that the Xbox One and Xbox One X are the best consoles to play the best games. If they are unable to do that, they will always be in second place behind PlayStation.

 

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Halo Summer Celebration Brings Announcements, Merchandise, and More! https://www.gameskinny.com/v4pis/halo-summer-celebration-brings-announcements-merchandise-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/v4pis/halo-summer-celebration-brings-announcements-merchandise-and-more Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:41:59 -0400 stratataisen

Halo is celebrating summer all season long with new content, merchandise, and exciting announcements. Here’s a quick taste of what the franchise has lined up this season.

Halo 5

With the growing excitement for the upcoming Xbox One X release and the promise of true 4K gaming, many were quick to note that Halo 5 was absent from the game list that would be receiving the 4K treatment. But fear not, 343 has officially confirmed that Halo 5 will be coming to the Xbox One X in full 4K glory.

More Backwards Compatibility

Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, and Halo: CE Anniversary will become available for the Xbox One backwards compatibility program. This includes the campaign, multiplayer, and LAN play support. On top of that, every Xbox 360 add-on map pack will be made available for free from the Xbox store. And if you already own the games from before, there will be no need to rebuy them -- just pop in the original disc and jump right in.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 has received several updates, balance tweaks, and add-on contents since it’s release back in February. So far, Season Pass holders have received four months of new updates, with more to come in July and August.

Once August has come and gone and the Season Pass has ended, Halo Wars 2 fan will have the new premium expansion to look forward to. “Awakening the Nightmare,” will include a new campaign from the perspective of The Banished,  the return of an ancient, deadly foe in the Flood, a brand-new multiplayer mode, and two new Banished Leaders.

Hitting the Road

Halo and the 343 team will be several events this summer, mingling and celebrating the Halo with the community. Here’s a list of the events they’ll be attending:

  • RTX Austin 2017: July 7-9
  • HCS Summer Finals @ Dreamhack Atlanta: July 21st
  • China Joy: July 27-30
  • Gamescom: August 22-26

Legendary Halo Gear

More LootCrates!

The Halo Legendary Crate is back after the success of the first wave of excellent content. The Series 2 creates are available for purchase now and slated to bring even more exclusive Halo gear and content. Secure your ownat the LootCrate website.

Mattel Action Figures

The second series of 6” Halo action figures from Mattel has launched. This set includes Arbiter Thel ‘Vadam, Spartan Buck, Jerome-092, Atriox, and the Imperial Grunt.

Expanded Universe

Halo: Rise of Atriox

In partnership with Dark Horse, fans will get a closer look into Atriox’s past, and the rise of his legacy. Fans got a glimpse of this history during Isabel’s initial intelligence report on the UNSC Spirit of Fire. Those events and more will be told through this brand-new comic anthology series.

Halo: Retribution

August 29th will bring a new book, written by Troy Denning. The description for this novel reads as follows:

December 2553. Less than a year after the end of the Covenant War, a string of violent incidents continues to threaten the tenuous peace in human-held space, culminating in the assassination of UNSC fleet admiral Graselyn Tuwa and the abduction of her family. It is a provocation so outrageous that the Office of Naval Intelligence must retaliate swiftly and ferociously—but only after its operatives identify her killer and rescue the hostages.

This mission will be the first for homicide-detective-turned-ONI-operative Veta Lopis and her young team of Spartan-IIIs, and something feels wrong from the start. The obvious suspect is an infamous Brute who leads the Keepers of the One Freedom, an ex-Covenant splinter group in fierce opposition to the UNSC. But Lopis and her team soon realize that the truth is much more insidious than they could ever have imagined, and with Fred-104, Kelly-087, and Linda-058 of Blue Team for combat support, they must stop a plan hatched in the bowels of the secret research station Argent Moon—a plan so sinister it could destroy all those still reeling from thirty years of intergalactic conflict…

 

Even More for Halo 5

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Halo 3

It's the 10th anniversary of Halo 3 and to celebrate this milestone, the 343 team is planning a special Halo 3 Anniversary Throwback playlist for Halo 5. This new matchmaking offers a selection of community-made Halo 3 maps created with Forge in Halo 5 and will feature “classic” gameplay settings. There will also be a commemorative live stream that will offer fun times and giveaways.

Halo 5 Matchmaking

The matchmaking fun will continue through the summer with regular featured playlist updates including returning favorites and brand-new offerings. The Halo 5 team will be cooking up all manners of fun things for fans, from Multi-Team to Double XP, and the return of fan favorites like Ranked Snipers and more.

You can find out more about the Summer Celebration over on Halo WayPoint.

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ESL Announces Halo Pro League Return this Summer 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/qc07g/esl-announces-halo-pro-league-return-this-summer-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/qc07g/esl-announces-halo-pro-league-return-this-summer-2017 Sun, 16 Apr 2017 11:20:42 -0400 tofuslayer

ESL and 343 Industries has announced that the Halo Championship Series: Pro League is returning for its summer 2017 season starting May 24. Teams will have the opportunity to collect over $150,000 in prize money throughout the course of the season. ESL also announced that they will be crowd funding extra prize money to be added to the prize pool at season finals at DreamHack Atlanta in July.

The announcement from ESL also revealed the lineup of teams for the North American Pro League:

  • OpTic Gaming
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Team Liquid
  • Str8 Rippin
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • TMMT Crowd Pleasers
  • Evil Geniuses

In a surprising turn of events, the eighth seeded team, Allegiance, disbanded and lost their spot this season. In the wake of these events, the final team set to compete this season will be decided at the NA Last Chance Qualifier.

The top six NA teams will compete at Finals at DreamHack Atlanta at the end of the season. With OpTic returning to the HCS Pro League as the 2017 World Champions, it'll be interesting to see how the season plays out!

Who are you rooting for this season? Let us know in the comments below!

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9 Funny Halo Glitches You Can't Help But Laugh At https://www.gameskinny.com/zlxjn/9-funny-halo-glitches-you-cant-help-but-laugh-at https://www.gameskinny.com/zlxjn/9-funny-halo-glitches-you-cant-help-but-laugh-at Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:02:07 -0400 tofuslayer

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Dancing Elites
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I'm not sure that this is the classic dancing Elite glitch, but this clip from Halo 5 is too good not to share. This is another one that puzzles me. I can't really explain what's happening here and I don't think I can dismiss this one as a lag issue. Whatever the cause of this glitch is, I think it's fantastic. I also laughed harder than I should have when he got stomped out at the end of the clip.

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---

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And with that, I conclude my list of 9 Halo glitches that you can't help but laugh at. Some are scarier than others, but at the end of the day, they're all pretty hilarious, no matter who they happen to.

Know of any even funnier Halo glitches? Let us know about them in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://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/halo3-32875391-full-7bfbb.jpg","thumb":"http://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/halo3-32875391-full-7bfbb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155843","description":"
Undead Scarab
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This is another one that is half-terrifying and half-funny to me. On the one hand, there's something about seeing a blown-up Scarab come back to life that is somewhat nightmarish. But on the other hand, seeing one hobbling around on two legs is laugh-inducing in a weird kind of way. (It counts as a laugh if you're laughing out of disbelief, right?)

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Anyway, if you play Halo 3 and want to experience this glitch for yourself, check out this tutorial below. If you just want to see footage of the Undead Scarab in action, skip to 4:34 and decide for yourself if it's funny or scary.

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"},{"image":"http://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/halo3-80367997-full-04643.jpg","thumb":"http://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/halo3-80367997-full-04643.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155840","description":"
Quicksand
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As seen in this image from Nostromo II on Bungie, this unfortunate glitch in Halo 3 caused unsuspecting players to be sucked right into the floor and die a twitchy, painful-looking death with no warning at all. I'm not entirely sure what causes this to happen, but I'm assuming it's the result of lagging. There's a part of me that doesn't want to laugh because it's kind of terrifying, but there's also something about it that's really funny.

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Wall Hacking
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Also called "Ghost hacking," but I suppose that in this case, it might be more appropriate to call it "Phantom hacking." Basically what happens here is that if you're moving fast enough, you can go through walls because the game will not register the wall in time.

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This case is exceptionally strange to me because it is my understanding that once you pass through the wall, you die. In a strange turn of events, it looks like this driver somehow managed to go right through the wall and off the map.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3071890a381bcd58d90029cd50885054.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3071890a381bcd58d90029cd50885054.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10707","description":"
Corpse Glitch
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Glitches with corpses are one of the more common ones in most of the Halo games. Most of us have seen videos of breakdancing corpse in Halo. This one is another Halo: Reach beta glitch where the corpse inexplicably starts waving just his arm. While some of the other corpse glitches are kind of creepy with all the spasms, this one is oddly friendly, as if the corpse is waving at you ... welcoming you to Hell ... 

"},{"image":"http://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/halo3-68885402-full-971bc.jpg","thumb":"http://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/halo3-68885402-full-971bc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155842","description":"
Character Stretch Glitch
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One of my personal favorites is a fairly common glitch that occurs in almost all the Halo games -- the character stretch glitch. It's so common we could make a list by itself of all the best character stretch images on the internet.

While there are definitely some more extreme instances of this glitch (such as the first image of this slideshow), there's something about this screenshot from Cheese Chex on Bungie that I find so hilarious. This Spartan looks like some weird, disfigured bird ... or something. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-4be73.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-4be73.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155983","description":"
Weaponless Glitch
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This glitch occurs in almost all the Halo games, usually as a result of overloading the map with too many objects. This specific image comes from an individual who was wielding a hammer in Forge World for Halo: Reach. Then he went weaponless.

While it is one of the more common glitches, I’ll never stop thinking it’s funny seeing someone holding a phantom weapon. There's something about a weaponless Spartan that just looks ridiculous. These guys were meant to be soldiers. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6e3e6bf7a957aca926038cf73c40cc83.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6e3e6bf7a957aca926038cf73c40cc83.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10706","description":"
Banshee Glitch
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Banshees have been known to do what they want at times, resulting in a lot of Banshee glitches in the Halo series. I'm not exactly sure what caused this one, but, like many of the glitches in Halo, I'm going to chalk this one up to some sort of lag. Somehow I feel like there's something oddly soothing about giggling at a Banshee floating around like a broken bumper car.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/o/d/eod-kats-arm-jorge-chest-8c322.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/o/d/eod-kats-arm-jorge-chest-8c322.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155999","description":"
Armor Permutation Glitch
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In the Halo Reach beta, some users reported severe armor lag that caused armor permutations to change. These instances usually occurred upon death, but in rare cases, it happened to players while alive. This perfectly timed screenshot, courtesy of Halo Wikia, features an individual who looks horrified at what is happening. Or maybe just embarrassed about their pauldron being on the wrong side. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/l/i/glitch4-f1d3f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/l/i/glitch4-f1d3f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"156019","description":"

Over the years, the Halo games have brought joy to so many lives all over the world. We all know it, and I would argue that most of us love it. As far as first-person shooters go, it's definitely one of the best and most widely played.

And although most of us play Halo for its competitive nature, another highly entertaining aspect of the game is the occasional glitch you'll run into. While they can be really annoying when you're in the middle of a campaign or a game of CTF, they can be extremely funny when it's not happening to you -- and sometimes they're even so hilarious it doesn't matter who they happen to. 

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So to celebrate Halo franchise as a whole (and for me, the upcoming ESL Halo Pro League summer season!), here's a compilation of some great glitches throughout Halo history.

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More Than Just Players: These Unsung Heroes of eSports Deserve Love, Too https://www.gameskinny.com/1zjqz/more-than-just-players-these-unsung-heroes-of-esports-deserve-love-too https://www.gameskinny.com/1zjqz/more-than-just-players-these-unsung-heroes-of-esports-deserve-love-too Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 tofuslayer

Whether you're streaming an eSports tournament on Twitch, watching on television, or attending in person, you know that there is a lot of work that goes into putting on these huge events. All eSports fans know that the main attraction is always the players, but its easy to forget just how much manpower it takes to put together any tournament.

From start to finish, there are people at every eSports event working long before the start of the event and behind the scenes on the day to make sure that everything runs as seamlessly as possible for the audience. To honor these people, here's a list (in no particular order) of heroes in eSports who may not be behind the screens, but are just as important in making an event happen.

1. Coaches

Another position in eSports that is often overlooked are the coaches. Just because they're not sitting in those fancy ergonomic chairs behind the screens, doesn't mean they don't deserve any of the glory too. Players seem to understand the importance of coaches, but when it comes to the fans, sometimes it seems that their contributions get overlooked. Coaches are very skilled individuals who are veterans of the game. They have to watch all their players screens and make callouts that the players might not see in the heat of the moment. Coaches are just as focused on the game as the players during a big tournament, but often don't get the same appreciation from the fans, so give them some love the next time you're watching an eSports event!

2. Coordinators

While administrative activities are not one of the most glamorous aspects of the eSports world, coordinators play a critical role in putting on an eSports event as well as making sure the league runs smoothly. Coordinators' responsibilities range from communicating to event organizers to overseeing licenses for tournaments. Many of the day-to-day necessities (as well as long term) for any eSports league fall into the purview of an eSports coordinator. Just because you don't often see them, doesn't mean they're not a big part of the eSports events you enjoy.

3. The event team

The event team arrives to an event long before the spectators arrive and are there long after everyone is gone. Whether you're at a huge stadium for Counter-Strike or a smaller venue for Halo, every chair and table at these events has to be placed there by a person. Basically everything that isn't a permanent part of the venue is part of the event team's job. This includes moving any furniture that's already there to set up for the event, loading and unloading trucks, hanging banners, and setting up information tables. Additionally, every vendor present including team gear and food is usually coordinated by the event director. It's a big job that often times goes unnoticed. Next time you're at a tournament or streaming online, take a moment to appreciate how big of an endeavor it is to set up (and break down!) an eSports event.

4. eSports writers

I might be a little biased here, but journalists and other writers who cover eSports are people who love the game and have a passion for eSports. Whether it's for the news or for social media or even press releases for upcoming events, eSports writers work very hard to bring you the content about your favorite games. We may not be doing the heavy lifting that the event team does or have as much at stake as the coaches, but we still make an effort watch a whole event, take notes, and bring all the exciting details of the tournament to the fans.

5. Peripheral developers

We all know that the pros don't use the standard controllers and hardware that come with our consoles or local stores. At an eSports event, players use special controllers or gaming mice/keyboards as well as state-of-the-art headsets made by the best peripheral makers in the gaming world. The people who design these accessories and provide the support for them need them to be at their best before they make it to the stage to be used in a tournament. It's an exciting thing if an accessory you made is picked up by professional players or leagues. If the peripheral developers don't put their best work out before a big event, the players and the fans won't have the best eSports experience they possibly could.

7. The production crew

Arguably, the biggest part of any eSports event is the production crew. These are the people who set up all the technical equipment, set up the stream, and make sure that all the visuals and sounds are correct. Basically anything you see on a monitor or hear from a speaker at an eSports event happens because of the production crew. They are responsible for everything from the players' monitors to the lighting. Even the professional images and videos you see on social media during and after the event come from this team. Often times, it is a job that's taken for granted. It's easy to grumble and complain when there are delays in any live stream or event, but the production crew is often the first to get blamed for these problems and has all the responsibility to get them fixed.

Let's give them a round of applause, shall we?

It's easy to get swept up in the hype of the awesome narratives of the teams and players, but it's easy to forget that there is so much that goes into making eSports as great as it is for the fans. Just because the people in the aforementioned positions aren't the ones under the spotlights, I think we can all agree that they deserve a little more love from us fans.

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What Kind of Game Did We Wake up to in Halo Wars 2? https://www.gameskinny.com/29qq0/what-kind-of-game-did-we-wake-up-to-in-halo-wars-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/29qq0/what-kind-of-game-did-we-wake-up-to-in-halo-wars-2 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Benjamin Browning

“My name is Terrance Hood. I am an admiral in the United Nations Space Command Navy. I have worn this uniform with pride for most of my life. Today... I faced the rewards of my own hubris. I was the man who could have saved Captain James Cutter. Instead, my actions damned him to an unknowable fate.”

- Lord Admirable Hood, Escalation.

Today, February 18, 2017, our long-lost, beloved crew of the 'Spirit of Fire' in Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition will be awoken early to those who pre-ordered a copy, while the standard edition will arise on the 21st. There was a beacon intercepted from a long-range communications buoy among our outer satellite array, it was encrypted, but we managed to decode it -- just of the first four missions, sadly. Nonetheless, valuable information was intermittently and brilliantly woven inside a soundtrack of the incursion. An added precaution, the crewman warned, but necessary. He said it helped him become immersed into it, to understand the beauty of the echoes of war.

A crewmember of ours aboard has unfrozen from cryo sleep several days ago, and he has firsthand accounts of what to expect of our unprecedented, ferocious new enemy, The Banished. Deckhand Haruspis witnessed 12 original missions that took him roughly 7 hours to complete in a straight sprint. Although, he mentioned in the entry logs that there were several side missions and opportunities that, however, do not progress plot in anyway, but the rewards for them are up for grabs, in the end. A whisper of skulls and collectables, I heard him say grimly of the sight.

Indeed, him along the rest of the crew aboard the Spirit of Fire are still at siege with The Banished, Deckhand Haruspis states there is more content coming later to the campaign, a “DLC of two packs, possibly that of The Banished’s point of view,” possibly collected data and recordings from viewports and hacked cameras -- much like the documents and viewings presented to us by the Arbiter. Of course, it is all in theory, and we can only speculate until its time of arrival to the game, if conscripted to the season pass, of course.

In the messages, Deckhand Haruspis did discuss the likelihood of massive opportunities for more media, perhaps printed and maybe animated. He has also attached his journal of many admissions, filled with information and knowledge of our enemies all around us, inside and out, logistically adding to the paths that may lay ahead. This has, of course, caught the attention of ONI Section Zero, and wish to... speak with him via way of their famous “invitation.” They are eager to drown these files in black ink, no doubt, along with him, as well.

Our records show that Deckhand Haruspis has studied literature and writing while enlisted in the UNSC for five years, prior to the time of being abandoned with his crew to the unrelenting void of space, obviously. His evaluation before departure for service was to become a teacher after fulfilling his duties as a soldier.

Perhaps this is all a warning, a way in telling us to stay away, never to follow them into the howling darkness they have been left to -- or conceivably, could it be a request for back-up. Regardless of his intent, we will not allow them to be lost with all hands any further. No more will the unforgivable ocean of blackness be their prison, speckled with false glimmering lighthouses taunting their navigation homeward. Now, all hands on deck, Spartans! We have a ship out there sinking…let’s go get her back.

“On February 10, 2531, his ship, Spirit of Fire, went missing. Every day since then, I have wondered where she might be. I like to believe that she is still out there somewhere. Maybe her crew is safe in cryo sleep, drifting through the ages. I hope some day, we will find her... And when we do... I will beg my friend’s forgiveness... And listen to his stories about their time away...”

- Lord Admiral Hood, Escalation.

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Best Video Game Items Ported to Real Life https://www.gameskinny.com/m26xl/best-video-game-items-ported-to-real-life https://www.gameskinny.com/m26xl/best-video-game-items-ported-to-real-life Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:55:01 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

When you play a game, certain things might stick out to you. It might be the amazing story that you will remember for the rest of your life. It might be the characters that you play as and fall in love with. It also might be the weapons that you use to destroy the enemy. Or the other cool items that you come across in your journey.

Have you ever wondered what these in-game items would look like in real life? You aren't alone. Some folks have even gone far enough to recreate them in the real world. Here are some of the best video game creations from passionate gamers.

1. B.F.G (DOOM)

This recreation of the famous gun from DOOM was made by My Mini Factory. Built using a 3D printer, it took over 1,000 hours to design and put together this amazing creation. iD software, the developer of DOOM, gave My Mini Factory the in-game files for the B.F.G to make the gun as realistic as possible. And it looks amazing. 

2. Companion Cube (Portal)

One of my favorite games is Portal -- and when I found out that someone created the companion cube, I freaked out and wanted to make one myself. The companion cube is used to direct lasers into certain directions to solve puzzles. The AWE me channel on YouTube shows you how to build items from video games, and this one is my favorite. If only I could get a working Portal gun...

3. Needler Gun (Halo)

If you play Halo, you know this weapon. Although it doesn't do much damage in the game, it still looks really cool. Tested on YouTube created the weapon to exact specifications that he found online. 

4. Chainsaw Machine Gun (Gears of War)

Let's go back to the AWE me channel for this next creation. One of the best feelings in Gears of War is when you get to execute people. It is way more fun than just shooting them. You get close and you break out this bad boy and split 'em in half. Let's hope that this gun returns in Gears of War 4

5. Reinhardt Hammer (Overwatch)

I can't have an article that doesn't include something Overwatch related. How about Reinhardt's hammer? If you have played Overwatch, you know that this hammer can take you out in one swing. It has power.

Youtuber ZaziNombies Lego Creations created the hammer out of Legos and it looks incredible. Let's just hope that it doesn't do as much damage as the one in the video game. 

What are some of your favorite real-world versions of in-game items? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 5 Female Characters in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/c33bp/top-5-female-characters-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/c33bp/top-5-female-characters-in-gaming Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:23:16 -0400 Dennis Adame

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There you have it! My top 5 female characters in gaming. There are so many great female characters and not all of them could make if on this list. I'm sure in the coming years of gaming we will be graced with many more great female characters.

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What are your top 5 female characters in gaming? Let me know in the comments!

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1. Clementine 
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The Walking Dead Season One and Two
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Clementine is the best female character in gaming by a long shot. She has such a hard life. yet she stays so strong and never gives up hope. She has seen her friends, parents, Lee, and many others die right in front of her. But Clementine stays strong through everything she has seen and she always stays positive.

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The girl has a way about her that just makes gamers care about her instantly. She conveys so much emotion through her dialog and her actions that she can even bring you to tears (especially at the end of the first game). Clementine is only a little girl but through the events of the game she has to grow up quick.

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Depending on what the player chooses to do throughout the game her personality will change. She can be both very nice and trusting, or she can be unfriendly, not trust anyone, and send people away. It’s her ability to make people care so much about her that makes her the best character in gaming.

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Honorable Mentions
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  • Chell - Portal 1/2
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  • Rochell - Left 4 Dead 2
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  • Clover - Payday 2
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  • Little Sisters - BioShock 1/2
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2. Lara Croft

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Tomb Raider
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Lara is on this list not only because she is such a strong character, but also because of how important she is to gaming. Lara and the Tomb Raider series have had a huge impact on the gaming industry. Lara is such a strong character -- and she will not let anything get in between her and her treasure, including dinosaurs.

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In the newest Tomb Raider, Laura is speared by rebar within the first ten minutes of the game, and yet she still fights on. She later uses an arrow to cauterize the wound, something a lot of people would have trouble doing. She is one of the biggest characters known in all of gaming and her games are loved by many.

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She does not let anything stop her, and it’s her will and determination that make her such a strong character in gaming.

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Image Source

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3. Elizabeth

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BioShock Infinite
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Elizabeth is one of the best AI characters in gaming. Every time Booker is low on ammo, meds, or dies in battle, she is there to help. She has the ability to open rifts to different time lines, which really comes in handy. She also is a strong character and can at times be Booker's rock throughout the game. They have an instant connection because they are father and daughter, even if they don’t know it.

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Elizabeth is also very smart and she knows a lot about the world. She possesses many skills Booker does not. And she knows so much because she's spent most of her life locked in a library. She makes an escort mission, often hated by gamers, a fun and great gameplay experience.

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It is because of the great AI programming, her knowledge of the world, and the important skills she possesses that she is one of the best females in gaming.

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4. Anya Stroud 

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Gears of War 1/2/3
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Anya Stroud is such an important character in Gears of War, but she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. Anya is the eyes and ears of Delta Squad in the first two games. She tells you where to go, what to do, and how to do it. She then joins the squad in Gears of War 3 and she helps take down the locust. Anya becomes very important to Marcus after the death of Dom ¾ of the way through the game.

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She helps Marcus carry on after the death of his best friend and she helps him and the rest of Delta Squad fight through to the end. She shows Marcus how to turn his sadness at the loss of a friend into a reason to fight even harder against the locust.

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5. Cortana

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Halo 1/2/3/4/5?
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Cortana -- she has changed so much over all the Halo games. Master Chief would not be where he is without her. She helps Chief figure out everything that he needs to do. She is his brains and the force that drives him, and she helps him make the right choices.

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Cortana pushes Chief to be the best that he can be, and when he doubts himself she tells him that he is doing the right thing . When she “dies” in Halo 4, it tears Chief apart because she was such a big part of him and his life; even if she is just AI.

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One of the most important parts of any great game is the lead character. The lead has to be interesting enough for gamers to enjoy them, but not so different that they can't be related to. Players want someone that they can see parts of themselves in -- someone who has seen hardship, someone who is realistic, someone who has good and bad days. Not a perfect person that never does anything wrong and is always praised for everything they do. 

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More and more games that come out now have female characters as their relatable leads, and some of those women are amazing. These characters show that they can be just as strong (if not stronger than) male characters, and they can kick your butt.

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Here are the top 5 female characters in gaming. There are so many great women we could put on here, but not all of them can make it. Is your favorite leading lady on the list? Read on and find out. 

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Halo 5: Pro-League and Podcast announcements https://www.gameskinny.com/wkihi/halo-5-pro-league-and-podcast-announcements https://www.gameskinny.com/wkihi/halo-5-pro-league-and-podcast-announcements Sun, 12 Jun 2016 09:36:58 -0400 Melissa Crawford

For those who aren't aware of what's going on in the Halo scene, it may be wise to catch up on the various updates before E3. The updates we're talking about concern the HCS Halo Invitational, Warzone Firefight skin-packs, and HCS podcasts!

Before heading to E3 in less than a week, Andy "Bravo" Dudynsky (@Brav on Twitter), a community manager for 343 Industries, decided to give the low-down on a few tidbits of news concerning the Halo 5 competitive scene for the HCS Halo Invitational. That is the high-tier competitive play, for all the non-MLG savvy out there. The first piece of data, for those who may have missed the news, was the 3-0 win of the Online Warriors team versus the Xmen in Europe, and the Team EnVyUs over Allegiance.

If that isn’t enough information for you, then here are some simple charts showing the basic statistics for the competitive teams (collected as of June 3rd, 2016).

For those whose favorite team may not be doing quite as well as you had hoped, take comfort in the fact that you may be graced with some skin-packs courtesy of Counter Logic Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and OpTic Gaming. The skins will be available for the Magnum and Assault Rifle weapons, as well as an emblem. Look for these skins around the same time of the Warzone Firefight release.

Also, if you aren’t getting quite enough of the HCS in your life, then fret not and check in to the “HCS Listen In” podcast that will be debuting within a week or so. The podcast will help you to get caught up on key match-ups, player history, opinions, and even more from experts and personalities such as Strongside, Tashi, and Dersky, as well as special guests including Pro League players. The first episode will air on June 8th, and the team is open to questions. Just tweet @HCS with the hashtag #HCSListenIn.

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Halo 5 Hog Wild REQ Drop DLC Released https://www.gameskinny.com/vp0rn/halo-5-hog-wild-req-drop-dlc-released https://www.gameskinny.com/vp0rn/halo-5-hog-wild-req-drop-dlc-released Tue, 31 May 2016 16:20:18 -0400 Phil Fry

Released today, May 31, 2016, the "Hog Wild REQ Drop" DLC for Halo 5 Guardians features variants of the classic, iconic Warthog vehicle. 

The free DLC adds four new Warthogs, player emblems, the "Stinger" and "Interceptor" armor sets, and special weapon REQs. 

The legendary Warthog REQ, the "Vespin Rocket Warthog" has faster reload times with accelerated rocket firing speeds. 

The uncommon "Rally Warthog" revamps the classic Warthog with advanced armor and speed. 

The content expansion also features the rare "Sword Needler Warthog" which fires needler rounds, and the uncommon "Rally Scout Warthog". 

Other items include the legendary "Starfire" visor, the "Hybrid" weapon class, and the "Aurum" weapon skin loadout. 

The largest expansion of content to Halo 5 Guardians, "Warzone Firefight" releases at the end of June 2016. This DLC will add even more REQ items, a new 8 player Firefight mode, weather effects in Forge map making, and even more vehicle variations. More information about this DLC may be found here

[Images retrieved from www.halowaypoint.com]

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Five Anticlimactic Endings to Our Favorite Characters’ Lives https://www.gameskinny.com/r0dtu/five-anticlimactic-endings-to-our-favorite-characters-lives https://www.gameskinny.com/r0dtu/five-anticlimactic-endings-to-our-favorite-characters-lives Thu, 26 May 2016 18:28:36 -0400 Amanda Damone

During gameplay, it's not unusual to come across minor obstacles that serve to keep the game interesting. When these ancillary obstacles turn deadly, it can seem frustratingly unrelated to your characters' stories. Here are five of the most disappointing ways your characters can die before their time. 

Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)

Sonic is fast enough to escape a giant killer whale and skilled enough to retrieve Princess Elise from Dr. Eggman, but if he enters a body of water, he will suddenly and dramatically drown.

The Sims

Your Sims can be as successful as you want them to be—you can give them the resources they need to get a promotion, make new friends, or start a family. On the other side of things, Sims will only survive as long as you take good care of them. Being trapped in a corner by a poorly positioned couch and being unable to reach food is an anti-climactic way to die. If you make an error in the design of your Sim’s home, like placing a wooden crate next to a fireplace, your Sim can burn to death. If you step away from the game for too long, or if you run out of money, your Sim can starve. Your Sim didn’t die snowboarding off an epic mountain, SSX Tricky-style. They didn’t die fighting a herd of Nazi zombies, as in Call of Duty: World at War. You failed to prioritize showering for your Sims, and they died from poor hygiene.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (PC)

In this game, Harry Potter can die at age eleven by falling, as there are gaping holes in the flooring in several hallways at this place of learning. Harry is powerful enough to defeat the Lord Voldemort in year seven, and this game introduces an alternative path for Harry where he can die while anticlimactically wandering the school, or walking to class, if he fails to successfully jump from one floating slab of cement flooring to the next.

Halo

You’re participating in an interstellar war, but one of your biggest threats is walking too close to the edge of a cliff and plummeting to your death.

Super Mario Bros.

In the first level of Super Mario Bros., your character can die if a slow-moving Goomba strolls into you. Mario’s eight-world adventure will be canceled, and the princess will never be saved if you fail to make Mario hop over a Goomba in this somehow pivotal moment of the game.

The next time you play, keep these instances in mind and make sure you take every obstacle seriously—death is shockingly imminent.

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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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Fans send mixed signals about DOOM beta https://www.gameskinny.com/1iewl/fans-send-mixed-signals-about-doom-beta https://www.gameskinny.com/1iewl/fans-send-mixed-signals-about-doom-beta Sun, 01 May 2016 12:55:00 -0400 JunaeBenne

Doom beta testers are sending out mixed signals. It's a little hard to gauge the potential success of Doom off of the beta and the feedback received from players. 

Many gamers didn’t like what they played in the beta. A few said it reminded them of Halo, Call of DutyUnreal Tournament and it doesn’t feel like Doom. common complaint was that the classic atmosphere for the arena shooter is missing. The next few complaints revolve around Doom not being consistent or captivating.

Check out a few of these Tweets to see what fans were saying:



 

With only 37% of the reviews being positive, this stat makes Doom's beta the second lowest rated Bethesda offering on Steam -- the first being Fallout 4’s Wasteland Workshop DLC.

There has been a number of technical improvements on the game since the closed beta aired March 31 through April 3. The frame rate on the PC has been increased to around 60, and movement speed was noticeably increased as well. There’s also now an option to hide damage numbers and the view of the slider. The overall performance is smoother plus, Games of Warpath is easier to find -- so matchmaking is much simpler.

Doom is set to release May 13 for all platforms. We're not sure how much could be changed in that small window, but you never know.

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Halo 5's Hammer Storm update brings back original pistol & Firefight news https://www.gameskinny.com/vktio/halo-5s-hammer-storm-update-brings-back-original-pistol-firefight-news https://www.gameskinny.com/vktio/halo-5s-hammer-storm-update-brings-back-original-pistol-firefight-news Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:53:28 -0500 Anson Chan

One of the most memorable aspects of Halo: Combat Evolved is the incredibly powerful M6D pistol. Those who beat Halo: CE on Legendary know of its propensity to kill Hunters in a single shot, annihilate Banshees as if they were made of paper, and murder more or less everything that you aim it at. Naturally, it came to be the weapon of choice for many in both campaign and multiplayer. 

With Halo 5's Hammer Storm update, one of the most iconic weapons of all time returns to multiplayer, unchanged and untouched. That means that it will kill someone within three headshots, feature the classic zoom functionality, and have that classic dull grey paintjob.

In other news...

That being said, the Halo: CE pistol will only be available in REQ packs (for now anyways), alongside the usual plethora of new cosmetic items, Storm Rifle variants, and Gravity Hammers. Therefore, it will actually be rather time consuming for someone to actually unlock the Halo: CE pistol, at least unless you're incredibly lucky. 

Fortunately, Halo 5's Hammer Storm update features the return of explosive ball-based gametypes, namely Assault and Grifball.

Furthermore, a new Arena map dubbed Torque has been added into the normal map rotations. On Torque, you will fight on a human space station that has been forcibly evacuated by Cortana. The map is fairly symmetrical, although the team that can control the center of the map gains a slight advantage over the other team.  

Prepare for the future (of Firefight)

Speaking of returning gametypes, Halo 3: ODST's signature Firefight mode will return in a future Halo 5 update. Dubbed "Warzone Firefight," you and your friends will be able to team up against increasingly difficult waves of AI controlled enemies. 

While the details regarding future updates are scarce (obviously), the names of said upcoming updates has been revealed. The first is called "The Ghosts of Meridian," which presumably features maps based on the planet where Fireteam Osiris first encountered the Warden Eternal. Following that, the "Memories of Reach" will most likely add some maps and cosmetic items that were featured in Halo: Reach. Lastly, "Hog Wild" might bring in some especially large maps, alongside a number of Warthog variants and or racing related gametypes.

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Grifball and more coming to Halo 5 in Hammer Storm update https://www.gameskinny.com/80lc7/grifball-and-more-coming-to-halo-5-in-hammer-storm-update https://www.gameskinny.com/80lc7/grifball-and-more-coming-to-halo-5-in-hammer-storm-update Sun, 14 Feb 2016 05:33:20 -0500 Anson Chan

Keeping up with their promise of free monthly updates to Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries just announced the addition of several classic Halo gamemodes and features to the game. This February, you can expect to be able to grab all sorts of giant, explosive balls in Grifball, Assault, and Fiesta with the Hammer Storm update. 

Of course, you may ask, "But how are we going to smash Grif if there aren't any Gravity Hammers in the game?" Simple: along with the customary bevy of new armor sets, emblems, weapon skins, and Warzone weapons, 343 Industries is adding the classic Gravity Hammer as well. 

Speaking of classics, Halo 5 will receive a massive Quality of Life overhaul in the Hammer Storm update in the form of UI improvements and emblem and armor colorization. While the term "UI improvements" is rather ambiguous, it could technically mean that things like the pre- and post-game screens could return to their classic look and functionality. However, this is mere conjecture, so take that with a grain of salt.

Fortunately, it has been explicitly stated that the emblem and armor colorization mechanic will be changed to more resemble the mechanic that existed in the Bungie-era Halo days. In other words, the amount of colors that you can choose from for customization will be doubled to 60 colors, and you will no longer have to choose from a restricted combination of preset colors. Instead, you can mix and match any combination of colors you want to create whatever Spartan you desire.

No update would be complete without new maps, so to that end, a brand new map dubbed Torque will be added to the game. As one can expect from the name, the map will be based on a human space station (maybe even the top of a space elevator?) that features a couple of rings.

Presumably, this might result in a circular arena map, or -- more likely -- something that resembles a remake of the Halo 3 map, Orbital. 

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Halo 5: Guardians Review https://www.gameskinny.com/2m4tw/halo-5-guardians-review https://www.gameskinny.com/2m4tw/halo-5-guardians-review Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:38:08 -0500 S2riker

I really wanted to dislike Halo 5: Guardians. It all started months before release, when developer 343 Industries announced via Twitter that the much beloved split-screen feature, a series staple, would be left on the cutting room floor. Next was the overtly misleading marketing campaign -- players were invited to come “Hunt the Truth" in a tale of revenge and betrayal between the Master Chief and series newcomer Spartan Jameson Locke, a tantalizing concept that hands-on playthroughs began to elucidate had nothing at all to do with the actual game.  

Yet despite these valid criticisms, Halo 5 made me a believer. It’s a stunning showcase for the Xbox One, defying my expectations of what’s achievable visually on the platform.  It also boasts an amazing single-player campaign and a competent multiplayer suite that moves the series into new territory.   Minor issues and lack of content on the multiplayer front hold it back from classic status as of now, but this is still one fantastic shooter that can’t be missed by fans of Halo, sci-fi, or action-adventure.

Story

I imagine Halo 5’s story will be divisive amongst series loyalists; it focuses little on the Master Chief, shrouding much of his tale and motivations beneath the investigative assignment of Spartan Jameson Locke, whom you play as for the majority of the campaign. Tagging along with Locke and Chief through their respective adventures are their compatriot Fireteams. Master Chief’s “Blue Team” consists of three old friends from his childhood in the Spartan-2 program, while Agent Locke's more eclectic bunch of comrades form team “Osiris”.

Plenty of inter-mission banter is interspersed through the proceedings of each teams, which fleshes out the backstories behind each world and the alien species encountered within them.  It doesn’t, however, do as great a job as you’d hope at expounding upon the history of the characters themselves.

It’s an issue that plagues the entire Halo 5 narrative to a degree -- many of its most important elements, those that would turn this already solid story into a great one, are tucked away in other mediums of the Halo universe and have rarely or never been referenced in prior games.  Seeing how Halo has grown over the years to include novels, comics, audio documentaries, and CGI television shows, it’s a story whose complexities will only really be appreciated by those heavily invested in other avenues of the franchise's fiction. 

It’s a testament, then, to Halo 5's writing that the story still feels impactful and consequential.  

Each twist and turn is satisfying, locations all have a strong connection to the story, and there’s a particularly inviting mystery behind the antagonist that is well-developed over the course of the game. It also avoids the overly-convenient resolution that Halo 4 suffered with its villainous Didact. 

Many players may riot at the cliffhanger ending that's so reminiscent of Halo 2, but the closure here subtly sheds new light to other aspects of the story that may have initially seemed inconsequential.  If anything, it has made me that much more eager to jump into the inevitable Halo 6 because of it! 

Gameplay and Design

Luckily, Halo 5's gameplay will quickly erase any nagging complaints one may have with the narrative. Simply put, this is perhaps the best campaign I’ve ever played in a first-person shooter. Admittedly, this genre is lacking in many standout single-player experiences, but the point remains. The combination of sublime combat mechanics, ruthlessly diverse AI and engrossing level design adds up to a fantastic solo experience that becomes even better when co-op is added to the mix.

Much of 343i’s focus this time around has been on creating a campaign that seamlessly accommodates cooperative play, and there is no greater beneficiary of this philosophy than the fantastic level design. Missions are distinctly linear, but combat zones contain a wide multitude of routes and approach options that allow you to plan each encounter to your specific style. They also provide ample opportunities for flanking enemies via hidden caves, sniping from vertically-displaced alcoves and sneaking up on unsuspecting foes via subterranean passageways.

Combat remains tight and focused despite the labyrinth of interconnected routes and vertical layers that make up each play space.

If there's any complaint to be had here at all, it's that the friendly AI that controls your teammates when playing solo sometimes does a poor job of reviving you when fallen into a "downed" state.  The issue seems to be related to the AI's pathfinding capabilities in more complex terrain, as simpler areas of the game don't reproduce the problem. Players are smartly granted the ability to order basic squad commands to the AI as well, to keep them focused on specific enemy targets or to pick up more valuable weapons strewn throughout the battlefield.

Significant time and attention seems to have been paid to navigation outside of combat areas; little to no time is spent aimlessly wandering through overly large levels as was the case in earlier Halo games, and areas void of combat are often the sites of critical story moments or showcases for the incredible vistas and landscapes that make up these fantastical worlds.

There’s a genuine sense of place here; a semblance aided by 343i’s decision to set the adventure primarily in three distinct locations -- the gassed colony of Meridian, the Covenant Homeworld of Sanghelli, and the Forerunner Planet of Genesis. Each environment showcases a mastery of artistic expression, with a plethora of assets like murals, monuments, and flora that visually reinforce the mood and aesthetic. 

For those of you explorers out there...

343i has hidden plenty of collectable intel and skull modifiers in each mission, the former providing valuable insights into the backstory while the latter serve as unlockable campaign modifiers.  In a departure from tradition, a couple of missions eschew combat entirely, allowing you to freely walk around areas full of NPC’s to eavesdrop and converse with before proceeding to the next mission. These sequences are a welcome respite from the shooting and even contain some light-hearted, humorous dialogue for players who explore the areas and don’t rush straight to the objective waypoints.  On the recommended Heroic difficulty, the game took me approximately 9 hours to complete -- a figure right in line with previous entries of the series.

Presentation

Halo 5 is a technical tour-de-force, containing some of the most impressive visual and audio panache of this console generation.  That accomplishment begins with the aforementioned environments -- every planet, colony, and spaceship has been made with an impeccable level of craftsmanship, complimented by phenomenal lighting and texture detail.  Particle effects emanating from weapons, vehicles, and explosions are entirely convincing, and the game’s individual elements blend together seamlessly, with no discernible ugliness of any particular levels or assets.

On the aural front, Halo 5’s musical score maintains the high bar of quality that the series is renowned for.  I suspect that none of the new orchestral pieces will become as iconic as Halo CE's original theme proved to be, but each tune does a great job of carrying the adventure nonetheless.  A particular highlight of the auditory package is the sound design; weapons and explosions produce incredibly crisp and distinct timbres while vocal performances have been expanded to provide dialogue to the Covenant and Promethean forces in addition to friendly Spartans.   

Halo 5's most stunning technical achievement, though, is its complete adherence to a locked 60 FPS presentation.

Seeing Halo running at this fluidity is an absolute sight to behold, and does wonders for every aspect of the game, from the controller response to perceptional elements like animation and dynamic lighting. It’s so fluid, and dare I say PC-like, that it was hard for my eyes to adjust back to other 30 FPS titles afterwards.

To hit this framerate target however, many under-the-hood compromises had to be made with regard to the game’s engine.  Halo 5 operates at a dynamically-changing resolution depending on processing load, maxing out at a full 1080p but often dipping significantly below that.  In some of the game’s most complex areas with hordes of enemies on screen, resolution can drop in the neighborhood of 1152x810 (according to analysis conducted by Digital Foundry) where pixelation becomes distracting in areas of foliage and natural terrain.  In typical scenarios, however, the resolution remains high enough to not significantly detract from the overall presentation.

Another odd compromise that eagle-eyed observers will notice is the reduction in animation fluidity for enemies past a certain distance from the player.  While relatively inconsequential during the single-player experience due to the already robotic movements of the Promethean soldiers, the transition is sometimes jarring in multiplayer bouts where distant Spartans begin to take on an almost stop-motion appearance.

The most unfortunate casualty of Halo 5's 60 FPS mandate, however, is the complete absence of any split-screen multiplayer for either the campaign or multiplayer modes. 

Split-screen multiplayer has all but defined the Halo series since its inception, and its removal is just egregious -- especially considering how concomitantly the campaign’s design allies with cooperative play.  It’s one of the few instances where I can support fans in their outspoken derision towards a developer over a particular oversight. I can only hope that 343i will recognize the importance of re-adding this critical feature into Halo 6. 

Multiplayer

Halo 5's arena multiplayer suite embraces the competitive underpinnings of Halo more than any previous title, with changes like the new movement options from the suit's Spartan Abilities, a noticeable reduction in controller aim-assist, mechanical compromises between sprinting and shield recovery and the removal of weapon loadouts in favor of homogeneous starter weapons that are swapped based on the game mode.

This high degree of competitiveness extends to the map design as well. Opportunities for trick jumps and clever use of Spartan dashes are plentiful, while sight-lines and verticality across the map feel cleverly orchestrated to facilitate a balance between long-range and close-quarters weaponry. Many of the flashier visual elements of the campaign levels feel pared back here too, likely in order to improve player visibility and ensure performance levels.  These traits are highly evident in the maps catering to arena staples- like Team Slayer, Rumble Pit and Capture the Flag.

The changes make Halo 5 a far more lively and acrobatic experience than it ever felt like under Bungie's tutelage.

Compared to Halo 4 however, there is a certain element of compromise. Halo 5 provides sterility with its balanced weaponry and open map layouts that make it far more competitively viable than its predecessor. But much of the unpredictability and chaos that Halo 4’s Ordinance Drops and loadout customization provided is lost, making this Halo less socially enjoyable overall.

Some notable new game modes have been introduced into Halo 5's multiplayer. The first of these, Breakout, is a 4v4, single-life team deathmatch where the objective is to either eliminate all members of the enemy team or capture a neutral flag and return it to the enemy base. The mode takes place on its own set of symmetrical Forge maps with a holographic aesthetic, and it is tactically reminiscent of something like Counter-Strike. The amount of fun you’ll have playing it, though, seems highly dependent on whether you’re able to play with friends or are only being paired with random teammates online.

The star of Halo 5's promotional materials has been Warzone, and it serves as the next-generation replacement for past modes like Firefight and Spartan Ops.  

In this all new 12v12 multiplayer extravaganza, players are tasked with obtaining points via capturing bases, killing opponents, and taking down AI-controlled baddies and bosses that spawn in at varying intervals through each match. Each map is huge, seemingly around the size of three Big Team Battle maps mashed together, and the action often shifts across these levels until one team acquires the necessary 1000 points to win the match.

With many ways of scoring and the entire Halo sandbox in play on a single map, Warzone is at its best an unpredictable and wild affair. Too often though, I found objective points scattered so far apart on the map that there’s long moments of downtime where you’re just running around searching for some action. It’s a more patient Halo affair, all-considering, and it’s way more similar to something like Battlefield than the in-your-face action of Halo’s arena multiplayer.  

There’s a variant of Warzone called Warzone Assault as well, which removes the AI-controlled enemies and reduces the focus on piloting vehicles.  One team is tasked with capturing a linkage of bases in succession, while the enemy team attempts to defend them.  It’s a hectic and fun mode, but suffers by not giving each team an opportunity to play both offense and defense during each match.  The developers should take a note from Unreal Tournament’s Assault mode, where whichever offensive team completed the objectives faster would win the match.

Warzone is where Halo 5's controversial microtransactions make their first appearance.

Rather than providing players with power weapons and vehicles across the map, players must use “Requisitions" (REQ's) obtained from packages through extended play or actual currency to call in weapons and vehicles to the battlefield. The catch is that a Spartan may only call in a REQ at equal or lesser value as what their REQ level currently is during a match.  Some of these REQ’s, once selected, become permanent additions to your loadout for the match, while power weapons and vehicles are single-use only.  Depending on how you want to look at it, that fact could either cheapen or increase their perceived value. 

343i has created an innumerable amount of REQ cards to the system, many of which are more powerful variants on existing weapons and vehicles. For example, players can call in a modified battle rifle with a long-range sniper scope or a Mongoose armed with rocket launchers. Unfortunately, most players who don’t indulge in paying for microtransaction REQs will have a slim chance of ever obtaining these powerful variants for themselves, due to the rarity of these cards in the free packages.  Luckily, most of the default power armaments like Rocket Launchers and Scorpions are readily provided in the free REQs.

By the series' own standard, Halo 5’s multiplayer suite feels distinctly unfinished. Many previous game modes like Regicide, Oddball, Infection and Firefight remain unaccounted for, while fan favorites like Big Team Battle are entirely populated by community-built Forge maps, with little of the craftsmanship 343i bestows on its Warzone and Arena experiences. 

There's also a distinct lack of maps, especially in Warzone with only 4 available battlegrounds at time of writing. Many of these shortcomings will likely be addressed in the months ahead as part of 343i's free DLC release schedule, but it doesn’t seem appropriate to have to wait months for some of the most popular game modes and additional maps to make their appearance.

Conclusion

Halo 5: Guardians is a fantastic and incredibly polished title that's only slightly held back by its lack of expected features and limited multiplayer content. Some of this will hopefully be rectified during 343i’s extended free DLC release schedule, while other omissions like split-screen are more glaring and will hopefully be addressed in the series’ next installment. It’s not quite the sensation that Halo 4 proved to be for myself and my circle of friends, but it’s still an excellent game that Xbox One owners owe it to themselves to have in their libraries.

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State of the game- Halo 5: Guardians: Well, there's free DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/uivkb/state-of-the-game-halo-5-guardians-well-theres-free-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/uivkb/state-of-the-game-halo-5-guardians-well-theres-free-dlc Thu, 04 Feb 2016 04:53:20 -0500 Anson Chan

Shortly after Bungie left Microsoft to work on Destiny, 343 Industries took over the Halo franchise to continue Master Chief's story. Naturally, this also meant that they were in charge of one of the most beloved multiplayer games of all time. Unfortunately, they made some changes to the gameplay that were considered somewhat questionable (i.e. ordinance drops).

With Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries decided to essentially break it all down and rebuild all of Halo's mechanics from the ground up. But did it pay off in the end?

On release: 8.5/10

Crazy AI wants to kill everyone? Boring...

In a somewhat ironic twist, most critics praised the decision to remove certain features that were present in Halo 4 -- namely the loadout system, ordinance drops, and armor abilities. Unfortunately, the campaign was rather cut and dry with its heavy focus on Fireteam Osiris and aggravating Warden Eternal boss fights. 

Plus, it didn't help that the advertising campaign for Halo 5 ended up being more interesting than Halo 5's actual story -- but that is neither here nor there.

Now: 9.0/10

At least 343 kept their pre-launch promises

If nothing else, 343 Industries can be applauded for offering consistent, meaningful updates to Halo 5 that most players want -- and they did it for free. Granted, things like Forge and Big Team Battle should have been in the game originally, but at least they were added to Halo 5 somewhat promptly. 

On the bright side, 343 has added around 3 new maps per month since release (also for free), keeping their pre-launch promise of free map pack DLCs. True, the new guns and armor sets that they add in every update can only be unlocked by luck, but at least they aren't absolutely vital to performing well.

But best of all, 343 has shown that they finally managed to find the proper balance between modern and classic game mechanics. Every weapon has its use (though longtime Halo fans may be annoyed at how accurate the Assault Rifle can be), sprinting is no longer a get out of jail free card, and the new movement mechanics aren't shoved in your face constantly.

Like it or not, Halo is probably not going to go back to the classic no sprint, no armor ability, BRs are the only useful gun gameplay, but at least Halo 5 is a fair compromise between the old and new.

What do you think? Did 343 Industries redeem themselves after the mixed reactions that Halo 4 had, or is Halo 5's gameplay as strange as the new art direction?

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Hey! You got a bit of Halo in my Killer Instinct! https://www.gameskinny.com/dp062/hey-you-got-a-bit-of-halo-in-my-killer-instinct https://www.gameskinny.com/dp062/hey-you-got-a-bit-of-halo-in-my-killer-instinct Sun, 31 Jan 2016 05:37:38 -0500 shox_reboot

That's right. One of the most iconic characters of the Halo franchise is joining the roster of Killer Instinct Season 3. 

To be honest, I'm surprised it took the developers so long to do something like this; especially considering how many fans had been asking for it. Since other fighting games like Mortal Kombat X have pulled iconic characters from movie franchises, this seems like a natural move...unless it's some sort of troll. (I really don't think it is.)

There isn't much to take away from the teaser, although we can expect the Arbiter to be wielding the Energy Sword and/or the Carbine in fights. We'll just have to wait and see if there will be more guest characters pulled in from other gaming franchises. But for now, this is more than welcome news for fans of Killer Instinct and the Halo series alike. 

If you're a fan of both -- well -- this is a match made in heaven, right? 

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