September is going to be a great Halo month. Not only is Forge coming to Windows 10 PCs, but we also get the Anvil’s Legacy content update. That is going to be the 9th free update 343 is releasing. Which is pretty sweet. I also think that this update is the first one that we didn’t know of before. The last and biggest update was the Warzone Firefight one at the end of July.
The coolest thing to me is the Haven Remake map called Mercy. Have a look at some gameplay on it here:
Don’t you think it looks amazing? I think so! I loved Haven on Halo 4. Such a well made map. The remake is set on Sanghelios as you can very well see with the aesthetics. You have the Steampunk-ish optics, with a water stream and a fountain in the basement. And the huge claws/hands that are holding a slipspace portal kind of a thing, god, it just looks amazing.
The Warzone map Temple looks really good as well. But…wait a minute! What the actual fuck? Is this a Hunters Fuel Rod Cannon I just saw? Damn right it is. OMG, that is the coolest thing. I can’t wait to try it out.
Next to all the good stuff already revealed, Halo lore fans should mark their calendars on September 6th. 343’s ‚Mythos: A Guide to the Story of Halo‘ will be released on that date.
And on September 20th another long awaited lore book will release. Halo: Fractures features several short stories from authors such as Troy Denning or Joseph Staten.
September please come! And bring some cold with you. It’s so hot here in Germany 🙂
Another Girls Love Halo Interview is up. My fellow Fotus Mafia clan mate and beautiful IG friend Katie aka The Halo Turtle answered my 10 questions. Enjoy!
1. When did you start playing Halo?
Well, my brother used to play it all the time, he actually hosted his very own Halo tournament for one of his birthdays. We never really got along until we found gaming as a common ground. I first started playing Halo with him, I was about 10 or 11, we would spend hours together, he would show me all the glitches and let me play through the campaign, I even use to help him lag switch while playing online. Once he grew out of it that was the end for me, that is, until I rekindled my friendship with my BFF Kim, she showed me Halo Reach (I’ll tell you more about that on question 7).
2. If you could choose to be one character of the Halo universe, who would you be?
I wouldn’t want to be anyone, that’s way too much pressure. Having to fight and save the world from scary ass aliens! 😉 I’m just kidding; I would love to be Dr. Catherine Halsey, I mean we do already have the same first name, she is the whole reason the Master Chief is who he is. She got to know all of the spartans before they even became spartans, before their training and augmentations, she got to choose who made it and who didn’t. She was the head honcho of the entire Spartan Program and I think that’s freaking awesome.
3. Do you have a favorite Halo quote?
Cortana- “Just one question: what if you miss?“
Master Chief- “I won’t.“
I know this is more than one but they just can’t be said seperately. This is from Halo 2, up until this point we all thought Chief was a badass but this right here confirmed it. He likes to push and test his limits and, of course, show off for Cortana.
4. What do you love most about Halo?
The community definitely. I love seeing all of the screenshots and montages, all the custom Halo figures and toy shots. I love that all these people who don’t know each other can come together over one video game and be friends, be there for each other. I love how we all support and defend each other.
5. What do you hate most about Halo?
I didn’t really hate anything about the actual game until recently. I absolutely can’t stand that Halo 5 isn’t split screen or how the Swat game type plays. I LOVED Swat in Halo Reach but they butchered it in Halo 5 in my opinion. Also, I’m not entirely that happy that they didn’t put in a voting system. I would love to be able to choose the maps I play on. Other than that I hate that people quit out of games so often and that if I lag out of a game because of the shitty servers it’s put on me because I “quit out“ and then I get banned. I wish there were a way that they could tell the difference.
6. How would you rate your skills in Halo? (1-10)
Well, considering I very rarely go positive I would say a 4 and that’s probably still too high lol. I just love the game, to me it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about playing and having fun doing so.
7. What is your favorite Halo game?
Hands down Halo Reach and that’s all thanks to my bff Kim. We would spend hours, days, playing and drinking and just having fun. Neither one of us were working so I would go over to her house and we would spend all day doing the challenges. We would play Swat until our fingers bled and would rage at all the campers and shit talkers until our faces turned blue. In the end it was all fun and games, we loved it. We met so many amazing people who we still play with to this day. In my opinion Halo Reach was the best made Halo just because of the multiplayer and the community.
8. What do you prefer? Campaign or multiplayer?
Definitely multiplayer, even though I’m terrible at it, I love playing against other people and making friends. Don’t get me wrong the campaigns are amazing I just find it more fun to rage at “noobs“ and battle it out with the sniper and shotgun.
9. Which games besides Halo do you play?
In the past I didn’t play anything but Halo but now that I’m older, have my own place and my own money, I’ve broadened my horizons. I’ve been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Grand Theft Auto, and Destiny on Xbox also, Pokemon, Zelda, and TMNT on 3DS. That’s just naming the ones I play most. I like to download all of the free games just to try them out but, so far, I really only like FPS games.
10. If you had to endure one level of any Halo game in real life, which one would it be and why?
There are so many great ones to choose from but The Flood (excuse my language) creep me the fuck out so definitely not any of those levels. Maybe Truth and Reconciliation from Halo: CE. I love that you start out that mission with a Sniper and have to sneak around, kill all the enemies, and board their mothership to save Captain Keyes (he is one of my favorite characters).
Thank you, Lena, for having me. I had a bunch of fun while doing this interview and it brought back a lot of good memories. <3
Right on time with the launch of Halo 5: Guardians on October 27th, the Business magazine ‚Bloomberg Businessweek‘ features a big piece on Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries. The article follows Ross and several others like Frank O’Connor over the course of this past summer. I highly recommend reading this article, seeing that it provides insight behind the curtains of 343 and presents Bonnie Ross in her role as a female executive in a still male dominated workspace. It also highlights Microsofts need to have a huge hit with Halo 5 in order to survive next to the Playstation. I took some quotes from the article that I found noteworthy, funny or surprising.
When asked about her ambitions for Halo, Ross always comes back to Star Wars, which she adored as a kid. “For those of us that are a little bit older, we saw Star Wars and stood in line the first time around,” she says. “We are seeing the same thing with Halo, where a lot of dads and parents that started playing when they were 20 or 30 now have kids that are coming in through our, you know, Mega Bloks line.”
Obviously I can relate to this very much. I am this parent who was 20 years old when I first played Halo. What I find really cool about Ross is, that she’s an actual gamer. Of course she won’t play as much as she would like to or as a 18 year old with lots of time on his/her hands would, but she played every Halo game and has read every Halo book. Being a female in a management position is rare enough but being one in the gaming industry is even more surprising. In my opinion the gaming industry needs more women. And I’m not saying this as a feminist, although I would have every right to. I just think that every company needs the balance of men and women working together. Women bring certain qualities with them, as do men. Let’s have both.
As a rare female executive in an industry dominated by men, Ross worked to remind her colleagues that girls play video games, too. She’s insisted that fully realized female characters play prominent roles in Halo 5 and made sure that dorky Halo T-shirts come in cuts for women, too. This may seem unobjectionable, but in the world of video games, trying to broaden the audience is daring.
Bonnie Ross is also a very clever business woman and she wants to make money. Before taking over 343 in 2007 she said: „If I take it over, I want to be George Lucas. I want to own everything, and I want to do things differently.”
She says that when she inherited the game, the philosophy was to say yes to any company willing to pay royalties. The worst? Some tacky pajama pants. “The pajamas actually were really comfortable,” Ross says. “But they weren’t super high-quality.” When she took over, she cut the line.
I want to take the time here to mourn those pajamas. I wished I had one. Who cares about good quality? Well actually I do but I’m sure I would’ve overlooked it once.
Bonnie Ross is a parent herself. She is 48 years old now and has a 10 year old son. In the article she talks about him and her playing Halo together. To do that with my daughter in the future is a dream of mine.
Ross has been tutoring one new Halo player: her 10-year-old son. Until recently, she’d considered the game a bit too violent for her children, but she’s begun letting her son play with her. “I firmly believe that your kids are going to play games, and you should play with them,” she says. “I want to share that first experience with him.” Mother and son have worked through two levels of Halo 5 together and occasionally play in multiplayer modes. She’s better than he is—for now.
So it took me a while to find the time to write a short recap of my Gamescom and Fanfest experience… but here it is.
As you know I was invited to the Xbox Fanfest which took place from August 4th to 5th. Either you were invited by Xbox or you could get in line in front of the Gloria Theatre on Tuesday morning to get a ticket for the 2 day event. I think they gave away 500 tickets.
On the evening of Tuesday, Xbox invited all fans to a very fancy location here in cologne. It’s a big place where concerts and other events are held. They decorated it pretty nice and had showcased some cool stuff.
I arrived late (baby girl at home) and rushed directly to the area where Xbox had a screening of some unseen clips from the Rise of the Tomb Raider campaign. It looks very promising. I was laughing with Nicole, a fellow Halo fan girl I met there, about the fact that when Lara is making her incredibly dangerous and not human like jumps, nearly every third time the wall or pillar collapses, leaving her dangling close to death. The scenes we saw were so action packed it leaves you breathless just by watching.
I hope I find enough time in November to play it. But the competitor is huge…
Then we saw a hilarious demonstration on how big of a boys game Crackdown 3 is going to be. The creators of Crackdown showed us what you can do if all you can think about is: MUST DESTROY EVERYTHING. It was the complete and utter destruction of a skyscraper. Haha, everytime something collapsed the whole crowd went crazy and they roared in animalistic manner when the skyscraper finally collapsed. I was amused.
After all this watching we were sent out to explore the location and plaaaaay some Halo 5. That was all I wanted so Nicole and I went….walked fast….ok we jogged to the Halo 5 room.
Needless to say, I was so hyped. But when I saw that Andy Dudynsky aka Bravo was sitting next to me I was like WHAAAAAT?! The match had already started and we were in the lead. The first minute I ran around the map headless and totally confused. I had seen the gameplay from IGN before, so I knew what we had to do, but playing it for real is something different. I tried to find my teammates and stick to them. But they were running around rather headless themselves. I think this game type requires the comeback of the mic. It’s essential to be able to communicate with your team. But I love this new game type! It’s massive! Sadly we lost our match…Bravo couldn’t save us.
I also played We happy few, a very weird but funny game. It’s totally different than any other game I played, so that’s reason enough to buy and play it. Weird is always good. Another game I played was Homefront: The Revolution. I started in the middle of the game and objective so it’s hard to form an opinion. Game play felt not as good as I imagined it. The picture below is a little dark, but you can see all the games that were available to play.
All in all it was a cool evening. Just being outside without my girl was exciting enough. On the event Xbox announced to the fans, that everyone would get free access to Gamescom on Wednesday, the next day. That day is not open to the public but for media only. Imagine my excitement as I knew that the lines at the booths wouldn’t be long at all and all I could think of was Halo 5! Again!