August 26th 2011 9:00 am PT

News from Halo Fest

I had the opportunity to attend a preview of Halo Fest last night where 343 Industries let loose a ton of news to kick off PAX Prime.

Here are the highlights:

New “Halo: Anniversary” Maps

Announced and playable today at Halo Fest are two stunningly reimagined battlefields and a brand new Firefight map for “Halo: Anniversary”: Timberland, Prisoner and Installation 04.

 

 

 

· TIMBERLAND –Timberland is “Halo: Anniversary’s” beautifully reimagined multiplayer map from “Halo PC,” set in the classically alpine environment so familiar to “Halo.” Once serving as a watch point for the immense relay complex below, the monitoring outposts nestled atop this ridge became a staging ground for human forces during their time on Installation 04. Toward the end of the conflict, a Covenant assault brought the marines here to a tragic end. Timberland is a tree-covered valley, sporting undulating hills, surging rivers, and a terrain perfect for large-scale vehicle mayhem. (8 – 16 players)

· PRISONER –The return of “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” Prisoner delivers a claustrophobic and frenetic multiplayer experience now elaborately recreated for “Halo: Anniversary.” These spinning confinement platforms are a testament to the technological prowess of the Forerunners. In the event of a security breach, the facility’s suborbital location and frigid temperature were thought to be able to keep any threat at bay, but it appears those plans were… optimistic. Prisoner is a multi-level facility, with tightly-woven corridors and many bridges and ramps, perfect for the chaos of close-range combat. (2 – 8 players)

· INSTALLATION 04 – Installation 04 brings fans back to one of the most iconic environments in “Halo’s” history, the base of an enormous Forerunner spire from “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” campaign mission “Halo,” now stunningly returning in “Halo: Anniversary’s” Firefight mode. Set on one of the many cliff sides of Alpha Halo, this beacon served as a rendezvous point for survivors of the Covenant attack on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. These survivors, including the legendary Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, were forced to stave off numerous Covenant attacks until rescue finally came. Installation 04 is a familiar precipice studded with ancient Forerunner structures which make a perfect defensive position against an invading alien enemy and marks the first Firefight experience to include ally AI players who will defend the installation alongside you. (1 – 4 players)

Previously announced, playable fan favorite maps also made their US debut at Halo Fest including:

· DAMNATION –A fan favorite multiplayer battleground from “Halo: Combat Evolved,” Damnation is impressively brought back to life with amazing detail. As the primary satellite of the Unggoy home world, Buwan provides the perfect environment for this massive Covenant hydro-facility used to power and refuel a variety of capital ships. Though still operational via automated subsystems, the station was abandoned shortly after the breaking of the Covenant. Damnation is an asymmetrical, multi-tiered complex, replete with long lines of sight and tightly-crafted choke points. (2 – 8 players)

· BEAVER CREEK – The classic “Halo 2” multiplayer map Beaver Creek returns, tracing its roots back all the way to “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” legendary Battle Creek. The rocky warrens of this part of Halo provide the ideal environment for an array of impressive telemetry clusters. These spires’ synchronization conduits ensure that the ring’s translocation grid is always fully operational. Beaver Creek’s symmetrical bases in a small, creek-fed canyon are excellent for both free-for-all and team-based game types. (2 – 8 players)

Each of the competitive multiplayer maps that ship with “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” will include two variants which let players experience maps in both their classic layout as well as a modified, reimagined version with changes that account for the dynamic gameplay created by “Halo: Reach’s”Armor Abilities. For a sneak peek at the explosive multiplayer action that awaits, fire up Halo Waypoint or visit HaloWaypoint.com to see a new behind-the-scenes feature from 343 showcasing five of the seven beautifully reimagined maps included in “Halo: Anniversary.”

Experience “Halo” like Never Before in Immersive Steroscopic 3D

For the first time, fans will be able to experience the original “Halo” campaign in a whole new dimension as they step onto the legendary ring world in stereoscopic 3D. Using a custom made top-and-bottom 3D technology, 3D-TV owning fans will be able to experience the amazingly remastered “Halo: Anniversary” in a more immersive experience than ever before. Attendees can see this first at the immersive LG Cinema 3D Experience at Halo Fest.

Upcoming “Halo: Reach” Title Update

The team at 343i has been hard at work on an update for “Halo: Reach” both to bring new experiences to fans as well as address longstanding feedback from the community. The most noticeable change in the works? The return of the wicked, deadly and wildly fun “Halo: Combat Evolved” Magnum pistol to “Halo: Anniversary” and “Halo: Reach” multiplayer gameplay. An addition that will be supported in special, classic playlists, the original Magnum pistol is sure to rekindle some of the madness and carnage players reveled in a decade ago.

In addition, the update, which is targeted for release in October, will introduce several multiplayer fixes for “Halo: Reach” fans have been clamoring for. Armor Lock now absorbs a level of damage based on the amount of remaining energy a player has, diminishing its effectiveness. Active Camo’s duration has been reduced and the ability to block sword attacks using any weapon other than another sword has been disabled. And for fans of precision firing, reticle “bloom” is now configurable, delivering increased accuracy when firing in rapid succession.

This update will also enable “Halo: Reach” players using an Xbox 360 4GB console without a HDD to utilize Campaign and Firefight matchmaking which previously required a HDD.

“Forza Motorsport 4” and the “Halo 4” Warthog

The developers at Turn 10 Studios, creators of the highest-rated racing franchise of this generation and 343i have partnered together to create an incredible “Halo” fan experience with the inclusion of the iconic Warthog in “Forza Motorsports 4’s” breathtaking new Autovista experience. Designed to showcase and offer an unprecedented interactive experience with some of the world’s most iconic vehicles, Autovista lets players walk around, interact and learn about vehicles in a way no other game can. Fans who pick up “Forza Motorsport 4” will be treated to a first look at the “Halo 4” model Warthog and an interactive experience narrated by none other than the voice of Cortana. “Forza Motorsport 4” releases in the US starting Oct. 11 and across Europe Oct. 14.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will be available November 15, 2011

If you are attending PAX Prime, you owe it to yourself to drop by Halo Fest (free w/ your Pax badge) to check out some of the announcements. Here are details about the event to help get you started.

Halo By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • http://twitter.com/SeanK_ Sean K

    Can’t wait for the update for Halo!

  • http://twitter.com/Inc0mp3rtus Ahmed Alsubaey

    Awesome! 343 <3

  • the Tech Dino

    Reduced active camo.  Who would want that?!?!?

  • Anonymous

    Sounds awesome

  • http://twitter.com/Navarin Bennijin Turbo

    Sounds good, though I’m not too sure about that Armour Lock nerf but we’ll have to see how it goes. Active Camo’s rubbish anyway.

  • diras yaj

    They got lazy they should’ve made halo1 multi-player instead of putting reach multi-player into a remake smh

  • Matt Rittgers

    Space Balls 2: The Search For More Money

  • Matt Rittgers

    Space Balls 2: The Search For More Money

    • http://twitter.com/seekul Luke Es | sE ekuL

      Now every time I see you post I’m going to hear that squeaky Brooks voice. And it’s “Soich”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.barancik Jeremy Barancik

    I don’t think I like these “updates” to Halo:Reach. Reduce the power of Armor Lock? Then what’s the point. Reduce time for Active Camo? Really? I don’t use it that often but I don’t see the big deal. I can usually still see movement enough to shoot the people that do use it. Games and multiplayer are supposed to be challenging, I don’t like that fact that games are being tailored to whiny, cry-babies. What about the people that like playing with people that are better or know more tricks to learn from and become better? We’ll see how long I keep playing I guess. If all the “power-ups” are going to be “powered-down” then I just don’t get it. Why don’t they go play the classic mode with no power-ups and all that jazz? Don’t whine and complain and ruin a game that so many people love just how it is!

    • http://twitter.com/notryan Ryan

      Armor lock was already abused and ruined the arena. I’m glad they’re nerfing it.

      It will still serve its purposes, and won’t be impervious now, which is how it should have always been.

      It is possible to find some compromise between “no powers at all” and “absurdly OP powers,” you know.

    • Anonymous

      No one will force you to update. If you want to keep using everything as it is just gather enough people for a LAN party and make sure the Title Update isn’t installed.

    • http://twitter.com/XenocideZero Jeremiah W.

      I don’t like it either. I liked everything I read up until the info about the title update. I’m beginning to lose confidence in 343i’s ability to not run this game straight into the ground.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.barancik Jeremy Barancik

    I don’t think I like these “updates” to Halo:Reach. Reduce the power of Armor Lock? Then what’s the point. Reduce time for Active Camo? Really? I don’t use it that often but I don’t see the big deal. I can usually still see movement enough to shoot the people that do use it. Games and multiplayer are supposed to be challenging, I don’t like that fact that games are being tailored to whiny, cry-babies. What about the people that like playing with people that are better or know more tricks to learn from and become better? We’ll see how long I keep playing I guess. If all the “power-ups” are going to be “powered-down” then I just don’t get it. Why don’t they go play the classic mode with no power-ups and all that jazz? Don’t whine and complain and ruin a game that so many people love just how it is!

  • http://twitter.com/twistedtech twistedtech

    Finally getting Timberland on consoles is pretty cool. Very sad to hear that there is only one new Firefight map though. We need a map pack like Rezurrection for Reach, even if they are mostly just the ODST Firefight maps though I would really love to see more locals from the first Halo campaign, Silent Cartographer and Pillar of Autumn (Firefight in a tight enclosed space could be interesting) especially.

    • http://profiles.google.com/thief000 J.A.J.G. Thiéfaine

      Yeah. Of the 6 exclusive Halo PC maps that one was my favorite because of the nature aspect of it. I wouldn’t mind more recycled ODST maps or a dedicated mappack for firefight either. I really hope that in 3 years they give the same treatment to Halo 2 and bring it’s maps to Halo 4 MP.

  • http://twitter.com/ansys1977 Ricardo Baptista

    No news about Halo 3 ODST on Games on Demand?

    • Anonymous

      Are you sitting around wanting to buy it, hoping you finally have the chance to get some DRM Halo GRAW action?

  • http://twitter.com/ansys1977 Ricardo Baptista

    No news about Halo 3 ODST on Games on Demand?

  • http://twitter.com/RedOctober7 Al Garcia

    Thanks. 

  • Anonymous

    Armor Lock and reticle bloom fixed? Awesome! If Active Camo’s duration is going to be smaller, wouldn’t it be a tiny bit more balanced if you also made the user not visible while moving as it was in previous games?

  • http://twitter.com/mightyfiregoat mighty goat

    UBER ENTERTAINMENT LIED AND RIPPED OFF 360 PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

    • Peter M.

      what?

    • http://twitter.com/mcmax3000 David

      How so?

      And more importantly, what does this have to do with News from Halo Fest?

  • http://www.facebook.com/JulienTheron Julien Théron

    Halo Reach update seems to be pretty cool, except that “the ability to block sword attacks using any weapon other than another sword has been disabled” ! That was a huge improvement over every other Halo game, IMHO.
    Other than that, I’m really looking forward to Anniversary ! :D

  • Anonymous

    This means Kinect Fun Labs is working?

  • Anonymous

    What about the Sidewinder map, that was my favourtie Halo CE map and it doesn’t look like it’s even in the anniversary edition!

    • Anonymous

      they’ve already remade sidewinder, i think they said the wanted to put maps that havn’t been remade yet. FYI, avalanche was sidewinder’s remake basically

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000021335109 Nick Lanthier

      FYI there are going to be 7 maps notice there are only 5 >.>

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000021335109 Nick Lanthier

      FYI there are going to be 7 maps notice there are only 5 >.>

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000021335109 Nick Lanthier

    The need to remake all the CE maps including all pc exclusives+firefight map pack

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000021335109 Nick Lanthier

    The need to remake all the CE maps including all pc exclusives+firefight map pack

  • Anonymous

    http://moourl.com/ythxk    Good for you! This is very good! Very sexy! Very beautiful! Look here!

  • Lucas Gorgonzola

    Thanks for the summary, cant wait until October/November!

  • Logic Squirrel

    Not really interested in halo anymore, but i’m sure some will like it i finished the original a long time ago and moved on. Sure not buying anymore halo games since reach.

  • geoff sagamang

    Would love to play this but unfortunately Customer Support will not replace my disc drive after it had been repaired less then 8 months ago.  (4th time an xbox discdrive has failed on me)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C22GJMCYWP5BUALNMGCTLFUEHA O Malley

    I thought Halo 4 would be a complete reboot of the franchise? Tbh the Forerunner stuff was a bit dull, I loved it when it was pure “fanatical alien alliances hellbent on destroying humanity”, now it seems we’re going more into the Forerunner myth stuff which is a shame. Would like to see MC in a completely different scenario, new aliens, environment etc. To me Forerunner = grey.

  • Anonymous

    Looks good! I recommend here!   http://www.hpurl.com/65187

  • ElektroDragon

    Microsoft, THANK YOU for finally giving out a decent piece of PAX schwag!  The Halo Mega Blocks Warthog is amazing!!! :)

  • ElektroDragon

    Microsoft, THANK YOU for finally giving out a decent piece of PAX schwag!  The Halo Mega Blocks Warthog is amazing!!! :)

  • kalidas venugopal

    Hey thr.. this ain abt halo but gears 2.. thought u cld help me.. i had my journal reset somehow.. and all my kills are gone.. is thr any way to undo this.. pls help.. this is a real prob for those trying to do the achvmnts the legit way!

    • http://twitter.com/Krylon_Blue Krylon Blue

      No, your data is lost with no hope of recovery. Sorry bud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674106424 Devon Edwards

    New from Halofest!  Peter Molyneux is taking over production and Halo4 will be the first in the series to feature cross-dressing and sex with multiple partners!

 

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