Misha Mansoor and Steve Vai Featured in Halo: Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is almost here and for me personally it’s turning out to be one of the greatest games this year. Not only am I a big Halo fan, mostly due to the fact that I regularly play games from the series on split-screen co-op, but I’m also a fan of the music in the game. Legendary guitarist Steve Vai is returning to re-record his iconic track from Halo 2, as well as metal legend Misha Mansoor of the band Periphery lending his talents, so things are shaping up pretty well for the new Halo release.

I’m a big fan of both of these musicians and a new track from each of them is something I’m eager to here. We do have some clips for you below, but since they’ve been streamed on Twitch, then ripped from the stream, then re-uploaded, they sound like they’ve been filtered through a bad of scrap metal; they do however give you a taste of what is to come, so they’re better than nothing.

The entire set of sound effects and the original music score have been re-recorded too, mixed to surround sound and the overall quality improved by a lot. You’ll even be able to toggle between the old sound and the new sound should you not like the modern takes, or perhaps you just prefer the retro ones.

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The soundtrack is said to release on the game’s launch day and should include a double CD as well as a special edition vinyl.

Thank you Dual Shockers for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dual Shockers.

New Video Shows Halo 3 Running on Xbox One

Microsoft have finally revealed footage of Halo 3 running on the Xbox One. The footage was taken from the upcoming release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection which launches on the console later this year. The developers have already been eager to show off Halo 2, which has been given a full remastering treatment, much like they did with Halo: CE  a couple of years ago. However, this was only to bring it in line with CE, 3 and 4, all of which have had an Xbox 360 release, this means that Halo 3 won’t be getting the full head to toe overhaul.

The graphics have been touched up where needed, 3D models improved and detail added where appropriate, but this is still pretty much the original Halo 3. The graphics are a huge amount clearer and smoother, running 1920 x 1080 @ 60FPS with a new set of shaders, water and lighting effects to really spruce things up. you can see the draw distance, LOD, AA and other things are improved in the video, but unfortunately YouTubes potatoesque compression does nothing for the resolution and FPS of the original footage.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/5_N2Di9xfBI[/youtube]

Thank you Dual Shockers for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Dual Shockers.

New Trailer and Artwork Released for Halo: The Master Chief Collection

If you’re eager for some more couch co-op gaming, online multi-player or just some iconic campaign gameplay from the latest generations of consoles, then Halo: The Master Chief will no doubt be high on your wanted list later this year. Bringing together four of the greatest multiplayer shooters ever to grace consoles with massively improved graphics is in my opinion the first good reason to but the Xbox One since its release and it should serve as a fun packed stop-gap until Halo 5: Guardians is released next year.

A 343i panel was held at TRX 2014 where a new gameplay trailer for Halo 2: Anniversary’s Ascension map was aired from the upcoming collection, fortunately YouTube user Wooshness recorded the live stream. The graphics are noticeably improved over the original and with 343i pushing to maintain 60fps and 1080p throughout (a first in the Halo franchise) it should be a lot more enjoyable and smooth experience to play.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/lsmA2m5x_fs[/youtube]

The game will be hitting the Xbox One this November and with Gamescom and a few other gaming events between then and now, there are likely a lot more Halo goodies to be revealed over the coming months.

Thank you Dual Shockers for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Dual Shockers.

Microsoft Hire Staff For ‘New Project Line’ In The Halo Universe

It looks like Microsoft are going all out with the Halo series recently, not only are they pushing the developers at 343i to the limits with the development of Halo 5: Guardians and the epic Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but it looks like they’re also pushing for yet another title in the massively popular Xbox shooter.

A new career opportunity published by Microsoft and 343i says they’re seeking a Publishing Senior Producer, who will be responsible for a “new project line” within the Halo universe. New project line means it’s not Halo 5 or The Master Chief Collection, so what else could 343i be working on? All we know is that they’ll be tasked with ensuring “the game hits the quality expected of a title within the Halo Franchise.”

Current best estimate is that the company is working to revive the Halo Wars series, it was a great game and one that could work well across the devices Microsoft like to shovel into their support list. Smart glass, Windows Phone, Kinect and other features are very usable tools for an RTS style game and it would be in keeping with the groundwork done by original Halo developer Bungie.

Of course there is also the chance that this is just going to be some crappy mobile spin off full of micro transactions, but I bet we won’t have to wait too long before more information escapes in this leak friendly industry.

Thank you DualShockers for providing us with this information.

[Rumour] Halo: The Master Chief Collection For Xbox One

Yesterday we brought you the breaking new of Halo 5: Guardians, the next iteration in the legendary shooter that defined a generation of console gaming for Xbox. Unfortunately, that game won’t be out until later next year, pushing to over 3 years since Halo 4. So what are Microsoft working on to get people interested in the Xbox One, especially given that Master Chief is their ultimate exclusive title.

Rumour had it that Halo 2: Anniversary is in the works, in fact that rumour has a lot of merits to it anyway. Saber Interactive, the team who did the Halo CE: Anniversary have been developing an as yet unannounced Xbox One title since they finished up on the Halo CE, so it seems fairly safe to assume their still under contract with Microsoft.

The new rumour is even better, with sources close to the team at Engadget (who are not exactly known for publishing weak rumours) revealing that Master Chief is to get an HD collection. The bundle is said to contain Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4! Unfortunately, ODST and Reach are not included in the set, but it makes sense to stick to the mainline series for the collection, as they don’t directly feature Master Chief.

Microsoft said they want to release a Halo title more than once every three years, if they leave it for another year until Halo 5 is released, they’ll miss that self-imposed goal. If Microsoft do create this bundle, it will be their licence to print money, Halo series with improved graphics and the return of some of the finest multiplayer gaming consoles have ever seen can only be a good thing for the Xbox One.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

No Halo 5 This Year, But At Least You’ll Have Halo 2 Anniversary

Unfortunately for Halo fans, the 5th game in the main series will not be hitting the Xbox One console this year and that comes as little surprise at this point given that almost nothing has been revealed about its development other than a teaser trailer. Good news is that this year will see the release of Halo 2 Anniversary Edition on the Xbox One, and if it beefs up the graphics as well as the Halo 1 re-release did, then I really can’t wait to see this one in action.

While there have been a lot of rumours about these games recently, the recent reports came directly from Master Chief’s voice actor Steve Downes, while speaking to the team at GameZone, where he revealed that it was his understand that the game won’t be available for at least another year, and he should know, he’s part of it!

“I think you may be ahead of yourself on Halo 5. I wouldn’t expect anything until 2015. What you can look forward to this year is an anniversary edition of Halo 2,” he said.

Microsoft have since released a statement to Eurogamer confirming that there will indeed be a Halo game on the Xbox One this year, but they (most likely on purpose) left out details of which one.

Thank you Pocket Lint for providing us with this information.

Next Halo Game Now Officially Called Halo 5

Microsoft had a real tough time when they revealed the Xbox One, yet for all its original issues the console does seem to be shaping up rather nicely, consumers seem to be flocking in the hundreds of thousands for pre-orders and while people may still have their doubts about Microsoft, this is already one of the most successful console launches in gaming history (so far).

Yet when I saw the Microsoft briefing, there was one thing and one thing only that I wanted to see, Halo 5. Today we see that Microsoft have pulled the E3 video which simply said “Halo” and added a new title sequence that reads “Halo 5”, making this the first time 343i and Microsoft have mentioned the game and its title, as the series is known for its spin-off games such as Reach and ODST this now confirms where their next game fits into the series.

Of course there is no release date yet, but the name being outed is just in time for the Halo Global Championship, a good time for the reveal and we expect Microsoft to begin teasing more of the game very shortly. Keep in mind that both Reach and Halo 4 were played extensively in MLG and other tournaments before they made it to retail and we could see something similar later this year.

Thank you Stickskills for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Stickskills.

Havok’s AI Technology Powering Halo: Spartan Assault

Havok, a leading provider of 3D interactive game development technology, announced this week that Microsoft and 343 Industries have integrated Havok’s AI technology into Halo: Spartan Assault on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. The new top down shooter is set in the intense and dangerous Halo universe and provides an advanced gameplay experience with accessible controls for the ideal pick-up-and-play mobile title. Halo: Spartan Assault is available for $6.99 at the Windows Phone 8 app store at.

Set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, Halo: Spartan Assault is the new chapter of the award-winning Halo universe that explores the first missions of the Spartan Ops program and dives deeper into the backstory of Human-Covenant wars. Players will control Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis stationed aboard the UNSC Infinity as they fight never-before-seen battles against Covenant forces. With rich storytelling, intuitive controls, and best-in-class action, audio and graphics, Halo: Spartan Assault brings the epic scale and action of the Halo universe to mobile devices through unrivaled action and intensity.

“Havok is proud to have Halo: Spartan Assault among the first Havok-powered titles on the Windows Phone 8 platform,” said David Coghlan, Managing Director at Havok. “Our engineering team has worked especially hard to ensure that our esteemed partners at Microsoft and co-developers at 343 Industries and Vanguard Games could create a truly ambitious and complete mobile gaming experience utilizing the same powerful AI toolset on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that was used in Halo 4.”

“Since the series began in 2001, the Halo universe has been populated by a variety of powerful and cunning enemy combatants, and Havok is the perfect partner to provide the smarts that control these dangerous foes,” says Dan Ayoub, Executive Producer at 343 Industries. “The AI is an important ingredient in what makes the world of Halo so lively and thrilling, our collaboration with Havok and Vanguard Games has helped bring that giant expanding universe to smartphone screens.”

Thank you Havok for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Halo: Spartan Assault.