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Halo CE Anniversary Pre-Order Exclusives Announced

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#1 Slightly Live

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:00 AM

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Halo: Anniversary Exclusive Pre-Order Grunt Funeral Skull Trailer

An exclusive, game-modifying skull that changes the rules of the game for an explosively humorous experience, "Grunt Funeral" sends Halo's most lowly and lovable enemy out in a blaze of glory. And plasma. And then more glory. Once the skull has been activated, every grunt's methane tank will explode like a plasma grenade when killed. Watch out for the grunt chain reaction!


Pre-order "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary" to Unlock Your Inner Master Chief and Pay Tribute to the Lovable Grunt

Join 343 Industries for a special Comic-Con "Halo" Universe panel on July 22

Ten years ago, "Halo: Combat Evolved" launched around the world and defined both the shooter genre and a generation of gamers. Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries are celebrating this epic milestone with the launch of "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary" for Xbox 360 on Nov. 15 and inviting fans to join the landmark celebration with a set of special pre-order bonuses:

? Master Chief Avatar Armor? Heroes Never Die, and to honor the 10th anniversary of John 117, you will finally be able to transform your Xbox LIVE Avatar into the iconic hero by outfitting it with Master Chief's signature MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor.

? "Grunt Funeral" Skull ? An exclusive, game-modifying skull that changes the rules of the game for an explosively humorous experience, "Grunt Funeral" sends "Halo's" most lowly and lovable enemy out in a blaze of glory. And plasma. And then more glory. Once the skull has been activated, every grunt's methane tank will explode like a plasma grenade when killed. Watch out for the grunt chain reaction!

Additionally, be sure to check out the latest "Halo: Anniversary" behind-the-scenes feature on Halo Waypoint and HaloWaypoint.com for in-depth developer commentary on the creative process behind developing one of the year's most highly anticipated games:

To learn more about the "Halo" series and the expansive fiction it helped inspire, drop by 343 Industries' "Halo" Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where the creative minds behind the franchise will be delivering exclusive insights into the "Halo" universe, answering fan questions and more.

"Halo" Universe Panel with 343 Industries
San Diego Convention Center, Room 6BCF
Friday, July 22, 11:30 a.m. ? 12:30 p.m.

Frank O'Connor, Kevin Grace, and others from 343 Industries, as well as special "Halo" guests Greg Bear and Karen Traviss, discuss the first 10 years of "Halo" and offer a sneak peek into what's next for this exciting sci-fi universe.


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#2 Vanwadilion

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:55 AM

Hopefully the collector's edition will include real CE multiplayer.

#3 Syracuse022

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:29 AM

First the good: Pistol looks less retarded now and isn't a straight copy-paste jobber (sounds... weird, however), so maybe MC's helmet doesn't look like a fucking top hat anymore. Now the bad: Pre-order bonuses and the people who continue to perpetuate them can suck it, this single-handedly convinced me not to go out and buy LA Noire until it's in the bargain bin somewhere (of course, Anniversary did the same about 30 seconds into the announce trailer, so kudos to them for their efficiency) So I guess we can't even trust the "we didn't touch the campaign code" statement. A skull like that required some reworking (even if all that's happening is that they're spawning spec-ops grunts everywhere sans their customary black armor, which, almost undoubtedly, is what is happening) Also, :yaaawn:

#4 aander91

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:51 AM

I probably won't be preordering, and if I do it won't because of those bonuses. I like what I'm seeing in the screenshots though.
I rate this post/Drew.

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#5 Cocopjojo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:43 AM

So the fact that we added in a skull goes in the "bad" list for you, 'Cuse? C'mon man, haha.

#6 Cocopjojo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:00 AM

Also, I don't know how you can watch that and hear Cortana saying, "I'll bet the Silent Cartographer is somewhere inside that facility," in remade graphics, in HD, and not get a little excited. I was watching the opening cutscene last Friday, "I knew it! The Autumn's accelerating, Keyes is going in manually!" and it was super cool to see it all prettied up and running in HD. And honestly one of my favorite features is that classic mode is running in 16:9 (right now at least). Even Halo PC didn't do that correctly. I get that you guys wanted MP included (I did too), but I think the quicker that you come to terms with the fact that this is not a remake of the game, it's a remake of the campaign, then the quicker you'll be able to appreciate that you're going to be able to replay Assault on the Control Room over LIVE with a friend, in HD, with achievements, and at least one skull, as well as other stuff that we haven't even announced yet. As a Halo 1 fan, I think that's pretty exciting.

#7 Jironimo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:17 AM

I think it's pretty cool. That skull should have been in the game, but the reality these days is that the retailers demand this type of stuff in order to give your product any shelf space or advertising at all. Still day one for me obviously.

#8 Vanwadilion

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:22 PM

Day 22 for me.

#9 Syracuse022

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:01 PM

So the fact that we added in a skull goes in the "bad" list for you, 'Cuse? C'mon man, haha.

I don't have a problem from a gameplay standpoint (love those spec ops grunts on the Maw), but I do from a Frankie-is-on-the-record-saying-"We didn't touch a thing in campaign because we didn't want to break anything" standpoint. I think I've made it pretty clear that his talking head appearances and written descriptions of what a game has to offer are no longer in my "trusted" zone (LOL PISTOL IS BROKEN, BUT LOOK AT DAT MAP WITH THE WATER, BC DATS GOOD GAMEPLAY). I guess it's really unlikely that you can answer a question like this, but it would go a long way toward revealing how much of a lie Frankie's statement was: is this skull just a tweak of Bungie's Lisp scripting (in this case for enemy spawns) as I've guessed? Even that capability could open some really interesting possibilities (assuming there are other skulls that people who didn't preorder will have at their disposal) while still protecting underlying gameplay (X-X-Y, B-L-B, quick zooms, infinite ammo, etc.) and physics. A good example would be the ability to spawn more/different enemies and allies (like Thunderstorm, I guess, but quantity would be cool especially for guys like RockSlider, and you know I want da gooooold). I figured/hoped that terminals would be built in such a way that they were scripting engine related for the same reason.

Also, I don't know how you can watch that and hear Cortana saying, "I'll bet the Silent Cartographer is somewhere inside that facility," in remade graphics, in HD, and not get a little excited. I was watching the opening cutscene last Friday, "I knew it! The Autumn's accelerating, Keyes is going in manually!" and it was super cool to see it all prettied up and running in HD.

And honestly one of my favorite features is that classic mode is running in 16:9 (right now at least). Even Halo PC didn't do that correctly.

I get that you guys wanted MP included (I did too), but I think the quicker that you come to terms with the fact that this is not a remake of the game, it's a remake of the campaign, then the quicker you'll be able to appreciate that you're going to be able to replay Assault on the Control Room over LIVE with a friend, in HD, with achievements, and at least one skull, as well as other stuff that we haven't even announced yet. As a Halo 1 fan, I think that's pretty exciting.

The outdoor environment looks pretty good (the trees added to the cliff wall, the rocks in the ocean, etc.), I'm not wild about how dark that indoor part was, but I'll reserve judgment for the active camo ambush encounter on the way back up because that's the one that really matters in that space. Pistol looks better than in the first trailer, thank god. Big old AI-slash-graphical glitch on the third grunt from the front when the player zooms in just before the plasma grenade explodes (which is why I found it amusing that Letters chose that exact moment as the subject of his BELI343 gif). Elite artwork was most iconic (by a considerable amount) in the first game, so I wish Saber weren't calling on the Elites iconography from Reach so much. I like a lot of the little touches like the orange-hot fade-in on the plasma grenade "explosion" decals (though I wish it was blue/white-hot instead).

I'm not dismissing this game offhand because it doesn't have multiplayer --- I'm paying as much attention to this project as anyone. More than anything, I really wish that the state of the market/the bigwigs at Microsoft/the (shiny) heads of 343 hadn't made you guys release this 1) at retail and 2) with Reach content masquerading as something it can't be. As a digital download, divorced from the Reach content (even if I wanted to pick it up separately, which I still might - as a casual Reach player, I still enjoy all of the stuff - jet packs, armor lock, bloom - that seems to incite rage on HaloGAF) or bullshit preorder bonuses, and with less of the dream-crushing "YES! IT'S HAPPENING! Wait, what?!? Was that an assassination...? And THAT'S the reason you give?" I'd be all over this. Even without online co-op I'd drop $20-25 and go to town, because I remain skeptical about the net code and because I'm much more methodical than anyone from AJ I've played with except Van. Voc is like a whirling dervish of destruction and I used to feel like I was racing to get a kill in edgewise when we would play 4 player co-op on Halo 3 (that's how I knew right away neither of you was playing in the Grunt Funeral reveal, it's also why I kind of hate campaign scoring). I've often thought about buying Halo 1 from GoD even though I own four retail copies. And the reason for that? I believe in voting with my dollars. And that seemed like a good way to make it clear that Halo 1 still had traction in my gaming lifestyle and that I was still interested in seeing it remade. I believe in voting with my dollars here too, so yeah, no preorder, no grunt funeral, I'll hope for a price dip or try to find it used for the right price, which I'm hoping won't take long given the myriad misconceptions that still litter forums regarding what actually constitutes the multiplayer offering.

#10 Cocopjojo

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:34 PM

I don't get your latter paragraph, it sounded like you said that you'd drop $20 on a campaign remake, and that you also liked Reach more than most folks, so you'd want the maps too. So what's the problem again? :) I personally have no idea how the skull was implemented, but I can't imagine it's anything as complex as using Spec-Op Grunts, who are never loaded into most maps in the first place. Loading in a new character type in Halo:CE is a big deal. It's probably just as simple as "when grunt = dead, play grenadeexplosion.fx" which is already being used all over the place (every time a grenade explodes). This is just me guessing, though, as I haven't seen or touched any of the CEX code. I think what it comes down to is risk of adverse impact. Something like telling the game to play a grenade explosion when a Grunt dies is probably low-to-medium-risk in terms of impacting the game in ways we didn't intend or foresee. I think all Frank was saying was that we didn't change the original code in any meaningful way, i.e didn't adjust the death fall timer, didn't move enemy spawn points or trigger volumes, didn't adjust physics, didn't change the AI, etc. But we did tell it to play a plasma explosion when a Grunt dies if you have this skull turned on, which, in comparison to the other items I just listed, doesn't fall in the same category. I think that's all he (and I) are saying when we say that the original code hasn't been touched.

#11 Syracuse022

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:47 AM

I think all Frank was saying was that we didn't change the original code in any meaningful way, i.e didn't adjust the death fall timer, didn't move enemy spawn points or trigger volumes, didn't adjust physics, didn't change the AI, etc. But we did tell it to play a plasma explosion when a Grunt dies if you have this skull turned on, which, in comparison to the other items I just listed, doesn't fall in the same category. I think that's all he (and I) are saying when we say that the original code hasn't been touched.

That's really good to hear. As you can probably tell, I'm slowly talking myself into wanting this in spite of the perceived injustice. That glimpse of 343GS (a very underrated level) in the trailer is delicious. On the other hand, I don't like the Library redesign at all. It feels like they tried to fix the perceived shortcoming in gameplay (which wasn't actually an issue at all, it was always intended to be a change of pace level and did a damn good job of it) with brighter lighting and textures... SO not the right approach. I'll also admit that both Hang Em and Dammy look hot in their remade form. If we had gotten a proper remake, I would have played CTF on those two all damn day (even though both were incredibly imbalanced in favor of the high base --- we used to just switch back and forth from red to blue each game). As it stands, with the infinite armor ability Title Update (I guessed it, didn't I?) I'll probably just jet pack around making troll face and then switch to infinite armor lock when I die and do my best Master of Disguise "Turtle, turtle" impression.

#12 txlonghorn

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:28 PM

I'm now excited, took a minute, I am getting older and everything.

#13 Syracuse022

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:26 AM

Two things:
1) This is the first time in Halo history that a preorder bonus has legitimately affected gameplay. For every other release, offerings have added value outside the game (documentary footage, for example) or given distinguishing cosmetic changes to players in game (with no gameplay ramifications). Decidedly NOT a good sign.
2) I have NEVER seen a game go through more "bullshit calculus" than this one. Reading posts like this one does anything BUT convince me that I want this game at its MSRP. WHAT A BARGAIN! Posted Image

#14 Syracuse022

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:33 AM

Oh fuck, it gets worse. Wish we were getting online multiplayer so that NOBODY would be feeling the need to pull a fanboy calculator out and we could all just hold hands and sing folk songs.

#15 Slightly Live

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 12:21 PM

Delicious.

#16 Niterider

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

this one

Oh my. Even Captain Obvious would walk away from that one. So much is wrong with that post, my head's going to explode.
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#17 mattacus

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:08 AM

Cocop, you were right. As upset as I am about the wasted opportunity that H:A represents, and despite how I feel that ever since his days at dailyradar.com Frank O'Connor has been a mediocrity multiplier, hearing Cortana's voice on the Silent Cartographer did get me a little tingly again.

#18 Syracuse022

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 10:52 AM

Whoops. Preordered.

I'm okay with paying half of the price of a game for half of a game. Especially when the half-game in question is the best game ever (except maybe Ocarina of Time).

#19 Vanwadilion

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 11:28 AM

I believe in voting with my dollars. And that seemed like a good way to make it clear that Halo 1 still had traction in my gaming lifestyle and that I was still interested in seeing it remade. I believe in voting with my dollars here too, so yeah, no preorder, no grunt funeral, I'll hope for a price dip or try to find it used for the right price, which I'm hoping won't take long given the myriad misconceptions that still litter forums regarding what actually constitutes the multiplayer offering.


Whoops. Preordered.

I'm okay with paying half of the price of a game for half of a game. Especially when the half-game in question is the best game ever (except maybe Ocarina of Time).


Your dollars have switched to the Republican party?

Edited by Vanwadilion, 25 July 2011 - 11:31 AM.


#20 Syracuse022

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 12:53 PM

I know, right? Apparently Master Chief was on the Red Team at times too. To be fair, I did use the words the right price in that first post. I thought that would mean $20-25 used. Turns out thirty dollars and getting to play right away was "the right price."



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