Halo 3: ODST

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Why Halo's biggest problem may be Halo itself

And what Halo 5 might have learned from Halo 3: ODST.

The original Halo Wars ends by putting itself in stasis, with the human warship Spirit of Fire coasting through void - its crew forced into cryosleep, its ultimate relation to the rest of the saga left open for debate. The in-game explanation for this uncertain denouement is the loss of the vessel's Faster Than Light drive. The creative rationale was perhaps Bungie's intense ambivalence about handing the keys to its universe over to Ensemble, developer of the Age of Empires games. Packed with all the floaty jeeps and energy swords a Halo fan could wish for, the plot of Halo Wars nonetheless sits at a careful remove from the numbered Halos, offering a separate cast and events that, for all their dizzying import, never quite overlap with the antics of Master Chief and co. Fast-forward to 2017, and even as the robust-looking Halo Wars 2 approaches release, there's the sense that the Spirit of Fire's fate has become that of Halo as a whole - a mass of trailing story threads and lost souls, waiting for somebody to give it a heading.

Halo 3: ODST was Bungie's grand experiment that paved the way for Destiny

How the streets of New Mombasa paved the way forward.

Some video game developers could make for great architects, just as some architects would have made great developers. I yearn for a Call of Duty map pack styled after Le Corbusier, and I reckon Richard Rogers could work wonders if he was allowed to design the Martian space station that houses the next Doom.

BBC News mistakes Halo UNSC logo for UN

UPDATE: BBC tells Eurogamer: "Very occasionally mistakes do happen."

UPDATE: The BBC has responded to its broadcast of a Halo logo during Thursday's News at One, admitting its mistake and apologising to viewers.

Bungie bids Halo farewell

Eric Osborne looks back at 10 years of Master Chief.

It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.

Microsoft announces Halo Fest

Microsoft announces Halo Fest

New game reveal at August PAX blow-out?

Microsoft will mark Halo's 10th anniversary with Halo Fest, a three day event taking place during the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this August.

Billed as "the largest and most expansive live Halo experience ever" over on Halo Waypoint, you can expect tournaments, exclusive panels and prizes.

Could it also see a new Halo title announced? Perhaps that rumoured remake of Combat Evolved?

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Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Microsoft to improve Halo Waypoint.

Microsoft will release Halo motion comic The Mona Lisa through Waypoint and the internet next Saturday, 23rd April.

It retells a story from the Halo Evolution anthology, set shortly after the events of Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved.

"Sent on a highly-classified mission in the debris field of the Halo artefact, the crew of the UNSC Red Horse discover a derelict prison ship – the Mona Lisa – adrift in space," reads the official blurb.

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No more Halo side-stories planned

343 Industries lays out franchise's future.

There are currently no side-story titles planned for the Halo franchise, new custodian 343 Industries has revealed.

Why I hate… Halo

I say goodbye.

In this new series of opinion pieces, some of Eurogamer's favourite writers reveal how they really feel about some of the world's most renowned, or most reviled, videogames.

Developers announce Haiti relief plans

Developers announce Haiti relief plans

Bungie and others ask for help.

Halo developer Bungie has announced plans to raise money for the relief effort in Haiti following last week's catastrophic earthquake.

The studio has said that it will divert 100 per cent of profits on merchandise sold through its online store to the American Red Cross.

Gamers have also been invited to play Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST online this Wednesday and Thursday while wearing a special emblem to signify their support. For every 1000 gamers who do, Bungie will donate $100, up to a maximum of $77,000.

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Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Plus: Master Chief set to return.

Around 2.5 million people have snapped up Halo 3: ODST in the two weeks since it was released.

That's according to USA Today, which also reports the expansion pack has generated over $125 million in sales and brought the total number of Halo games sold to 27 million.

But what about the rest of the Halo franchise? Any sign of that movie? "We're being very careful to pick the right time and the right partner," said creative director Frank O'Connor. No, then.

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Halo 3: ODST tops UK charts

Professor Layton in at two.

Halo 3: ODST is top of the All-Formats Top 40 chart this week following its 22nd September launch on Xbox 360.

Halo 3: ODST

Halo 3: ODST

A short, sharp drop.

Getting more out of the Halo universe was never going to be difficult. There was plenty of drama waiting to be uncovered in New Mombasa, just as there will be in the since-glassed extremes of next year's Reach. But getting by without the Master Chief was always going to be difficult. He's the apex predator of Halo's enormously diverse battlefield ecology, sucking in his breath and diving out of space stations, smashing the Flood without breaking sweat, and hijacking Ghosts with one hand tied behind his Mjolnir armour. Everyone else can only be so tough; can only jump so high, recover so quickly, and do so much damage without need of backup.

Halo 3: ODST does present a compelling alternative to the Master Chief, but the smartest thing about the game is that Bungie faces down this intimidating challenge by realising it cannot do so through one man alone. Although you control the Rookie, a seemingly fresh-faced but faceless new tip of the spear in the battle against the Covenant, the developer prefers to tell the story of New Mombasa through a series of playable vignettes, each of which showcases individual acts of very human heroism on the part of a scattered group of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.

The Rookie's story begins in space as the ODSTs plans their attack on the Covenant forces that have appeared above New Mombasa, equatorial home to the space elevator that connects the world to the war machine that sits reluctantly on its shoulder in geostationary orbit. They're going in, but as they do so - in a fantastic first-person introduction sequence that captures the violent insanity of outer-terrestrial deployment - a Covenant ship jumps away, and its slip-space wake throws everyone off their drop coordinates and leaves the Rookie unconscious, suspended in his pod above the streets until after nightfall.

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Halo 3: ODST live action ad airs

Actors simulate the real thing.

Microsoft has aired a mouth-watering live action cinematic for Halo 3: ODST, imagining the true battlefield experiences of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper.

Firefight could feature in Halo: Reach

"Probably has a good future home."

Bungie has said that the future of the co-operative Halo 3: ODST mode Firefight is not set, and that it has every chance of reappearing in future Halo games.

Halo 3: ODST

Brute fours.

I don't know about you, but I saw it coming. "This isn't the typical, huge, three-year cycle for our studio; it's one of three products we have going on, so it's a little smaller in scale," said Bungie community lead Brian Jarrard at the Tokyo Game Show last year. Yeah right. "It's going to represent hours of new campaign gameplay, but it's not a full, entire game like Halo 3." Yeah right.

Halo 3: ODST perma-bans begin

Illegitimate owners unmercifully culled.

Microsoft has begun permanently banning Xbox Live accounts and possibly the associated Xbox 360 console of people caught playing "illegitimate" copies of Halo 3: ODST.

MS clamping down on early ODST sales

MS clamping down on early ODST sales

Willl "take action" against buyers.

Microsoft has warned that action will be taken against those who buy Halo 3: ODST early.

The comments come after a French retailer sold the game to customers a whopping month before official release.

"We are investigating a very small breach in our distribution process around the early delivery of Halo 3: ODST units," Microsoft told Kotaku.

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Microsoft treats heading to EG Expo

Forza 3 and Halo 3: ODST on show.

Yes! More Expo games! We can hardly believe it either. Today it's Microsoft who takes centre-stage, tossing AAA Xbox 360 exclusives into the fray like thongs at a Timberlake concert. The Redmond giant isn't messing about either - the two games we're happy to confirm today are Forza Motorsport 3 and a little old thing called Halo 3: ODST. Yes, yes, we're aware that both of these titles will be in the shops at this point, but, as Tim Westwood might say - hold up, big dog.

343: There is no Gearbox Halo project

MS comments on rumour and speculation.

Microsoft has denied once and for all (probably) that Gearbox Software is working on a new Halo game following studio boss' Randy Pitchford's evasive behaviour in a Eurogamer interview last week.

Halo Waypoint to "aggregate everything"

May be for Xbox Live Gold only.

Microsoft's new Halo destination for Xbox Live, Halo Waypoint, is intended to "aggregate everything that you would want to watch from the Halo universe", but it's also "a lot more ambitious than that".

New Bungie IP deal "close"

Mystery game still unsigned.

Bungie has revealed that the secret, non-Halo game it's working on is still not signed to a publisher - but suggested a deal is "close".

No Halo: Reach reveal this year

Prequel will be "big, epic and fun".

Bungie has told Eurogamer that we won't be seeing anymore of Halo: Reach this year, following the game's high-profile announcement during last month's E3 Xbox conference.

Halo 3: ODST

Expansive.

If there's one thing Bungie and Microsoft want to get across about Halo 3: ODST, is that this is a full Halo experience that justifies its full-price status.

Three Halo 3: ODST maps revealed

Including one old friend.

Bungie has revealed the final three new multiplayer maps that will be included with Halo 3: ODST this September. They're called Heretic, Citadel and Longshore and you can see screenshots in our brand new gallery.

MS defends full-price for Halo: ODST

It's now "much more than an expansion".

Microsoft has defended the decision to charge top whack for Halo 3: ODST, despite Bungie originally promising a cheaper price to offset a short story campaign.

Digital FoundryODST: Halo Evolved

Taking the fight to Killzone 2.

The earth-shattering arrival of Killzone 2 earlier this year had serious ramifications for Microsoft's reputation for hosting the most technologically advanced shooters on console. Its answer: ODST, a brand new FPS set in the Halo universe but separate and apart from the super-soldier heroics of the iconic Master Chief.

E3: Halo 3: ODST

Drop-shocking feats.

If you're after four letters that tell you what a big deal the Halo franchise is, how about these: ODST. Try them out - only a series that's really put some big numbers on the board could follow them up with such a resolutely unsexy initialism. ODST sounds like a mid-western dairy farmers union, perhaps, or the name of a qualification you might need in order to operate a forklift truck. Both Bungie and Microsoft must be feeling pretty confident to let their favourite daughter go out on a Friday night dressed like that, then.

E3: Halo 3: ODST dated, Reach confirmed

E3: Halo 3: ODST dated, Reach confirmed

Reach beta invite with ODST.

Bungie has confirmed that it’s working on Halo: Reach, due in 2010, in addition to Halo 3: ODST, which has been dated for 22nd September.

People who buy ODST will also get access to the Reach multiplayer beta.

ODST’s new co-operative game mode, Firefight, will be shown off at E3 this week.

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Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack out on 9th April

800 Microsoft Points asking price.

UPDATE: It's been pointed out by many, many people that 9th April is the release date for the Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3. So it's probably that, as announced by Microsoft this lunchtime. The three-map pack had previously only been available to people who bought Halo Wars, which is why we didn't think of it. Mondays should be banned.

Halo 3 ODST to come with all DLC maps

Heroic, Legendary, Mythic and more.

Bungie has said all downloadable Halo 3 maps will be included with ODST later this year, including the upcoming Mythic map pack and the three exclusive expansion levels.

No Bungie DLC for Halo 3: ODST

Mythic map pack to be the last.

Bungie has no plans to create any DLC for Halo 3: ODST, as the developer views the expansion as "the final exclamation point" of its efforts to stretch the iconic brand.

Latest Halo 3 Mythic map unveiled

Forge-loving Sandbox vehicle playground.

Microsoft has announced the third map in the upcoming Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack, which also ships as part of the Halo Wars collector's edition later this month.

Coming Attractions: Shooters & Racing

What's gunning down the straight in 2009.

After indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, fighting and strategy and action and adventure, we conclude our look at what's coming this year with two fields which tend to put refinement ahead of innovation. Can shooters and racing shake themselves up in 2009?

Microsoft to "break the bank" at E3

Near and far 360 games to be shown.

Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer may "break the bank" at E3 next year by talking about Xbox 360 titles further than five or six months away.

Halo 3 expansion gets renamed

Halo 3 expansion gets renamed

From Recon to ODST. Catchy.

The forthcoming expansion pack for Halo 3 has been given a new name.

When it was unveiled at TGS last month, the expansion was titled Halo 3: Recon. But now, according to the Gamerscore blog, it's been retitled Halo 3: ODST. Trips off the tongue. Or, as Tom put it, "sounds like an ear infection".

There is a reason for the change, of course; ODST stands for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Many of them will feature in the expansion pack formerly known as Recon; they drop into the ruined city of New Mombasa, looking for clues about the Covenant's attack.

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Halo MMO had been green-lit

Was a prequel, and a "classic MMO".

Ensemble Studios has revealed that the Halo MMO it was developing for Microsoft wasn't just a prototype - it had been green-lit for production.

Halo 3 Recon

Bungie jumps in for the fourth time.

As you've undoubtedly gathered, Bungie got to show off Halo 3: Recon for the first time yesterday. It was a big deal for the studio, not least because the expansion was originally down to be unveiled at E3 - until Microsoft pulled the plug at the last minute.

"Maddie" still appearing in Halo 3 Recon

But has nothing to do with missing girl.

Bungie has said a character called Maddie could "potentially" feature in the new Halo 3 expansion pack - but confirmed there's no connection with missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.

Microsoft announces Halo 3 Recon

Microsoft announces Halo 3 Recon

Campaign and MP maps, autumn 09.

Microsoft has announced Halo 3 Recon with the tagline "new hero, new campaign, prepare to drop fall 2009". The game will include new multiplayer maps and Forge content in addition to, clearly, new single-player content.

According to Xbox.com, it's a "standalone expansion" that "lets you experience events leading up to the epic story told in Halo 3 through the eyes of a new hero in the Halo universe".

"The Halo 3: Recon campaign is an intriguing side story that takes place during the terrifying events leading up to the Master Chief's return to New Mombasa in Halo 3," the announcement says.

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