Amid the seemingly relentless shutdown of fan projects by big publishers, here's one game that's not just thriving but has the blessing of its IP-owning overlord.
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A further selection of Xbox 360 titles have been added to the Xbox One back compatibility list today, including Halo: Reach, Fable 3 and Portal: Still Alive.
Co-op heist game Monaco: What's Yours is Mine and Halo: Reach will be the latest free titles in Microsoft's Games with Gold promotion, wherein it offers free titles to Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
Halo and Destiny developer Bungie must pay $95,019 (around £56k) to former composer Marty O'Donnell, a US court has decided.
Veteran Bungie developer Joe Staten has announced his departure from the company.
Sci-fi author and former writer and story consultant for Microsoft Game Studios, Eric Nylund, has joined up with Amazon Game Studios as its new director of narrative design.
A mysterious Halo-related project entitled Bootcamp has surfaced on the Korean Rating Board.
District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is still keen on making a movie based on Halo - but only if given control over it.
Update: In addition to the daily deals there are a collection of week-long deals. They've been dug up by the handsome people of NeoGAF.
Halo creator Bungie just made a boy's day - a five-year-old boy who spent nine hours in surgery having a liver transplant.
Bungie has released the first concept art of Destiny in response to a leak that spilled story details and other images.
Posting the image below on Bungie.net, the Halo creator said: Go ahead. Take a peek. It's alright. We weren't quite ready, but we will be soon, and we can't wait to finally show you what we've really been up to.
Stick around, we haven't even started yet.
Bungie's new game, Destiny, is still quite like Halo, according to someone who's apparently seen it in action.
343 Industries, the developer charged with continuing the Halo franchise now Bungie has left it behind, isn't ready to show the world Master Chief's face.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney is writing music with former Halo developer Bungie, he's confirmed.
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's next game Destiny will launch in the autumn of 2013 initially on Xbox 360 and the next Xbox, according to the former Halo developer's contract with new publisher Activision.
The contract, published by the LA Times and made public as part of the lawsuit between Activision and Call of Duty creators Jason West and Vince Zampella, reveals Bungie has signed up to make four "sci-fantasy, action shooter games" in the Destiny universe every other year from autumn 2013 to 2019.
On top of that, Bungie will make four downloadable expansion packs codenamed Comet every other year from autumn 2014 up to 2020.
Bungie has closed its support for Halo stats and released a new infographic that shows just how popular the first-person shooter series has been.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Halo: Reach lead designer Christian Allen has taken to Kickstarter to fund his resurrection of old-school, hardcore tactical shooters.
343 Industries will be in total control of the Halo universe from 31st March, franchise creator Bungie has announced.
Multiplayer data-tracking smartphone app Halo ATLAS goes on sale from 10th December, 343 Industries has announced.
An entrepreneurial gamer is attempting to sell his services as a virtual bodyguard in various popular Xbox 360 FPS titles.
The Halo: Reach Anniversary Map Pack is available to download from the Xbox Marketplace.
Halo Reach owners not interested in next week's Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary release can still enjoy its revamped maps via a DLC add-on, Microsoft has announced.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition's achievement list has popped up online, courtesy of Xbox360Achievements.
Halo: Combat Evolved's beloved Magnum pistol is coming to Halo: Reach multiplayer as part of an upcoming title update for the game, Microsoft has announced.
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 has admitted losing its way with Halo following the release of Halo 3 in September 2007.
Bungie has bid an emotional farewell to the Halo universe it created ten years ago.
Waves goodbye to Halo franchise.
You can only download the new free Bungie Mobile app if you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
But that won't be the case forever.
"We're not ready to announce phase 2 features at this time," wrote Bungie on its website. "That said, we hear non-iPhone users loud and clear. Same goes for feature requests covering forums, more robust stat integration and free puppies.
What is Bungie Aerospace - a mysterious spin-off company, a mobile game or something else entirely?
Bungie has banned "several dozen" Halo: Reach players who "habitually" idle or exhibit "AFK behaviour" (go away from their console) while playing Firefight Matchmaking.
Microsoft has released a demo for Halo: Reach.
At least 10 non-sequel Kinect games will be announced at trade show E3 next month, Eurogamer can reveal.
Mysterious Bungie spin-off company Bungie Aerospace has filed a trademark for something called "Crimson".
Microsoft is marking the Halo franchise's 10th birthday with a lavish 192-page hardback art book.
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?
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.
For millions of Halo fans the series' iconic monk chant introduction music is instantly recognisable – but it almost didn't happen.
A highly placed development source has confirmed to Digital Foundry that the new disc format being beta tested in a new dashboard upgrade adds 1GB to the storage of Xbox 360 game discs.
Gamers concerned that Halo creator Bungie's 10-year publishing deal with Activision may affect its hotly anticipated new game need not – and that's because Kotick's crew are "hands-off".
Panic ye not, for Microsoft shall make more Fable and more Halo and more Forza and more Gears of War.
Earlier this week Halo: Reach hit Xbox Live's Games on Demand service, priced at £49.99 – nearly twice the current Amazon asking price.
Bungie's blockbuster FPS Halo: Reach is the latest title to be added to Xbox Live's Games on Demand service, Microsoft has announced.
Behind the scenes with 343 Industries.
When Bungie said last week that its next project would be a "massively multiplayer action game", it was obviously joking - duh.
Bungie's hotly anticipated next game is a "massively multiplayer action game".
Halo: Reach's new Defiant map pack launches on Xbox Live from 15th March, Microsoft has announced.
UPDATE: All fixed. According to a post on Bungie.net, "The online team tells me the source of the problem was rooted out, physically destroyed, and tossed into a dumpster. Again, apologies for the early morning hiccups."
Halo creator Bungie is making a first-person MMO for Activision that will be called Destiny, according to a new report.
It is a little-known US developer, but it is behind the downloadable content of some of the biggest videogames of this generation.
The Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack has been made official.
The 10-game shortlist for this year's public vote prize at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards was announced this morning.
Images of what appear to be an upcoming map pack for Xbox 360 exclusive first-person shooter Halo: Reach have leaked onto the internet.
Microsoft has flashed a cheeky glimpse of Halo 5 to the Channel 4 news team - what happened to Halo 4?
The heavily rumoured Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake is being created by TimeShift developer Saber Interactive, according to a new report.
There are currently no side-story titles planned for the Halo franchise, new custodian 343 Industries has revealed.
The first rumblings of a Halo game for Kinect have been heard.
Five years after the 360 arrived, Microsoft has crowned 2010 as the biggest year in Xbox history.
Which of these trademarked and domain-registered titles will Bungie use to name its next and still mysterious new project?
Microsoft has further expanded the gargantuan Halo universe with a new novel that reveals the truth behind the mysterious alien race known as the Forerunners.
A staggering 1.3 billion games of Halo: Reach have been played since launch, according to a new set of stats from developer Bungie.
Recreated without vault.
Time-lapse video of the entire single-player campaign.
Stop us if we're getting too technical... on the other hand, don't bother! When the opportunity arose to talk tech with Bungie on any topic of our choosing, let's just say that we didn't hold back. And luckily for us, neither did the studio. What we have here is a titanic 6000 word insight into the technical make-up of the Xbox 360's biggest exclusive of the year.
Microsoft has responded to the exciting rumour that it is set to release a high definition remake of Xbox classic Halo: Combat Evolved with a statement that will do nothing to quell current speculation.
Final walkthrough from Noble Map Pack.
Bungie has revealed that it mocked up a multiplayer version of the Sabre orbital attack ship level used in Halo: Reach during the game's development.
Bungie walkthrough Noble Map Pack level.
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.
New arena for Noble Map Pack.
Microsoft remains adamant that a Halo movie will be made at some point – and it may even fund production itself.
Sony's PSP strategy has been the biggest let-down of the year, according to top US games retailer GameStop.
As promised last month, Bungie has lifted the level cap for Halo: Reach.
The global total of Xbox 360 consoles sold now stands at 44.6 million, Microsoft has announced. And the game-per-console attach rate has risen to 8.9.
A former Bungie developer has claimed that Apple was on the verge of buying the Halo developer just before Microsoft did back in the late nineties.
Microsoft's purchase of Bungie back in 2000 made Steve Jobs so angry that a special deal had to be brokered to appease the aggrieved Apple despot.
Halo: Reach is already the biggest-selling game in North America this year - bigger than Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Madden NFL 11.
Halo: Reach is all set to get a level cap increase, Bungie has announced.
Bungie has released the campaign matchmaking playlist for Halo: Reach and also plans to add new playlists and tweak other elements of the multiplayer experience tomorrow, 19th October.
Behind the scenes of Reach ad.
Halo: Reach's first map pack will be released on 30th November, Bungie's announced.
Bungie has said that the Campaign Matchmaking playlist for Halo: Reach is scheduled to go live on "approximately 10/19" (19th October in old money) pending final testing and review.
Legendary movie director Steven Spielberg is contemplating snapping up the film rights to the Halo franchise, if Hollywood chitter-chatter is to be believed.
Bungie's updated science fiction shooter Halo: Reach.
Changes have been made to the core gametypes and playlists and "a variety of issues" have been addressed.
"Please note that this is just the first of many updates," wrote community head honcho Brian "Sketch" Jarrard on Bungie.net.
Bungie has banned a whopping 15,000 Halo: Reach cheaters – and promised more is to come.
Bungie may well be preparing Halo: Reach downloadable content already, judging by images of the game posted on the official site that show 1250 available gamerpoints rather than the box-standard 1000.
Bungie has just released some insane play statistics for Halo: Reach's first week in the wild.
"Interactive entertainment will never be the same, with the launch of one title that has changed the way the world thinks about video games."
Phil Spencer's Microsoft Game Studios is trying to figure out how to make Halo "a more persistent engagement" that doesn't go "dark" for a period while a new pillar release is developed.
The widely-publicised launch of Halo: Reach helped double sales of Xbox 360 in the UK last week, according to official chart monitor Gfk-ChartTrack.
Bungie's shooter had a "marked effect on hardware sales", with Xbox "up 99 per cent" for the week ending 18th September, director Dorian Bloch revealed to Eurogamer this afternoon.
Halo: Reach, which launched last Tuesday, 14th September, shifted an estimated 300,000 copies in its first 24 hours at UK retail, and went on to enjoy the fifth biggest-selling launch week ever.
Bungie will tweak Halo: Reach's betrayal system and implement campaign matchmaking in early October, the developer has announced.
Bungie's final Halo game - Halo: Reach - has stormed to the top of the UK all-formats chart, becoming Microsoft's biggest ever launch title and the fifth largest UK release ever.
Bungie has revealed that Halo: Reach owners have collectively ploughed more than a millennia into the game's campaign mode.
Another mode detailed.
The long wait is finally over. It's been three years since the mighty Master Chief bowed out in 2007's epic Halo 3, and while last year's ODST exhibited plenty of minor tweaks and improvements to the base tech, there was little doubt that the vast majority of the Bungie engine had remained untouched. While the gameplay delivered, core gamers spoiled by the cutting-edge graphical techniques seen in titles like Killzone 2 really wanted to see what a next-generation Bungie game could deliver.
You've got to admire Microsoft's determination. Millions of dollars spent on marketing, years of work spent on promotion, and still only 12 people in Japan own an Xbox.
Bungie's Halo: Reach has achieved the astonishing feat of becoming the biggest game Microsoft has ever released.
Showing off - and analysing - our favourite cinematics.
Engine analysis on long draw distance sections.
Halo's space combat sequence analysed.
Does the game's most AI-packed level impact performance?
Bungie had no option but to sign with Activision, the publisher's CEO has suggested.
Bungie's blockbuster science fiction shooter Halo: Reach generated $200 million in day one sales, Microsoft has announced.
The impressive figure means Reach earned more money on day one than "any entertainment launch in 2010", Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer said during a keynote presentation to press at the Tokyo Game Show.
Reach also surpassed the all-time Halo 3 record for simultaneous Live users.
Microsoft has reassured Halo: Reach fans that it's trying to fix an issue that prevents 4GB Xbox 360 owners from playing Reach's campaign cooperatively, Eurogamer has been told.
We take Bungie's latest online.
A handful of the world's leading videogame analysts have questioned Microsoft's confident claim that Halo: Reach can and will outsell Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Halo: Reach developer Bungie's begun work on a new game engine for its recently announced collaboration with Activision.
343 Industries has given Halo Waypoint a makeover just in time for Halo: Reach's much-touted release.
Bungie announce pigeon scaring project.
Meet the Spartans.
Microsoft has confidently proclaimed "no game is bigger than Halo" just hours before Bungie's last entry in the science fiction shooter series, Halo: Reach, goes on sale around the world.
70 HMV stores will open tonight across the UK to welcome the arrival of Xbox 360 game Halo: Reach.
HMV's flagship Oxford Street London store will be among them. There's no mention of face-painting or a dressing-up competition (which doesn't mean you shouldn't).
Copies of Halo: Reach will sell from one minute past midnight.
Bungie's final weekly update before the launch of Halo: Reach mentions that it has already wiped Credits early players have earned in the game, and begun banning online cheaters.
"Remember Reach." The marketing slogan for Microsoft's latest sci-fi blockbuster is so very Halo. Portentous, epic and heavy with martial sentimentality, it also has a slightly overconfident belief in the resonance of the fiction behind these excellent shooters.
Reach, it is assumed you'll know (and care), is the name of the planet where humanity's war with the Covenant - in full swing by the time Master Chief's adventures began in Halo: Combat Evolved - started. Reach was invaded and catastrophically wiped out by the zealous aliens in their search for the artefacts of a lost civilisation. This genocide and the doomed struggle to stop it are the events portrayed by this, Bungie's fifth Halo game (and its mawkish advertising).
Reach is also what people will call this game, though, and that slogan sounds as though it's inviting you to venerate it before the fact. After Halo 3: ODST's flat stop-gap, Bungie and Microsoft are fervently willing this game to be a classic, and its position as a prequel and as Bungie's last Halo has infected both publisher and developer with a kind of backwards nostalgia for a brand new game. Remember Reach; this is where it all began; this is the game we were always trying to make; this is a monument to Halo's greatness. Gaze on it and be humbled, and think of the non-existent millions who died to bring it to you.
Microsoft honestly believes that Halo: Reach will outsell Call of Duty: Black Ops this autumn.
The Halo: Reach launch party guestlist has been revealed.
Among the celebrities are Rio Ferdinand, Jason Bradbury, Jameela Jamil, Ben Cohen and Mr Hudson - a group better known as the Elite Spartan Squad. But there are many more well-known faces besides: pop stars Pixie Lott and Amelle Berrabah from Sugababes, for example.
Boxer Joe Calzaghe is going, as is tennis player Andy Murray and smiley hurdles champion Colin Jackson. Other sporty types include retired footballer Lee Sharpe, Rugby player Dominic Waldouck, sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and 400m hurdler Perry Shakes-Drayton.
Microsoft still wants to make a movie based on the Halo franchise, but is said to be "intently watching" the TV landscape as a potential outlet for a TV series.
Credits earned by gamers before Halo: Reach's official launch will be removed, Bungie has warned.
Bungie will reset Credits earned and any gear bought ahead of the Xbox 360 exclusive's 14th September launch.
"Some of you are playing Halo: Reach a little bit early," communications man Eric Osborne wrote in Bungie's forum.
Microsoft has finally chosen the guy who will teach Rio Ferdinand and a galaxy of other sort-of celebrities to play Halo: Reach so they can get thumped by experienced players at the game's UK launch event.
Bungie's Marcus Lehto has said that Halo: Reach will still be great fun for people despite the fact the game leaked earlier this week.
Microsoft has issued a stark warning to those playing the leaked version of upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach.
Halo: Reach fans have been urged to "go dark" following the leak of the Xbox 360 exclusive onto the internet weeks before its official release.
The Halo series' iconic faceless hero Master Chief is in Halo: Reach, Bungie has revealed.
Bungie has destroyed a rumour swirling around German expo gamescom that upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Halo: Reach is playable in 3D.
Halo: Reach features over 40 custom assassinations, Bungie's revealed.
Bungie has remade Halo 2 maps Ivory Tower and Midship for upcoming game Halo: Reach.
EA COO John Schappert has admitted Activision Blizzard's behemoth Call of Duty and Microsoft's all-conquering Halo will remain top FPS dogs this year - but insisted they won't be so for long.
Bungie has warned budding Halo: Reach quitters that it intends to punish them for their transgressions.
"You are a cybernetic warrior in the future." Who can forget the words of Bungie, introducing Halo during the first Xbox E3 press conference in 2001? And, oh, how we sneered. Could you make it sound any more generic? What's that? You're "fighting with a small group of human soldiers against the group of aliens"? Next!
Halo creator Bungie has dismissed concern that new publisher Activision's current negative reputation will impact upon its next game.
It's been an interesting year for Halo creator Bungie. In April the US studio signed a mammoth 10-year publishing deal with Activision for the worldwide rights to "bring Bungie's next big action game universe to market".
Microsoft's launched a competition to find the best Halo: Reach gamers in Britain, one of which will lead five celebs as part of the Elite Spartan Squad.
Bungie has explained what it was on about when it said the new Xbox 360 bundle for Halo: Reach would have "custom sound effects from the Halo universe".
Bungie has unveiled two new modes for Halo: Reach at Comic-Con. Forge World is a huge, customisable landscape for the game's Forge map editor, while Versus Firefight allows players to play against each other as both Spartans and Elites in the previously co-op-only mode.
How Forge has changed everything for Halo.
Trepidation! Awe! Reverence! Art book!
UPDATE: Microsoft's just sent word that the bundle is indeed a GAME and Gamestation exclusive. It'll cost £249.99, and will be available from all GAME stores on 14th September.
The Halo: Reach Limited Edition Wireless Controller and the Halo: Reach Limited Edition Wireless Headset will be available in the UK on 3rd September. So a little bit later than in the US. The controller will cost £39.99 and the headset will cost £34.99. Both accessories are being produced in limited quantities and are available for pre-order at participating retailers.
ORIGINAL STORY: Microsoft has announced a limited edition Halo: Reach Xbox 360 250GB bundle.
Designed by Bungie.
343 Industries is stepping up its recruitment for a brand new Halo game.
Bungie thought about creating Halo 4 before settling on prequel Halo: Reach, community directory Brian Jarrard has revealed.
Bungie has said that Halo: Reach will feature scalable difficulty in co-op.
Bungie's final Halo game is a "labour of love" that will "push the envelope as much as possible" without "ruining the core for fans".
Team up and dig in - the Covenant will keep coming.
Reworked multiplayer mode from ODST.
At an evening event in LA tonight, Bungie confirmed that the Firefight co-op multiplayer mode from Halo 3: ODST would return in this year's Halo: Reach.
It will be expanded and improved with new gametypes, the implementation of full Xbox Live matchmaking support, and deep customisability via the in-game editor.
Check out this colourful Firefight in Halo: Reach screenshot gallery.
Expanded melee system, space-combat.
We'll never be this good. Or this badass.
Bungie has announced that Halo: Reach will be released worldwide on 14th September (15th September in Japan).
If you haven't checked in on it over the weekend, you might be interested to know that Invasion mode is now live in the Halo: Reach beta.
So, the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta is now open to all - well, all the people who bought Halo 3: ODST anyway - and now that the obligatory first-day rush has finished pounding the servers into digital paste, we're starting to get a clearer picture of how this tactical new twist on a classic multiplayer formula is going to work.
Whose house? That guy. No wait, that guy.
How Reach performs in a foursome.
The Halo: Reach beta that went live yesterday is "not quite fully operational", according to developer Bungie, but it should be a damn sight more operational than it was the other day when it was "getting hammered".
"It should be moving at a pretty good clip now that our online team has applied some technological fix-ups," the developer posted on its website late last night.
"You should still expect suboptimal performance, but you should also now be getting games with relative ease.
How does the beta's frame-blending look in action?
Digital Foundry measures joypad response times.
On Thursday night UK time, Microsoft and Bungie began to distribute the first Xbox Live redeem codes for the long awaited Halo: Reach beta, and Digital Foundry was one of the first 300 to acquire access to the sampler.
You saw a selection of 40 screenshots taken in-game yesterday, and of course Eurogamer posted some of our most early video captures. 36 hours on, we're ready to present our first tech analysis based on hands-on gameplay.
In terms of the beta itself, currently we seem to be limited to eight-player action set over two different maps, featuring a range of team-based and lone-wolf game-types. First impressions are that this is indeed "Combat Evolved".
We have a poke around and get snappy.
Rich Leadbetter makes a Noble effort.
Bungie has told Eurogamer that its deal with Activision, announced earlier today, is an opportunity to bring its new IP to a wider audience than just Xbox 360 owners.
Bungie has told Eurogamer that the Infinity Ward situation was no cause for concern in signing with Activision.
Earlier today Activision announced a 10-year deal to publish and distribute games based on Bungie's new, non-Halo IP, and the internet went predictably mental. We got Bungie's Brian Jarrard on the phone this afternoon to talk about the deal, the new IP and what it means for the developer.
Activision has signed Bungie in a mammoth 10-year publishing deal. The publisher will have worldwide rights to "bring Bungie's next big action game universe to market".
Microsoft has announced the public beta test for the much-anticipated Halo: Reach will run until 19th May.
That gives players just 17 days to check out the game after the beta's 3rd May start date.
That's even shorter than the three-week Halo 3 beta we once pointedly referred to as "so short".
Everybody's got to start somewhere.
The promotional blitz for Halo: Reach is set to start in earnest this week with the premiere of live-action advertising short "Birth of a Spartan."
The latest Halo: Reach developer diary gears up nicely for the imminent launch of the multiplayer beta, and its eight-minute duration offers up an excellent array of action for us to consider.
The game's visual make-up is similar to that of its predecessor: a mixture of indoor and outdoor environments, with the latter looking considerably more impressive than the former. The resolution boost over Halo 3 is immediately obvious though, as are the truly impressive lighting and particle effects.
Texture filtering also looks much improved (better than the alpha footage we saw in the first developer diary, in fact, though maybe this is down to the clip selection), and one of the most dramatic improvements is in the motion blur: far more apparent and more realistic. A nice subtle effect is some camera shake when there's an explosion. Also apparent is the inclusion of screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO), though its impact is subtle.
Microsoft has whipped the wrappers off Limited and Legendary editions of Halo: Reach.
So MJOLNIR we can almost taste it.
Hello! Like a lot of concerned citizens, for the past few weeks I've been very worried about jetpacks. How worried? Well, if I was writing about it in a text, I would write, "I'm *very worried* about all these jetpacks. (LOL)."
I don't mean I've been fretting about jetpacks because of their awful carbon footprint, or that I've been panicking over whether or not they'll spoil the nation's youth with idleness. No, I've been worrying about something far more serious: I've been worrying about how they're going to fit into Halo.
I've been worrying that they'll bust multiplayer right open, turning matches into nasty little bee storms filled with buzzing annoyances, that they'll break the game's tight convergence of weapons, environments and tactics, and that, really, they're only there as a gimmick to tempt people back from Modern Warfare 2.
Bungie has revealed to 1UP four new modes that will feature in Halo: Reach's multiplayer beta when it launches on 3rd May. The modes are Headhunter, Stockpile, Generator Defence and Invasion.
Headhunter is a free-for-all "party" game in which players collect skulls from defeated opponents and have to carry them back to a moving deposit zone to score. You can carry multiple skulls, but if you're killed before scoring you drop them; other players can see how many you have, and if you have more than ten, you get a flashing star over your head, marking you as a prime target.
Stockpile is a team game that "is sort of like Territories meets with Capture the Flag," according to Bungie. Neutral flags appear randomly across the map and teams have to return them to their respective capture points. The twist is that you'll only score once a timer counts down every 60 seconds, at which point any flag in the capture zone - even if carried by an opponent - will be added to the score.
The Halo: Reach multiplayer starts on 3rd May and Bungie's opened up about what we can expect from it.
All four maps - Boneyard, Overlook, Powerhouse and Swordbase - support jetpacks. But note that Halo: Reach has fall damage.
"It's not Halo 3 style where you can John Rambo off of the top floor and you're absolutely fine when you hit the ground," Bungie's Chris Carney told IGN. Fall damage won't be "brutal", he said, but should make fuel consumption a consideration on longer flights.
Bungie has posted a detailed preview of multiplayer game mechanics in Halo: Reach, ahead of the game's beta test on 3rd May.
The principal new info concerns the new Armour Abilities. These are the persistent special skills that replace Halo 3's one-shot Equipment. You can only have one equipped at a time, but can use it as much as you like, although it takes time to recharge.
You'll select your Armour Ability as part of a Load Out at the beginning of each round or match and every time you respawn. These are playlist and game specific - you can't define your own - and set your Armour Ability and starting primary and secondary weapons.
Bungie has invented new rewards for those of you who invest time in Halo: Reach's multiplayer. These will be based on earning Credits, Ranks and Commendations.
Bungie has detailed multiplayer changes planned for Halo: Reach ahead of the upcoming beta test, which kicks off on 3rd May.
Hold on to your hats, because jetpacks are coming to Halo: Reach. And you'll be able to try them out in the multiplayer beta scheduled for 3rd May 2010.
They were spotted by VG247 during a video promoting the multiplayer beta. According to the clip, the modes on offer will be "Assassinations", "Invasion", "Headhunter", "Active Roster", "Spartans vs. Elites" and "The Arena".
Only owners of Halo 3: ODST are invited to take part.
"Bungie's greatest game ever and truly, in our minds, the defining Halo title from Bungie." Brian Jarrard, community lead at the Seattle developer, isn't mincing his words when it comes to this year's Halo: Reach. Neither is Marcus Lehto, art director on the previous games and creative director of this fifth sci-fi shooter in the Halo universe the studio created, which it firmly states will be its last. Lehto says it's a "darker story of honour and sacrifice on a scale greater than anything we've created before."
Open world Halo!
Finish the fight already.
Microsoft has announced that the Halo: Reach beta will kick off on 3rd May.
It's "on track to be the largest beta programme of its kind on any console" according to the press release.
Halo: Reach is due out this autumn on Xbox 360 and beta access is guaranteed for people who bought Halo 3: ODST.
Bungie has said once and for all that Halo: Reach doesn't use Project Natal.
Bungie's best looking game yet.
Bungie has reaffirmed Halo: Reach as a standalone entry for the series, stating that both spiritually and in terms of content, "Halo: Reach for us is not Halo 4."
Bungie's shown Halo: Reach and revealed an impressive new engine that is far and away the best the series has seen.
Microsoft and Bungie have confirmed that Halo: Reach will see multiple Spartans defending the planet Reach against Covenant invasion.
Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg reckons Halo: Reach will be king of the sales castle come the end of 2010 and has even dismissed competition from Gran Turismo 5.
Bungie is still keeping quiet about plans for Halo: Reach, but has hinted that Halo 3: ODST's Orbital Drop Shock Troopers may return.
A man on the internet has secured what look very much like blurry digital camera shots of Halo: Reach in action.
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.
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.
Bungie yesterday said that it is in no rush to start talking about Halo: Reach what with Halo 3: ODST yet to ship.
Steven Spielberg is in negotiations to develop a Halo movie, according to a report by IESB.
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.
Microsoft has said Peter Jackson's Halo project isn't in the bin after all - it's just "on hold".
Peter Jackson has confirmed the Halo project he first announced nearly three years ago is in the bin.
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".
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".
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.
Good news, Halo buffs - Microsoft is launching a new "destination" on Xbox Live especially for you.
Microsoft is working on a series of seven short anime films titled Halo Legends.
Halo 3: ODST may have nothing to do with Microsoft's Project Natal, but Bungie president Harold Ryan reckons there's scope for overlap in a certain future game.
Bungie has revealed that Halo: Reach will be a first-person shooter and launch in autumn 2010.
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.
Oh dear. Wily bloggers have uncovered blank Achievement listings for several unannounced Microsoft games - and several heavily rumoured ones - in the run-up to the E3 conference that begins in 20 minutes.
Not content with Halo 3: ODST, Bungie is rumoured to be working on a second new project called Halo: Reach, due for release next autumn.