This is a reblog from Halo Waypoint:
We have returned from the annual pilgrimage of E3. In mostly one piece. Over the past four days, thousands of players stopped by the Halo Wars 2 booth to get hands-on with PC and Xbox One, and many more of you have joined the Halo Wars 2 beta, which still has a few days remaining. In fact, to thank you for your playtime, patience, and enthusiasm, we’ll be extending the Halo Wars 2 Beta on Xbox One through Wednesday, June 22. We hope you’re able to get a few extra battles in.
I myself am looking forward to spending some time at home with Deathmatch, which just released today in beta. Grim will be talking a bit more about Halo Wars 2 later on in today’s blog.
E3 attendees battle it out against one another in Halo Wars 2, with the help of coaching from 343 & Creative Assembly devs
We’re a bit exhausted from the past few days down in L.A., but we couldn’t end the week without an update to talk a bit about the past few days, as well as what’s on the way. Plus, we hope a few of you may be a bit excited about the Warzone Firefight update. We certainly are. Let’s get to into all that and more.
Community Doubles is this week’s social playlist, and it features a fine selection of community-crafted battlegrounds for you and a partner to try out. We worked with the folks at ForgeHub on selecting the top maps from their recent 2v2 map contest, and then worked with internal teams on getting them ready for their first stint in matchmaking.
If you haven’t seen the maps that made it into the Community Doubles playlist, you can do so here. As a quick side note, these new maps bring the total of community maps in Halo 5 to 43. We love what we’ve seen so far, and have no doubt that many more incredible community maps are on the way.
The Warzone Firefight release draws nearer, and various teams across the studio are finishing up the work required to get this sucker out the door and into your eagerly awaiting hands. As stated previously, this release is the biggest one yet, and we’re packing in as much as we can fit. You’ll of course find the improved and updated Warzone Firefight PvE mode on a variety of maps, the Warzone Boss Refresh, a brand new Forge canvas as well as accompanying Forge updates, Campaign Score Attack, updates to Warzone personal scoring, Series 1 of the HCS weapon skins, new places to play in multiplayer, fixes for incorrect rank display as well as non-English languages not displaying placement matches, a couple of achievements for Score Attack as well as Warzone Firefight, new vehicles, armors, weapons, and plenty more that we’ll start to dig into today and over the next few weeks. Let’s take a peek.
HFFL: I’ll have a breakdown of the above peek at the REQs at the end of the article.
Above is a sneak peek of just the new experiences that await. There’s a new Forge canvas in town, new places to play, and lots more. It only feels appropriate that we give you a closer look at the Temple Banshee before moving on. Stay tuned to this week’s Canon Fodder for more details on this one.
Next up, I pass the torch to Grim who will give you a bit more detail on Prospect, the upcoming Warzone Assault map, a tease of another Warzone space, the new canvas, Tidal, and plenty more.
On my desk, I keep a running list of reasons why I’d love to be 343 Industries UGC Director Tom French. Among the obvious ones like “epic beard,” “wizard powers,” and “pet pig,” are at least twenty others that all center around “making the Halo community explode with joy.” It’s no secret around these parts – or any others – that the Halo 5 Forge team has become ridiculously adept at delivering the proverbial goods, and their latest offering does nothing to derail that trend.
Introducing Tidal, a brand new Halo 5 Forge canvas – yes, canvas – for creative cartographers to get their build on. Tom French, sometimes a man of few words, has left a few words waiting for you just below.
HFFL: I’ll have yet another breakdown of the image below at the end of this article.
“Welcome to Tidal!”
– Tom French
Next up, here’s a quick look at another specific something we haven’t yet shown you. You may remember the mysterious top banner in Bravo’s Hints and Heroes blog, which at the time was an unreleased piece of concept art for an upcoming Warzone map. Today, we reveal the full piece of art, as well as an added bonus peice of artwork from that same map. Keep an eye out for tonight’s Canon Fodder for a bit more detail.
Over the past few days, we’ve been keeping a close eye on your thoughts regarding Halo Wars 2, and noticed a few questions in particular popping up around the community that we thought we’d elucidate a bit on. And now, your questions!
Q: Where does the story of Halo Wars 2 fall on the Halo timeline?
A: After decades adrift and declared “lost with all hands,” the brave crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire are mysteriously awoken above an ancient Forerunner haven known as the Ark (which Halo fans will remember from Halo 3). In Halo Wars 2, Captain Cutter and his crew will face one of humanity’s most formidable threats yet: The Banished – a fierce and powerful Brute faction led by a cunning and lethal warrior known as Atriox. Brought to life through detailed in-game graphics and the incredible cinematic artistry of Blur Studio, the story of Halo Wars 2 explores a vital and exciting corner of the Halo universe directly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians.
HFFL: Hmm, something still doesn’t seem to add up though. The Ark has been visited by both UNSC and former Covenant factions. Why wasn’t the Banished at the Ark then? And why didn’t these factions face off against one another then, instead of it being the Spirit of Fire? (for the record, I’m EXTREMELY happy that the Spirit of Fire has returned!)
Q: Tell me more about Halo Wars: Definitive Edition. Will it be an Xbox Play Anywhere title?
A: Players who purchase the Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition will find a pretty awesome bonus in the form of Halo Wars: Definitive Edition – an enhanced version of the original Halo Wars featuring improved graphics, additional Achievements and all of the DLC created for the original game – all running natively on Windows 10 and Xbox One. And yes, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is indeed an Xbox Play Anywhere title! Look for more information on Halo Wars: Definitive Edition in the coming months.
Q: Can you play the campaign cooperatively?
Q: Um, why do Anders and Cutter look different?
A: Because they are different – for both casting and technical reasons. The first Halo Wars game, for all its glitteringly wondrous CG, contained characters that Blur essentially “made up.” They were effectively “hand drawn” amalgams of character, rigging and aesthetics. Those characters were created in 2008, using 2007 tech and they looked fantastic at the time. But since then, the industry has made geometric leaps forward in technique and technology and the trend, rightfully, has been towards proper facial and performance capture. The end result is much better immersion in the story and far more believable “people” because they are people – recordings of the performance rather than a simulation or cartoon of it.
Gideon Emery and Faye Kingslee
HFFL: Honestly, I LIKED the look of the characters from the original Halo Wars. Cutter was more gritty and battle hardened. Anders looked good in the original as well. Bravo explains below that the actor for Anders couldn’t answer the call for the role again. I do think this new Anders is..well…pretty hot! As for Cutter, he looks a good 10 years younger in the trailer. I and several of my friends joke that it was cry sleep that helped to de-age him. I went so far as to say nanobots helped too…
As we mentioned, the actors have also changed. Gideon Emery is our new Cutter, and as you can see from his headshot, we’ve very literally captured his exquisitely sculptured features, but grayed and aged him to match the game chronology and further, show the impact of war and time on his face. Faye Kingslee is now the actress now playing Anders, and you’re going to love her performance – while respecting the original character, she’s poured a lot of herself into this. And while we loved Kim Mai Guest as our previous actress for Anders, getting our schedules to jive was a challenge. We’re really excited to have both Faye and Gideon join the Halo family, and we can’t wait to show you more of the story and the amazing Blur cinematics in Halo Wars 2.
We’ll have plenty more to say regarding Halo Wars 2 at various times throughout the year, so make sure and stay tuned to all your happy Halo haunts over the coming months. We can’t wait to share more. Back to you, Brav…
This week, we’re spotlighting Freakshow by WeedCough. It’s a creepy old, abandoned amusement park, and we can’t wait to get some games in.
HFFL: Huh, I like this so far. I’ve downloaded the map and will be checking it out first hand later today. (Feel free to join me for customs)
That’ll do for this week, friends. We’ll be back with even more details on the Warzone Firefight release next week. Don’t forget to hop in for some extra games of the Halo Wars 2 Open Beta – we’ll see you online. Oh, and if you’re local to Austin and like playing FFA, have a look here.
HFFL: Okay, let’s do a little breakdown of the REQs here:
Modes and Maps
So we knew we were getting Firefight and it was announced last week about Score Attack for Campaign. We didn’t know if we’d get a Warzone Assault map and we are. We didn’t know if we’d get a new Warzone map and we are. In fact one on Sanghelios. The last map is one for Arena. I’m definitely intrigues by this one. If we take a look at those concept pieces, this too looks to be on Sanghelios. Fantastic!
Um, nuff said for the moment. I’ll talk about this after the REQ breakdown.
I am VERY happy that the Valkyrie emblem is back. This has been the emblem for the HFFL Gaming Group for a LONG time and my personal emblem for even longer! As for the other two?? Hard to tell of course since they are blurred out. Any guesses? Any you hope are returning?
Okay, I’m guessing this is a new stance. Might not be, but we’ve gotten at least one with each new update, so this makes sense here.
With the Banshee revealed and the shapes and colors of these other two, I think it’s pretty easy to guess they are a Temple Wraith and a Temple Ghost. We’ll soon find out.
I definitely like the Cinder armor. It’s close to the new one from last month as well. Not a fan of the Cyclops helmet. It looks like it’s been scrunched down. Not really Spartan-like, IMO. The armor of it is fine though.
Hmm? An even BIGGER clip?? More bullets fly out? Curious.
That’s my best guess at this REQ, given the shape.
Again, given the shape, this definitely looks like the old style Beam Rifle. Strange that it gets three tiers, whereas the possible Plasma Repeater is only getting 1. Then again, the Brute Plasma Rifle only got one at first and then…
Brute Plasma Rifle
It is getting two more tiers. I like the look of the Sorrow of Teash!
Okay, let’s get to the Forge stuff!!!
A. Once again we have Olive the pig and she is BIG! So, I’m, guessing either super sized or hopefully scaleable object? Those sunglasses are still saying ‘transparency’ to me as well. I hope so!
B. First, B is for the flag. Indeed, it looks like we will have Golf back as we are getting the Golf Club and ‘D’ shows a Golf ball. So perhaps the ’18’ is the Golf cup as has bene in previous Halos.
C. These are those Solo Drinking cups. Hmm..are they going to replace the Golf cup or perhaps are these made for a Halo drinking mini-game?
D. Yep, a Gold Ball, but notice it’s not just white? So we will be able to change the color of it!
E. This is the submarine on Fathom. Oh, I can think of SEVERAL ways I can put this into the map and most of them not to be used as a submarine. Looks like this one will be able to have multiple color changes to it as well.
F. Beach gear! Umbrella, Chair, Surfboards! Cowabunga dude!
G. What’s this? We get to add texture to props? Maybe it’s just for Timmy the Whale. But hopefully not. Still, pretty cool!
H. A large sized Timmy, just as Olive is large too? Hmm…
I. Is this a Gauss version of the Rally Hog??
That’s a LOT of stuff to soak in folks. I don’t know about you, but I am EXTREMELY pleased with halo 5’s Forge. Tom French and his team continue to do AMAZING work with Forge!