Optic Gaming announces it’s Halo roster!

Okay, this video came out a few days ago. It was overshadowed by the Halo 5 Guardians new. Now that that has died down a little, it’s time to bring you some other Halo news as well.

The team announced will be Flamesword, Snipedown, I Got Ur Pistola, and Ace. Along with that, their coach will be Strongside.

This team will CLEARLY be a force to be reckoned with. With many pro championship between then, recently with Ace being first and “Ola” being second in last year’s, Halo 4 Global Championship.

Take a look at the official announcement by Flamesword.

This is some exciting news folks. For those who have wanted to see Halo come back to pro gaming, this I feel is likely the best shot for it. The team is so chocked full of talent. Hopefully this will give rise to more pro teams for Halo and once again Halo can be a premiere game on the competitive circuit!

Thanks to Tom Bradford for e-mailing me the link to the vid.


Halo Concept Art: Reach Weapons

This short ride through takes a look at UNSC hand-held as well as larger weapons of Reach. As always, click on pics to make bigger!

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_assault_rifle_concepts_by_isaac_hannafordThe assault rifle went through several iterations of design before the final was chosen. In the compilation above, we see how much of the same basic shape ws present in most of the designs. As well the top grey/bottom black color palette was used throughout. 

Some of those designs are really pretty cool. One of the more radical designs above would be second column fourth row. Still has the look of an AR, however that lower part is quite a bit different from what we know and is a different color. My favorite of these,not including the in-game model, is in the first column, second row. Very similar to the in-game model, with a few extras.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_battle_rifle_concepts_by_isaac_hannafordThe name of this piece includes “battle rifle”. However, we can tell that there is at least one sniper rifle and what looks to be an AR as well. The others did not in fact become the Reach style BR, but rather the DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle).

Note the similarities of each DMR design. There is however just enough redesign of each to differentiate them from one another. Very clean concept work as was the AR graphic above this.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_dmr_concept_by_isaac_hannafordHere we have a close-up of one of the DMR concepts. What is decidedly different it the strap. Given that weapons are stowed via magnet, it would have been a little odd to have this strap in the final. Of the art itself, there is a great deal of detail, especially towards the front of the rifle. Once again clean lines, highlight and shadow make for a crisp design.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_m6g_magnum_sidearm_by_isaac_hannafordThe Magnum. Simple in color, it still is able to give the sense of power to it.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_m41_ssr_mav_aw_by_isaac_hannafordNow this concept of the Rocket Launcher is impressive. The color application, detail and shading really bring this design to life. While some consider the rocket launcher a “noob” weapon, I still see practically everyone use it, LOL. I know it’s saved more more than a few times on the virtual battlefield.

Here are a couple of concepts of the shotgun. Essentially the same design, with the main difference being the elongated barrel of the top one. The 3/4 rear view is done with exquisite perspective to it.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_m247h_heavy_machine_gun_by_isaac_hannafordThe heavy machine gun up top we know was Jorge’s weapon of choice. This version shows us more of the mechanics of the weapon that we might not have taken time to see while playing the game.
Below that, the Grenade Launcher, itself a new addition to the lexicon of Halo, as of Halo Reach. At first it looks like a sawed off shotgun. The grip/hammer/trigger sections of the Grenade Launcher look to me like something out of the Old West, but modernized.

As you can see from both, Bungie continued to had exceptional concept art.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_m319_individual_grenade_launcher_by_isaac_hannafordA closer shot showing the detail of the Grenade Launcher concepts. What really add to these concepts is the subtle texture designs employed throughout the rendering. Scuffed metal near the “hammer” and trigger section, slight mottling of the dark portion of the barrel, as well as patterns on the top and bottom dark grey parts give this a realistic, more “lived in” feel to the concept.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_firearms_wav_m6_ggnr_by_isaac_hannafordThe Spartan Laser! This weapons saw some redesign. The biggest tell all from early concepts is this color change. While ultimately it went back to it’s normal color, the steel or brushed metal look has a more utilitarian look to it. It’s shape says Spartan Laser, the color does not. I’m glad Bungie stuck with the olive color.

Now let’s move on the large weapons. (Not the hand held kind)

This sketch is a concept of the automated defense platform that is seen in the massive cave where Halsey’s lab is located at. Even with lines unfinished, there is still plenty of shape to the design. I don’t know about you, but on Legendary, these helped. They might not have killed much, but they did attract the enemy enough for me to take them out.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_platform_missile_turret_01_by_isaac_hannafordThis missile turret is a very well done piece of art. Simplistic in shape, and even color palette, it’s the highlights and shadows that flesh out the design. I like the addition of the Spartan for scale.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_platform_vulcan_01_by_isaac_hannafordSimilar to the above in concept and design is the “Vulcan” weapons platform. A large gun mounted on a similar base as the rocket launcher was. As I’ve mentioned before in previous articles, the repeated use of portions of designs shows consistency. It becomes obvious these were made by the same in-game manufacturer. This would be important in a war time setting as likely parts could be swapped out of one platform for another.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_platform_vulcan_02_by_isaac_hannafordAnother concept of the Vulcan weapons platform. The one above is built for taking down larger craft while this version can take down smaller and likely faster craft.

In the last two concepts of this article we loo at the MAC cannon.
We now know that MAC cannons come is many sizes, shapes and of course firepower. They all however have a very similar delivery system for their ammunition. MAC stands for Magnetic Accelerated Cannon. The designs seen here look more like a very large Railgun. Itself a form of MAC cannon. (I wrote an article about the Science of Halo, Fact vs Fiction, regarding real world Railguns vs Halo Railguns. You can read that HERE.)

The art above is so very well done. You can see that it’s still in the concept phase as not all of the lines are clean. however there is enough detail and color to give shape and context to the design.

haloreach_equipment_unsc_weapons_platform_mac_cannon_01_by_isaac_hannafordAnd finally a side view of a concept of the Reach MAC cannon. This designed changed quite a bit into what what would eventually become the in-game version. That one was mounted higher and included a gunner’s station. We first saw this when Emile took the gun and used it to clear a path for Captain Keyes’s pelican. Emile was attacked by a Zealot. While he ultimately perished, due to a fatal stabbing by the Elite with an energy sword through the chest, Emile did manage to kill the Elite. 

As the player, you then were able to mount the platform as make way for the Pillar of Autumn to escape.

Mega Bloks made a building books version of this. Here is my review of that set. You can see for yourself the similarities.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at UNSC weapons from Reach. Tomorrow, we will take a look at both UNSC and Forerunner weapons of Halo 4.

If you like what you’ve been seeing and/or reading, let me know. Reply below!