There was a bunch of Halo news released at Gamescom 2015 this week, here is your Halo News Recap in case you missed anything:
NEW CAMPAIGN INFORMATION AND MAPS REVEALED
A lot of new Halo 5 footage was released during Gamescom, this included some footage showing the second mission from the Halo 5 campaign. The mission itself features the chief and his crew attempting to overload a reactor at an ONI facility while being chased by some nasty Hunters. The clip ends with a Banshee space battle taking place in and around the exterior of the facility. For a more detailed analysis of the footage, check out Greenskull’s video breakdown:
Some new information about the length of the campaign was also released in a video by GamesRadar. According to them the Halo 5 campaign is going to cover human, Covenant, and Forerunner worlds, plus they say the campaign is going to be much longer than Halo 4. In fact it will be twice as long! According to the video Halo 5 was originally planned to be three to four times the length of the previous game, but was then scaled back. You can watch the entire piece below:
343 also released pictures of three new arena maps, and a new Warzone map, during their Gamescom announcement. The first arena map is Plaza, and it reminds me a lot of Halo 2’s Turf with the tight streets and urban feel. The map seems to be on the smaller side and may be set somewhere in Asia if the signs on the buildings are to be believed. Next up is The Rig, a map that looks a bit larger than Plaza and is set on some sort of human industrial complex. The name makes it seem like it may be an offshore mining facility of some kind, but no details have been released about it yet. Finally we have Coliseum, a brand new arena map built specifically for CTF gametypes. It’s a small map that features two elevated bases separated by a large trench. The bases hold flags while power weapons spawn perpendicular to them at either end of the map. There is even a small bridge with a missing section designed to allow players to flag juggle (flag juggling is back, by the way) from one base to the other.
Along with the arena maps, 343 also released pictures of a new Warzone map set on a snowy cliff face called Stormbreak, and some new pictures of Escape from A.R.C. They also showed off additional shots of Eden, which has had it’s lighting altered after player feedback from the beta, and map overviews of Fathom and Empire. Greenskull breaks down all the new maps and some other bits of info in his video:
SPECTATOR, SPECTATOR, SPECTATE THE MATCH
Bravo and Simms were both on hand to cast a pre-recorded match between Epsilon and Optic Gaming, and highlight some of the key features of spectator mode in Halo 5. First off, all players are now visible through terrain, allowing spectators to easily see everybody’s location on the map. The casters were even able to go back and pull instant replays, highlighting routes that the players took with red and blue arrows. Click the video below to jump right into the action:
The details of exactly how instant replays will be controlled in the game are still hazy, but the idea of instant Halo highlights has me pretty excited for the next announcement.
HCS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ANNOUNCED
Josh Holmes announced the Halo World Championship at Gamescom and it looks to be the biggest tournament in the games history. The tournament will begin this winter and features over a million dollars in prizes. While details are scarce at the moment, we know that 343 is focusing heavily on the esports community, and Holmes even went so far as to say the event will be inaugural, meaning we may see this become a yearly tradition. Check out the full announcement from Josh in the video below:
Halo Waypoint also released an update now that season 2 has concluded. The video features our old friend Bravo detailing the events of the HCS finals, a fun piece on Evil Geniuses, as well as some more information on the Halo World Championships. Watch the full video below:
EPSILON ESPORTS WINS GAMESCOM INVITATIONAL 2015
This weekend also saw the very first Halo 5: Guardians HCS event: the Gamescom Invitational. It featured some of the best European Halo teams, as well as America’s OpTic Halo, competing for a €10,000 (~$11,000 USD) prize pool. It was a fast and furious tournament but ultimately Epsilon Esports was crowned the victors. You can watch the whole event on Twitch.
HALO 5 LIMITED EDITION CONSOLE, CONTROLLERS, ACCESSORIES
Along with all the esports excitement Microsoft also showcased the limited edition Halo 5 Xbox One console. The announcement will come as no surprise to long time fans of the series: Microsoft has released a custom Xbox to celebrate every major Halo game. This particular release includes a bunch of cool stuff that we have seen in the limited edition of Halo 5, along with some extra in game exclusives like FOTUS armor and a custom multiplayer icon. The console does include a digital copy of the game, but as was previously announced, you can exchange this for a physical copy post launch. The limited edition console will cost you about $500 to preorder, and will be released on October 20th.
The consoles design was inspired by Spartan Locke, and the matching controller sports a similar blue and grey color scheme. However, 343 knows that some fans might not want to sport the “Locke” look this fall. That’s why they’re also releasing another controller in the classic green and gold of the Master Chief, and boy does it look sexy. Both are available for pre-order at the cost of $70, or about $10 more than a regular Xbox One controller. For more details check out Greenskull’s in depth video on the console and controllers:
Not to be left out of the Halo 5 accessory party, Astro has announced a new custom design for their A40 headset and M80 MixAmp to celebrate the release of the game. The new gear is done up in grey and blue to match the look of the console, and you get a special REQ pack with your purchase which will give you a custom in game Astro emblem, if you really wanna show off your love for this new headset. Astro says the new headset will be available in September and cost about $220 USD.
UK fans should also check out the Pink and Deadly edition of the console bundle, it comes with all the limited edition content along with a real life replica needler. It features lights, sounds, and the needles themselves even pop up and down when the trigger is pressed. The bundle is only available through UK retailer “Game” and Xbox has confirmed it is a specific offering and will not be available worldwide. The Pink and Deadly bundle will set you back about $700 USD.
HALO WARS 2 ANNOUNCED
Finally, fans of the classic Halo Wars RTS had something to cheer about when a teaser for it’s sequel, Halo Wars 2, closed the Xbox press conference. Currently, not much is known about the game other than it will be available for both Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2016, and is being developed by Creative Assembly, the same studio that built the Total War franchise. The short teaser didn’t reveal much, but what it did show looked pretty interesting, I can’t wait to see what this game has in store for Halo fans.
That wraps up everything Halo from Gamescom 2015! If I missed something or you just want to tell me how much you wished you lived in the UK so you could get that awesome needler, leave it in the comments!