When Bungie released its teaser trailer for the upcoming Halo 3 related whatever it is, the video was quickly picked apart by fans and editors alike. One particular frame in the teaser displayed an image that read, "Maddie, where are you?" While some brushed off the frame as another cryptic Bungie message, others took it as a reference to the highly publicized disappearance of three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann last year while on vacation with family in Portugal.
As questions regarding the reference poured onto its forums, Bungie quickly responded citing the name as an unfortunate coincidence. "As always, all of the characters in our games are fictional. Any similarities between real life and the characters in our games are purely coincidental," community manager Luke Smith wrote. "That said, this is both an unfortunate and untended coincidence."
After going on a multi-week vacation, Halo 3 double experience point weekends are back this week and not only is there EXP to be earned, but there's achievement unlocking too.
In celebration of the release of Halo 3's second title update, this weekend gamers can earn twice the EXP in a new Legendary Brawl playlist. This is a twelve person FFA playlist that requires Legendary DLC which means that anyone who's willing to jump into the mix can earn the newly released achievements. It's twice the EXP, twice the fun and full of achievement possibilities. What's not to love?
During his chat with GamesIndustry.biz, Bungie's lead audio director (and musical legend) Marty O'Donnell talked about the impact the pre-owned market has had on video game sales, including games from smaller studios all the way up to big budget titles like Halo. Yes, Halo.
"It's hard to gauge the effect of used game sales on Halo, but I'm sure it's big," said O'Donnell admitting that "complaining about sales when you have a multi-million seller is somewhat difficult to justify, but it seems to me that the folks who create and publish a game shouldn't stop receiving income from further sales." O'Donnell then commented that, in the future, smaller studios will have an even more difficult time recouping dev costs and that digital distribution could be the answer that makes everyone happy. Now go buy an extra copy of Halo 3.
With the web positively on fire about the Keep It Clean teaser trailer released by Bungie this morning, we thought we'd give the video a once (and twice, and thrice) over and deliver to you our own analysis. This isn't some kind of lame picture analysis either. Nope, this here is one of them fancy video analysis ... um ... videos. Find out everything you need to know but are too busy to find out on your own by watching our detailed video analysis.
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After analyzing the recently released Bungie teaser with a fine tooth comb, eagle-eyed tipster LiquidThunder noticed a date in the trailer's "reboot text". The date, about 37 seconds in, is "01/06/09" which instantly makes our overly enthusiastic fanboy brains think, release date! But, as with the teaser itself, we aren't exactly sure what the date means. Let it be known that January 6th, 2009 is in fact a Tuesday and in the States, Tuesday is traditionally the day new releases make their way to store shelves. Keep that in mind and KEEP IT CLEAN.
UPDATE: According to Xbox Live the mystery is a new campaign experience. The trailer download page on Live includes the text, "High action and deep mystery await players in this new Halo 3 campaign experience. Prepare to Drop!" This is getting interesting!
After an unfortunate false-start at E3 2008, Bungie has finally revealed its hidden agenda for world domination. Today at 7:07am PDT, Bungie teased what appears to be a story expansion to Halo 3. Details are scarce but the trailer begins with falling escape pods onto a city landscape that seems ripped right out of Halo 2's infamous E3 in-game demo.
The trailer showcases a giant explosion that levels the clean city into a burning pile of rubble ending with the tag lines, Halo 3. Prepare to Drop.
If you ask us, this screams ODSTs! Not that we're swayed by the itchy typing fingers of hardcore fanboys and girls but we're all excited for whatever this title or expansion could mean for the Halo universe! Expect every morsel of information here on X3F as soon as it becomes available.
Update: We may have jumped the gun on this one as we have not been able to verify or duplicate this Halo 3 pop-up. In other words, it could have easily been faked. So, we'll tag this story with a fat "RUMOR" tag until further notice. Original blog is as follows;
As the Superintendent countdown ticks the seconds until Bungie's early morning surprise, we're pretty confident tomorrow's announcement isn't going to be a new Halo 3 map pack reveal. Instead, we'll be we may be treated to the official unveiling of Bungie's next project.
The in-game Halo 3 screen grab that you see above, surfaced over on the Bungie.net forums (the thread has since been closed) and is supposedly a Halo 3 pop-up notification that has been seen by gamers in certain time zones. The pop-up (similar to the one used to announce the second title update) is promoting the big Superintendent announcement with instructions to "Download the teaser for our next game" at Bungie.net or the XBLM. We're nearly certain this Halo 3 ad wasn't meant to pop-up until tomorrow morning, but someone's mistake is our knowledge gain. Get ready kids, because Bungie is set to unveil their latest project and we only have a few hours to wait!
Here we go again. Bungie.net has just been updated with a nifty little Superintendent splash page with a rotation of random phrases and a little countdown timer in the bottom right corner that's counting down to tomorrow morning. Specifically, Thursday, September 25th at 7:07AM pacific which is also the one year anniversary of Halo 3. And with all the Superintendent talk that has been going on and the mysterious achievements popping up, we're under the impression that we're counting down to the delayed E3 announcement. Or maybe not. One thing we're sure of is that we'll have our browsers refreshing Bungie.net early tomorrow morning. Now get excited!
Just in case you're totally out of the Halo 3 loop, earlier this morning Bungie, unleashed the game's second title update and with it comes new playlists, a new ranking system and ten new achievements. You can learn more about the playlist changes, how the ranking system works, the changes on Bungie.net and view a general title update Q&A over at Bungie HQ.
But what about the 20 other "Mythic" achievements and their 500 Gamerscore that were discovered last night? Well, we still don't know exactly what they're all about, but team Bungie has acknowledged their existence. In their latest blog post, Bungie makes note that the other "Mythic" achievements are viewable but says that "we're not ready to comment on any other achievements right now" and that "all will become clear in due time."
So, exercise your patience skills for the time being and, while you wait, start unlocking Halo 3's additional 250 Gamerscore. We hear there's a special treat for those who go after the Vidmaster Challenge achievements.
In a new encoded post on the official Bungie site a string of text teases what many anticipate was Bungie's canceled E3 reveal. Playing out like a snippet of a Hollywood script, the string of text details a conversation between a Captain - Codenamed: DARE.V.500341(S1) - following up on a squad request to an Admiral - Codenamed: SMN.ACTUAL - calling the shots from a location currently under siege.
At the time of this writing speculation continues to run wild within the Bungie Forums. Popular theories point to new campaign levels, a map pack retail disc with a new cinematic (as seen in Halo 2's map pack) or an entirely new title within the Halo Universe, specifically due to references of the MAC weapon. Some of the more interesting tidbits could easily be gleaned from scanning the string of text (available after the break). The primary, DARE, is given a code number which ends in S1 leading some to believe the string of text occurs prior to Covenant attacks during the SPARTAN-1 era (yr.2491) -- way before John-117 joins the program in 2517.
Which theory gets us excited? The mention of squads could point to a pre-Halo era tactical shooter in the original SPARTAN phase that led to the creation of Master Chief. Wild thinking and speculation but we can't wait to see where this one is going.
Later today, Bungie will release the second Halo 3 title update and with it a set of ten new achievements will be added which allows an additional 250 Gamerscore to be unlocked. All are now viewable on Xbox.com along with (surprise!) a bunch of additional achievements that haven't been officially announced. These additional achievements total 500 in Gamerscore which bumps Halo 3's total Gamerscore to a whopping 1750!
The additional achievements look to be the same ones that were leaked from PAX a few weeks ago which are the ones Bungie made it clear they wouldn't be talking about just yet. It's interesting to note that a few of these newer achievements make mention of "Mythic" maps, referring to six different (and yet to be announced) multiplayer maps called Assembly, Citadel, Heretic, Longshore, Orbital and Sandbox. Or so we think they're multiplayer maps.
Whatever is going on, we're totally out of the loop because Bungie technically only announced that the ten Legendary achievements would be included in today's H3 update. Maybe the posting of additional 500 Gamerscore worth of achievements was a mix-up by the Xbox.com folks OR maybe the Superintendent has something to do with this. We're confused, but REALLY excited!
He's baaaaaack! The Superintendent has once again graced Bungie.net with his plumbing presence warning Halo fanboys to "KEEP IT CLEAN!" You know, because he's the Superintendent and he says so.
If you recall (more info here), Bungie's little green box known as the Superintendent made his presence known during E3 when it became pretty clear he was somehow tied to Bungie's next big project reveal. Sadly, politics happened and Bungie didn't get to announce their project and the Superintendent went into hibernation. But now he's back and with Bungie's Weekly Update hinting that "the night is darkest just before the dawn" and that "dawn is about to break", we have a hunch that the BIG Bungie announcement is coming soon. In the meantime, please, keep it clean.
The anticipated second title update to the Xbox 360 power-house Halo 3 is scheduled to release on Tuesday, September 23. Bringing fresh achievements to the popular shooter as well as a host of new features to Bungie.net, the second update will also revamp the player rating system within the game as well as kick-start the September playlists which adds new variants of current maps into ranked games as well as retire classic gameplay variants like Rocket Race and Big Team Battle.
Some users will notice changes already made to Bungie.net but the changes will only become fully apparent when the update is released. Before our inbox becomes flooded on Tuesday with tips on broken updates there are a few things to keep in mind. Halo 3 ... pretty popular. According to Bungie's Luke Smith players may experience issues with everything from the playlists to actually obtaining the update -- a listing of possible Zero Hour scenarios can be found in the latest Weekly Update. In the update Smith also revealed one of the newly added achievements will not be available until September 25 also known as Halo 3's first birthday.
After a year of shelf-life and its battle for top seed in the Xbox Live rankings, what is your excitement level for the Halo 3 update?
Just as we did with our mountain of PAX swag, the HBO crew has been bitten by the generous bug and is giving away their swag stash to a few loyal Halo fanboys. Someone just like you. But you'll have to do some work (and reading) if you have any chance of winning their coveted PAX swag.
Up for grabs in HBO's Take Our Stuff Contest are a few t-shirts, mugs, Bungie goodies and some signed pieces of artwork including a Jen Taylor autographed pic of Cortana. RaWr! To enter, send team HBO a link (no attachments!) of a photo or vid depicting something humorous, clever or beautiful that has to do with the Halo'verse. Entries must be received by September 22nd, so leap on over to HBO for all the contest deets and entry specifics. Be sure to tell them X3F says "HI!"
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, head of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer talked about where the Halo franchise is headed (among other topics) and confirmed that multiple development teams are indeed working on numerous Halo projects.
"There's more than one team building Halo games right now. There are more than two or three teams building Halo things right now" says Spencer, adding "some of them we will own, some of them we won't." Hmm, interesting stuff. Currently, we're aware of two Halo titles, Halo Wars and the Peter Jackson projected dubbed Halo: Chronicles. So, if there's more than three teams working on games, how many Halo titles does that equate to and when do we get to hear about them? Whore that Halo franchise MGS, whore it out good!