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Cody Miller of HaloReachIsNotCanon.Net played the Destiny Alpha on PS4 last week and came on to talk about the footage with Blackstar and Narcogen. In this first segment we cover three areas of the game: character creation, a story mission, and the Tower.

Further segments later this week will show exploration, multiplayer, and a strike.

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Jason Jones tells you everything you need to know about Destiny (almost) while also showing off a few new character designs, environments, enemies, and map locations. There's a shot of a Venus map, and a location in the overview map called "the reef" which I'm guessing is the asteroid belt.

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The first sixteen concept art images from Destiny, set to the track "Eighth" by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, released as a reward for completion of the alpha lupi ARG.

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Polygon has now done a follow-up on their earlier piece about Destiny. In Bungie's new game, humanity apparently aren't yet galaxy-roaming colonists, and the action seems centered on our own solar system.

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Okay, I admit it. After the announcement of Halo: Reach, set to come out in 2010, only twelve months or so after this year's Halo 3: ODST, I was set to bash Bungie for being unoriginal and Microsoft for upping the production quota on the goose that laid the golden egg(s).

I had a piece all written, with a pleasantly unpleasant pun in the title, about how this was only to be expected; that Microsoft almost certainly extorted... I mean, exacted from Bungie a promise to continue on with at least X more Halo titles after receiving their independence. This would appear to be true for all situations where X is two or larger. Originally I had thought perhaps ODST would be it; that was probably naive of me.

Of course there's always every chance that there are people in Bungie who want to continue with Halo. Just like Id software nearly split in half over the decision of whether or not to revisit Doom with Doom 3, one might imagine that some old-time Bungie devs want to go back to doing a game and a sequel and let the spinoff studios handle the third game, a la Marathon and Myth. It also seems possible, though, that there are Bungie devs who have not worked on anything but Halo, and perhaps some of those want to keep doing it because they like it, and others want to do something else because they're tired of it.

ODST, I figured, would be an expansion pack: some new campaign and multiplayer levels to tide us over while Bungie works on the Next Big Thing. In some ways, perhaps that's true. However it also looks like we're getting a lot more out of ODST than just that, and the design team have made some intriguing choices, many of which were on display at E3.

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Of course fans expect that a Halo game will look good. Maybe it won't be the absolutely most edge-bleedingly, envelope-pushingly, buzzword-compliantly beautiful game on the market at release, but it will look good.

According to Kotaku, then, Halo Wars is a Halo game, and it looks good:

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WorthPlaying has a quick preview of Wideload's upcoming Hail to the Chimp party game, and despite a couple flubs ("GNN" instead of "GRR" for instance) they did like the game. Story includes a half-dozen screenshots as well.

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Penny Arcade doesn't hate Halo anymore (well, at first they loved it, then they hated it, then they sort of... well, at any case, now Tycho says:

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TrackZero at Evil Avatar got to see a closed-door demonstration of two campaign levels from Halo 3. His verdict? It's a keeper if you like Halo, at least a rental if you don't.

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You may have read somewhere else already that press reviews of Halo 3 (much like Halo 2 before it) are handled in a somewhat different way than other games. Bungie doesn't mail out review copies to journalists in advance; if they did, it's possible the game's ending would have been spoiled by now. GamePro has an article up that details this alternative procedure.

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1Up's latest piece on Halo 3 covers the "Bungie Recommends" feature that will take game variants and Forge map variants from individual player shares and suggest them to the community at large. That'll be how custom community-made gametypes, like Halo 2's honor-rules zombie, or dawn of the dead variants, will spread in Halo 3. They've also continued their Halo 2 retrospective up through the Arbiter levels.

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TotalVideoGames has put up a short preview of Halo 3 based on the showing of Tsavo Highway at Leipzig this year. Like a lot of similar previews, they're calling the graphics "improved" since the Beta, probably not realizing that campaign was more detailed than multiplayer all along-- and has been since Halo 1.

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Okay, so not everybody is in love with Halo 3. Over at the Hushed Casket, Midnight calls it "fun" and details the changes. Rapture calls it a bigger, prettier Halo 2, and it's most decidedly not a compliment. Of course you can't please everybody, and some things (like Halo) become so popular that the only way for anybody to make themselves cooler is to not like it. The guys at the Hushed Casket aren't like that, though, so if they've got a beef with the game, there's probably something to it.

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More articles about the Halo 3 Beta around the web:

GamingExcellence likes what they see but think Bungie has taken a "safe approach" to changes in Halo 3.

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