rumor

First off, a quick apology for the lack of updates around here. Mrs. Narcogen and I have been moving all our worldly possessions crosstown in cardboard boxes, suitcases and backpacks over the past two weeks, and the job now is nearly done. For me, that makes... eleven apartments in thirteen years. The new place once again has a separate room for all the gadgetry, so that's where the New Rampancy Towers is located.

Iris Reaches Out And Touches... The Wrong Person

The Hushed Casket has quickly become, along with the CompundIntelligence group at Bungie.net and the ARG forum at Bungie.org, one of the best places to keep up with the alternate reality game promoting Halo 3, which is apparently called "Iris". There's still no hint of whether or not Forty Two is involved in this game, although it does seem that Bungie is a bit more involved this time around, and things are more clearly focused on the game. The Halo 3 comic, for instance, is a far more straightforward bit of storytelling with a direct connection to the game, as compared to the I Love Bees audio drama. This has led to a predictable criticism-- that if the game only attracts fans of Halo, as opposed to fans of ARGS, what's the point, since Halo fans are going to buy Halo anyway? I've wondered that myself more than once. Clearly the sales benefits of ARGs are indirect at best.

Those benefits are likely no comfort at all to college student Michael VanderZand, whose mobile phone number was concluded to be related to the game because of its resemblance to a number in an Xbox Live profile. For the full story, read rapture's piece at THX.

As for the game itself, the friendly (if a bit terse) AI called "Adjutant Reflex", mistaken by many as a monitor despite his lack of a numerical designation, has apparently been taken over by a more powerful and less friendly entity-- perhaps that is a monitor?

We're In For Some Chop

Yesterday I read at HBO that Louis Wu was linking to a purported list of Halo 3 achievements, but was a bit suspicious at first. Then, the authenticity of the list was seemingly confirmed when it was also located at a very official source-- xbox.com itself.

Imagine my disappointment, since I had just finished writing a long piece on how the achievements couldn't possibly be the real thing, but were just a hoax perpetrated by a fan with too much time on his hands. I posted the thing and deleted it within five minutes.

Even now, looking at the list, I hold on to a desperate hope that it's a red herring or perhaps a placeholder of some sort. If it's real, it's a spoiler, so click "read more" below for my look at the list.

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According to XBLArcade.com, German website xbox-arkiv says that the German ratings board, the USK, has been asked to rate Marathon 2: Durandal, indicating that a port of the Bungie shooter classic, already open sourced and available as Aleph One will be making its way to Xbox Live Arcade sometime in the future.

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Only a year ago, Bungie finally admitted they were, in fact, working on Halo 3, and had been for over a year.

Now, with the release of that game still, in all likelihood, more than half a year away, rumors of sequels, "true sequels", expansion packs and secret features are circulating through the labyrinthine tubes of the Internet.

PlayThree is citing unconfirmed, unidentified "sources close to Bungie" that state the following:

RUMOR: Halo 3 will run at 1080p, 60fps. MS apparently wants this to one-up ths PS3's claim to being the only "true 1080p" console. Bungie is supposedly testing this internally now.

UPDATE: Frankie, aka Stinkles, has smacked this report down hard in the NeoGAF forum. His response? BS. Confidently written BS, but still BS. Thanks KP at HBO for the notice.

REACTION: One can see why Microsoft would want this, but the record for past Halo games is that they will lock at 30fps and walk the line where textures and effects are more important than resolution or high framerates. That the rumor specifies that the Beta won't be 1080p is just a hedge, meaning this rumor gets to survive past that point, whereas otherwise people might assume that if the beta isn't 1080p, the game won't be. After all, Halo 3 has had a lot of work done to it so far: geometry, textures, effects. If it wasn't all done with 1080p in mind from the start, can this be changed so late in the process? And if so, why doesn't it apply to the beta?

RUMOR: Bungie is striving to make Halo 3 compatible with Xbox 360 Cores, but may have to drop to 30fps in some cases.

REACTION: That makes little sense. A hard drive is of use for caching content, reducing load times. How it affects framerate is difficult to see. Why Microsoft would want to make part of their installed base feel like they are getting a crippled version of a flagship title just for the "1080p 60fps" on the back of the box is beyond me. People who want Halo 3 will buy it regardless of those numbers.

RUMOR: Halo 4 will be a launch title for the next next-generation Xbox in 2011.

REACTION: Doesn't Bungie want to do something else for a change? Isn't the whole idea in letting Ensemble and Wingnut work in the Halo universe to give Bungie a break, so they can move on from Halo?

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Ahh, the luxury of being an independent developer and publisher. The luxury to redesign every level in your game at the last minute, while you tell fans you're just "printing boxes" because you wanted to make the game... well, fun, instead of just done.

Those days are over for Bungie Studios, and have been since their 2000 buyout by Microsoft. The company that doesn't give release dates has become the one that has them dictated to them.

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The Austin-American Statesman has an story on its site today that's mostly about Austin area game developers; However, it also includes an image that purports to be from Hail To The Chimp, an upcoming console party game from Wideload Games, developers of Stubbs the Zombie and home to at least seven Bungie alumni.

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Kotaku is reporting that a playable demo of the second installment in Sony's Halo-killer-wannabe Killzone franchise will be available before Bungie hits Xbox Live with its extensive Halo 3 Multiplayer Public Beta. Kotaku heard it from über Halo fan Luke Smith at 1UP, and I heard it from P_40E in #hbo.

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GameSpot has an item up that says Wideload Games, makers of Stubbs the Zombie for Mac, PC and Xbox, have applied for several new trademarks that may be connected to as-yet-unannounced game projects:

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Trakan, a moderator at the Cheap Ass Gamer forum, has posted scans of an ad for the upcoming Xbox 360 game, Crackdown, in Gamepro magazine.

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According to the scan, "specially marked boxes" of Crackdown will include an invitation to the Halo 3 multiplayer beta.


Rampant for over se7en years.



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Spartan182 discusses in his blog the possibility of plasma energy swords being dual-wieldable in Halo 3, based on suggestions in the Brute video documentary.

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UPDATE: I just got a call from my cousin today saying that he just read an xbox official magazine. In it he saw an article about halo 3. It has a confirmation that bungie will put dual swords in halo 3. Although I personally have not seen the article, he has told me that he will email me a pic of the page and then i'll submitt it here if it is true.

Halo 3 will have dual swords??? Or is it just another thing that your teammates can do that you cant (dive,wallcover,hit without droping weapon when dualweilding, etc.). I recently watched the new brute documentary video on halo 3.

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MereCatfish provided us with this early capture from Bungie's 7-minute-long Brute documentary. This one shows (along with an Elite and various lines of fire and information about local terrain) alterations made to the heads-up display, with the shield strength bar separated from the motion detector and placed dead center, straight up. What appear to be four grenade counters appear on the left: Frag, Plasma, Spike... and Shield? Current weapon and ammo information is in the upper right, and the lower right (where normally a single-wield weapon muzzle would protrude) is clear.


Rampant for over se7en years.



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Everyone has been discussing about halo 3"s boss battle at the end of the game( if there is one ). I have heard that you could be fighting gravemind and cortana, or even another brute leader. Some say that you will fight the prophet of truth. But after reading the blog HALO 3 On-line Co-Op. I decided to leave a comment on the covenant human alliance( human covenant alliance), and after looking over my comment I realized that what if the arbiter and the Master Chief become more of foes then friends.

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HALO 3 Co-Op speculation:
wrote this about 4 weeks ago elsewhere.

[quote]I've deduced that there MUST be Co-Op in HALO3...there has to be. Of course there is Co-Op in HALO2 off-line.
This hasn't been confirmed yet but it has to be there...with a 4 player team is what I'm envisioning.
Ooh the things I've read, studied, played, plus imagined sparks my so-called soul with the best and the worst possibilities to come in HALO3. (story line game play)

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Captain Jacob Keyes started to have bad luck from the first moments of Halo 1. His ship, preparing for a secret mission, was ambushed when the Covenant attacked Reach. They fled blindly, only to arrive at Halo 04 and find the Covenant waiting for them. After a valiant effort, the ship crashes on Halo and Keyes is taken prisoner.

The Master Chief and Cortana mount a daring rescue, so the player has to get inside a Covenant cruiser, find the captain, and keep him alive until the end of the level.

Almost immediately after, however, the captain's search for hidden weapons to use against the Covenant lead to the discovery of the Flood, who take him captive for the second time in the game. The Chief's second valiant rescue attempt fails, as they recover only the neural implants he needs to set the Pillar of Autumn to self-destruct, destroy Halo 04, and supposedly end this whole nightmare.

Crashed, captured and Floodified.

So perhaps Julie Benz should have known going in that there's a bit of bad luck associated with characters sharing the last name "Keyes" in Halo games.

Click "read more" from the front page for the entire article.

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