Let’s Play Destiny Co-Op #15: Scourge of Winter

October 21st, 2014 by narcogen
Scourge of Winter

We chase after the Kell of the Fallen House of Winter, Draksis.

Blackstar and Narcogen are picking up with playing Destiny in co-op mode with the first moon mission: The Dark Beyond. (The Cosmodrome story missions and strike seem largely unchanged from the beta test, at least at their lower difficulty levels).

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Destiny (Video Game),Bungie,Bungie Studios (Organization),Cooperative Gameplay (Gameplay Mode),Cooperative Game (Game Genre),Let's Play,First Person Shooter,Shooter Game (Media Genre),Shared World Shooter,Action Game (Video Game Genre),DestinyTheGame,Activision (Video Game Developer)

Halo Nightfall In Cinema First Look

October 21st, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
You can watch a First Look (like what you see in theaters while you're waiting for your movie to begin) of Halo: Nightfall right now - looking good! Thanks again, Moorpheusl9.(Louis Wu 23:48:57 UTC)

Goin’ down to Stonetown

October 21st, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Goin' down to Stonetown IGN has posted a walkthrough of Stonetown, the newest iteration of Zanzibar. Awesome! Thanks, Moorpheusl9.(Louis Wu 23:46:26 UTC)

Remaking the Legend – Official Trailer

October 19th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Yesterday, the Halo Waypoint team released a trailer for 'Remaking the Legend', a documentary which looks at the development process of Halo 2 Anniversary. Pretty cool! Thanks, robofin117.(Louis Wu 20:40:33 UTC)

Brinstar (New Mombasa Mix)

October 19th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
A couple of days ago, Wahrer stopped by with a new remix he'd put up - he worked on the Brinstar theme from Super Metroid in the style of 'Encounter' from the Mombasa Suite, off of the Halo 2 soundtrack. Interesting combination - go listen! (Louis Wu 20:28:18 UTC)

A Noble Bloodline

October 18th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
It wouldn't be a weekday in October without new MCC content from IGN - so check out the video walkthrough of Bloodline, the successor to Coagulation (and Blood Gulch before it). Thanks, as usual, Moorpheusl9.(Louis Wu 15:50:27 UTC)

That’s-a big one!

October 18th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
A side note in the day-one patch story is of interest to UK gamers: According to Halo Waypoint, the release date in the UK has been moved forward - the original November 14 is now November 11, same as in the US. Nice! (Thanks, Moorpheusl9.) Not so nice - Spartan Ops is being delayed for EVERYONE - until December.(Louis Wu 15:48:39 UTC)

Hope you haven’t filled your Xbone drive yet

October 18th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Kotaku explains why you'll either be pre-loading the Master Chief Collection (pre-loading for digital copies is available now, actually) or maybe not actually playing on Launch Day - there's a 20GB Day-One download coming. (It's not even a patch - it's just the stuff they couldn't fit on a 45GB Blu-Ray.) On the plus side - that's an awful lot of content for your $60! Thanks, rhubarb.(Louis Wu 15:43:52 UTC)

Dare to Buck the Casino

October 18th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
robofin117 noticed some pretty nicely-done ODST armor (and a gun) for Fallout New Vegas - go play!(Louis Wu 15:39:34 UTC)

NYCC 2014 Special: Mega Bloks

October 18th, 2014 by theguardians@podtacular.com (Dust Storm)

Mega Bloks is a well known brand for any Halo collector and when it comes to putting forward a hefty penny to some awesome merch, specifically the Halo signature series. At NYCC this past week, they showed for the first time the finalized Scarab set, which is the third one in the Halo Signature series line. Lots of time and effort goes into every set Mega Bloks makes and big builds like the Scarab is no easy task. While we were in New York, we got to sit down with some of the Mega Bloks design team who work on the Halo sets to discuss how sets are designed from concept to final production, interaction with the community at large and all the juicy info on the upcoming Scarab.  On this special episode, we are joined by Tim Gorham, Social Media Manager for Mega Bloks Collectors; Felipe Rojas, Product Designer for Boys and  Mega Bloks Collectors; and Maxime Pouliot, Product Designer for Mega Bloks Collectors.

Destiny: What’s In A Name

October 18th, 2014 by narcogen

We've had Destiny awhile now, and I've been playing it as much as I can. I've finished the story, and I'm enjoying leveling up my three Guardians quite a bit. I'm having fun and I feel I've gotten my money's worth, but there are still a lot of things about the game that I think are worth notice-- things that may challenge the expectations of gamers coming from shooters, those coming from MMOs and RPGs, and those coming to the game straight from Halo.

One of these is how Destiny throws so many names at you in such a short time it feels like we've been hit in the face with Bungie' little black book of aliens. In comparison, here are all of the times that the aliens that comprise the Covenant are mentioned within the transcripts of Halo 1, taken from HBO:

Truth and Reconciliation

CORTANA: Captain! Hunters!

Silent Cartographer

CORTANA: Chief, Bravo 22 was bringing us some heavy weapons. After I saw we were up against Hunters, I thought you could use them.

343 Guilty Spark

SARGE: Looks like a Covenant patrol. Badass elite units, all KIA.

That is it. All the mentions of Halo's iconic enemy types that occur within the game's official transcript. The player encounters Elites, Grunts, and Jackals all before any character ever names them, and it's arguable that Sniper Sergeant's reference to "elite" is as an adjective and not a proper noun-- after all, at this point even he doesn't have a name. Hunters, for some reason, get special attention from Cortana, as they are called out by name at the end of their first appearance in Truth and Reconciliation, and then namechecked again midway through the next level, Silent Cartographer.

If players knew the names of these units, it came from the manual, from Bungie's website or fan websites, from gaming press, or Bungie's own PR. The game itself is practically silent on the subject. And why shouldn't it be? The Master Chief has been at war with the Covenant for quite awhile. The UNSC has been at war with them for four decades. The player doesn't know either of those things, either, without reading external material like the novels, but the point is that no time is wasted telling the characters things they already know just for the benefit of the player, especially when it is relevant to the greater context but not immediately relevant to the action at hand.

Contrast that to Destiny, which tosses out both names of enemy factions (Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal) as well as subfactions (House of Winter, House of Devils, Hezen Corrective, Virgo Prohibition, Hidden Swarm, Dust Giants, Blind Legion) and the names of individual enemies (Sepiks Prime, Draksis, Riksis, Aksor, Bracus Tho'ourg, Bracus Tha'aurn, Valus Ta'Aurc, and many others. It's not so much assumed that we already know these (they are mentioned in briefings as well as in the Grimoire) as it is assumed that it means something. It's even harder to make these enemies and their defeats mean something when they can be repeated infinitely-- and not just the way Halo missions are repeated. Campaign levels in Halo are repeated by looping the same moment in time. Each time you choose a level, you're returning to a fixed point within a linear story and repeating the general events, while changing only the details.

This is not the case in Destiny. In Destiny, you can defeat a boss, pick up some loot he drops, like boots or a gun, and then put on those boots and use that gun to fight the same guy a second time. You're not repeating a fixed point within the story, the moment when that boss character was finally defeated, even though the intro and outro sequences of story missions try to treat it that way. You're performing similar actions at a different time, as evidenced by the fact that you still have the boots and the gun from the first fight when you start the second. Like it or not, Destiny's loot stream enforces continuity on the coop nature of the campaign. It makes we wonder why Bungie didn't stop naming things with types, instead of individual names. It invites heckling to hear the Vanguard talk about how Sepiks Prime cast a shadow over the city and now it's great he's gone when I know he'll be back in five minutes. If it was just a Prime Servitor, a thing the Fallen keep bringing back into position because it's important and necessary for them, then I could get behind it. Same for all the other leaders-- I'll buy that promotion from within means that for every target we take out, eventually someone else will take his place.

It wasn't until Halo 2 that we knew the name of any individual enemies in the Covenant, and that was when he became a playable character-- the Arbiter. Later, we grew familiar with two boss characters, Truth and Tartarus, and another NPC, Gravemind. Before that, the game was basically the Master Chief, Cortana, 343 Guilty Spark, Captain Keyes, and a crowd of semi-anonymous marines and targets. Individual enemies in Destiny have no role within the story except as targets, unlike the Arbiter, the Prophet of Truth, and Tartarus. Why do they have names? Why do we need to know what those names are, especially when the factional similiarities between individual names is so strong, as well as the nature of each name so arbitrary, that it becomes difficult to tell them apart even after several plays?

Players in Destiny spend as much time with their Ghost as the Master Chief does with Cortana, but while the part got big-name casting, the character itself doesn't have a name, unlike many of the enemies he helps us fight. This is another area where the coop nature of the Destiny experience collides with the needs of a traditional linear narrative. Is the Ghost voiced by Peter Dinklage "our" Ghost or everybody's Ghost? NPCs in the Tower also have their own Ghosts, but we never hear them speak. Would they also sound like Peter Dinklage? This is complicated by the fact that Destiny cutscenes, even when playing story mode with a fireteam of four, only show the avatar of the current player. So each guardian appears to be interacting with their own Ghost and NPCs alone during cutscenes-- fireteam members disappear and reappear magically for reasons I don't think can be justified technically or narratively. This is a big step backwards from Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, where squadmates function together both as part of the story and as part of the action.

This week in Halo

October 17th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
This week's Halo Bulletin, released yesterday, contains some fun stuff: controller settings for The Master Chief Collection, an update for Halo 4 matchmaking, an update on our own Guilt o' Lantern contest (have you submitted your carving yet? WHY NOT?) and more story goodies from GrimBrother One. (And some nice screenshots.) Go read it - either at the newly revamped Halo Waypoint, or right here in our own Halo Bulletin Archive. (Apologies for the formatting - it'll get better over time.)(Louis Wu 22:27:35 UTC)

Bungie Weekly Update – 10/17/2014

October 17th, 2014 by Bungie.Net Content Feed
A visit with the Gunsmith.

Podtacular 446: NYCC 2014

October 17th, 2014 by theguardians@podtacular.com (Dust Storm)

This past weekend was New York Comic Con and unfortunately the Halo presence there was minimal.  Frankie had two different signings at Mega Bloks and Dark Horse, but other than that, 343 was absent this year, which is a little odd being just before the release of TMCC.  No matter however because there were plenty of displays showing off new Halo figures, toys and publications.  Thanks to our friends over at Halo Collector, we were able to attend and get some first hand looks at what’s to come.  There were many figures ranging from McFarlane Toys to Mega Bloks, to Square Enix, to Insight Editions, which had the only new, purchasable Halo merchandise at the show with the Halo journal and poster collection.  Kevin Hurd and Laird MacLean from Halo Collector join us to discuss the upcoming toys we saw this weekend.

Let’s Play Destiny Co-Op #14: The Archive

October 17th, 2014 by narcogen
The Archive

Blackstar and Narcogen are sent to investigate an archive of secrets collected by the Ishtar Collective and safeguard them from the Fallen.

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Destiny (Video Game),Bungie,Bungie Studios (Organization),Cooperative Gameplay (Gameplay Mode),Cooperative Game (Game Genre),Let's Play,First Person Shooter,Shooter Game (Media Genre),Shared World Shooter,Action Game (Video Game Genre),DestinyTheGame,Activision (Video Game Developer)

The least-known MCC maps

October 16th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Today's IGN video shows off the updated versions of the Halo PC (and Halo 2 Vista) maps being included with the Master Chief Collection - the nostalgia is palpable! Go watch. Thanks, Moorpheusl9. (Louis Wu 19:02:33 UTC)

Famous people in video games

October 16th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Watchmojo has put together their list of the Top 10 Celebrity Performances in Video Games... and the number one choice might surprise you. Thanks, The BS Police.(Louis Wu 18:56:47 UTC)

Campaign Leaderboards – coming next month

October 16th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Halo Waypoint has shown off the Campaign Leaderboards coming in The Master Chief Collection - and they look really spectacular. Go check it out! Thanks, RC Master.(Louis Wu 18:55:12 UTC)

Halo: Spartan Strike

October 16th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
A new title has been announced for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 - Spartan Strike is the followup to Spartan Assault. Looks pretty - and has Prometheans this time around! Go watch the trailer, and read about it at Halo Waypoint. Thanks, gamerguy2002.(Louis Wu 18:53:45 UTC)

Halo 2 Classic – running at 1080p, 60frames per second

October 16th, 2014 by halo@bungie.org
Yesterday, IGN posted some 1080p footage of Halo 2 Classic gameplay running at 60fps - go watch! Thanks, Moorpheusl9.(Louis Wu 18:50:18 UTC)