Archive for the ‘Ascendant Justice’ category


September 28th, 2009

A fond farewell…

For the last twenty-some-odd months, the staff of Ascendant Justice – Vociferous and Cocopjojo – has enjoyed bringing various Halo observations to this site; observations which were, in many ways, simply extensions of our own pre-existing conversations. The rich fiction of Halo begs a deeper understanding, and its vast universe, a more profound excercise of exploration. And for this reason, this site as an outward facing paradigm of those conversations has been a great blessing to both of us.

Furthermore, Jironimo’s leadership, both financially and with the site’s overall design and objective, has been irreplaceable. We’re not entirely certain what his future plans are for the site or its existing content, but his commitment to the staff throughout the Ascendant Justice endeavour has been thorough and well appreciated. Thank you, Ivan!

So it comes with some level of sadness that both of us will now part ways with Ascendant Justice. Not long ago, an opportunity emerged which allowed us to work with 343 Industries on an experience known as Halo Waypoint. While we can’t fully reveal our capacity with this project, we can say that Microsoft recognizes our readers’ interest in this site and the passion and love which encompasses that readership base – and for this reason, we owe you, our readers, the most appreciation.

Without you, there would be no Ascendant Justice, nor would there ever need to be one. So thank you for the attention you’ve provided to our site and we look forward to offering the same level of deference and respect to the franchise on Halo Waypoint as we have done on Ascendant Justice.

- Vociferous & Cocopjojo

The Prodigal

June 8th, 2009

A brief word on demonstrations and expansions…


The Best-Laid Plans

June 2nd, 2009

An overview of the fictional events witnessed in the Halo 3 ODST E3 ’09 trailers…

It’s hard to believe that a full year has come and gone since last year’s E3 conference; but it has indeed been an entire year. It’s also hard to believe that during this span of time we’ve seen no in-game footage of the new title – not a single still frame or screenshot, besides concept art and carefully extracted character models.  Thankfully, though, dawn has broken and in the blink of an eye we’ve been enveloped by ODST videos, screenshots, 3D renders, “field guides,” and much more.

Facing this sensory overload, we can only do our best to try and fit together the puzzle pieces that Bungie has handed us. For now, let’s put aside some interesting, but ultimately minor, points – such as a larger grenade count and flyable Banshees – and take a look at some important questions: What sort of situation has the Rookie found himself in on the ground? Where are his fellow team members? Where is his commanding officer? And – perhaps most importantly of all – why is he even here in Mombasa?

While most of these questions cannot be answered until we take control of the Trooper ourselves, I think we can all agree that Bungie has given us enough evidence today to allow us to start forming some solid ideas on what ODST has in store for us – and just maybe they’ve answered a mystery or two, as well.

So let’s take everything that’s been revealed so far and put it all together…

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Ground Zero

May 18th, 2009

A closer look at the city of New Mombasa…


The Hub

May 18th, 2009

With Halo 3: ODST’s release date drawing ever nearer, we have now opened a new page which will serve as a central menu for all of our ODST coverage. Our previous analyses can now be found on this page, and new write-ups will be added to it as they are released. Click the link below to be taken to our Halo 3: ODST coverage page, and catch up on any articles you may have missed!

The Hub


April 22nd, 2009

Regarding Thel ‘Vadam…


More Weight

March 10th, 2009

A detailed look at the fiction of Microsoft and Ensemble’s Halo Wars…

It would be unfair to suggest that there hasn’t been an exceptional amount of skepticism directed toward Ensemble Studios’ Halo Wars over the past few months – and there’s likely not been more weight placed on a single Halo title to succeed than since the franchise’s first release in 2001.

With Bungie’s trilogy masterpiece complete and Halo 3: ODST rounding off the series with style, Microsoft and their new Halo Studio are now at full stride, preparing to further their ambitions with the franchise. Halo Wars represents the first fruits of this effort and if Ensemble Studios fails in this regard, it could certainly bode dismally for the new studio’s future efforts.

Not only has the development cycle for Halo Wars been inordinately protracted, with a handful of release schedules missed, but the sales strategy for the game has generated severe resentment amongst many hardcore Halo fans. The publisher has required players who want Bungie’s Mythic Map Pack for Halo 3 to purchase an $80 collector’s edition of Ensemble’s title (the XBLM release date for the map pack is still yet to even be announced). This decision amplifies not only concern about the possibility of similar marketing cross-pollination between completely different games in the future, but even more so, it has generated concern about the overall quality of Ensemble’s product — the first Halo title made outside of Bungie’s studio. The question at hand in that regard is: “shouldn’t the game generate sales on its own merit, rather than having to resort to leaning on Halo 3′s still-existing massive fanbase?”

In the weeks preceding its launch, Halo Wars has been lauded by Ensemble and journalists alike as a grand story for hardcore Halo fans. Being cut from this cloth ourselves, we at Ascendant Justice seriously wondered if their words would be proven accurate or if they would in the end be nothing more than a marketing facade – or perhaps the result of said journalists’ lack of knowledge regarding Halo’s fiction. The little that we had seen, although amazingly rendered through Blur Studios’ computer-generated cinematics, was a bit disjointed and confusing within Halo’s existing fiction. We knew the Flood were involved, but to what extent? How would this be reconciled with the Halo trilogy, which prides itself (with its fans’ support) on being the preeminent introductor of the Flood – and Halo Wars takes place twenty years before the chronology of Halo: CE.

And so we have it: a crucible, much like the one witnessed in Arthur Miller’s time-honored tale. How will Halo Wars perform beneath a torrent of skepticism and imbedded frustration? Will it be worth its weight, proving to the masses that Halo fiction can be properly executed outside of Bungie’s four walls, or will its failure pave the way for further defacing of the franchise at the hands of a disconnected publisher?

These are the questions that permeated in our minds just a few days prior, when we – Cocopjojo and Vociferous – plunged headlong into the campaign cooperatively…

Important Note: The following is an extensive look at all of the events found in the game’s campaign and the prefacing fiction provided by supplemental works, including Halo Wars: Genesis. For those who have an interest in experiencing Halo Wars’ story firsthand, we seriously recommend that you play through the campaign prior to reading this piece.

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Advent Unlimited

February 23rd, 2009

These days are so far displaced from the ones which came before that I struggle to remember what changed along the way. I can recall with effortless nostalgia how things were the first day downloadable content had been made available for Halo 2, in late April of 2005. And just as easily, I can fondly evoke the memory of the day when the next pack was released, roughly sixty days after the first.

Nine maps in sixty days.

Nine maps. Sixty days. And not just any maps, but some of the best Halo 2 offered when it was all said and done.

For Halo 3, something has definitely changed. It’s difficult to determine if this is the maps themselves or the gaunt, three-piece packs they’ve been released in, stretching out now at seven maps over the course of a year and a half. It’s probably a little bit of both. Of course, this isn’t Bungie’s fault, nor is it the fans’. We often forget, until we’re aggressively reminded, that downloadable content isn’t all about extending the life of a title — to the effectors of policy, it is all about business.

The unfortunate side effect of this reality has forced us to endure almost an entire year while the Mythic Six have hidden in the background, silently lying in wait. For the most part, we know them only by name: Assembly, Orbital, Sandbox, Citadel, Heretic and Longshore. They are the last bastion of the Halo 3 multiplayer experience; Bungie’s final opportunity to carry the title deep into the years after its release, hopefully bridging a gap to their next big thing, whatever that may be.

With the publisher’s decision to divide the Mythic Six, even more pressure has been placed on the first wave of this multiplayer content stream, the second wave now being delayed until sometime this fall with Halo 3: ODST. Not only are these three maps walking into a deathly drought of Halo multiplayer content, but they must now bear the load of two map packs, staving off a waning interest in the Halo multiplayer experience for the next six to eight months until the other three are delivered.

Ascendant Justice has had the privileged opportunity to play through the first batch for almost a week now, sinking our teeth into the multiplayer environments you know as Assembly, Orbital and Sandbox. The question at hand is whether the front end of the Mythic Six will send the title into the ground once and for all — or if it will set the stage for the golden era of Halo 3 multiplayer…

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October 20, 2552

February 6th, 2009

A brief look at the day’s events…



January 20th, 2009

Regarding the Great Journey…