• Some Xbox 360 Games to Get Xbox One X Visual Upgrade Treatment

    xbox 360 games xbox one xWith the Xbox One X set to storm the world next month, Microsoft is gearing up their game library by releasing visual updates. Surprisingly, even some older Xbox 360 games available on the Xbox One X via backward compatibility are set to get the visual upgrade treatment.

    According to Xbox, a number of Xbox 360 backward compatible games will be getting an upgrade to support a higher resolution, 9X the original pixel count, and expanded color details.

    This upgrade allows to improve game visual quality without touching the game code in any way. It's called the Heutchy Method and "leverages the power of Xbox One X to let the Xbox 360 emulator present the very best version of the game possible with the existing assets--all without touching the game code."

    The number of games to get upgraded visual support is quite limited so far. The Xbox 360 games available for an Xbox One X visual upgrade are Assassin's Creed, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Halo 3.

    Halo 3 isn't the only Halo game to get visual upgrades in preparation for the Xbox One X launch. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is also getting a visual upgrade - this game collection includes all Halo games from Combat Evolved to Halo 4.

    Microsoft also has lots of plans to improve the graphical fidelity of other Halo games in the near future too.

    While we don't know whether Microsoft will release visual updates for any more Xbox 360 games, we do know that the company is planning to release many visual updates for existing Xbox One titles.

  • Halo 5 To Get a Weapon Balancing Overhaul

    halo 5 weapon overhaulWhile content updates for Halo 5 stopped some time ago, new balancing changes will be making their way to Halo 5 soon.

    The new balancing changes will bring a huge overhaul to the different weapons players can use in Halo 5. Many players are speculating that the balance changes are a method for 343 Industries to test the waters with changes that they may bring to Halo 6 when it finally launches.

    After 2 years of data to go through, those at 343 Industries that are still working on Halo 5 have decided on a new plan of action for the weapon mechanics in Halo 5: Guardians.

    The 343 team warned that not everybody will like the changes, but they think the balancing is for the best.

    "With a game and community as varied and nuanced as Halo 5, it's just not going to be possible to make everyone totally happy all of the time. Some folks may not like certain changes, while others may think some of these changes are great."

    A total of twelve weapons will be getting balancing changes, including the Assault Rifle and Battle Rifle.

    The Assault Rifle, for example, will be changed to make it more rewarding for skilled players.

    The Battle Rifle will also be toned down at close ranges to make it more effective at midranges and easier to counter in close quarters.

    To begin with, the changes will only be applied to a separate arena playlist called Weapon Tuning Playlist. If the changes work well, they'll be applied to all arena modes, all Warzone modes, and campaign.

  • OpTic Take Halo World Championship Win

    optic world championshipOpTic gaming has managed to hit their second consecutive Halo World Championship win this month after they faced up against EnVyUs in the grand finals.

    OpTic has been dominating the Halo scene recently. Unfortunately, they didn't quite perform as well as they may have liked to throughout the majority of the Halo World Championship. EnVyUs, on the other hand, looked as if they had the entire championship in the bag.

    Even though they had performed incredibly well during the tournament, we weren't ruling out the nV grand final win. In fact, to begin with, EnVyUs had won 12 games in a row. By the time EnVyUs had reached the finals, they had only lost a total of two games. With the two teams facing off in the finals, it looked as if EnVyUs could have easily taken the game from OpTic's grasp after the incredible performance from EnVyUs earlier in the tournament.

    Things took a turn for the worst on EnVyUs's side, however. While EnVyUs scored a quick 2-0 lead in the first game, which was CTF, OpTic managed to pull it back to score themselves a first win with a 3-2 scoreline.

    The next game was Slayer. It was also incredibly close, but OpTic took the win 50 kills to 44. nV took a huge lead over OpTic in game three, but OpTic pulled it back with a 100-65 scoreline in Strongholds.

    With game 4 on the way, things were now looking in OpTic's favor. It was a tight race, but game 4 CTF saw OpTic pull out a 1-0 victory.

    As a result, OpTic gaming are now two time Halo World champions and they happily took home the $500,000 first place prize. Team EnVyUs, on the other hand, took home $200,000 which is still something to write home about.

  • Xbox Game Pass Announced

    xbox game passThe Xbox Game Pass has been announced and it's seeking to be the Netflix of gaming.

    The newly announced Xbox Game Pass will cost users a monthly fee of $9.99, but with it will come unlimited access to over 100 titles. Unlike Netflix, users of the Xbox Game Pass will be able to download their games and play them - there will be no limit to the amount of games a player can download at once, as long as they have enough internal memory and their Xbox Game Pass subscription is still active.

    Some of the games included in the Game Pass are older titles that can be picked up for cheap, both digitally and in physical form, but a lot of the games are recent releases. Most titles on the list so far are considered to be very decent games, too.

    Highlights of the Game Pass include access to Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War Judgment, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and NBA 2K16. The Xbox Game Pass also includes a number of classic Xbox 360 titles and arcade games such as Kameo, Hexic HD, Perfect Dark Zero and Fable 3.

    So far the Xbox Game Pass is limited to select users, but it will be rolling out to the public later this year. It's expected that more games will be added to the Xbox Game Pass regularly, but most new titles will be Xbox One exclusives. There may be a waiting period between a game release and it's availability on Xbox Game Pass, though. While Gears of War and Halo 5 are available, neither Halo Wars 2 nor Quantum Break are available on Xbox Game Pass yet.

  • No Halo Wars 2 Competitive Ranking Yet

    halo wars 2 competitive rankingHalo Wars 2 is now available for Xbox One and Windows 10, across most regions. So far, critics have taken a liking to the real-time strategy game sequel, but the game isn't quite complete.

    If you were a diehard Halo Wars fan, you'll know that a big part of the multiplayer aspect focused on the leaderboards and ranking system. Thousands of players would compete to be the very best, and this kind of competitive atmosphere helped to keep the Halo Wars name alive strong after the initial release date.

    In Halo Wars 2 there isn't a competitive ranking system at launch, but it's for what we think is a good reason. David Nicholson, the executive producer at Creative Assembly, mentioned that they decided not to add competitive ranking at launch, "Because we want to make sure the balance is there. We think we've got the game well-balanced, with the two betas we had. But we continually make those balance changes. Our plan is to bring it out, but just not at launch."

    This means that any balancing oversights the developers may have missed during beta will be ironed out before they launch their competitive matchmaking system. So far no details on how the ranking system will work, but we'd imagine it would be a more modernized version of the original Halo Wars leaderboards, as opposed to the kind of system currently seen in Halo 5: Guardians.

    We'll have to wait to see how things pan out - for now, the rest of Halo Wars 2 is readily available for all to enjoy.

  • Halo 5 Forge Coming to PC

    halo 5 forge pc

    Is this real life? Yep, it seems that even though 343 Industries confirmed that Halo 5: Guardians wasn't coming the PC, we just end up getting more and more Halo content on the PC. The latest piece of the Halo PC pie are a set of free Halo 5 Forge tools for Windows 10 owners.

    Microsoft has named the piece of software as Forge - Halo 5: Guardians Edition and it will be coming to Windows 10 soon. So far we're not sure whether the tools have been built from the ground up for support on the PC or whether they've mostly been ported for use on the PC but there will be a few changes regardless. Here are some of the changes posted by Microsoft on an Xbox news post.

    + Keyboard & Mouse Support - For the first time ever, Forgers will have the option of using a keyboard & mouse allowing for more precision control than ever before.

    + Increased Resolution - Support for multiple resolutions including 4k.

    + Test and Play with Friends - Enlist the help of Friends to help build, test, and play your Forge creations on Windows 10.

    + Build on Windows 10 and Publish to Xbox One - Experiences built on Windows 10 can be published to and played on Xbox One, opening the doors for countless new experiences to be enjoyed by players all over the world.

    It seems as if the most important part of this is the extra precision Forgers will get with mouse and keyboard support. With this, players will be able to make maps a lot quicker which in turn should help boost the quality of maps for all players.

    Not only is this free piece of software coming to Windows 10 soon but the Xbox One version of Forge will be getting upgrades soon too.

  • Halo 5 is Getting Infection Mode

    halo 5 infection mode

    Finally Halo 5: Guardians is getting it's own version of the Infection game mode that has been popular in Halo since Halo 3. A custom gametype called Zombie which gained a large following during the Halo 2 days is where the Infection game mode was truly born however.

    In Infection, the game starts with the majority of players on the 'human' side. A small selection of players, usually just one or two, are considered 'infected' and they must hunt down the human players. If an infected player kills a human, the human will then respawn as an infected. In nearly all cases, all players are usually infected before the time runs out.

    The infected players are equipped with fast movement and a glowing green energy sword, whilst by default the human players will have the shotgun and the magnum at their disposal.

    343 Industries has slowly been adding new game types to Halo 5: Guardians since it's release and the latest Infection game mode will be added alongside the Ghosts of Meridian update.

    The new Ghosts of Meridian update will also add a number of other features and gameplay content, on top of a variety of new cosmetic items that will be available within REQ packs. Perhaps the biggest new addition to Ghosts of Meridian, besides the new infection mode, will be the Tyrant game map. Unlike most other new maps, Tyrant has been built completely in-house and has not been built within forge.

  • Halo 5 DLC Added, New Content Coming January

    Halo 5 DLC Content

    A brand new free DLC pack has been added to Halo 5: Guardians and it adds a range of new features. The DLC pack has been named "Cartographer's Gift" and it features a large number of new features and cosmetic items.

    The most important addition to the new DLC for Halo 5 is Forge. Forge wasn't added at launch like it was in previous Halo titles. The wait was worth it though because Forge in Halo 5 is the most complex version we've seen of the map builder yet. Players are given a huge range of new tools in the new Forge.

    On top of Forge, the Cartographer's Gift DLC has added a large range of new Spartan armor pieces, including two new armor sets, the iconic MARK IV armor set and the Raijin armor set. New emblems, new helmets and a variety of new Warzone REQ rewards have also been added into the latest DLC for December.

    The December DLC is just the start of it as well. A brand new free DLC pack will also be released in January and a sneak peak at that has revealed that the DLC will include a range of different weapon skins, including skins themed on different animals. As you can see in the image above, one such skin that'll be available in the January update will be an eagle assault rifle. Other skins include a magnum that has a wolf on the side and a carbine that is a full crimson red color with decals on the sides.

  • Daily REQ Packs Added to Halo 5

    REQ Packs Halo 5

    To help encourage Halo 5 players to play regularly, 343 Industries has added a new feature that rewards daily playtime in Arena and Warzone.

    Starting immediately, players are now able to earn two extra REQ packs every single day so long as they follow a couple of criteria. The first REQ pack can be earned by winning an Arena match, whilst the second REQ pack will be awarded to players for their first Warzone win of the day. If you expect to play Halo 5 daily and manage to have a winning game of both Warzone and Arena, you're essentially able to collect up to 14 free REQ packs each week.

    A daily login bonus isn't a new concept - in fact, we've seen countless games offer similar features. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain offers daily login bonuses to players for example, although for this reward players only have to boot up the game. Forcing players to win games in both Arena and Warzone to earn their daily rewards is great because it encourages players to play well, at least for the first few games of the day.

    Player quitting is still an issue in Halo 5 but this introduction of daily REQ rewards should help cut down player quitting too, even if it's just by a tiny bit. Will you be playing more Halo to pick up these new REQ pack rewards or does the daily winning incentive not mean much to you?

  • Halo 5 Guardians Sells 1.46M in First Week

    halo 5 guardians sales

    It should come as no surprise that Halo is one of the biggest selling franchises on the Xbox. Since the release of Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One, a lot of people have been wondering exactly how many sales the game has managed to make.

    Now that data is slowly coming in about sales around the world, fairly accurate information on Halo 5's week one sales are being announced. According to VGChartz, a website dedicated to reporting video game sales, Halo 5: Guardians managed to sell approximately 1.46 million copies in its first week.

    The exact first week number, according to VGChartz is 1,457,849 copies, although this does not include digital sales, so we could be looking at over 2 million copies at least.

    For an Xbox One exclusive title, 1.46 million isn't bad at all, but it is quite small in comparison to previous Halo releases. In fact, Halo 5 Guardians sold less copies than almost every other Halo release. Here's a week one sales rundown of the last eight Halo games.

    + Halo 3 (X360) - 3.81 million

    + Halo: Reach (X360) - 3.70 million

    + Halo 4 (X360) - 3.66 million

    + Halo 3: ODST (X360) - 2.21 million

    + Halo 5: Guardians (XOne) - 1.46 million

    + Halo: The Master Chief Collection (XOne) - 0.90 million

    + Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (X360) - 0.73 million

    + Halo Wars (X360) - 0.60 million

    We can't wait to find out how much the digital sales could impact the total week one sales number of Halo 5. Perhaps the total sales number could be a lot closer to the 3.81 million record that Halo 3 reached in its first week.

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