343 Industries released a Halo 4 wrap-up video that featured all the excitement and Halo 4 news from San Diego Comic-Con 2012 without all the waiting in lines. Check out the epic Halo 4 action in the video below:

Halo 4 Comic-Con 2012 Wrap Up Video »

If you want to relive any aspect of Comic-Con 2012, let me point you to our Comic-Con 2012 page, where you can walk down all of memory lane all day long.

Halo 4

I was lucky enough to attend the Halo 4 panel at Comic-Con 2012. About 1000 of my closest friends and I joined developers Kiki Wolfkill, Josh Holmes and Frank O'Connor to talk all things Halo 4. The coolest news (in my opinion) at the Halo 4 Comic-Con panel was about animation. The upcoming FPS from 343 Industries will feature brutal, awesome multiplayer assassination animations, and 343 showed off a couple of mode-specific animations at its Comic-Con 2012 panel.

The flag-carrier in Capture the Flag will be able to perform a massively cool kill. Basically, he'll slam players down, then embed the flag in his head or chest. That's good killing! Oddball will also offer a cool assassination. The holder of the oddball will be able to uppercut opponents to death, like Mike Tyson on bath salts.

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Halo 4

Our Halo 4 Spartan Ops Mode preview from E3 2012 reveals that the highly anticipated Xbox 360 game will get free weekly co-op content after the Halo 4 November 6, 2012 release date. Best of all, you and your buddy will see this co-op-centric continuing storyline mode for "months rather than weeks," according to Microsoft. The Spartan Ops content won’t expire, allowing you to replay the content as much as you’d like as long as you’re still an Xbox Live subscriber.

“The plan as 343 lays it out is to deliver weekly content updates that amount to five bite-sized missions for up to four players, plus one cinematic cutscene that lays out the underlying narrative driving a given week's scenario. Our behind closed doors E3 2012 demo took the form of a ground infantry combat mission, though fans can expect to enjoy the full gamut of Halo experiences, including vehicle-oriented missions and perhaps a few surprises that have yet to be revealed, as Spartan Ops unfolds.”

You’ll want to make sure that you and your best friend renew Xbox Live Gold on or before the Halo 4 release date in time for this new Spartan Ops mode. You’ll also want to find out more information about the new modes from our Halo 4 preview.

Halo 4

If you haven’t treated yourself to the recently leaked Halo 4 beta gameplay video that popped up on NeoGaf over the weekend, do yourself a favor and check it out this instant. Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s take a (blurry, bizarre, and by no means official) look at some of the features on display in the supremely odd video and subsequent screenshot leaks that have the Halo community buzzing (and doubling over with laughter given the phenomenally odd delivery system of said leak).

The first thing I noticed while watching the horrendously blurry gameplay video was that the speed of Halo 4’s combat seems much faster than previous Halo games. This could be because this is actually a custom match and the speed settings have been tweaked, or it could be the result of sprint no longer being exclusively an armor ability. If it's not a custom match, then it's definitely worthy of at least some concern.

I mean, the addition of unlimited sprint isn't surprising, given that it's a staple of every other modern shooter, and at least 343 is trying to bake it into the multiplayer fiction, but it will no doubt change the pacing and flow of multiplayer in a significant way, and could potentially take away from that "Halo-y" feel that people have come to expect from the series. The same goes for the weapon reload and switching speeds, which look to be quite a bit snappier than in previous Halo games. Again, could be a custom tweak. Too little info to say for sure.

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Halo Multiplayer Stats Graphics Reveals Some Impressive Figures

A new infographic from Bungie celebrates the studio's many years working on the Halo franchise with a staggering breakdown of the series' overall multiplayer figures. The total playtime is pretty wild on its own: 235,182 years, which is enough time to cross the Milky Way and back again if you're traveling at the speed of light.

Total kills accrued in multiplayer clock in at more than 136 billion, more than the total number of humans to have ever lived on Earth by 28 billion. The stats run pretty deep, covering everything from total number of "steaktacular" kills to the total distance that would be covered by laying out all player-captured screenshots on Bungie.net side-by-side. You really ought to just go ahead and hit the jump for a look at the full rundown. Bungie has not announced a new game, but there is a chance they will showcase it at E3 2012.

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Today on X-Play

Tune in tonight 6:30PM ET on X-Play as we go behind the scenes with a Mass Effect 3 Combat Designer, and visit Assassin's Creed and Far Cry developer Ubisoft Montreal. Full show details below:

  • On Location: Ubisoft Montreal
    Ubisoft Montreal is responsible for Assassin's Creed and Far Cry, and we'll cross the border and dig for details on both.
  • Mass Effect 3 Combat Designer
    Go behind the scenes with Cory Gasper on Mass Effect 3 and find out what it's like designing combat across an entire universe.
  • X-List: Top 5 BioWare Characters
    Mass Effect 3 continues BioWare's tradition of compelling story and rich characterization, and we'll reveal our five favorite BioWare characters of all time.
  • Dragon's Dogma Gameplay Preview
    Get a look at Capcom's first big step into open-world fantasy adventure with a sneak preview of Dragon's Dogma.
  • X-Play Recommends - Mass Effect 3: Infiltrator for iPad
    Can't get enough Mass Effect 3 on your console? Take it on the go with Mass Effect 3: Infiltrator for your iOS device.
  • X-Play Inbox
    It's time to open up more of your viewer mail in another round of X-Play Inbox.
  • Tsquared's Halo: Reach "Penance" Pro Tips
    Tsquared returns with more pro tips for multiplayer dominance, this time for Halo: Reach map "Penance."

Watch X-Play weekdays at 6:30PM ET, only on G4!

Halo 4

With the excitment surrounding the release of the newest Halo 4 Viddoc, I thought I'd compile a list of some of the highlights of our Halo 4 coverage.

Halo 4 Videos:

Along with the Halo 4 videos, we've also put together written previews, too.

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Today on X-Play

Tune in tonight at 6:30PM ET on X-Play as we check out Far Cry 3, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim's mod creation kit, and review PS Vita game ModNation Racers. Get full show details below:

  • Skyrim Creation Kit Gameplay Preview
    Bethesda's Todd Howard shows us how The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Creation Kit will streamline the mod installation process and take advantage of the availability of mods on Steam.
  • Far Cry 3 Gameplay Preview
    The next entry in the Far Cry series moves from the world of diamonds and arms dealing in Africa to an exploration of the nature of insanity, and we'll get early details.
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip for PS Vita Review
    We'll weigh in on ModNation Racers: Road Trip, the customizable kart racer for PlayStation Vita.
  • Kinect Star Wars "Duels of Fate" Mode Exclusive
    We'll go hands-on for an exclusive early look at the "Duels of Fate" mode in the upcoming Kinect Star Wars.
  • First Look: Borderlands 2 Trailer
    We'll have our first look at the gun-wielding, robot-grooving latest trailer for Borderlands 2.
  • Tsquared's Halo: Reach "Solitary" Map Pro Tips
    Pro gamer Tsquared returns with more tips from the gaming heavens, this time for reigning supreme on the Halo: Reach "Solitary" map.

Watch X-Play weekdays at 6:30PM ET, only on G4!

Halo 4 PAX Prime 2011 Panel Recap --  The Foundation And

Microsoft revealed long ago that its internal studio 343 Industries would be taking the reins on the Halo franchise from Bungie Studios now that the franchise creator is an independent operator. The handover isn't as simple as signing a few papers and getting the locks changed, however. The transfer of Halo user data from Bungie to 343 started last summer, and Bungie now confirms that the process will be finished on March 31 of this year.

What does this mean in practical terms? A Bungie blog post lays it out: "All live Halo data will be managed by 343 Industries, and Bungie will no longer be able to update game stats and player service records, to host new user generated content, or to operate the Bungie Pro service. All currently supported, Bungie-developed Halo titles will be impacted by this change." Bungie also promises to keep "historical Halo data" on its servers "for as long as the Internet and Bungie's data storage systems remain functional."

From now on, you can direct your web-based wanderings for all things Halo to the official franchise website at Xbox.com.

Source: Bungie.net

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary -- What You Don't Know

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is more than Halo 1 with a shiny coat of HD paint. It looks like 343 is shaping up Halo: CEA to be the belle of HD remake ball. G4 writer Miguel Concepcion recently got his hands on the game. Here's what he thought.

"In a year that has already seen its share of ports, remasters, and HD remakes, Halo: Combat Evolved is one of those few titles that just might have that fanbase willing to pay $39.99 for an HD overhauled version of this 10-year old game. Make no mistake, it visually doesn’t have the grittiness or polish of Halo 3 or Halo: Reach but this Anniversary edition is graphically updated enough that this might very well be considered the "definitive edition" to many. Purists will be pleased to know that the Warthog still fishtails like crazy and the pistol is still overpowered, much to the disappointment of the often-pistol-whipped Unggoy."

Check out our full Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary hands-on preview for more.

Halo Anniversary Preview

This weekend at New York Comic-Con Microsoft’s “Halo” studio, 343 Industries, unleashed a slew of details about Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, including the return of the fan-favorite multiplayer map Hang ‘Em High. We already detailed the game’s Kinect integration, but below the cut, you'll find full, official details of Anniversary.

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Halo: Glasslands Chapter Available Online

You can read, right? Good! You know what you should read about? Halo. Yeah, I know it's a game, but it's also a book series. Some literary pointy-heads probably aren't even aware of this, but there's a full slate of Halo stories out there in ink and paper form. The latest, Halo: Grasslands, comes out on October 25, and is set about a year after the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.

"That's great, Steve, but how will I know if I like this 'book' before I purchase it?!" I'm glad you asked, because I have a paragraph from the book for you to sample:

Agnoli reached down between his legs to pull out a volume at random, but BB was pretty sure he was keeping an eye on the office door via the reflection in the glass panel opposite. “Or will she transmogrify into her true basilisk form, and vanish in a puff of sulfur? I’d pay good money to see that.”

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. There's an entire chapter new online right now, and you should read it. It's like a demo for the novel.

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Fight Finishes For Last Remaining Halo 2 Gamers

Let's all just calm down for a minute. A Halo movie has long been a dream for fans, one that's almost happened several times. The closest we got was a project that had Peter Jackson producing and District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp directing. It was put to rest for a variety of reasons. Now there's information suggesting that a Halo movie -- from Steven Spielberg, no less -- is coming in 2012.

Not bloody likely, I say.

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As you may have read in part one of our Halo 4 PAX panel recap, the formation of 343 Industries and how the studio handled the transition from Halo contributors to full on Halo owners put the team in a unique and creatively challenging position. Hardly surprising when you consider they inherited one of the biggest game franchises of all time from one of the most acclaimed developers in the industry. For as much as their PAX panel was devoted to “debuting” 343 and its core creative talent, it was also a time for Halo fans to find out more about what the studio has planned for Halo 4, from the sound design to the overall aesthetic.

Halo 4 PAX Prime 2011 Panel Recap Part 2 -- The Sights And Sounds Of Halo's Next Chapter

Diehard fans of Halo are keenly aware, there are multiple channels through which the epic sci-fi narrative of Halo is told. And while most fans get their Halo fix through the various games, the story continues to be told and expanded upon via comics and books as well.  But if you think these transmedia efforts are standalone efforts meant to simple tide people over between games then 343 Industries creative director Frank O’Connor has some news for you.

“Everything we make in that franchise, whether it’s a comic book, whether it’s a novel, even action figures, they all feed directly into [Halo 4].”

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Halo: Reach Multiplayer Improvements And Features Detailed

A title update coming in mid-late September to Halo: Reach will add 4GB consoles, but nerf Armor Lock.

Previously, Xbox 360 gamers with tiny drives were out of luck. Reach is just too big to run on those 4GB versions of the 360. The update  will allow even the low-end 360s to get in on the fun Expect new playlists to roll out in early October.

That's all the good news. Here's the other news (whether it's bad or good depends on your Reach playstyle). In the newly updated version of Halo: Reach, using the armor lock perk will no longer knock stick grenades off your armor.

Read More »

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