LONDON — 15th November, 2011 — The wait is finally over. At 12:01 a.m. last night, legions of “Halo” fans worldwide celebrated the 10th anniversary of the genre-defining franchise that elevated gaming to mainstream entertainment, as the spectacular remake of the original classic, “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” hit retail shelves worldwide.
“‘Halo’ has made an indelible impact on gaming and pop culture over the past ten years,” said Bonnie Ross, general manager of 343 Industries. “Whether you’ve followed the story from the beginning or want to experience it for the first time, ‘Halo: Anniversary’ offers everyone a chance to relive the iconic classic before they embark on a brand new adventure with Master Chief next year in ‘Halo 4.’”
Praised by critics for its “mesmerisng” visuals and myriad of new features, “Halo: Anniversary” has been hailed as the “definitive edition” of the “most influential console first-person shooter of the past two generations.”
“As a studio, we’re incredibly thankful for the enthusiasm and support our fans have shown for this project,” said Dan Ayoub, executive producer of publishing for 343 Industries. “We know many of them have been waiting years for a remake of the original ‘Halo,’ so we’re elated to deliver a faithful re-mastering of the original classic that breathes new life into the legendary adventure.”
Developed by 343 Industries in partnership with Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity, “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” is a spectacularly re-mastered version of the original “Halo” campaign, packaged with some of the most memorable multiplayer maps in “Halo” history. With a bounty of new features, including cooperative play over Xbox LIVE, six re-imagined multiplayer maps and one new Firefight mission, a Classic graphics mode, Achievements, innovative Kinect and 3D support, and new challenges and story to uncover, “Halo: Anniversary” is a must-have experience for veteran Spartans and new fans alike.
Brand New Recordings of The Classic Halo: Combat Evolved Soundtrack Originally Created by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori; 2-CD Set Now Available To Pre-Order
New York – November 10th, 2011 – Sumthing Else Music Works, through its licensing relationship with Microsoft Studios, proudly presents Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Soundtrack featuring new orchestrations of the classic Halo: Combat Evolved music originally created by award-winning composers Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Soundtrack will be available as a 2-disc CD album released to retail outlets worldwide on November 15th through Sumthing Else Music Works www.sumthing.com and for digital download at Sumthing Digital www.sumthingdigital.com, Amazon MP3, iTunes® and other digital music sites.
Created in celebration of the 10th anniversary of one of the most beloved franchises in gaming history; Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a spectacularly remastered version of the original Halo campaign. In addition to all of the new features, achievements, challenges and new fiction to uncover, Halo: Anniversary includes six of the most popular multiplayer maps in the history of Halo and one new Firefight map for cooperative play over Xbox LIVE®.
For more information on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, please visit www.xbox.com/haloanniversary.
For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video game soundtracks, visit www.sumthing.com and www.sumthingdigital.com.
343 Industries detailed how Kinect integration will figure into the Halo Universe, including voice commands to reload weapons and throw grenades, and a gesture-based system to access an item database.
Three specific features were announced: Analyze Mode, The Library and Voice Commands.
Voice Commands – Using voice-commands, you’ll be able to reload your weapon, throw grenades, switch between Classic and Remastered graphics and more, all using only your voice.
Analyze Mode – Analyze Mode essentially lets you scan items during singleplayer into what 343i has dubbed the Library (different library, folks). Currently various vehicles, characters, enemies and weapons are confirmed. The feature is engaged by saying the word “scan” while training your reticule on an item. Your Library index will grow in collectible-style fashion as you analyze more content.
The Library – The aforementioned Library is an index where detailed item info can be stored, searched and read. You’ll access the content via gesture controls.
Sounds like you won’t be holding your hands up in the air with a make-believe Magnum in your hands just yet, but you’re likely to garner a few funny looks from friends and family members when you yell “GRENADE”!!!
This only half-confirms Microsoft’s assertion that Kinect integration will “not affect the core gameplay experience” and is merely an additive feature, which IGN reported on during our E3 coverage of Halo: Anniversary. Voice and gestured-based collection and perusal of goodies is one thing. Reloading, and specifically hands-free reloading and sticky spamming is something entirely different (translation: could change core gameplay).
Halo: Anniversary will be available November 15, 2011.
Beta for upcoming “Halo: Reach” title update opens 4 October on Xbox LIVE
LONDON — 14 September, 2011 — Spartans, grab some extra ammo and prepare to relive legendary battles on one of the most beloved maps in “Halo” history with “Breakneck,” the spectacular remake of the classic map “Headlong” included in “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.”
Announced today at the Tokyo Game Show, “Breakneck” (also known as “Headlong” in classic mode) takes you back to “Halo 2’s” fan favorite large-scale multiplayer map and lets you experience the pulse-pounding action like never before with “Halo: Anniversary’s” stunningly updated visuals:
HEADLONG – Section 21 once looked out onto the New Mombasa Orbital Elevator with pride and optimism. Now, with much of the city eviscerated by the Covenant’s brutal assault, the skyline remains only a shattered ghost of what it once was. Headlong provides a large, skyscraper-hemmed construction site with numerous vantage points for clever snipers as well as a large central basin for excellent vehicle combat. (8 – 16 players)
Additionally, 343 Industries debuted and demoed the very first “Halo” campaign level ever, “Pillar of Autumn” in its newly remastered, “Halo: Anniversary” form. While the corridors and corners of the iconic starship remain true to their classic form, the all-new graphical treatment and remastered audio paint an altogether more detailed, visceral introduction to the “Halo” universe and its iconic hero, the Master Chief.
Also in Tokyo, 343 Industries revealed new details around the highly anticipated title update for “Halo: Reach.” Announced at Halo Fest, the update features the return of the iconic “Halo: Combat Evolved” Magnum pistol and classic playlists designed to reignite the multiplayer mayhem players first enjoyed a decade ago.
The update will also introduce a myriad of multiplayer fixes fans have been clamouring for, including balancing armour abilities like Armour Lock and Active Camo. Players will be able to experience a first taste of some of these changes when beta playlists become available on 4 October. The beta will be open to all “Halo: Reach” players with an active Xbox LIVE Gold membership, and will culminate with the launch of a full suite of classic playlists and map variants when “Halo: Anniversary” arrives on 15 November.
For additional details on the title update and how to participate in the beta, please visit www.halowaypoint.com/TU.
With a bounty of new features including cooperative play over Xbox LIVE, a bundle of some of the most beloved multiplayer maps in “Halo” history re-imagined, new challenges and new story to uncover, “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” is a
We’re about to enter one of the most exciting holiday seasons for Xbox 360 and Kinect worldwide. And today we kick off the 2011 Tokyo Game Show (TGS) with updates to Forza Motorsport 4, Dance Central 2, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Gears of War 3, among many other titles.
Core gamers who’ve been fans for years – and families who are new to the console – will find the most anticipated titles of the season for Xbox 360 and Kinect on hand and playable at TGS. The show is expected to attract entertainment enthusiasts from around the world, and provide the ultimate gaming experience in Japan this year.
Some of the highlights:
· Some of Xbox’s biggest blockbuster titles including Forza Motorsport 4, Gears of War 3, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and two Xbox Live Arcade titles – Diabolical Pitch and Haunt – will be on display for the first time in Japan.
· For Forza Motorsport 4, Turn 10 Studios will reveal that the game will include four legendary Japanese tracks – Motegi, Fujimi Kaido, Tsukuba and Suzuka – when it launches on the 14 October in Europe.
· Seven new tracks for Dance Central 2 will be unveiled as a part of the 40+ songs that will be available on-disc:
o Mary J. Blige – Real Love
o Chingy – Right Thurr
o Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
o Kevin Lyttle – Turn Me On
o New Boyz – You’re A Jerk
o Armanni Reign – Reach
o Remy Ma – Conceited (There’s Something About Remy)
· Sports fans will be able to put on some downhill skis or step into the batter’s box as the bestselling franchise on Kinect – Kinect Sports: Season Two – will showcase Baseball, and debut Downhill Skiing and the new Challenge Play mode at TGS.
· Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will add the classic Halo 2 map ‘Headlong’ to its growing cavalcade of multiplayer arenas. And 343 Industries will reveal new details for the upcoming Halo: Reach title update, including the launch of beta playlists on 4 October.
TGS is also about marking the Xbox commitment to Japan, which is home to some of the most legendary games creators in our industry. One of the most important aspects of the Xbox business in Japan is the relationship with our third party development houses, and the news from those creators is plentiful:
· In addition to the five titles from Japanese creators announced at last year’s Tokyo Games Show, Microsoft will announce that Happy Wars, a new title from Toylogic, will be coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade.
· A demo of Project Draco from Grounding will be shown for the first time to media in an exclusive setting.
· Diabolical Pitch (announced at TGS 2010 as codename D) from Grasshopper Manufacture, and Haunt from NanaOn-Sha, will be playable at Microsoft’s booth. Diabolical Pitch will be released on Xbox LIVE Arcade next year.
So it’s an exciting time to be in the games and entertainment industry. Whether you’re dedicated to core games, attracted to adventure or enjoy the workout of dance, Xbox 360 and Kinect have games and entertainment for everyone.
You can find additional details about what we’re doing at TGS on Major Nelson’s blog, the latest press assets on Xbox.com/press and you can contact me with any questions. If you’re in Japan this week, we hope to see you at the 2011 Tokyo Games Show, booth 2-N1.