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Halo used to be a juggernaut in the gaming industry. Its success is the reason the Xbox even exists today, with Halo serving as the system-selling launch title for the original Xbox. When the 360 came around, Halo 3 continued to sell Microsoft consoles and became the highest grossing game in the series. New Halo titles used to be events for gamers and now, we only get controversial or lackluster entries. Worse still, the series seems to be on life support. There’s no 10th anniversary remaster for 3 this year and 343 Industries has confirmed 6’s reveal “won’t be soon.”

Halo’s previous success put it as a solid rival to even Call of Duty. However, Halo 3 was a peak from which things only went downhill for the franchise. The next entry we got in the series was Halo Wars, an RTS made specifically to be played on Xbox 360. While different from past games, Wars didn’t sell anywhere near as well as them. Ensemble Studios, the game’s developers, were even shut down before Wars released due to controversy with Bungie.

Then came Halo 3: ODST which, while most applauded what content it had, was panned by many critics. The biggest complaint was that it cost $60 but felt more like Halo 3 DLC than a full game. The final game made by Bungie was Halo: Reach. While many applauded it as a quality send-off from Bungie, many others weren’t fans of the gameplay changes. From what I noticed, this was where the first major wave of people left the fandom.

Bungie left to work on Destiny and 343 Industries was created by Microsoft to continue work on the series. Their first big project in the series was a remaster of Combat Evolved and, despite positive reviews, it wasn’t anything new. Halo 4 ended up being 343’s first big expansion of the franchise. It ended up being an incredibly polarizing game due to major changes in aesthetic, gameplay, and music. This game marks the beginning of the 343 era, but that also meant that Bungie purists lost interest in the series.

From here on Microsoft decided to release a bunch of minor games. We got Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike, a duo of top-down shoot ‘em ups that went under the radar of most gamers. When the Xbox One came out, we got our first teaser for future Halo projects. This included hints at a new game, a mini-series, and even a Steven Spielberg-produced TV show. However, next to nothing shown at the E3 2013 conference ending up coming to fruition for the series besides the Ridley Scott-produced mini-series.

Then 2014 came around and we got the remaster of Halo 2 with The Master Chief Collection. Hyped as potentially being the first system-selling game for the Xbox One, it ended up being incredibly disappointing, with a plethora of bugs and shoddy multiplayer servers. Once more, many fans lost faith in the series. Halo 5: Guardians looked to rectify these mistakes the next year, but it ended up being the most polarizing entry in the series. Most agreed its multiplayer was fantastic. However, it shipped with a campaign many found short and uneventful, it added micro-transactions to the series, and it didn’t even have split-screen.

This game ended up being the last straw for many, myself included. I’m personally no longer excited about this franchise’s future. Halo Wars 2 was a breath of fresh air, but it wasn’t fantastic and it seems to be all we’re getting this year from 343. There are still plenty of chances for announcements throughout the year, but if 343 didn’t have anything to show at E3, that’s most likely a false hope. As bleak as things seem for Halo, 343 seems to be taking their time and focusing their resources on 6. Here’s hoping that the series can regain its lost fanbase and become a respected shooter once more.

I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Gaming

Metallica takes center stage on the battle arena of the Fortnite Festival, showcasing their musical prowess in an epic PVP showdown

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Metallica will be headlining the Battle Stage at the Fortnite Festival, and fans can look forward to an epic performance later today, on the 13th of June. The entire lineup of the legendary heavy metal band has been transformed into digital avatars for the ever-growing gaming platform. Fans can now enjoy their greatest hits and even engage in a thrilling musical player-versus-player game mode.

The collaboration between Metallica and Fortnite marks the start of Fortnite Festival Season 4, featuring an exciting lineup of six Metallica songs, such as “Enter Sandman,”  “Fuel,”  and “Ride the Lightning.”. Additional songs will be introduced as the season progresses. By choosing Epic’s premium Festival Pass, you’ll have the opportunity to unlock all four Metallica band members as playable skins. How about a showdown between Lars Ulrich and Goku?

The aspect that captures our attention is the 16-player musical battle royale. The Battle Stage offers a challenging experience that pushes players to their limits, requiring both physical stamina and a captivating stage presence. Players will find themselves immersed in the intense energy of the four tracks playing simultaneously. Perform with skill, and you can unleash powerful bursts of musical energy, causing less talented individuals to falter and be defeated, with the ultimate victor being crowned the Master of Puppets (most likely).

In addition to that, Metallica will be making an appearance at the Rocket Racing tent, complete with a specially designed track, car, and LEGO replicas of the band members. Is there anything more intense than that?

Do you enjoy Metallica’s music? Could anyone have predicted that the band would rise to prominence in a video game primarily aimed at a younger audience who may not be familiar with their music? And now, let’s turn our attention to the comments section below.

 

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Gaming

Star Wars Outlaws PS5 Demo Falls Short of Delivering the Full Experience, According to Critic

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Star Wars Outlaws, although it appeared visually stunning during Ubisoft’s livestream earlier this week, has received some criticism for feeling somewhat outdated. A preview unfavorably compared the release to Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the PS Vita exclusive spin-off that was launched in 2011. However, according to the creative director, the sampler is merely a small taste of what the full experience has to offer.

“When entering a show of this nature, where you’re finalizing a game’s production, you’re faced with numerous decisions. Our producer limited us to just one demo for all the shows we would attend throughout the year, such as Gamescom and Comic-Con,” Julian Gerighty explained in an interview with VGC.

He explained that the events are designed to cater to both consumers and journalists. To ensure an engaging experience, they opted for a 20-minute format that offers a diverse range of content and showcases different game systems. However, they intentionally avoided showcasing the open-world experience at this particular event, as they plan to unveil it during the studio tour and preview event. This will be a brief overview, more of an appetizer than a full meal when it comes to the game.

According to Gerighty, the developer Massive Entertainment has crafted a highly engaging game, with only a portion of its greatness showcased here.

Admittedly, the comments do make sense. It’s common knowledge that creating demos requires a significant amount of the team’s focus. If a game plans to showcase itself at consumer conventions, it can’t just offer a short gameplay experience of two or three hours. That simply won’t suffice when attendees are patiently waiting in line. This seems to be just a subpar demo, which is unfortunate. However, it may not be something to worry too much about in the end.

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Gaming

The Sky Breaker Pierce DLC for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora comes out in July for PS5

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Ubisoft has given us our first look at The Sky Breaker, the first DLC story pack for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. In it, a strange shadow will appear in the sky and threaten the Na’vi clans, who just can’t seem to get a break. It comes out next month on PS5, on July 16th.

A new part of the Upper Plains called “The Heart of the Plains” can be reached by taking the Sky Breaker. Some well-known biomes have changed into new types, and there are also many new ones. Of course, the RDA has also sent out new types of enemies, so you need to be careful. The good news is that not everything is bad. During the Na’vi Festival of Games, players can look forward to timed tasks that are a little less scary. Secrets of the Spires, another story pack, is still planned to be added to the game at some point.

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