7th Columnist


Red Vs Blue: The Animated Series
August 30, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Machinima, Movies, News, PAX, Rooster Teeth

Wowser. Didn’t see this coming.

Rooster Teeth Productions, the guys behind Red Vs Blue, gave a short preview of an all new RvB during their PAX panel yesterday. Apparently set after the events of the currently running Reconstruction (though concrete details are sketchy), this is a brand new series following the exploits of Red and Blue team with a extra special twist… it’s animated!

Rooster Teeth are yet to update their website with the release, but we expect further details to follow soon. Leaving behind the traditional machinima approach and contraints of Halo 3 in favour of a more saturday morning anime style, this is a totally new direction for the RT guys. It looks incredible, and judging by the response of the crowd during the show, is set to be a sure fire hit.

What do you think? Have they gone too far, leaving behind their roots within the community, or are fully animated hand gestures just what the doctor ordered for this hapless troop of marines?

**UPDATE**

According to reports from PAX the new animated cartoon series is due to air following episode 19 of RvB: Reconstruction.

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The Superintendent’s Sorrow
July 20, 2008, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Bungie, E3, Gaming, Halo, News

Following Microsoft’s shock decision last week to suddenly axe Bungie’s E3 announcement, we have to think about who really loses out. The fans? Sure. Bungie? Most certainly. But what about the Superintendent himself, unable to shine and deprived of the media spotlight he deserves?

That’s gotta have an impact on the little guy’s morale.

We were already welling up at the thought of him sitting there, bouncing a rubber ball off the wall of his cell, locked away in a dark and lonely Kirkland. This song (brilliant as it is) hasn’t exactly helped.

Hang in there little buddy. Your time will come… and what a party we’ll have when it does.

Thanks LoadingReadyRun!



Cole Protocol Cover
July 18, 2008, 2:00 am
Filed under: Halo, Merchandise, News

Tobias Buckell, author of the forthcoming Halo novel ‘The Cole Protocol‘, has updated his blog with an early design of the book’s cover – found on Amazon of all places.

The featured image is the work of Bungie’s own Isaac Hannaford, whose skills some of you might remember seeing in the gallery that made up the rear of the Halo Graphic Novel. While this isn’t the final artwork, we have to say it’s looking pretty darn tasty at this early stage, and will sit quite happily in our collection next to rest of the series.

Check out that armour though. That doesn’t look like the standard MJOLNIR to us. Kinda reminds us of the early Master Chief design, back when Halo was pretending to be an RTS. What do you guys think?



Bungie update on E3 fiasco
July 16, 2008, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Bungie, E3, Gaming, Halo, News

A new top story has been posted over at Bungie.net – now that the countdown timer and letter from Harold Ryan have been taken down – detailing once again the situation regarding their missing E3 announcement.

Very little information is given as to why exactly things unfolded the way they did (we may never know the complete in’s and out’s), but the guys do clarify once and for all that the tragic events that have taken place this E3 are deadly serious, and that those still hoping for a surprise announcement from the studio before the week’s end, will be sadly disappointed.

Included in the article is a short but sweet FAQ answering some of the more common questions currently doing the rounds in the community regarding the cancellation:

1. OMG! The announce was posted at 7! This is all part of the plan.

The news was broken to us shortly before 7 p.m. and we decided to keep with tradition to make a clean break.

2. Why leave the splash page up if it’s not happening?

We left the splash page up for the folks who didn’t see the message or were planning on tuning in the following morning before the news vanished into Bungie.net’s ether.

3. But Harold Ryan is only a TESTER this has to be fake!

Harold was a tester, but assumed the position of President a while ago. Crazy Wiki’s and their misinformation.

We’re also told of a couple of Bungie-flavoured treats that were scheduled to debut alongside the announcement, in the shape of a new Bungie Podcast and a special E3 Mockumentary entitled ‘Living the Dream’. Unfortunately, while the podcast has been temporarily shelved until the studio is given the go ahead to make the planned reveal, the E3 video apparently “cannot be salvaged at this time”.

Living the dream eh? After all the Superintendent’s teasing messages telling us to ‘EXPECT DELAYS‘ and ‘REMAIN CALM‘, here at 7th Columnist we’re not sure we can handle any more irony.



Microsoft confirm Bungie working on new Halo
July 16, 2008, 11:13 am
Filed under: Bungie, Gaming, Halo, News

Adding to the chaos of E3 surrounding Bungie’s big announcement and it’s sudden cancellation by Microsoft, a recently shot MTV interview with Microsoft’s head of Xbox business, Don Mattrick, confirms the developer are in fact working on a brand new Halo game.

During the interview, Stephen Totilo of MTV’s Multiplayer blog, asked Mattrick about the lack of Halo news at E3 to which he responded stating that Microsoft’s Monday press conference was already loaded with content and they didn’t feel any announcements for the series were necessary to get gamers excited.

When pushed for more details, inquiring if fans should be worried about the no-show of Ensemble Studio’s Halo Wars, not only did Mattrick say not to worry and that announcements would be coming, but that Microsoft is currently working with Bungie on a brand new Halo game. According to Totilo, who subsequently asked for clarification, this is not Peter Jackson’s Halo project or the aforementioned Halo Wars, but something different altogether.

So there we have it, not all bad news. The last 12 hours or so have been pretty dark for Bungie fans and the Studio alike, but we now know more Halo is coming.

Whether or not this is exactly what Bungie had been setting up to announce today remains unknown – they are after all, a large enough studio to be working on multiple projects – but we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough, along with exactly what form this new Halo title will take.

**UPDATE**

Totilo had one last tidbit of information to deliver regarding the project, echoing something we’ve mentioned before here at 7th Columnist:

Before everyone gets too excited, I should say I’ve heard some people other than Mattrick use the phrase “expansion pack” so we might not be talking about a full new game. I don’t know.

Watch this space.



Halo 3 to get more Campaign?
July 15, 2008, 11:02 am
Filed under: Campaign, Downloads, Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, News

As the countdown to Bungie’s big announcement (or perhaps, announcements) continues, so does the rampant speculation. Only now, even more tantalising information has been brought to light, suggesting that Bungie aren’t quite done with Halo 3 just yet. And no, we’re not talking about multiplayer maps.

Gencon, a gaming convention held at the beginning of the month in Brisbane, Australia apparently played host to a number of stars from the Sci-fi circuit. In particular, Firefly and Serenity’s Alan Tudyk, Nathon Fillion and Adam Baldwin – all of which have previously provided voices for marines in Halo 3.

According to an attendees write up of the event, during a Q&A session, Alan Tudyk was asked what sci-fi shows he’d like to see crossover, to which he replied “Ok, so I’m imagining that Firefly’s still on the air, that’s great, that’s working out and I’m still alive, but we have the sets and the costumes from the movie”. He then went on to say he’d like Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica, and that he didn’t care if anyone else from BSG was on the show, but that the crossover could literally be just her.

And you can hardly blame him. But what’s so interesting about this, and why are you reading about it here?

Well, he mentioned he’d seen her recently too, and that she, Nathan, Adam and himself had recently recorded voices for a Halo 3 supplemental. The star even quipped it was “just like the last time”, with Nathan having all the leader lines and him just having to act scared.

A Halo 3 supplemental? Like say, Halo ‘Blue’? Or Peter Jackson’s project? The jury’s still out on that one, but with actors returning to reprise their roles, it seems likely we’re going to see some more Halo 3 narrative at some point. Let’s take a few wild guesses as to how:

A standalone multiplayer map pack

Similar to what was released for Halo 2, Bungie and Microsoft may be putting together a retail release of all the DLC content released so far fro Halo 3. That’s seven maps so far, with the potential for a forthcoming DLC batch bringing the total up to the nice round number of ten. Could this be Halo ‘Blue’, the Wal-mart leaked title supposedly scheduled for September 30th? If so, then the reason for the dialogue recording could simply be for an exclusive Halo 3 cutscene for the disc, much in the same way the short ‘Another Day at the Beach‘ was included on the Halo 2 release.

The rumoured Squad-based shooter

Gamespot made headlines earlier this week reporting a story from an insider source claiming Bungie were hard at work on “darker, grittier” Halo game resembling “a cross between Ghost Recon and Gears of War”. Alledgedly a tactical shooter following a squad of colonial marines or orbital-drop shock troopers, but no Master Chief. Were the voiceovers the new ‘stars’ of this game?

Peter Jackson’s Halo Chronicles

We know nothing. Almost less than that infact, about Peter Jackson’s ‘playable fiction’ set in the Halo universe. But if one thing’s for sure, it’s that development is well underway (albeit outside of Bungie). It seems unlikely, but could it be…?

Halo 3 Campaign Extension

Could it be that the rumours currently flying around are all pointing towards the same thing? An extension to the Halo 3 campaign mode. Providing a new perspective to the story, without the Chief – maybe from the eyes of a squad of marines, or the mysterious Superintendent. Are we about to see the beginning of episodic content a la Half Life 2? Valve’s business model and the success of the short game experience seen in Portal suggest it’s at the very least viable. Perhaps this is the real reason Frankie left Bungie for Microsoft to continue working with the series on forthcoming projects: Halo ‘Blue’.

Anyone else notice the Legendary edition of Halo 3 has space for one more game box under the helmet? Now there’s some food for thought… and with voices commonly recorded towards the end of development, a September 30th release date doesn’t seem all that inconcievable at all.

Whatever’s happening, we’ll find out soon enough… E3 ain’t over and the clock is ticking.



Halo “Blue” Hitting this September?
July 14, 2008, 11:40 am
Filed under: Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Multiplayer, News

Now this is interesting. E3 starts tonight, kicking off with the Microsoft Press Conference where we can defintely expect some sort of Halo-based announcement, maybe even a few. In time honoured tradition of the expo, rumours are flying about all over the place, steadily gaining weight at every turn… and Halo is no exception.

The latest concerns a tip off from a source at Wal-Mart who has sent in an image apparently taken from the company’s intranet, showing a bizarre listing for Halo “Blue” and a release date of September 30th 2008.

Exactly what “Blue” is, is a mystery, though we here at 7th Columnist – judging from the Wal-Mart source – reckon it’s more likely to be a special edition version of the game (perhaps including previous and forthcoming map packs) or even a stand alone map pack expansion similar to what Microsoft released for Halo 2 rather than a new game itself.

With E3 starting in just a matter of hours, what would you like to see from the Halo series?

The list goes on. And all that’s without thinking even thinking about Bungie, who may not even be working on something Halo related, but have certainly teased us with the prospect of an announcement of some sort.

KEEP IT CLEAN!

It’s going to be a very exciting press conference ths year…