7th Columnist


Halo 3 Assembly Gameplay Video
August 30, 2008, 4:19 am
Filed under: Bungie, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News, PAX

Loads to catch up on, and it’s the middle of the night here, so I’m gonna have to hit the sack. Not without delivering this little nugget of goodness first though. We’s gots prioritees ‘n stuff.

You should now be aware that PAX 2008 is in full mighty swing, and that Bungie is in attendence showing the latest addition to Halo 3’s multiplayer maps, Purple Reign – now officially known as Assembly. Well, the latest Bungie Weekly Update has delivered, offering up a tasty selection of shots of the new level for anyone unable to attend the show (go take a look now!). And we’ve got an off-screen video walkthrough, courtesy of CrunchGear.

Feast your eyes on all-new purple hotness below:

We’ve zoomed in a little bit for a fancier look, but you can see the whole unaltered video here.

Not a lot is known about the map as of yet – no setting, release date, price or anything. Bungie’s keeping that information close to the chest, letting the map itself do all the talking. Certainly looks good enough to us!

We’ll be back in the morning with more news. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Cold Storage available NOW!
July 7, 2008, 9:28 am
Filed under: Downloads, Forge, Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

It’s here, along with the updated matchmaking playlist especially for Bungie Day – Icy Treats – incorporating the new map and a variety of different gametypes (in particular look out for infection).

We’ll have more news a little bit later on all the celebrations and goodies coming out of Bungie HQ this fine day, but right now, forgive us – it’s time to go Chill Out on Cold Storage! We hope to see you there.

**UPDATE**

Don’t forget to grab the limited edition Bungie Day ’08 gamerpics and dashboard theme from Xbox Live Marketplace too!

These are available exclusively for today only, after which they shall be gone forever. Don’t miss out!

**UPDATE TWO**

A quick Q&A for Cold Storage has been posted over at Bungie.net, with answers coming direct from some of the guys who worked on the map.

**UPDATE THREE!**

The Bungie Podcast has returned! With an extra special Bungie Day edition of the show, Luke and Brian sit down with numerous guests, featuring the likes of: Lars Bakken (Designer), Shishka (Designer), Allen Murray (Producer), Joe Tung (Producer), Jerome Simpson (Security), Chris Carney (Mission Architect) and Steve Lopez (IT Manager) That’s a lot of Bungie, this is a lot of chatter.



Cold Storage – Free!
July 3, 2008, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Downloads, Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

Confirmed. Cold Storage, the latest multiplayer map to be added to Halo 3 and remake of the classic Chill Out – will arrive as DLC on Bungie Day, Monday, 7/7…for free. FREE.

We called it. From the secret playtesting taking place on Xbox Live, to the hidden coded message in last weeks update, we always knew this was gonna happen. Bungie Day just wouldn’t be Bungie Day without some love dealt out by the studio, and this year is no different. In fact, this Monday, we’re being spoilt.

The latest Bungie Weekly Update has hit early over at B.net and is literally rammed with tantalising info on all the goodies heading our way next week in celebration of the studio:

Cold Storage will be available for free beginning on July 7, Bungie Day, on Xbox Live Marketplace.

Don’t forget to grab the one-day-only free gamerpics and theme on 7/7.

Beginning on July 7, there will be a 48-hour long seven-player FFA playlist in Halo 3’s Matchmaking where you can turn the calendar back to 2001 and control l Rockets, Invis and Snipe.

For now, Cold Storage will be implemented in regular rotation in playlists that require the Legendary Maps. To avoid confusion, playlists that previously required the Legendary Maps will now remind players that they need “all Maps” to participate, and since Cold Storage is free, it shouldn’t be a big deal for you to grab the map on July 7 and then return to your regularly scheduled business in SWAT.

Additionally, on 7/7, Microsoft is dropping the price of the Legendary Map Pack from 800 spacebucks to 600 spacebucks. That price drop does mean that purchases after 7/7 will no longer include the Bungie Pro bonus.

Other stuff mentioned in the update is the return of the Bungie Podcast; also hitting on BDay, a stern warning to those with modified content and/or hacked saves in fileshare, words of encouragement to all attempting to up theoverall campaign kill count to 7 million; and the tease of something else coming today (our money’s on a Cold Storage video).

Get over to Bungie.net and start punching the air. Christmas has come early.

**UPDATE**

Bungie have delivered on their final promise for the day, posting a brand new ViDOC focusing on Cold Storage entitled ‘On the Seven7h Day’. Luke and Shiska have a stab at some homegrown machinima and talk design, differences, pricing and playlists whilst showing off a few of the maps more interesting features.

Hi-res copies for you to download and keep can be found here.



Cold Storage Screenshot Blowout
July 3, 2008, 2:57 am
Filed under: Downloads, Gaming, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

It’s late, I’m away on business and my laptop has been sent home to bed with a dodgy tummy – so I’ll have to keep this sweet.

It would appear Bungie are once again back in the Humpday game. Over at B.net there’s a writeup of an extra special Halo 3 Humpday Challenge held internally at the studio. Why so special? It was on Cold Storage.

As a result, the update is literally rammed with new shots of the map in action.

Head over to Bungie.net now for the full article – don’t worry, you don’t really have to read it – just drool over even more shots of the soon to be released map. It looks stunning.



Cold Storage to be released 7/7?
June 28, 2008, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Downloads, Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

Those thinking this week’s Bungie Update was a little light on Cold Storage information may want to look again, as it would seem that along with bringing us a lovely overhead look at the map, this week’s update also contained something of a tease regarding a possible release date, and an extra special bonus to go along with it.

When discussing July’s matchmaking updates, in particular forthcoming changes to the Double EXP weekends, a supposed ‘error’ alludes to something very interesting indeed:

Double EXP (Listed in order of appearance)

• Fourth of July – A collection of Flag, Rockets, and VIP. 5v5.
[SPURIOUS INTERRUPT: PACKET LOST – ERROR CODE 5929]
• Fiesta – FFA featuring random weapon spawns. 8 Players.
• Grifball – Updated to use the Summer League map. 4v4.
• Team Snipers – No changes from June. 4v4.
• Team Melee – Sword and hammer-centric slayer and

*/PACKET INTERRUPTION – ERROR CODE 5929 */
…Attempting Recovery…
…Attempting Recovery…
*/ 93% PACKET CORRUPTION – RECOVERY UNSUCCESSFUL – DISPLAYING */
C!#4x—^&-$x%^^p3@
• Head2@!#SWa#++-DL*SLAj3r
• 48hr0x0ABFFFFF [ERR 5929]
*/ END DISPLAY */

As you can see, the weekend playlist for the week following the fourth of July (just a few days after Bungie Day) isn’t listed. Instead we’re treated to garbled system message only 93% complete. From what we can tell, hidden inside are the words:

Cold Storage, Head 2 Head, Swat, DLC Slayer, 48hr

Whilst nothing is confirmed, we reckon it’s a pretty safe bet we’ll be seeing Cold Storage released free of charge this Bungie Day – July 7th; along with a new set of exclusive gamerpics and dashboard theme, and a classic Halo celebration Double EXP weekend following later in the week.

Bungie, now you’re just spoiling us.



Bungie Testing Secret Map?
June 28, 2008, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Custom, Downloads, Gaming, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

Strange things are seemingly afoot in the Bungie testing labs this week, as several gamertags have been spotted playing custom multiplayer games on an unnamed ‘secret’ map. Is this the forthcoming Chill Out remake, Cold Storage, or something else altogether?

With speculation high that we’ll be getting our mitts on Cold Storage earlier than originally thought – as part of an extra special Bungie Day gift to the community – it seems likely that this would be the map in question. Though one has to wonder, if we’re already aware of the map name why bother to cover it up during playtests?

One reason could be that this isn’t Cold Storage at all, and could in fact be the first signs of Live testing for perhaps ‘Purple Reign‘ or ‘Moonbase Alpha‘; two maps currently scheduled for release some time in the future as part of an upcoming map pack.

Either way, with testing going on as we speak, something is coming… and by the looks of things, soon.



Cold Storage From Above
June 28, 2008, 12:32 am
Filed under: Downloads, Gaming, Halo, Halo 3, Multiplayer, New Content, News

Bungie’s Weekly Update has arrived, bringing with it fresh information regarding new multiplayer map (and hotly tipped Bungie Day gift) Cold Storage.

Those hoping for a bunch of new screens and/or perhaps a video of the latest map in action will be slightly disappointed, as it would seem we’ll have to wait yet another week for goodies of that nature. What we have been treated to however is an overhead look at the remake, giving us a better idea of its overall layout and a detailed look at its standard weapon placements.

Shotgun fans don’t panic, it is included – just left off the overhead shown here, due to basic Bungie incompetence. When shipped you’ll be able to find it lurking behind the column on the left sporting the number 2. Chill.

One thing that may cause alarm though, is the (obvious) inclusion of equipment on the map, as it’ll be interesting to see how the addition effects Cold Storage during play. After all, many believe Blackout’s inferiority to Halo 2’s Lockout is for this reason alone. Will we see a similar occurance here?

Other news this week includes the studio’s plans for PAX; marking the return of the Bungie Fanfest, the promise of more limited edition gamerpics and a theme for Bungie Day, info on the new Content License Transfer Tool issued by Microsoft – allowing you to easily transfer your download purchases to a new Xbox 360 machine if need be, and a look at July’s matchmaking update (Ranked Big Team Battle survives another month!).

For a bigger and better look at the Cold Storage overheads, not to mention all the news straight from the source, go take a look at the update yourself over at B.net.