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Rewriting History

For me, there’s nothing more damaging to the credibility of a universe than a rewrite. Though there are those who simply enjoy being taken on an adventure through its backwaters and thoroughfares, there are also a core that will invest. Designers who build a world prey for this; that their hard work pays dividends and it draws players in deep enough to want to know more.

This was how I originally found the lore wrapped around the Halo series. Though the game itself only scratched the surface of an intergalactic war, the books that came with it spoke of races brought together through religion, a human civil war, and the series of unfortunate events that bring the UNSC and Covenant to blows. Far too much to sum up in the inter-level cutscenes.

Come Halo: Reach, however, that all went out the window. What had in the texts been a surprise and comparatively swift and brutal attack on humanity’s primary military world was depicted as a slow, drawn out campaign in the game. Large swathes of the core of Halo, such as how Master Chief had received his Mjolnir armour and link up with Cortana, were shoved to one side.

Fair enough, you may say. If it made a better game, so be it. But I counter: why upset the invested when the rest of your audience don’t care enough to notice?

This reared its head again this week with the announcement of the inclusion of a fourth ending in Mass Effect 3’s expansion. Though they brand it as an Extended Cut, it seems the pressure from a very vocal minority has told and Bioware has created a new ending.

Though they may not have been overly enamoured with the original ending, it was still the intended send-off. Consideration for such a climax cannot have been taken lightly by the vast team responsible for the trilogy. They will have been every bit invested in the universe and its outcome as its fanbase, if not more.

When such epic adventures are tweaked and changed however it brings to question not just the resolve at those behind the story, but a large one involving the genre as a whole. Some strive for our hobby to be recognised to be as equal an art form as cinema, comics, or television. A medium that can support epic tales sitting alongside casual affairs, just as Pride and Prejudice may be scheduled after Hole in the War on BBC 1.

Viewers may have opinions on how Mr Darcy reacts and behaves, or even ponder the merits of throwing those responsible for the latter out of Auntie all together, but all they are are opinions. No matter how many people write in, chances are that nothing will be reshot. Television and cinema are not mass collaborative media, they come from a creative core; someone has an idea and a team brings it to fruition to promote a reaction in you.

If you like it, fantastic. If you don’t, then hopefully on the journey you felt something, anything. Even a negative reaction shows you were engaged.

Halo: Anniversary | Review

Originally written for www.7outof10.co.uk

There is a reasonable argument that without Halo, the videogame world that we appreciate today might have been very different. Take Masterchief out of the original launch line-up and – barring a couple of well received racing titles – the original Xbox is left with questionable exclusives like Blood Wake and Fuzion Frenzy. Without the Spartan would Microsoft have made such a splash in the market? Would they have even dented the PlayStation juggernaut? And today would the 360 even exist? All points are moot but it speaks volumes that this week is celebrated as much for being Halo’s tenth anniversary as it is the Xbox’s.

Never one to miss a trick, Microsoft has had the original brought right up to date. Combat Evolved Anniversary has been showered with a Pelican full of high-resolution textures and sharp new character models that even the perennially grumpy Sgt Johnson could not find fault with. Whilst leaving the campaign true to that of a decade past, Saber Interactive have handled this remake with the utmost consideration to the fans.

Although “remake” is not entirely accurate; “port” would be closer to the mark. So keen were they on not damaging the experience that very little has been altered apart from the graphical sheen. Everything that you remember is there, from the floaty jumping to the beautifully overpowered pistol that’s as lethal at a hundred-yards as it is a point-blank range. Each set piece is present and every pitched battle intact, and rightfully so, as there’s nothing worse than a reimagining that smudges your rose tinted spectacles.

As such, you can see how Halo made its mark as its general combat still stands up even to modern levels of scrutiny. Given an open arena specked with odd pieces of cover, you and the Covenant will trade blows, each trying to get the jump on the other as the AI does its best to out-smart you. Warrior Elites will flank or bide their time, whilst their Grunt companions seem permanently in binary states of either charging headlong or retreating post-haste. The intelligence and tactical savvy displayed is still impressive and indeed remains more than a match for current shooters.

Playing an equal part in the sandbox warfare that Halo thrives upon is your extensive weapons cache. Very rarely has a game created such a tightly tuned arsenal, with each firearm having a unique role meaning that none are useless when deployed in the correct situation. From the shield-draining plasma pistol to the dependable and Flood-thinning assault rifle; the versatile and powerful pistol to the explosive potential of the Needler; each is distinctive in its approach. Throw enough projectiles at anything and eventually they will succumb, but knowing which tool to use in the heat of battle is the key. Even years on, there’s a sense of smugness that comes from draining a high-ranking Elite’s shield with an overcharged plasma bolt before one-shotting it between the eyes.

And with the introduction of the Flood, weapon choices become even more crucial as what works against the Covenant is rarely effective against these diseased, space zombies. The interplay between the two alien species is enough to not only introduce a very subtle and clever difficulty curve as you plot just how to tackle both sides simultaneously, but it also produces some of the finest organic set-pieces in gaming. From close quarters fighting in the corridors of the Pillar of Autumn or across a snow-covered field where mortar tanks rain fire down upon all and sundry, just settling back and watching your two enemies duke it out is a wonder. Seeing them attempt to employ the same sneaky stunts they pull on you, diving out the way of grenades or simply beating down Grunts with gleeful abandon, you observe the sandbox at its best.

Not all facets have survived the test of time so well, however. As engaging as the open expanses of the Covenant hanger bays and the wide pastures of Halo are, the inner corridors of each border on tedious. The middle levels – starting from the latter half of otherwise tremendous Silent Cartographer through to The Library – in particular suffer from a large amount of repetition, exacerbated further by their close-quarter nature. Later Halos have seen fit to allow breadth even if forcibly channelling the player, and leaping back so far in the evolution of the series you can see why as The Library still lives in infamy.

Most criticisms have obviously been addressed in later releases but, nevertheless, travelling back to the origins you can see how far it has progressed. Melee attacks are weak and feeble wafts of a gun butt, jumping feels as though you are doing so on the moon, and lack of boost on Ghosts is almost criminal. Combat Evolved is also brutally difficult. Even veterans, who will have softened over time, will cry in frustration at the sheer number of times they are blown up, beaten down, and generally schooled by the alien oppressors.

By comparison, there also exist modern-day problems, most notably in the retexturing of the environment where certain elements have been overworked. Although the world of Installation 04 is now gifted with greater colour and detail, certain visual cues have been made either far too subtle or lost altogether. Certain Flood infested corridors became a maze that I only escaped when switching back to the old graphics, whilst an overabundance of snow means at points a similar retreat to 2001 is required for anyone wishing to see more than five metres in front of their Mjolnir visor.

As a final nod to the current positioning of the Xbox, Kinect support has also been included. Able to activate a tactical view of the battlefield (akin to that seen in ODST) whilst also scanning weapons and creatures into to a virtual library, it offers a novel if not essential extra. Multiplayer too is included and sees an update, although this is through Reach’s already exemplary online execution being packaged on the same disc complete with classic map remakes.

The danger of going back to the classics of yesteryear is rudely discovering that they were very much a product of their time. To Halo’s huge credit it still stands testament with the vast majority of what it brought to a fledgling console ten-years ago. It’s easy to bemoan the niggles that were since ironed out in Halo 2 and beyond, but that the core gunplay and intelligent adversaries are unmoving in their ability to one-up shooters a decade its junior reveals what a legacy Bungie have left for Microsoft.

8 /10

Review: Halo 3: ODST

There was part of me that thought Halo 3: ODST was the beginning of the end for Halo. Whereas Halo Wars took the franchise in a completely new direction, the colon that hung around ODST’s neck filled me with dread. Was this, along with the already announced Reach, the point where the milking really began?

The most prominent aspect of Halo 3: ODST is that there is no Master Chief. The story takes place in parallel with the latter stages of Halo 2, whilst everyone’s favourite Spartan is cavorting across the galaxy in hot pursuit of the Covenant. Into his central role steps a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or ODST for short. They are no super soldiers but they are as tough a fighting force as you could want when your city is overrun, willing to be fired in torpedo like transport pods to land right in the heart of the battle.

Thanks to a slight disruption with the fabric of space and time however, the drop pod you enter the city via is thrown off course causing a less than graceful landing. The impact is enough to knock you out for several hours, during which time you lose contact with the rest of your squad. As you come to, night has fallen and with the surrounding area teeming with Covenant you must rely on your training not only to keep you alive but to reunite you with your lost squad.

Whereas Master Chief has often been alone, either through plot twist or because all those around him have succumbed to fire, he has never been quite as isolated as you find yourself now. The silent streets of New Mobasa are shrouded in darkness, lit only by patches of red emergency lighting, and are far from the brushed metallics and humming spaceships we so often seen from Bungie. Unlike recent apocalyptic games such as Fallout, the events that played out prior to the game’s beginning did not raze the city; buildings still stand tall and the streets show signs that people have merely fled with only intermittent signs of pitched battles. It has been taken over rather than destroyed and the intimation that everyone is simply gone reinforces your isolation.

Those that are left within the city walls are the Covenant. Small patrols of Brutes and Grunts that roam the area searching for survivors. Whilst playing as Master Chief these handful of enemies may have been nothing more than an interesting diversion but your first encounter with them as an ODST will underline the differences between the two soldiers.

My first inclination was to hurl a grenade into their midst to scatter them and bring down the Brute’s shields. As I did, however, the arc of the grenade fell woefully short; the super strength gained from wearing mechanised armour had vanished. The weapons, too, were of a more standard issue. With the patrol now alterted to my presence, the new and improved pistol proved adept at satisfyingly picking off Grunts from great distances. Against the heavily armoured Brute I relied more on a panic stricken “pray and spray” method of hosing him with bullets until he fell. As with so many weapons in the Halo-verse, though, each has their time and place and that comes with familiarity.

odst4

Gone too is the recharging shield, and in its place are the concept of stamina and a more traditional health bar. Being the toughest that the UNSC has, each ODST can soak up a small amount of damage before it truly begins to hurt them. Come under fire and your screen will turn a shade of red, indicating that your being hit and that you need to find a safe place quickly before your stamina depletes and your health bar starts to take a hammering. With no replenishing health, any injuries will need to be patched up through the use of health packs scattered throughout the city. They’re hardly scarce but neither are they abundant so when facing massed hordes it is often wise to know where the nearest health pack is and when to retreat to it.

The difference is not vast when compared to previous games but it’s enough to make you appreciate slipping back into a Spartan’s armour when you put in the multiplayer disc. Combat becomes more calculated, thoughtful, and those who rush in are likely to be sent very quickly back to the last checkpoint.

The one toy that the Troopers do have over Master Chief is their intelligent visor, specifically designed to work in low light conditions and to identify threats or objects of interest. Activating this allows you to see the street through something akin to Sam Fisher’s night vision, but with the added benefit that any enemy forces will be outlined in red and architecture in yellow. It’s an easy way to discern your surroundings in the dead of night but with a trade-off being that you are effectively waving a torch around meaning the Covenant are more likely to be alerted to your presence.

Very much like the recent Batman: Arkham Asylum and its detective vision, it is often tempting to play the entire game through this filter. Secrets are highlighted and enemies flagged but a lot of the visual magic is lost through the graininess of night vision. Many of the night sections may not be the most awe inspiring graphically speaking, but it is the clever use of lighting that makes the city so atmospheric and this is completely unrecognisable with anything other than normal vision.

However, your helmet’s functionality is vital in the search for your colleagues. With help from the AI running the city, beacons are marked on your helmet’s navigation software that leads you to clues as to their whereabouts. Each clue is an object from an adventure played out during your time unconscious, which is then played out with you switching roles to play as the central ODST in each particular escapade. Whereas New Mombasa by night could be considered the hub world, these are the levels which play out more traditional Halo-esque moments.

From driving Scorpion tanks through the business district to the E3 demo of blowing bridges sky high, there are some memorable set pieces. The kind that could not be achieved if the game was not based in the world of flashbacks as their presence in the midnight streets would have shattered all sense of ambience and as such are possibly even a more enjoyable given their change of pace. In the hub world you often come across broken Warthogs and shattered Ghosts but none are salvageable. Here, though, the whole Halo sandbox is opened up once more and those looking for large scale objectives and battles, or even just a more traditional variety of weapons, than they have found hunting for their squad round town will be more than satiated.

What this presentation style has also given Bungie is an ability to be flexible. Whilst New Mobasa is a single city, these chapters give them a chance to bounce from corner to corner pulling in the most interesting aspect they can depict and, most important, produce the best scenarios for the player. From something as silly sounding as escaping from the New Mombasa National Park to defending the Police HQ, they make the most of the African metropolis. The standard of level design in the cluster of missions available in ODST is high, only dipping disappointingly as the game draws to a close.

Throughout all the flashbacks there is a surprising narrative tying the whole thing together. Surprising because it is such a departure from the traditional Halo fare of Master Chief and Cortana taking on overwhelming odds and coming up trumps. It is a far more human affair of lost comrades, banter between those who work together and even a love story. Given the cast you could be fooled into thinking it was one of the lost scripts of Firefly as opposed to Halo. The humanity of the situation is emphasised all the more because of the surroundings, namely the actual defence of Earth on Earth as opposed to carrying out spec-op missions on a far flying battle cruiser.

odst6

Away from the solo campaign there is Firefight, a mode that pits up to four people against a never ending torrent of Covenant fighters. Those who have played Gears 2′s Horde mode will have come across something very similar. You spawn in a room that contains both limited health packs and limited ammunition and are then thrust out to face a series of waves of enemies, with five waves making a round. Each round begins with the meeker Grunts and Jackals but come the end Brute Chieftens will be ten a penny, all armed with Gravity Hammers to smack you into the middle of next week. It’s a mode about endurance, teamwork and decision making – mostly what firearm is going to be most effective and which body can I scavenge ammunition from?

All the Firefight maps are taken directly from the single player campaign, with varying degrees of success. Some are enclosed, infantry-only affairs whilst others cover large expanses opening up the possibility of tanks and aircraft. The trade-off being is that you might have more space and toys to use against the religious zealots being sent against you but so do they.

As an exercise in teamwork, or just as a way to mess around in the Halo sandbox for hours on end, Firefight’s qualities cannot be denied. Early impressions are that the never ending waves could become a little tired over time but as with all multiplayer games it’s mostly about who you’re with rather than what you’re doing. Given the right crowd, a Warthog and a never-ending procession of Grunts and you have yourself a guaranteed hoot and a holler.

As is traditional, the campaign can also be played through in four player co-op, and this is where ODST really shines, in my opinion, the fun found in fighting in Firefight is amplified as you have true objectives to work through. My second run through was with two other experienced Halo players and even on Legendary we made light work of it. It may have seemed easier but I would probably put it down to the way in which we operated. Whereas one ODST may seem underpowered when facing a gaggle of Brutes or a pair of Hunters, two or more can act as a pack: pulling their prey this way and that, exposing the weak spots and making light work of superior opposition.

It may be shorted than previous games but the price you want to put on that is entirely down to personal taste. Most places I’ve seen it has been reduced to compensate for that factor but at the end of the day I never believe in scoring something based on price, for that can always come down. What doesn’t change is the experience you buy and in Halo: ODST you have an experience that takes the Halo formula, shakes it up and gives you the best narrative thread and atmosphere of any of the games so far.

Ultimately, ODST is what I wanted Halo 2 to be. When launched it was pitched as Master Chief coming to Earth and fighting off the Covenant. Admittedly he did that but only for one solitary level before he disappeared back again into space. This fills that void and also some of the blanks surrounding what happened to city once the Chief had gone. It’s short but it is very, very, sweet.

9/10

First Impressions: Halo Wars

Back at university I used to play a reasonable amount of Real Time Strategy (RTS) games. Take five boys in one house, a few copies of Command & Conquer and a network held together by duct-tape and you’d keep me quiet for hours. Since then, unfortunately, I’ve moved further and further away from PC gaming. Consoles are now my platform of choice and the RTS genre doesn’t have a reputation of porting to them well.

Several have tried to rectify this by building a console version from the ground up rather than trying to shoehorn PC controls onto a joypad. Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth did a reasonable job but still everything seemed overly complex and fiddly within its menu structure. Where Halo Wars works for me is the simplicity at which its build and actions menu operate with. There are no multiple depths, whenever you select a menu you a present with a single circular layout where all options are visible. There is no drilling down to unlock super secret powers, everything is a stick push and button press away.

Obviously the amount of units and options available have been kept lean to fit within this structure, but as the UNSC and Covenant forces are already well established I don’t believe this is too its detriment. Adding too many outlandish crafts would have scuppered Wars’ connection with the greater Halo universe. What this aids is a rock-paper-scissor style battle where certain troops/vehicles/aircraft are better suited to taking down other troops/vehicles/aircraft than others. Should you pick the wrong one you won’t have to go through a giant tech tree to rectify your mistake as there are only three or four unit types in each bracket.

Some may have misgivings about being limited to a certain number of buildings, which in turn limits your resource gathering and unit production. Each base only has a certain number of slots and players must choose how to fill them wisely as they only way to get more is to take over another base. It can seem that at times your army does seem dramatically small compared to what you need for the task in hand but at the moment I’m putting that down to my inexperience.

My main issue with Halo Wars was with the actual movement around the battlefield. The default settings seem far to twitchy and aiming to select a single unit can be troublesome. The solution seems to have been to tone down the sensitivity in the menus but compared to the spot on handling of the original Halo that experience was disappointing.

In the time I’ve spent in the alpha and with the now released demo I’ve enjoyed myself and as a self-confessed Halo fanboy I’ve been surprised at the new units. They’ve managed to make up the numbers but without breaking the conventions of either faction; Covenant Locusts are hybrid between Scarabs and Wraiths whilst the UNSC heavy airsupport look as though Pelicans have been on the Weight Gain 3000. I do get the feeling this isn’t going to set the RTS world alight and that the Koreans won’t be discarding their Starcraft discs just yet, but Halo Wars does seems a solid if not exceptional RTS that should be worthy of most 360 owner’s time. Even if they can’t tell you Master Chief’s first name.

Moving in with Rashberry

During my time at Rare I believe I’ve called six seperate offices my own, and am on the verge of claiming a seventh. During the development cycle, teams will grow and grow until the point of completition and then rapidly shrink as other projects plunder the resources that all of a sudden have a distinctly lighter workload post-launch. The Viva Pinata team are in that phase now, having launched before the Christmas rush we’re now of a size where we can consolidate ourselves in the top layer of one of our barns. On the up-side, I now get a penthouse view. On the downside, I have an awful lot of stuff.

When I was moving house twelve months ago, I made the mistake of bringing all my retro consoles and games into work to keep them safe during the transition. Since then they have made themselves very comfortable under my desk, embedding themselves to the point where I simply looked at them as part of the furniture rather than something I should return home.

What makes this scenario worse is that I’m now going to be sharing an office with our Team Lead, Rashberry. If there was anyone on our team who could rival them amount of bits and pieces I possess it is Rashberry. His collection tastefully takes in not only the usual gaming related paraphanallia but also a large selection of Lego Technic and Lego Train. Quite how how we are to compress all our belongings into a single office is not entirely obvious, although the thought of blending my assorted Halo tat with Lego does bring a smile to my face.

Wish me luck, I’m off to get a trolley.

Birthday Honours

As with The Queen, I feel it my duty to recognise those that have impressed me over the last twelve months and so I welcome you to the second annual BIGsheep Birthday Honours.

For services to music: Rock Band 2

I used to think the solo guitar experience was exhilarating, making you feel like an instant rock star. However, as I have already stated this week there were few experiences last year better than playing in your own plastic band. This iteration on the series builds on its already strong core, whilst the drums and the copious amount of downloadable songs have been a revolution to me, revitalised my interest in this genre.

For services to the Capital Wasteland: Fallout 3

If there was one game in 2008 that I had to force myself to put down as I was in danger of forsaking all others, that game would be Fallout 3. Some may have found the desolate wasteland they were wandering through a chore, I regarded it as a mammoth game of hide and seek. Over each ridge or round the next canyon turn you never knew what you were going to find, from crashed UFOs to museums dedicated to fizzy drinks. The sheer scale of the game was inspiring.

For services against the undead: Left 4 Dead

Despite my original muted response towards Left 4 Dead, the zombie apocalypse has grown on me. It is a game where no story is needed, your goals are obvious and tight teamwork is rewarded. This simplicity is its strength with new players able to delve right in and get just as much from it as grizzled veterans.

For services to engineering: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Not only does it feature one Trophy Thomas, but also the ultimate Lego set. Once you reach a certain point in the game a light bulb flicks on inside your head and all sorts of crazy ideas begin churning out. To add to my trebuchet, Thundertank, Thunderbird 2 and Seaking, I’ve seen ferris wheels, walking robots, space shuttles and a myriad more creations that make you realise what a flexible toolset you have at your disposal.

For services to puzzlement: Professor Layton and the Curious Village

A delightful DS game that takes a different slant on point-and-click adventuring, combining some devious logic puzzles with a colourful brand of animation. The whole game oozes charm, from a village that is populated with those obsessed with testing your brain to Professor Layton’s nemesis who would prefer you out the way so he can presumably have all the puzzles to himself.

Honourable mentions

Whilst they may be my Top 5 games of the year, I do think a few others deserve the nod.

The continued presence of Halo and Rainbow Six: Vegas should be appreciated. Excluding those with zombies, no shooter has come close to dislodging these pair as firm favourites.

In terms of controlling green clad pixies, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for me was second only to Link to the Past in terms of enjoyment. A great debut on the DS for Link.

Mirror’s Edge would be held in far higher esteem if only the combat wasn’t so frustrating. For me this has great parallels with Sands of Time; if only enemies were completely removed from both games then I would champion them to anyone who would listen.

Although there seems a backlash for Fable II, I still really loved it for what it was. There may be no sandbox world on the scale of Oblivion but I liked what it did for it did it really well.

Birthday cards

And so this week I grow a tiny bit older. On the plus side, I am deluged with presents, parades are held in my honour and cake is brought forth. On the downside, the “parade” just consists of Ali and two rabbits and it is I who has to supply the cake. Still, the presents are very shiny.

 

The Birthday Honours are coming but to start the celebrations off I thought I would share with you some of my very favourite Pinata Vision Cards. Carefully constructed with my own fair hands these are the set I sent to Bungie themselves and now I feel it is time to share them with the rest of the gardening world.

 

 

 

 

Happy scanning.

Can I haz Recon?

Looking back at the events of last week, they drew a range of reactions from people. Some, like myself and Hey Ernie, instantly knew the impact of what had happened. Others, Robot Minion I’m looking at you, simply stared at me as if I was speaking in tongues.

How would you react if I said “I have Recon.”

During the week, mixed in with a variety of other VP community duties, I received a note from my colleague Hey Ernie wondering whether we could sort his friends at Bungie out with a couple of piñatas. I’m not likely to turn a request like that down, but rather than stop there I decided to show them my appreciation and put together some bespoke Pinata Vision cards. Thus was born scannable versions of a Hooty Fruity Master Chief, a Bonboon Cortana and a Walrusk Sgt Johnson.

They appear to have liked them.

From the moment I unravelled XO Sancho’s message (“What’s that on your head?”) I became a gibbering fanboy, sitting on Halo’s settings screen staring at my shiny new armour. Previously I had often thought “well, it’s just another toggle, nothing much”, never expecting to get it in my lifetime, but the sense of surprise and elation when I realised what had happened took me aback. Being handed such a gesture by Bungie is a huge deal to my Halo-loving self and completely unexpected.

Shiny helment

Interestingly enough, the suit does seem to attract teabagging. People hunt you down and take great pleasure in repeatedly crouching over you in a suggestive manner. That said, it’s a small price to pay as I can happily look up from my prone, broken body, towards that bobbing Spartan rear, safe in the knowledge that they are only jealous.

Extended Leave

I’m still holidaying, sorry, so no proper updates just yet. I’ve popped briefly back into work but most of my time has either been spent laying laminate or playing Trouble in Paradise.

There is a part of my that is part amazed-part chuffed that after spending the best part of five years on those papery gits that I still love playing the game, clocking up about 80 hours so far and I’ve not even gotten my Fizzlybear yet. I guess not being directly involved in gameplay has helped but my workmates still think I’m mad.

Anyway, I’m off to Halopalooza this weekend so as you can imagine I’m very exciteable. I’ll leave you with another video; no where near as exciting as the others but this is a Public Service Announcement for those VP players who can’t figure out Pinata Vision.

Are you a Believa?

Over the weekend, my good friend Jimmcq dropped me a link to a video that basically glues together my two favourite things in gaming: Halo and Viva Piñata. What more could a man want for?

The toys that Burger King released some time ago now have been thrust into a world of darkness and war where Pester stands tall at the end, paying tribute to the UNSC-Covenenant war.

For those of you unfamiliar with Believe, here is the 60 second version of the original that accompanied Halo 3′s launch and it seems to be going for a shot for shot remake.

If only I could get my hands on that layout, it would make a great Halo Clix map.