Sure, it's an outrage that Halo is a consistent no-show on PC nowadays, but why? Theories abound - both conspiratorial and otherwise - but according to 343 Industries executive producer Dan Ayoub it's simply a matter of resources. Speaking to Kotaku, he says no amount of similiarities between the hardware architecture of the Xbox One and a typical PC can allow for a simple transition. And besides: the studio's focus is entirely on Xbox One at present.
Twice a month, Pixel Boost guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Halo PC survives the death of Gamespy.
I lost the entire summer of 2004 to Halo on the PC. While my family PC was still an aging Pentium 4, my best friend (who lived a convenient five minutes away) scored a beastly gaming rig powered by a 2.8GHz AMD CPU and a 128MB ATI 9600. It could play anything, and in the summer of 2004, our game of choice was Halo on the PC. We'd take turns playing multiplayer for days straight, honing our pistol skills to get those crucial three-shot kills. Servers hosted CTF matches that lasted for hours. Today, Halo: Custom Edition still has a small but active playerbase thanks to a Bungie patch (11 years after release!) that replaced Gamespy with new master servers. The patch also added support for resolutions up to 4800x3600. You know what that means—it's time to Pixel Boost.
I've always loved Halo, and I've always believed that it should have had a bigger presence on PC. That sentiment is probably enough to get me drawn and quartered in the comments below—we always get a few people who believe that a holiday in console land warrants permanent exile from the PC's glittering clubhouse. I don't feel that way. If we ignored what consoles we're doing we'd never have brought Dark Souls to PC. If we don't pay attention the games that they're getting and we're not, we miss out on our chance to broaden the range of experiences on our chosen platform.
Oculus VR has been on a high-profile hiring spree for the last few months. It nabbed id Software’s John Carmack last year, then Valve’s virtual reality experts Michael Abrash and Atman Binstock, and former Electronic Arts executive David De Martini is helping the company partner with developers of all sizes. We just learned of another high-profile Oculus hire, but this one is a little different than the rest.
While EA are flailing about, trying to find a solution to their GameSpy service shutdown woes, Bungie have been secretly working with top men to ensure that their game lives on. Halo: Combat Evolved will receive a patch that will ensure the game's multiplayer lobby will work "just as it always has".
When we first got the news about GameSpy shutting down, the situation looked pretty bad. Once the online matchmaking client shuts down on May 31, the games that still rely on it will have to either transition to a new solution or go offline. Luckily, many developers are working on alternative solutions, and today we learned even Halo: Combat Evolved will still be playable online thanks to GameRanger.
Windows 8 is a confused thing, so it’s little surprise to find that Halo: Spartan Assault is too. Like the operating system to which it’s tied, it’s been designed to work on smartphones, tablets and PCs but doesn’t entirely convince on any of them –jack of all trades and Master Chief of none.
PC users are spared the touchscreen version’s virtual controls, but it’s impossible to escape the feeling that you’re playing a topdown twin-stick shooter that doesn’t support twin sticks. Controller support is promised, but its absence is keenly felt here, especially when you hop in one of Spartan Assault’s vehicles and find it can only move in eight directions.
It's here! The first Halo game to make its way to the hallowed PC platform since Halo 2! Well, to the PCs-running-Windows-8 platform, that is. Halo: Spartan Assault is now available, exclusively to Windows 8 gamers, to purchase via the Windows store. Since Vista exclusivity worked so well with Halo 2, we can only imagine that sales of Windows 8 are now gonna go through the freakin' roof.
Xbox One. PS4. What effect will the poster children of E3 2013 have on the future of PC Gaming? Will new hardware architecture mean more high-profile PC ports or—dare we say it—PC-led titles that are ported for consoles afterwards? Are Microsoft's touted 15 exclusive launch titles going to be anything we'd even want in the first place? Will the pull of the indie scene be enough to turn gamers away from hardware manufacturers that shun them? We chew on this, and feed you our analysis like a mother bird to her chicks.
Vanguard Games and 343 Industries have announced the July release of Halo: Spartan Assault, a top-down shooter which takes place in the always-evolving Halo universe. Although the developer is highlighting the game's functionality on touch-based tablets and phones, it should work on any machine that runs Windows 8, including PCs.
Timegate Studios revealed its upcoming third-person shooter, Minimum, which can only be described as a combination of Halo's guns, Minecraft's look and Quake's frantic multiplayer pacing. The company announced that Minimum will be entering a closed alpha launch via Steam's Early Access channel on April 16 and invited players to poke around on the web site, see what's available and begin participating in the forums.
While PC gamers may have been able to ignore all the Halo 4 hubbub this week (and, judging from what I played of its campaign last night, not missing all that much either), it's highly unlikely you'll be able to avoid Destiny. Bungie's next MMO-ish-sounding game, which a recent leak describes as "still quite like Halo", is to be published by Activision after the developer's split with Microsoft, and it's a fair bet that it'll be a multi-platform mega-blockbuster. With a release date of next winter, it's also very likely that every news-bearing surface will soon be slick with the oily word-slurry of triple-A marketing.
Internet sleuth Superannuation is ahead of the curve, however: he's unearthed new tantalising details of Destiny, which were reportedly found on a blog post by a senior employee of Demonware, a networking middleware company owned by Activision-Blizzard. This publicly-accessible copy of Demonware's internal blog has since been removed, and the names have been redacted in the version published by Superannuation, but it details a trip to Bungie's headquarters and hands-on time with Destiny.
Place these paddles firmly on your chest and hit "Read More" to get your end-of-day gaming news fix applied directly to your circulatory system. Dawn of the Reapers is bringing Mass Effect's most notable starfaring conflict to Sins of a Solar Empire, and The Ship's developers are looking to float a Kickstarter-funded sequel.