Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Halo Wars: Stuff

It's been a while since I posted about this game and even longer since it came out. Being a large-scale strategy game, there was plenty of opportunity to see a lot more of the Halo universe, despite it being set 20 years prior to the first game. Let's start with...


Captain James Gregory Cutter
Species: Human
Allegiance: UNSC
Homeworld: Reach

Captain of the Spirit of Fire and leader of the missions in the game. A recognised leader he chose the modified colony ship as his command, using it to set up bases and deliver ground units to conflicts. He bravely led the crew into unknown territories, battling the Covenant and worse...

Sergeant John Forge
Species: Human
Allegiance: UNSC
Homeworld: Earth

A charismatic leader, Forge had as many demotions as promotions in his career, though he usually had his reasons for his behaviour. Nevertheless his men would follow him anywhere and he was the leading officer on the ground for the Spirit of Fire's forces. He bravely battled the Covenant, working alongside Spartans and earning their respect.

Professor Ellen Anders
Species: Human
Allegiance: UNSC
Homeworld: Arcadia

A leading expert in xenobiology, Anders was recruited by the UNSC to study the Covenant and deployed to the Spirit of Fire as they headed to recaptured Harvest. She discovered a Forerunner relic, and after activating it, realised the Covenant would be headed to Arcadia and instructed the Spirit of Fire to follow. While there she provided support to UNSC forces, directing them to take down an advanced Covenant shield, but after the battle she was captured, prompting the UNSC to follow deep into unknown space...

Species: AI
Allegiance: UNSC
Homeworld: Spirit of Fire

Serina is the 'smart' AI of the Spirit of Fire directing the ship through slipspace and managing the operations of the ground forces providing real-time updates. She has a sarcastic personality, frequently quipping jokes even in high tension situations.

Spartan Red Team
Jerome-092 / Douglas-042/ Alice-130

These Spartans, along with Omega team, were stationed on Arcadia and fought to buy time for the civillian evacuation there. After the UNSC offensive they joined the Spirit of Fire to the forerunner world and lead the fight against the Covenant Honour Guard forces.

Ripa 'Moramee
Species: Sangheili
Allegiance: Covenant
Homeworld: Sanghelios

Once disgraced for leading a failed rebellion, Moramee was made an Arbiter to redeem himself and served the Prophet of Mercy, investigating Forerunner relics and invading Human territory. He led the Covenant forces on Harvest and Arcadia then took Ellen Anders to a Forerunner world to capture the secret weapon hidden within. When the Spirit of Fire followed, he evacuated the Prophet and stayed to fight the Humans.

Hmmm...running out of space - as we're doing characters I'll finish off with infantry units then come back for vehicles etc.



A deadly close quarters unit, Hellbringers are equipped with back-mounted flamethrowers dealing immense damage to infantry. Particularly effective against Flood units they deployed in pairs to cause maximum damage. They could modify their weapons to include napalm for a longer burn, and also use flashbang grenades to further disorient foes.

The Covenant had a few units that were modified version of existing infantry, such as suicide grunts which charged in and detonated their methane packs for a large explosion. But on an unnamed Forerunner world, the UNSC also had to contend with...

The Flood

Thrasher form
Species: Flood
Allegiance: Flood
Homeworld: Unidentified Forerunner Construct

The Flood fought with large animal-like creatures like the thrasher. About the size of an elephant it would charge in an begin physically assaulting anything in range, doing immense damage even to armored vehicles by jumping on them and 'thrashing' them with large claws and tentacles.

Units also had to contend with clouds of flood spores emitting from various flood growths and fauna, if an infantry unit wandered into a cloud it would be quickly transformed into a flood monstrosity.

There are plenty of vehicles etc. to look at so I'll leave those for another post that I'll do soon(ish!)

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Doctor Who: New series, new species part 28

Who has very nearly reached it's conclusion here in the UK so we'd better get caught up on what's been happening on the new aliens front. We seem to have a lot of returning species this series, but there are one or two new faces getting in here and there.


These were interesting as they were a part of a dream, yet a real species plausible enough to confuse the Doctor. They were your bog standard Who villain, quick bit of CGI layered over something otherwise harmless to create thrills, but with the dual plot and that fact they might not be real it worked out well. If they'd stood on their own they'd be rubbish but as part of a larger plot they served their part well I felt. It's just a pity that the final reveal was so dreary, some conveniently psychic seeds or something projecting the Doctor's dark side.

The Eknodine were a race of creatures that had the ability to dwell within a human host, only exposing themselves through extending their eye-stalk out of the host's mouth to communicate or see. Their process of inhabiting have long life and strength to the host. To defend themselves they could emit a deadly gas powerful enough to disintegrate a life form. In the Doctor's dream their world had been destroyed and they took revenge on Earth, what happened in reality is unclear.

More Who soon.

Friday, 18 June 2010

SF at the Movies June '10

I'm shocked that I've kept forgetting about this one, but yet am still in the confines of June, I'm doing well.

And there is....nothing!!! In what I think is the first time ever there are no SF movies around as far as I can see not even a dubious thriller or naff kids flick - tell you what I'll compensate with a load of movies from the great event of the year - E3!!!

We kicked off with a cinematic trailer for The Force Unleashed II, set in the clone labs of Kamino it shows the Apprentice fighting some new enemy types and also sheds some light (or maybe darkness) on what happens after the epic end to the first game.

We also had a new cinematic trailer for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood continuing the story of Ezio from the second game, not the leader of a larger group of Assassins. The trailer doesn't show any of the SF stuff, but that tends to be sealed up until the game release anyway but it's worth a watch.

There was also a demo of the multiplayer which features a modified version of the Animus for training Templars and allows players to compete in what seems like an elaborate version of the College game 'assassins' where you are assigned a target and have to track them down and kill them, but there are also people tracking you down too.

We also got some more infro on Halo:Reach, with an in-game trailer of some Campaign action - I won't say anything until you've watched it.

SPACE COMBAT!!!!! I cannot wait for this!! There was also a demo vid of 'Firefight' from ODST which has carried over into this game- with more customization and air strike opportunities, it looks like a heck of a ride.

There's so much that I haven't even got around to seeing some of what I'm gonna post - Star Wars: The Old Republic has a new cinematic trailer and ther's been a ton of new videos and info, including the fact that Each player gets their own starship - cool!

That's enough for now i think, but for more on these games, brand new releases, Kinect and the new Xbox head over to where I get all my info!!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Bounty from the Beta

Not long ago thousands of players stormed Xbox Live to do one thing: Beta test Halo: Reach. We'd been teased with information about the game, learning that the characters are largely Spartan-IIIs a group relatively unknown compared to Master Chief's Spartan-IIs. We've seen a new vehicle type, a stack of new weapons, but for the first time players got to get inside the game, testing out the multiplayer modes for the new game.

Due to a catastrophic Xbox failure I couldn't do much and only had a few days to play. While I was out enjoying the fun I was also eagle eyed and tried to spot any story content, particularly while playing Invasion a 6v6 mission.

The Spartan-IIIs on the planet Reach defend a key target...

...from the deadly Sangheili (Elites) who attack using deadly weapons such as the Needle Rifle shown here.

Their battlefield is a decommissioned UNSC Frigate, which is being scrapped...

...along with a number of other UNSC vessels to damaged or old to be of service.

The frigate is the UNSC Commonwealth, a frigate that once carried John-117 through a battle in his early days as a Spartan soldier against the Covenant.

And inside is something both sides will fight to the death for - the frigate's navigation core, containing co-ordinates to Earth.

And that's all I managed to nab, though it looks like there's plenty of fun to be had with headhunter, a similar 'defend the generator' game and many more - but what I really can't wait for is to delve once more into the Halo universe and the tragic story of Reach.