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September 28, 2006

A Big Day for Everyone

Yes, game journalists around the world slept soundly last night, a silly smirk curling up on the one side of their mouths. And who can blame them: all that news from X06 would've tuckered anyone out. For the comprehensive, check out Wednesday's news.

In brief however: Halo Wars (name and in-demo Spartan catch phrase hopefully subject to change), a real-time strategy (RTS) based in the early days and first encounters of the Human-Covenant conflict, is being developed by Ensemble Studios. The trailer is beautiful. The premise is great. In some aspects there does appear to be the hint of a pure motive (finishing of what Bungie started oh, so many years ago).

The Human player's base of operations is the UNSC Spirit of Fire (whose logo is visible during the loading page), a Phoenix Class ship, with the rather haunting motto of Exitus Acta Probat, or, as Slothboy points out "The result justifies the deed".

There have been some murmurings of "Contradiction! Inconsistency!" from the ranks already: the Elites are lumbering and giant compared to their sleek and agile Halo 2 counterparts (though it could be, as I wondered and Peptuck as well, that they are merely wearing a bulky, cold-weather armour). Again, Elites are not encountered in The Fall of Reach until the battle of Reach itself (as dude points out here) making their inclusion in these battles somewhat problematic (yes, yes, perhaps no one survived to report them, etc. but ONI Intelligence seems to have been quite active in the first days after contact, and even before if our intuition serves us correctly). This has to be my least favourite portion of the liturgy of any developing story universe: "Forever and ever, Ret-con without end. Amen."

Second is the announcement that Wingnut Interactive, Peter Jackson's own game studio in partnership with Microsoft, will be creating a new Halo series (not just a single installment) that will be "neither a game nor a film", as Jordan-117 reports. Tantalizing.

Excitement abounds, there's no denying that. Due to the eclectic emotions still busying themselves down into a state of cozy equilibrium, I would encourage you to take this next bit... as you should; that is, in a not entirely negative way. This will merely express one side (and admittedly the cooler, somber one) of the expanse that is the internal continuum (talking of the other, a nigh-wholesale excitement shared the world over, seems slightly redundant at this point). I would like to quote something, something short and succinct, and I hope you will understand.

"Imagine a painting of a horse, a marvellous white stallion. This stallion happens to be lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, dead. And [insert title here] employees are standing around it in a semicircle, beating the horse with various blunt objects. The painting is titled..."

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