Friday, May 7, 2021

Halo Debuts New 'World Of Halo' Stop-Motion Video Series, Episode 1 Available Now

While we continue to wait for a Halo Infinite release date other than the anticipated November 2021 window, the team over at 343 Industries has a different sort of Master Chief-inspired project to share. Using the Jazwares action figure line, the stop-motion series called World of Halo just debuted its first episode. You can watch it below. Spoiler alert: it's pretty awesome. The Jazwares line is surprisingly detailed for being a mere four inches tall and seeing them in action in this format is kind of cool to see as a Halo fan myself. From a fight to death with the iconic energy sword to seeing some of the most recognizable enemies in the Halo-verse, the first episode of this series has us pretty jazzed to see what's next. Especially being a massive collector.  [embedded content] Master Chief's badassery, glowing energy swords, grunts screaming in panic - what more could you want? Other than a Halo Infinite gameplay trailer, but don't worry about that. 343 Industries has recently confirmed that a new gameplay reveal is coming this Summer to show off what the team has been working on since criticism hit about its next-gen graphics.  In other Halo news, 343 recently shared off a new screenshot from the main campaign, which you can see here, detailing the various PC-specific settings for resolution. The team also confirmed that Halo Infinite will include cross-progression and crossplay between Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, so that anyone can enjoy the latest game without worried about being tied to one specific platform.  To learn more about Halo Infinite before the gameplay trailer drops in the coming months, you can scope out our dedicated game hub. From fan desires to inside looks, catch up on the latest news right here.  Thoughts on Halo Infinite and the latest stop-motion video with World of Halo? Sound off in the comments below; Cortana would want you to. 
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    Why CastleStorm II adds kingdom-crashing strategy to Its unique genre-mashing formula

    Seven years ago, we at Zen Studios introduced CastleStorm — our most popular non-pinball video game, well… ever. And today, we’re proud to finally bring CastleStorm II to your PS4. The new game includes all the crazy cartoon carnage you loved from the original (even more!… ‘cause that’s what sequels do!), adding to the mix a full-fledged 4X kingdom-building metagame that turns our unique super-genre-mashup into a super-DUPER-genre-mashup.

    But how did we come upon that decision? And what does it really mean for gameplay? 

    It’s been a long time, so let’s take a step back to remember what made the first CastleStorm so popular to begin with — there’s really nothing else quite like it out there. Picture this: Two castles on a battlefield. Defended by ballistae, they hurl javelins, chunks of rock… even sheep at each other. Troops — not always necessarily human — enter the fray to bloody things up even more. Meanwhile, you command every bit of it. The strategy of who to send out… the precision of ballista shots… the hack-n-slash combat going on in the middle of everything. It’s all on you, bud. Backed entirely by a charming — well… charmingly violent — medieval setting that takes itself about as seriously as Monty Python and the Holy Grail does. Probably less.

    We got a lot of great feedback about this formula — ultimately, our biggest critic was ourselves. We love what we accomplished and we remain very proud of it, but we felt we could improve things by adding more depth. Being huge fans of franchises like Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic, we knew 4X strategy was a good way to accomplish that. But would it be too much? Kingdom-building strategies are huge enough as it is without a whole ‘nother game’s worth of combat included. But here at Zen, we like to say we make what we want to play. And yeah — we really wanted to play that! We know literally no one else out there would think to make this game but us. Challenge accepted. 

    Now that CastleStorm II’s eXploring, eXpanding, eXploiting, and eXterminating (the four X’s of 4X strategy, if you didn’t know) have been fully, uh, eXecuted, I think it’s fair to say that CastleStorm II is a kingdom-building — well… kingdom-crashing! — strategy game above all else. Of course, your main goal — be it a full-blown campaign or a simple skirmish — is to conquer an entire map in your kingdom’s name. You’ll start with just a small plot of land, then open up more of the map as you accomplish three of those X’s: exploring your lands, expanding your territory, and exploiting the resources you mine, farm and acquire. But that extra-fun fourth X — our version of exterminating — is what ranks CastleStorm II among the most unique 4X games ever.  

    You see, you’re not just exploring the land — you’ve also gotta get your hands really dirty to earn it. That’s where the original CastleStorm’s core formula sets in — much as you remember it, only better. In addition to new troop types, we’ve added features like new spells to cast (Grasp is a personal favorite), controlling any soldier on the battlefield (not just generals like the first game), and watching 3D castles crumble hard with the aid of beautiful physics powered by Unreal 4 (a huge step up from the 2D castles of yore). We’ve even added the Undead as a new character type: Everything from simple skeletons and zombies to succubi and headless horsemen now has it out for you. 

    Our story campaigns also set us apart from typical 4X fare. And as the person who wrote both tales — one from the perhaps overly heroic perspective of the Kingdom’s Sir Gavin, the other with a dash of “burn it all down” from the vampire princess Luna — I hope you find the offbeat characters and scenarios as amusing to experience as I did to write. ‘Cause they were a freakin’ blast. (Oh, and a huge shout-out to CastleStorm II’s Lead Designer Tamas Balog, who largely laid out each scenario, trusting the dialogue to me.)

    So, check it out — and let us know what you think of the whole thing.

    By PlayStation Official blog (blog.playstation.com)

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