Let’s Talk Xbox: Halo’s Griffball Returns, Quantum Break & more

In last week’s Let’s Talk Xbox I covered the start of the February 2016 Season for Halo 5: Guardians Arena, the matchmaking improvements it brought and the new Arena REQ Bundle. Over the weekend, 343 Industries published the preview for their February update, Hammer Storm, on Halo Waypoint. The update will include a new Arena map, two armour sets, the return of Griffball, and updates to armour and emblem personalisation.

I am happy to see the return of fan favourite game type Griffball, and the addition of Assault, Fiesta and custom game types such as Oddball and Ricochet will add some much-needed depth to the multiplayer experience. That said, I want some Infection in my life, so let’s hope 343 continue to deliver. In a similar fashion, I am excited to see what 343 have in store for us with Torque, the new Arena map. Most of the updates to date have been remixes or small variations on the maps at launch, so something entirely new is a welcome change.

In an effort to give players more choice and control over the look of the Spartan and Emblem the UI team worked to expand the color palette. For Armor, we now allow individual selection of Primary and Secondary colors, and for Emblems, individual selection Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colors. There are no restrictions, so players can choose 2 of the same color to create a totally different looking emblem.

Kevin McGinnis, UI Art Lead

However, the feature I am most excited about in this update is the ‘True Colour’ palette. For the first time in Halo, we will have a large range of colours to choose from, including a green that is pretty close to the Master Chief’s Mark V armour, for those who want to look just like the Spartan II. Additionally, you will be able to use the palette for emblems, which until now had been locked to an unpopular selection of pre-set colour combos. I for one can’t wait to have full control over my emblems like in Halo: The Master Chief Collection and previous titles.

The last addition, the new REQs are also looking great. The new Gravity Hammer is beautiful; the Decimator and Marauder armour sets look great and the Hammer Time stance will be excellent for Griffball fans. However, the one thing has many fans stumped is what is the new Mythic Legendary REQ teased in the preview? We will just have to wait and see.

In other news, Quantum Break will release on both Xbox One and Windows 10. Those who pre-order the game for the Xbox will get free access to the PC version. The gameplay looks stunning, with a bunch of exciting time hopping abilities. Additionally, the game, which is expected to launch on April 12th, will include a live-action companion series.

The game is just the beginning. Go deeper into the fast-paced world of Quantum Break with a thrilling live action companion series. Your gameplay affects how the live action story unfolds, creating a completely unique entertainment experience. The fusion between game and show leads to dynamic storytelling unlike anything you’ve experienced.

Also, open for pre-order this week for Xbox One is Dark Souls 3. In addition to the highly anticipated third instalment of the From Software series, you will also receive a free copy of Dark Souls. The Game launches on April 12th, so if it’s your cup of tea, not long now.

Following the closed beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division a couple of weeks ago, the developers are holding an open beta February 18th through 21st. If you didn’t get to check it out before, now is your chance. While the game received a mostly positive reception, let’s hope they sort a few of the snags and get things running a bit more smoothly.


Xbox seems on a roll with all these exclusive betas. Over the weekend, I managed to check out the closed beta for Deep Silver Dambuster Studios’ Homefront: The Revolution. While the game was considerably rough around the edges, I had fun with it, and if Deep Silver can eek more out of the CryEngine before launch and fine tune things (especially optimization), then they may, in fact, release a great game. I go into more detail about my issues with the game in my first impressions.

Lastly, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Gears of War 2 from Games with Gold this week.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this week’s Let’s Talk Xbox, please comment with topic suggestions for me to discuss related to the Xbox experience.


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