Major Halo Waypoint revamp and new ATLAS feature coming this fall
The Halo Waypoint app is a useful way for gamers to check on their accomplishments in the Halo Xbox 360 games while on the go. But the mobile version of Waypoint lacks a few of the Xbox 360 version’s features, such as viewing campaign progress. That will change this fall, when 343 Studios overhauls all three versions of the Waypoint (Xbox 360, WP7, and PC) to more closely match each other in looks and features. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
Halo Waypoint will soon gain the ability to create custom challenges in Halo Reach. The game already features daily and weekly challenges, but now players will be able to make their own (such as scoring a certain number of head shots or grenade kills in specific maps) and share them with friends. Sure, that feature could have just been patched directly into Reach, but including it in Waypoint will encourage more players to check out the Halo-themed portal.
Head past the jump to learn about the Halo ATLAS app and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition.
Most exciting for gamers who own both Windows Phones and Xbox 360 consoles is the upcoming ATLAS (Advanced TechnicaL Assault System) app. ATLAS will actually turn your phone into a futuristic GPS for Halo Reach. It displays maps of multiplayer stages, including the positions of teammates and items. Imagine it as a tool that a Spartan soldier would wear on his or her arm, doling out tactical data in real-time. Strapping the phone to your arm might even be the most convenient way of viewing the data in the heat of gameplay, though propping it up somehow will probably be popular too.
Couldn’t the availability of an additional tactical aid create an imbalance between Reach players who own Windows Phones and those who don’t? "…The app actually has "built-in" balancing, in that every time a player glances down, they are splitting their attention away from the game, a move that always comes with hazards," according to Halo franchise director Frank O’Conner via GameSpot. Makes sense. Besides, I’m sure if ATLAS actually ended up providing too much of an advantage somehow, it would quickly be nerfed (scaled back) anyway.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition
The Halo Waypoint revamp and ATLAS app don’t have specific release dates, but their availability should closely coincide with the launch of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, which we first mentioned in our E3 keynote summary. Anniversary Edition is a remake of the very first Halo game, which revolutionized console first-person shooters all the way back in 2001. While most gamers would agree that subsequent entries have significantly improved on the original, that doesn’t mean we don’t feel nostalgia for Combat Evolved.
The Halo remake accurately replicates the original campaign, allowing players to toggle between the original 480P graphics or enhanced high definition graphics at any time. The campaign now supports 2 online co-op for two players in addition to split-screen play. Kinect voice commands can simplify many in-game functions like throwing grenades, reloading, toggling between the two graphics modes, and more. Anniversary Edition also brings the Halo CE maps online for the first time by adding them to Halo Reach, complete with custom rules to recreate the original multiplayer experience. That’s where fine Windows Phone users like us will get to take advantage of the ATLAS app.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition marches to retail on November 15 for the low price of $39.99. Yours truly will be playing it a bit before then, and I’ll be sure to report anything of interest if I can.