The end of February is fast approaching, which means two things: a) Season 3 of Halo Infinite is just around the corner, and b) it’s time to round up some news for the Community Update!
The Noble Intention Event may have come to an end, but the Halo: Winter Contention short story is here to provide a closer look at an earlier configuration of Noble Team—featuring Thom-A293 and Rosenda-A344.
Halo: Winter Contention can be experienced on Halo Waypoint, in the form of a PDF, or as an audiobook on YouTube.
December 2551. Though the Covenant invasion of Concord has seen a rare UNSC victory, the Spartans of Noble Team find themselves stranded in a remote hinterland town. While the Covenant’s orbital presence has been neutralized, the remaining alien survivors have regrouped and prepare to make a devastating final stand.
With dwindling time and no reinforcements, Kat-B320 comes up with a daring plan to do what Spartans do best and turn the tide—and it’s up to Thom-A293 and Rosenda-A344 to make it happen.
COMMUNITY COLLECTION PLAYLIST
In case you haven’t checked it out already, the highly requested Community Collection playlist has come to Halo Infinite, bringing a selection of community maps into matchmaking.
...and speaking of Forge Features, our previous issue compiled a selection of the latest 343 Recommended content themed around Halo 2—from the mires of Backwash, to a remake of Foundation, and even a faithful recreation (and imaginative expansion) of a section of the level Outskirts.
Take a trip to Hotel Zanzibar and check out the latest issue. It won’t be the latest for long because we’ve got a new Forge Features issue dropping tomorrow!
As the Winter Update comes to a close, we have compiled the Intel drops from the last few months which have detailed some elements concerning Jun-A266's survival and the SPARTAN-III program in general.
An update on February 15 provided some changes based on player feedback and community-reported issues.
These include greater UXUI clarity on the Ranked CSR widget to more clearly communicate increases and decreases in CSR, adjustments to Weapon Rack states once a weapon is picked up in Ranked Arena (the rack will remain in a “Red Rack” state until the picked-up weapon despawns), reduction of Frag Grenade damage radius, ensuring that the Drop Weapon mechanic now has the same speed as weapon switching, and more.
Complete all of your Challenges and the Ultimate Challenge this week to earn the Sentry stance for your Spartan.
And head over to the Shop to acquire the War Master Armor Set. This one goes out to all the Halo: Spartan Strike fans out there!
HCS KICKOFF MAJOR CHARLOTTE
Charlotte, North Carolina is home to the first event of HCS Year 2!
With new rosters and storylines, this weekend’s event is shaping up to be full of amazing moments and competitive gameplay.
Will reigning HaloWC 2022 Champions OpTic Gaming continue their dominance, or will they be dethroned by FaZe Clan or SSG? The open bracket is shaping up to be the strongest it has ever been full of contenders and hidden gems.
Catch the action on Twitch and YouTube. Viewers on YouTube have a chance to earn unique Twitch Drops all weekend long.
Date: February 24 - 26
Venue: Charlotte Convention Center
Event Type: Major
Broadcast: Twitch and YouTube
Spectator Tickets: Available Now
4v4 Prize Pool: $250,000
FFA Prize Pool: $5,000
SUPERINTENDENT EXPRESSIONS COASTERS
KEEP IT CLEAN! And now you can IRL with these hardwood square coasters with cork bottom and mahogany holder featuring the many expressions of the Superintendent.
Check out the Halo Superintendent Expressions Coaster Set (with Mahogany Holder) on the Xbox Gear Shop!
MEGA HALO FAN VOTE
Thank you for participating in the 2023 MEGA Halo Fan Vote! So far, you’ve chosen the Neon Superfly Warthog, the GEN XII Mongoose—and for the rival fireteams, Neon Superfly and Estate Gold armors get the win!
Keep your eyes peeled because we just might need your help with one more vote and stay tuned for details on the building set presale.
HALO x SEA OF THIEVES: INFINITE DEPTHS
Hoist your mizzenmasts and make ready to set sail—not into the void of slipspace, but seaspace. Halo-inspired gear has come to Sea of Thieves!
The “Infinite Depths” cosmetics can be acquired from the Pirate Emporium, where a variety of Banished booty awaits. Adorn your sails with Banished banners and your ship with a figurehead of Iratus; outfit your pirate with a Master Chief-inspired costume (which comes with the Constant Companion emote), take to the seas with a variety of familiar-yet-otherworldly weaponry, and more.
HONDA FAN CUP TOURNAMENT FINALS
After four action-packed qualifiers, the Honda Fan Cup Halo Infinite tournament final is here!
On Saturday, March 4 at 10am PT, the eight finalists will compete live on the Xbox Twitch channel for a shot to win their share of the $20,000 prize pool. In addition to the prize money, the top finisher will win an exclusive Haworth x Halo: Fern Gaming Chair. All Finals matches will be double elimination 1v1s.
For Halo Infinite fans who aren’t able to compete in the tournament, we have you covered with the Honda Fan Cup Play & Win sweepstakes, where you have a chance to win cool prizes including an Xbox Series X console, an Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 - Halo Infinite Limited Edition controller, a Halo Infinite Master Chief Standee, and Game Pass membership codes.
Note: Game Pass subscribers can enter the Honda Fan Cup Play & Win by clicking on the Honda Fan Cup banner on the Xbox home screen (tip: hit home refresh if you don’t see it).
OREO DRIP SWEET TROOPER
Show us you’re a Spartan of taste and style: If you’re in Europe, remember to look out for the new OREO Xbox Special Edition cookies in store now, so you can get your hands on our cookies and cream-flavored Parade Ground armor coating.
There’s also Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon in-game content if you’re a completionist.
Learn more info here and follow OREO UK & Ireland for fun updates!
CALM x XBOX
We know video games are your escape from real life, but if you can’t get to a console, Calm can help.
With the Halo Infinite-themed soundscape on the app, you can enjoy the distinctive but soothing ambient sounds of a tour through Zeta Halo, or if you like hearing the ocean, there’s a Sea of Thieves Soundscape as well.
Xbox and Calm are also offering an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perk through March 7, where Ultimate members can receive three months of Calm Premium for free, and then 50% off their first-year subscription for new Calm Premium members.
- CANON FODDER – PHOENIX BLOG: We detail more about Spartans Thom-A293 and Rosenda-A344 who featured in the Noble Intention event and Winter Contention short story, and celebrate Halo Wars 2's birthday with some fictional treats.
- CANON FODDER – DIDACT'S DOMAIN: We take a look at the official description for Kelly Gay’s upcoming Halo: Epitaph novel, explore the Didact’s long history that has brought him to this point, hint at Fracture: FIREWALL’s canonical connections, and delve into a moment in time where the Scatterbound Heatwave was used by a Scutarii Warrior-Servant...
- COMMUNITY CORNER – HALO GUY: In our latest issue of the Community Corner, we are joined by the fiction fanatic and lore YouTuber known as Halo Guy to discuss his great journey with the series.
- COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Check out the latest and greatest artistic community creations!
- HALO WARS 2 – I KNOW YOU: Remember that incredible E3 2016 trailer for Halo Wars 2? You know the one. In celebration of the game’s sixth birthday, we have at last been able to give the song a formal release. Download an MP3 version here.
THE ARTIST’S CORNER
Our latest piece for The Artist’s Corner comes from artist Jeremy Cook and was featured in Halo Mythos.
As this is the birthday week for Halo Wars 2, it seemed only fitting for the art piece this month to be the final image in Mythos, which depicts the UNSC Spirit of Fire’s arrival at the Ark.
At the end of Halo Wars, the UNSC Spirit of Fire sacrificed its slipspace drive in order to destabilize the star at the center of the shield world known as Etran Harborage. This was done to destroy a fleet of Forerunner vessels that would have decimated humanity had the Covenant gained control of them. But the cost of this victory was great, as—without a slipspace drive—it would take many years to return to human-occupied space. In that time, the ship was declared lost with all hands.
This would not be the end for the Phoenix-class support vessel, however. Jerome-092, Professor Ellen Anders, and Serina would have to contend with a Flood outbreak in 2537, culminating in Serina initiating final dispensation at the end of her operational lifespan. (Read more about this in the Halo: Tales From Slipspace story “Something Has Happened”)
It would later be revealed that, early in his military career, Terrence Hood was tasked with recovering the Spirit of Fire’s log buoy at Arcadia. Hood instead engaged a Covenant destroyer, against which he was outmatched, resulting in the subsequent loss of ever finding out where the ship had departed to. (Read more about this in Halo: Escalation, Issues 4-6)
And Lucy Orion Forge, daughter of Sergeant John Forge, would spend many years of her life trying to learn what had become of her father, eventually leading her to discover the ruins of the shield world and cross paths with the penitent 343 Guilty Spark as he searched for the Librarian. (Read more about this in Halo: Smoke and Shadow and Renegades)
Finally, on March 28, 2559, the UNSC Spirit of Fire was pulled through slipspace to the Ark. There, the crew would awaken from cryo to find twenty-eight years had passed, the Covenant War was over, but a new threat known as the Banished—led by an intelligent Jiralhanae known as Atriox—had come to claim the great foundry of the Forerunners.
That’s a wrap for this month. Happy sixth birthday Halo Wars 2, you’re now old enough to be kidnapped by ONI and put into a super-soldier program—a truly delightful milestone!
Until next month, I’ll just be here... listening to “I Know You” on a loop...