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Flood of Flavor


Remember, remember the month of November… because it’s Halo’s anniversary month and marks the release of Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 4, and Halo Infinite!

It’s been an incredibly exciting time recently, with Season 5 having been out in the wild for a few weeks now and folks have gotten to grips with all its new additions—from new maps to the Forge AI Toolkit, and beyond. There’s plenty more to look forward to, but for now let us reflect on all the latest happenings of the last month…

HALO INFINITE

Unless you’ve been imprisoned within a Cryptum or cylix, or something, you’ve probably heard that Season 5 of Halo Infinite launched on October 17.

It’s quite possible that since then you’ve been learning the layout of the new maps, Prism and Forbidden, and searched for various Easter eggs, sought to master the new Bandit Evo, or simply stared up at the stunning skyboxes. No doubt, you have spent a good amount of time in the Armory deciding which outfit you feel like wearing for your next match now that multi-use helmets have come to the game, and seeing just how gross you can make your Spartan look with the new Flood-infected customization pieces.

Perhaps you’ve already cleared that 50-tier Battle Pass and have been looking to reach FTL speeds in your journey to the maximum Hero rank, where that coveted Infinite Mark VI armor kit awaits… or maybe you’ve jumped into Forge to try out the new AI Toolkit to create new maps on the new canvases featuring Banished enemies, then headed over to the Custom Game Browser to try out the jaw-dropping creations from other community cartographers (and earning Custom Game XP for it!)

All that is to say, if you haven’t yet dived into Season 5 of Halo Infinite, the time to do so has come! Our first Operation (Combined Arms) is due to go live on November 14, bringing with it a new 20-tier Operation Pass with free customization rewards for you to earn by progressing with Match XP.

Halo Infinite screenshot of (from left-to-right) a Brute, Hunter, and Jackal on a dark map

Season 5 brought the next evolution of Forge with the AI Toolkit, well and truly changing the game by empowering players to add AI units to the maps you create.

We’ve already seen classic campaign mission spaces recreated, populated by Banished baddies. We’ve seen altogether new missions for you and your friends to try out together, PvPvE experiences, tower defense maps, and so much more.

Two new Waypoint Chronicles have arrived! For those not in the know: Waypoint Chronicles are canonical short stories that typically accompany certain in-game elements and events, released on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

When we learned that we would be joined not only by Steve Downes and Jen Taylor for this year’s Halo World Championship event, but Keith David as well, for the very first time these three would be in the same room together… we knew we had an opportunity to do something special. These three titans of the Halo universe performed a new scene together, set immediately after the events of Halo 5 (and concurrently with events depicted in Halo: Bad Blood) where the Arbiter, the Master Chief, and Dr. Halsey are all in the same place.

Last week, we also released a new short story for Halloween that centers around a Flood outbreak which culminates in the first known instance of a Spartan succumbing to the parasite.

And there are still two more Waypoint Chronicles to come before the end of the year…

“Bred for combat, built for war, you are the master of any weapon, pilot of any vehicle, and fear no enemy.”

In the Shop this week is the Combat Evolved Mark V bundle, starting the celebrations of Halo’s twenty-second birthday a little early with this recreation of the classic and iconic Mjolnir Mark V armor worn by the Master Chief in Halo: CE.

  • Combat Evolved Mark V armor kit
  • Cinder Ring armor coating
  • Viridescent Ring armor coating
  • Autumn Evolved visor
Halo Infinite image of the CE Mark V armor kit

And complete all of your Challenges this week to acquire the latest Ultimate Reward: the Queen’s Gambit weapon charm.

Halo Infinite image of the Queen's Gambit weapon charm

PARTNERSHIPS

We’ve seen your memes. Your crumpled and faded bottles on your trophy shelves. We’ve heard your secret dreams whispered into your pillow. Okay, maybe not that, but I’m probably not far off. Point is, we’ve heard you, we understand you…

Something amazing happened in 2007 and we’ve all been chasing that dream ever since. That’s right. Once again, Mountain Dew and Halo are back together for a limited time this holiday season to bring you Mtn Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry. The iconic flavor that has fueled some of your favorite Halo memories is back and in stores in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans and single 20 oz. bottles, and fun fact: the very special label was designed by our own community-member-turned-Halo team-member, William “Pixelflare” Cameron.

We’re not just bringing you your favorite memories in drink form. As we do, we teamed up with Mtn Dew to create a suite of eye-catching in-game content with a striking armor coating, two Mtn Dew-inspired visors, a weapon charm (the Halo 3 Chief helmet), and an emblem pack featuring four Halo 3 map blueprints. I’ve said it before, but please, look at the incredible detail of the condensation and ice in those visors… our customization team has once again done an amazing job.

Points earned by entering the codes found on specially marked Mtn Dew, Doritos, and Rockstar products in the US will get you these and other Xbox gaming rewards. You can also enter to win grand prizes like a Halo-inspired Super 73 e-bike (it’s insane, we all want one!), a Starfield-themed Corvette, and more.

You’ll find an updated re-issue of a classic Halo 3 x Mtn Dew tee, a jersey inspired by the new Mtn Dew Game Fuel design, a classic hoodie that glows in the dark, a trucker hat to show you’re a person of taste and style, and a koozie so you can make any drink look like a can of Mtn Dew Game Fuel. All of these will go fast, so get yours ASAP.

Feeling nostalgic yet? Ready to jump into the game? That’s the point. We wanted to relive the glory days of drinking Game Fuel Citrus Cherry and playing Halo 3 with you, so we’re doing something we’ve never done before…

Halo and Mtn Dew have teamed up with ArturBloodshot, community Forger, to create a brand-new custom Dew-themed map called Critical Dewpoint, and we’re putting it in an official playlist called ‘Halo 3 Refueled’ which features seven more remade and reimagined Halo 3 maps created by other talented community Forgers. It’s coming on Nov 14th, so join us in this nostalgic adventure—we hope you enjoy it!

This partnership is all about celebrating and involving our community, and we have more to come! Keep your eyes peeled and follow @MtnDewgaming for more news and giveaways, and we’ll see you out there in your Mountain Tiger armor coating in the Halo 3 Refueled playlist on November 14.

THE ARTIST’S CORNER

Because the Flood has taken center stage for the launch of Season 5, it seemed only fitting that we should feature some Flood-themed artwork from the vault for this Community Update.

This wonderfully grotesque piece comes from artist Tsutomu Nihei, featured in the Halo Graphic Novel that originally released in 2006, depicting a Flood-infected Sangheili combat form.

Halo Graphic Novel artwork by Tsutomu Nihei of a Flood-infected Sangheili combat form

The Halo Graphic Novel features four fantastic short stories and additional supplemental art pieces set around the events of Halo: CE and Halo 2.

  • The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor: Spec-Ops Commander Rtas ‘Vadumee and his squad are deployed to the agricultural support ship Infinite Succor, where a far deadlier threat than the humans has been unleashed… (Written by Lee Hammock, art by Simon Bisley)
  • Armor Testing: Maria-062 puts the Mjolnir Mark VI armor through live testing trials before it is shipped off to John-117. (Written and illustrated by Ed Lee, Jay Faerber, and Andrew Robinson)
  • Breaking Quarantine: Trapped within the Flood containment facility on Alpha Halo, Avery Johnson fights his way out of hell itself. (Illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei)
  • Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa: Journalist and war photographer Benjamin Giraud (yes, that Benjamin Giraud!) experiences the devastating events of the Covenant’s arrival at Earth. (Written by Brett Lewis, illustrated by Jean “Moebius” Giraud)

THE HOUSE THAT MASTER CHIEF BUILT

Follow Steve Downes, the voice of Master Chief, on a personal tour of his Chicago condo overlooking Lake Michigan.

Check out his home studio where he brings the legendary lines of Halo to life, and even get a peek at the Halo Infinite script! You’ll also get to see some of the fan art he’s collected over the years, and meet his dog Ginger!

That brings us to the end of this Community Update, which is good news because I’ve got a few more levels of my Season 5 Battle Pass to finish up before the Combined Arms Operation kicks off next week—and I’m sure to be waylaid by some custom games as well…

We’ll be back next month for our end-of-year update before we look ahead to the year of our Didact 2024. See you then!





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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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