Stop Saying the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass is No Longer Worth the Money

E3 2017 has been an interesting one for gamers across all platforms. Microsoft officially revealed Project Scorpio as the Xbox One X, Bethesda has learned nothing from paid mods in the past and continues to milk Skyrim as much as possible, and Nintendo stole the show with not one, but two Metroid games, among other announcements. But among all the chaos, Halo fans continue to show just how horrible they are.

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Announced on Monday June 15, 2017 during Xbox Daily: Live @ E3, Halo Wars 2 is getting an expansion DLC that adds a new campaign where you play as the Banished fighting an ancient evil we haven’t seen since for a decade in a new Halo game, the Flood. The expansion also includes a new Firefight mode that features more traditional RTS gameplay and pits you against the UNSC, Banished, and Flood forces; the DLC also features two Banished leaders, two Jiralhanae lieutenants. While the official release date is unknown, it’s set to release this fall. But here’s the part ticking Halo fans off, it’s not apart of the season pass and sold separately for $20.

It’s understandable to be annoyed by the decision to exclude it from the season pass, however once you break it down it does make sense. The two leaders alone equal around $12 and the campaign features Blur cutscenes and those aren’t exactly cheap. I find it perfectly understandable that they are excluding it from the season pass. However, now people are saying the season pass and Ultimate Edition of the game are no longer worth their price.

 

What a bunch of bullshit.

 

The description of the season pass is as follow, “Grow your war chest with the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass. The Season Pass delivers regular updates that span more than six months, including: New Leaders with abilities that change the course of multiplayer matches, new Units that add to your multiplayer arsenal, new Blitz cards to collect and take into battle, and new campaign missions that expand the Halo Wars 2 story.”

The season pass covers content released for the first six months after Halo War 2’s launch, which was back in February. With some delay and other issues, 343 Industries and Creative Assembly have delivered on this promise. We’ve gotten a new leader every month and we have two more arriving this month, another two next month, and at some point a UNSC mini-campaign titled Operation: SPEARBREAKER, which is two extra campaign missions.

The list of DLC the season pass covers is as follows:

  1. Morgan Kisano
  2. Lekgolo Pair Colony
  3. Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson
  4. Senior Chief Petty Officer Jerome-092
  5. Arbiter Ripa ‘Moramee
  6. Unannounced Leader #1
  7. Unannounced Leader #2
  8. Operation: SPEARBREAKER mini campaign

Each leader costs $5.99. With seven in total, that totals out to $42 (the reason for seven is because John Forge is a free leader and not apart of the season pass, so it’s safe to assume July’s leaders will both be Banished.) The season pass is only $30. I should not need to spell this out, but the season pass has already saved you $12 and that amount will increase once we find out how much Operation: SPEARBREAKER costs. While the savings offered by season passes varies from a couple of dollars to saving almost thirty dollars, this is a great deal if you ask me.

But, there’s still the Ultimate Edition. This is a special edition of Halo Wars 2 that costs twenty dollars more than the standard game and is priced at $80, in America. This edition of the game contains Halo Wars 2, the season pass and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition. Separate, these items cost a total of $110 as Halo Wars: Definitive Edition costs $20. By buying the Ultimate Edition, you save yourself $30 and you essentially get the season pass for free. That means that instead of spending $42 on each DLC leader and the campaign, you get them all for $20.

What you think of the content is irrelevant. The season pass, and more specifically the Ultimate Edition, is a bargain deal. You get every DLC leader and Operation: SPEARBREAKER for $12 or $22 than you would separately.

Still not convinced? Okay, now let’s say you didn’t buy the season pass or Ultimate Edition and you planned on getting every leader and Awakening the Nightmare. We’ll leave Operation: SPEARBREAKER out as it’s pricing is unknown.

7 leaders priced at $6 for a total of $42 + Halo Wars 2 ($60) + Awakening the Nightmare ($20) = $122

By buying the Ultimate Edition, you just saved $22.

Now let’s say you got the season pass:

Season pass ($30) + Halo Wars 2 ($60) + Awakening the Darkness ($20) = $110

With just the season pass, you saved $10.

The season pass and the Ultimate Edition are still very much worth their price and to say they aren’t is insane. And one last thing, no not every season pass covers the game’s DLC. Halo 4’s season pass very clearly stated it’d cover the first three map packs and then Champions Bundle was announced. Borderlands 2’s Headhunter DLCs, Gaige the Mechromancer, Krieg the Psycho, and the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 were also excluded from the game’s season pass

Stop saying season passes are suppose to cover all post-launch DLC when that’s only been the case for a handful of them.

 

 

 

 

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The Potential of Skyrim: Switch Edition’s Amiibo Support

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During the night of Sunday June 12, 2017, Bethesda’s E3 conference was held. While it was mostly lackluster and most of the ‘reveals’ were things we’ve known about for months or even announced at last year’s E3, the amusement park theme was pretty funny and enjoyable to me and there were a few standouts. Dishonored is getting a new standalone campaign expansion with Daud and Billie Lurk trying to take down the Outsider. Meanwhile Wolfenstein is getting a sequel to 2014’s The New Order set in a Nazi-controlled America that looks wonderful.

But there’s something else that caught the eye of many viewers and that was the sudden appearance of the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, and Breath of the Wild’s Champion’s Tunic obtained from a chest dropped into the world of Skyrim by a Legend of Zelda Amiibo.

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Yup, Skyrim is still coming to the Switch and it’s getting Amiibo support which means bonus Nintendo content to give you another reason to buy the game for the fifth time beyond the portability and motion controls.

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But what will be the extend of the Amiibo support? Well, according the video description of the trailer on Bethesda’s YouTube channel; the following Amiibo series will be supporting Skyrim’s Switch port:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild series
  • 30th Anniversary – The Legend of Zelda series
  • Super Smash Bros. series
  • The Legend of Zelda series

As you can see from the list, there will be a lot of Zelda in Skyrim. We already know the Link (Archer) Amiibo figure will give players the three items mentioned above as it’s the one used in the video but there are fifteen other figures between the three Zelda lines alone. While many of the figures will probably work similarly to how they do in Breath of the Wild, where several Link Amiibo grant access to the iconic green tunic based on the way it appeared in the games the Amiibo originate from, there’s still several other Amiibo that aren’t Link as he’s appeared in the various games.

Could the Guardian and Bokoblin figures add the enemies into Skyrim for the player to fight? Will the Link (Rider) figure give us access to Epona? Could we see Zelda’s outfits added with her figures? Sadly some of these seem more like a dream than reality but you never know what could happen. Bethesda seems to have put a lot of time and care into this port and they could always surprise us. But enough about the Zelda Amiibos. I made this article to discuss something else:

The Super Smash Bros. series.

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Smash Bros. is much more than just Zelda, it covers almost every major Nintendo franchise and more. Mario, Metroid, Kirby, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, even Final Fantasy and Street Fighter have Amiibo thanks to Cloud and Ryu’s appearances in Smash. With ten waves and a total of sixty two figures and twenty eight different franchises, the Smash line is the largest and most diverse Amiibo line out there.

While I doubt the Smash Bros line will be anything beyond the Zelda figures included in there, which features another Link and Zelda figure and the only figures for Shiek and Ganondorf currently released, there’s a lot of potential.

Imagine getting Mario’s hat, summoning a dragon that looks like Charizard for you to fight, or using the Monado from Xenoblade Chronicles. These are just three of many possibilities for Nintendo and Bethesda to create using the Super Smash Brothers. Amiibo line. And there’s a great reason why they should do this kind of stuff, because the Switch version will most likely not have mod support. Let’s face it, as cool as the Switch is, it’s a weaker console than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Even if it did get mod support, it will be very limited, even more so than PlayStations 4’s pathetic support for mods. I don’t know if it’s been officially confirmed or not, but I doubt it’ll happen.

Utilizing the Smash Bros. line of Amiibo will allow for fans of Skyrim and Nintendo enjoy exclusive, crazy content from their favorite Nintendo franchises in Skyrim. Mario, Pokemon, Metroid, Fire Emblem, and so many more franchises could see amazing items and content brought into Skyrim and I hope Bethesda utilizes the potential before them. Even if they leave out third-party franchises like Mega Man, Pac-Man, Sonic, and Final Fantasy, there’s still plenty of characters, franchises, and possibilities in this line of Amiibo.