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Microsoft’s Russian-only Halo game being released globally through “El Dorito” mod

The Halo franchise has come to Russia in a unique way for the franchise. An online-only free-to-play iteration of the series — simply titled Halo: Online — has been officially released in the Euro-Asian market. While the game has been inaccessible to all other markets modders have been hard at work to expand the availability of the game and to remove the micro-transactions available throughout the game.

Though many gamers have likened to calling this game “Halo 3 PC,” the gameplay shows many features, textures, animations, art, and sounds that were certainly grabbed from later Halo releases. Most notably, the sprint function — originally introduced in Halo: Reach — has been added to the experience.

While the gameplay quality is great, modders have taken to a mod project dubbed “El Dorito” to create their own Halo 3 for PC after Microsoft elected to release the Halo franchise exclusively on the Xbox platform ever since the release of Halo 2 for PC in 2007.

Popular Halo 2 map, Turf, shows up in an updated form in Halo: Online
Popular Halo 2 map, Turf, shows up in an updated form in Halo: Online

The project is not to spite Microsoft, but “Woovie,” someone currently working on El Dorito, explains the inspiration comes from a great admiration that these modders and many PC gamers in general have for the Halo series.

“…The PC audience has been screaming for Halo 3 for years and years, and we saw the chance with this leak. The fact that we could, in theory, bring the game that everyone wants, without the added on stuff that would ruin the game, that’s something we’d be proud of.” – Woovie (Interview with TorrentFreak)

The progress they’ve made is impressive, but there is still much work to be done to fine-tune the gameplay. A major question though is how far Microsoft will go to stop it. A DMCA notice was already sent to the El Dorito github, but the El Dorito team is prepared to fight back.

“In terms of DMCA/C&D mitigation, we have made redundant git backups on private and public git servers. This is to ensure we will always have one working copy. These are being synchronized so that data is always the same,” the modder explained.

“Further DMCAs may happen potentially, it’s not really known at the moment. Our backups will always exist though and we will continue until we’re happy.”

Check out GamingPranks’ gameplay video for a look at the mod’s current progress.

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GTA V takes top spot on ChartTrack; becomes best selling game ever in UK

Rockstar’s resurgance with Grand Theft Auto V is going as well as anyone could have predicted. The now first-person/third-person hybrid game is the clear-cut sales leader upon its first week of release with the likes of Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition falling  behind at second and third respectively.

While the success of another GTA V release on the new consoles was a bit questionable at first considering its last release was so different, Rockstar took this extra year and put in some upgrades that fans are sure to appreciate.

The new first-person view point shakes up the typical gameplay we’ve come to expect with the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and some new side missions, improved visuals, and denser cities make re-experiencing both the single player and multiplayer that much more enticing.

GTA V’s initial 2013 release had already resulted in staggering sales numbers with over 11 million copies sold on day-one, but with the new release on the Xbox One and PS4 the game has now taken the edge for best selling video game ever in the UK.

As GTA flourishes yet again, the likes of Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age Inquisition are a bit over-shadowed, but certainly not under-appreciated. Despite the multitude of grievances that fans have with Ubisoft, Far Cry 4 was still loved by the general masses.

Dragon Age Inquisition looks to be an excellent continuation if the Dragon Age series as well and with such a crowded market of high-quality games it has shaped up to be a great holiday season for gamers thus-far.

The only notable disappointment comes from a surprising culprit. The Master Chief Collection, despite it’s lack of any new content, has struggled significantly on the server-side of things that has held Halo fans back from experiencing their most loved games of the franchise. The Master Chief Collection has fallen from third place on the charts through its first week, to tenth during its now second week.

Chart Track:

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR
2 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT
3 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 1
4 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 4
5 DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION EA GAMES
6 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT 2
7 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 20
8 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 5
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
10 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT 3
11 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 14
12 ASSASSIN’S CREED: ROGUE UBISOFT 6
13 DESTINY ACTIVISION 10
14 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 12
15 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY 13
16 SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM SKYLANDERS 11
17 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 19
18 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 16
19 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2015 KONAMI 8
20 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 17