Custom Dalek Figures Update #2

There have been a range of Supreme Dalek designs from the classic and modern series of Doctor Who, as well as comics, books, and audio stories. In this post, we have a selection of Dalek figures painted to resemble some unique Dalek leaders, ranging from possible designs for an Imperial Dalek Supreme to a very unique class of Dalek from the Big Finish audios.

New Series Imperial Supreme Dalek

This custom reimagines the standard red Dalek Supreme seen in Series 4 and Series 9, using the colour scheme of the Imperial Dalek faction from 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks as a template. There are some deviations from the Imperial Dalek colour scheme, such as the manipulator arm being silver instead of gold, but the custom still serves as a potential representation of what an Imperial Supreme Dalek might look like.

To match this Dalek with the rest of the Imperial Dalek faction, slightly off-white paint was used for the base coat and bright gold paint covers detailing on the dome, neck, midsection, and hemispheres. Several coats of white paint were needed to cover the original red paint of this figure.

The Curse of Fatal Death Imperial Supreme Dalek

Another potential candidate for an Imperial Supreme Dalek is this custom, which was created to depict the Supreme Dalek from the 1999 Comic Relief Doctor Who special, The Curse of Fatal Death. An Imperial Dalek figure was used for this custom, which retains the distinctive notched manipulator arm and flat dome lights, making this custom a hybrid of sorts. Despite these differences from the Supreme Dalek from The Curse of Fatal Death, this custom is still recognisable as that particular Dalek, not least because the prop used for the filming of that story was in fact a repurposed Imperial Dalek prop.

The design of a black and gold Supreme Dalek is not completely unique to The Curse of Fatal Death, however. The Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies from the 1960s, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD, both feature a black and gold Supreme Dalek, with two unique designs. The first instance of a black and gold Supreme Dalek in the TV series can be seen in the episode The Planet of the Daleks, from 1973.

Dalek Time Controller

The Dalek Time Controller is an unusual Dalek rank, as it so far exclusive to the medium of audio dramas. Featuring in several audios produced by Big Finish, the Dalek Time Controller encounters the Doctor on numerous occasions, in his Sixth and Eighth incarnations, and is voiced by Nicholas Briggs. Briggs uses a particularly distinctive Dalek voice for the Time Controller, and this Dalek has a suitably distinctive casing to match. This custom isn’t 100% accurate to the depictions of the Dalek Time Controller as seen on the cover of several Big Finish audios, but it is a fairly close representation of what this Dalek looks like.

The most noticeable difference of the Dalek Time Controller compared to other Daleks is the elongated neck section, surrounded by a double-ring structure. To create this custom, the neck of a standard Dalek was removed, and additional neck rings were added that had been salvaged from another Dalek figure. The double-ring structure was made using two thick wires, which were measured, cut to shape and then glued together to make the iconic Time Controller rings.

Custom Dalek Figures Update #1

It’s been a while since any custom Daleks were showcased on this blog, and in that time the collection has been continuously updated with new Daleks, as well as repaints for existing Dalek customs. In this post, we have a showcase of a grey Dalek from a Doctor Who Comic Relief special from the ’90s, a Dalek design that originated from the cover art for a novelisation, and an obscure New Series Dalek design.

The Curse of Fatal Death Dalek Drone

This custom is based on the Dalek Drone seen in the 1999 Doctor Who Comic Relief sketch, The Curse of Fatal Death. Written by Steven Moffat, this special stars numerous high-profile actors and actresses, including Rowan Atkinson, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Hugh Grant, Joanna Lumley and Jonathon Pryce. This comedy special also included a range of unique Dalek designs, using original props from the Classic Series that had been repaired and updated for the special.

In order to reflect the design of this Dalek seen on screen, the main body of this custom is a repainted Imperial Dalek, but the dome is a standard 1970s dome with an Imperial Dalek eyestalk attached. Various colours of paint have been used, including light grey, black, silver for the grating on the midsection, blue for the rings on the eyestalk, and orange for the dome lamps. The notched Imperial Dalek plunger has been replaced with a standard Dalek plunger, and the gunstick has been repainted silver. The colour scheme is similar to that of a Dalek drone from Destiny of the Daleks, but with the Imperial Dalek sculpt.

The Daleks’ Master Plan Novelisation Red Supreme Dalek

This Dalek colour scheme is a niche fan-favourite, featuring on the classic cover of the novelisation of The Daleks’ Master Plan, written by John Peel. Because The Daleks’ Master Plan is in black and white, it is open to interpretation what the colours of each individual Dalek are. Although a black Dalek prop was used for the Supreme Dalek in this story, and in-canon that Dalek is a Black Dalek, the cover of the novelisation of the episode features a striking Red Dalek as an alternate colour scheme for the Supreme.

This custom was made using a standard black-domed Emperor’s Guard Dalek from The Evil of the Daleks, but with the dome and skirt repainted red and the midsection repainted white. The silver neck rings and midsection mesh, as well as the cyan hemispheres, retain their original factory paint. This is one of several red 1960s Dalek customs in the collection, this one is distinguishable from the others by the squinting iris, white midsection and cyan hemispheres.

Buzz-Saw Dalek Imperial Guard

Briefly seen in the 2005 finale to Series 1, The Parting of the Ways, this black-domed Dalek of the Emperor’s Guard not only sports a unique black skirt with gold hemispheres, but also wields a buzz-saw. As this Dalek only exists as a CGI model used in one episode, it has very few on-screen appearances, but it did feature on one of the Battles in Time trading cards. Despite its fleeting appearance in the series and its obscure appearances in other Doctor Who media, the buzz-saw Dalek is nonetheless a common sight among collections of custom New Series Emperor’s Guard Daleks. Serving as the unofficial fifth member of the usual quartet of Emperor’s Guard Daleks, this striking Dalek design is unique among bronze Daleks.

This custom was made using a standard bronze Dalek, the later variety of the old bronze Dalek figure mould which has a deeper bronze colour and no gold ring on the midsection. The dome and skirt were painted black, but the neck, midsection, hemispheres and base retain their original factory paint. The buzz-saw attachment was made using a part of the internal mechanism of another Dalek figure’s eyestalk housing, which was affixed to a manipulator arm with the sucker attachment removed. The buzz-saw was then repainted silver to match the arm.

Doctor Who – How did the Master Survive?

The Master, the Doctor’s oldest friend and oldest nemesis, has got out of more than a few scrapes over his many appearances in Doctor Who both on TV and in audios. The character has had almost as many appearances as the Daleks, and across all their appearances the Master has often seemingly died but then reappeared in a later story, unharmed, having escaped without even so much as regenerating.

The Master’s unique ability to escape from death is usually explained by the fact that the Master is a supervillain with a near-omnipotent ability to escape from danger so that he can be back to threaten the Doctor again in a later story, but there are some specific examples of the Master cheating death that require some more explanation.

How did the Master survive falling into the Eye of Harmony?

Eric Robert’s incarnation of the Master was trapped in the Eye of Harmony in the TV Movie, but escaped when rooms from the TARDIS were jettisoned. He later explained this to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio Day of the Master.

This question has become important recently due to Big Finish’s release of Master! starring Eric Roberts, set after the Master has escaped the Eye of Harmony and is once again at large in the universe.

How did the Master survive after running out of regenerations?

Eric Robert’s Master is merely a Human body being possessed by the Master’s consciousness, and as Day of the Master explains, he does eventually revert his withered, burnt body that he had before possessing Tremas to make Anthony Ainley’s incarnation all the way back in The Keeper of Traken.

The emaciated Master, played in this incarnation by Geoffrey Beevers, would eventually end up on the desert planet Parrak searching for a the tomb of the ancient Time Lord Artron which he believed held technology that could prolong his life or even grant him a new cycle of regenerations.Artron’s tomb did indeed contain the technology the Master was searching for, though the Master would be killed by the Ravenous before claiming his prize.

The Master survived after running out of regenerations because his future selves intervened at the last moment to use Artron’s device on their predecessors’s withered body and allow him to regenerate into a new incarnation, presumably Alex Macqueen’s.

How did the Master survive the Time War?

As we see in the Series 3 episode Utopia, the Master survived the Time War using a Chameleon Arch which rewrote his DNA to make him a Human. The Human form of the Master eventually took the name Professor Yana and was essential in building a spacecraft that transported the last of Humanity to the prophesized Utopia that existed at the end of the universe.

Unfortunately, Utopia did not exist, and Professor Yana would regain his true Time Lord self after opening his pocket watch, becoming the Master once again. He went on to murder his former assistant Chantho, who shot him in return and forced him to regenerate into his next incarnation who would then strand the Doctor and his companions at the end of the universe by stealing the TARDIS.

Big Finish expanded more on the ‘Yana’ incarnation, played by Derek Jacobi, in their War Master audio series which depict his exploits in the Time War before his eventual decision to run from the war by disguising himself as a Human.

How did the Master survive being shot by his wife?

The Master’s next incarnation, played by John Simm, would become Prime Minister of the UK and hold dominion over the entire Earth for a year until being overthrown by the Doctor and his companions and having his entire reign wiped from history.

The Master would then be shot by his wife, Lucy Saxon, and supposedly killed. His body was burned and seemingly all that survived of him was his ring. However, the Master was able to survive once again after he was resurrected by a cult of his followers.

The resurrection was botched by none other than Lucy Saxon, who sacrificed herself to cut the ritual short. This forced the Master to inhabit an unstable body that granted him bizarre powers at the cost of a constant hunger that could only be satisfied if he consumed food, and this included Humans.

How did the Master survive being stabbed by Missy?

After returning to Gallifrey and having his condition ‘cured’ by the Time Lords, the Master was stabbed by Missy after refusing to stand with the Doctor, forcing him to return to his TARDIS and regenerate into Missy. Before leaving, the Master shoots Missy in the back with his laser screwdriver, ensuring that she couldn’t stand with the Doctor either.

We see in the Big Finish audio Masterful that John Simm’s incarnation didn’t regenerate into Missy right away, however, as he would hold off his regeneration long enough to host a party and invite all his past selves with the intention of stealing their lives. Missy would intervene and disrupt the party, foiling her younger selves’ plans.

How did Missy survive on Skaro?

Missy was left in a precarious situation on Skaro at the end of The Witch’s Familiar, as she was surrounded by Daleks amid a crumbling Dalek City and seemingly had only her ‘clever idea’ to get her out of it. However, the next chronological appearance of Missy in Extremis shows her to be safe and sound.

It seems Missy survived on Skaro by either allying herself with the Daleks or escaping using a similar method to her previous successful attempts to cheat death, by teleporting away at the last second using the energy from her enemy’s weapons.

Missy does remark to the Doctor that she heard about his 24-year stay on Darillium with River Song from the Daleks, implying that she may have had dealings with them.

How did Missy survive to regenerate into Sacha Dhawan’s Master?

Although Missy seems very dead after being shot in the back by her previous incarnation at the end of The Doctor Falls, it seems as though she must have survived in order to regenerate into Sacha Dhawan’s ‘Spy’ Master who appeared in Series 12, as many officially licensed BBC sources seem to claim that this is the case.

Big Finish have already suggested that Missy survives and regenerates into a new incarnation after her death in The Doctor Falls, as Missy encounters her future self, the Lumiat, during the Missy audio series. This new female incarnation of the Master has embraced her role as a force of good in the universe, and she is able to thwart many of Missy’s schemes before being killed by Missy and presumably regenerating into Sacha Dhawan’s incarnation.

Doctor Who’s timeline is constantly in flux, however, and future revelations may change how we look at the Master’s timeline. Until then, we can only speculate as to how the Master’s story will continue.

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Appreciating Halo Environments – High Charity

As one of the primary Galactic powers with the Halo narrative, the Covenant is notable for the incredible destructive power of their warships and machines and the zealous religious fervor of its many followers. However, their general design aesthetic and architectural style seems utterly at odds with their status as a genocidal Empire. The Covenant’s use of flowing organic designs and strange metals with purple and pink hues in the design of their buildings and spaceships makes their war machine appear oddly beautiful, despite the horrific intentions of their warriors.

A CCS-class battlecruiser from Halo
The ornate, manta-ray design of the standard Covenant CCS-class Battlecruiser

Comparing the Covenant with another fictitious faction of despots such as the Galactic Empire from Star Wars highlights the wholly unique aesthetic of the Halo universe – whereas the Galactic Empire have Star Destroyers made of dull grey metals in angular designs, tanks and weapons made from gunmetal grey materials and soldiers who wear dull drab grey or uniform white armour, everything that the Covenant designs, from the largest warship to the smallest sidearm, is a work of art built to look organic, sleek and graceful.

This is perfectly illustrated by the Covenant capital city – also known as the Holy City of High Charity – a gigantic, mushroom-shaped mobile base of operations for the Covenant that, despite having the destructive potential of an entire fleet, has as many hanging gardens and cathedrals as it does hangars and weapons. Noted as being substantially larger than both the Galactic Empire’s Death Stars combined, High Charity is a prominent construct in the Halo universe and is visited over the course of the games several times, particularly in Halo 2.

As a mobile base for the Covenant, High Charity is more than just a space station. It is a cultural epicenter of the various races that make up the Covenant – the city itself is contained within the vast hemisphere that tops the city, and inside over 7 billion citizens go about their lives as the genocidal designs of the Covenant are planned out high above them. The Covenant leadership of course occupy the highest towers in the city, whilst the lower castes toil away in the deeper levels of the city. Arguably the most defining feature of the Holy City, however, is the monolithic Forerunner Dreadnought that dominates the central ‘skyline’ of the city. A remnant of an even more ancient war machine, the Dreadnought is so advanced that it can power the entire city of High Charity with just a fraction of its maximum output.

Exploring High Charity

We first see High Charity in Halo 2’s opening cutscene, and it is seen several times throughout the game -it makes a particularly dramatic appearance along with its escort fleet during the climax of the level Regret, but it is not visited by the player until near the end of the game in the level Gravemind. This level, which is one of the longest in the entire series, is essentially a guided tour for the player through some of High Charity’s most important locations, and it gives Halo fans a first-hand look at the fracturing of the Covenant during the onset of the Great Schism, as Brute and Elite forces turn against each other and the Covenant fractures.

One of the Hanging Gardens of High Charity

Amid this chaos, lovers of Halo’s design aesthetic come to this level to appreciate the strangely alien beauty of High Charity’s design. It is a testament to the effort that Bungie puts into their game design, that each and every setting – no matter how small or insignificant – has its own set of ambient sounds that adds to the authenticity of Halo’s environments, and High Charity is no exception. In indoor environments, when a firefight has ended and the last sounds of weapons fire have rung out, players are left with the constant, judgemental hum of High Charity’s systems as nearby consoles continue to call for the attention of their recently deceased operators. When the level opens up into one of High Charity’s vast, cavernous garden bridge areas, all that can be heard is the distant sounds of the city, the hum of power conduits and the occasional call of alien birds.

The Forerunner Dreadnought is the most striking feature when exploring High Charity’s ‘outdoor’ areas, as in both Classic and Anniversary graphics the Eiffel Tower-like structure dominates the center of the city. However, High Charity’s most appealing feature is the abundance of Hanging Gardens and other botanical environments that are scattered around the upper levels of the city. The juxtaposition of setting a brutal civil war in an environment of trees, waterfalls and koi ponds is striking, and when both sides have fought themselves to extinction, the player is left to wander among the empty gardens of the city.

The Fate of High Charity

All good things must come to an end, however, and in the standard Halo tradition of introducing us to beautiful ancient environments only to destroy them before our eyes continues with High Charity, as the city is not only ravaged by the civil war between the Elites and the Brutes, but the Flood take advantage of the chaos and manage to slip an infected ship in among the city’s defences which rapidly spread the virulent Flood infection throughout the city. Loyalist and rebel Covenant forces alike are consumed by the Parasite, which takes over all 7.7 billion of the station’s inhabitants within days.

The Flood-infested Council Chamber

By the time the player gets the chance to revisit High Charity in Halo 3, set merely a few months after the previous game, the Holy City is completely unrecognisable. The Flood have transformed the station into a horrendous hive with very few of its original features still remaining, and although some damaged remnants of purple metal can be seen, the majority of the structure is now held together with visceral Flood biomass.

The Halo 3 level Cortana, in which the player must enter the dreaded hive that High Charity has become in order to rescue Cortana, is noted as being one of the most hated levels in Halo history, not least because the only enemy is the Flood and the environments are monotonous and difficult to navigate. However, eagle-eyed players will note that there are still enough remnants off the original High Charity to tell us that we actually revisit a few places in Halo 3 that we visitied in Halo 2, including what remains of the Council Chamber and main Hanging Garden areas, and as also get to see the ruins of the once-great Mausoleum of the Arbiter, a cathedral of Covenant architecture reduced to a Flood-infested ruin.

The High Charity Experience

Whether players remember the strangely calm and relaxing city streets ravaged by Covenant civil war in Halo 2, or the Flood-infested catacombs of the ruined Holy City in Halo 3, fans can agree that High Charity is a truly unique place. Despite being all but destroyed in Halo 3, fans can always revisit High Charity in its prime in Halo 2.

Although it may seem a shame that High Charity is destroyed, ultimately its fall and the subsequent fracturing of the Covenant allows the Human race to not only survive the war against the xenophobic order but also ally with the Elites and eventually overthrow the despotic leadership of the Covenant and put an end to their reign of tyranny once and for all. So ultimately, the loss of the Holy City is a small price to pay for the survival of humanity.

One of High Charity’s many tree-chambers

Nonetheless, one cannot help but admire the gorgeous design aesthetic of the Covenant, and High Charity, for better or worse, was a prime example of this. Not only that, but High Charity represented quite possibly the greatest representation of Covenant design in the Halo series as a whole, as unfortunately, since Halo 2, the series has depicted the decline of the Covenant from a powerful interstellar religious empire that controlled the entire Orion Arm of the Galaxy to a disparate arrangement of military juntas and scavenger groups, but that’s a whole different story.

We hope you enjoyed this short piece celebrating the beauty and history of High Charity, one of Halo’s most iconic locations. If you would like to explore the halls and hanging gardens of High Charity for yourself, Halo 2 is being released on PC soon as part of the Master Chief Collection, a collation of all the original Halo games that is available on Steam now!

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Custom New Series Dalek Asylum Inmates – Part V

Welcome to the Asylum Project, a series of new blog posts showcasing my collection of custom Dalek Asylum inmate figures. New Series Daleks are certainly the staple of the Asylum collection, and although many of them have to be deliberately plain in order to emphasise the interesting nature of the more elaborate customs, I still try to put an artistic flair into every single Dalek that I make. As such, several of the damaged New Series Daleks in the Asylum Project have some very specific details that add to the authenticity of these customs. Several of these Daleks have been showcased on this blog before, however they have all changed greatly since then and new custom Daleks have been added to the collection.

Part V of the New Series Dalek Asylum Inmates series will cover my collection of custom Time War Daleks in my Asylum collection that have been modified to appear damaged, insane and deranged, particularly standard Dalek soldiers that were driven insane due to the events of the Time War itself. This conflict was supposed to be so terrifying and groundbreaking that it fundamentally altered the Daleks and the Time Lords forever, so it makes sense that the Asylum would be filled with the mutilated remains of the soldiers who fought in the Time War.

Custom Damaged Dalek Time War Soldier

This custom was originally a remote control Dalek, though the eyestalk has been replaced with one from the standard figures, meaning it has the blue light in the middle. Several of the spheres have been removed and the figure was spray-painted black, and later given a bronze dry-brushing to enhance the weathered effect of the custom. Several paint brushes were harmed during the making of these Daleks, though even the most damaged brushes have their uses – this Dalek was dry-brushed using a brush that is nearly 3 years old, and despite its age it is still a really good tool for this sort of work. This is a testament to the workmanship of the Games Workshop brushes.

Having taken heavy damage in a battle with the Time Lords, this Dalek was transported to the Asylum and admitted to solitary confinement for its battle-scarred state – whether a Time Lord weapon affected this Dalek or its insanity just manifests in aggression, but this drone is compelled to destroyed any Daleks it encounters.

Custom Appendage-less Dalek Inmate

This custom was created with help from a friend – most of the damage done to this figure was done with a well-timed kick, and I customised the figure around that damage. The entire figure was spray-painted and dry-brushed to give it a weathered appearance, and the eyestalk was created using hot glue and pieces of an old pen. Although this custom is relatively basic, the design is based on one of the Daleks seen in the episode Asylum of the Daleks, and despite the lack of either a gunstick or a plunger, they still want to kill on sight – a testament to the truly hateful nature of the Daleks.

Having lost its appendages and several segments of its armour in the Time War, this Dalek drone was condemned to the Asylum and now sits in one of the many chambers among its insane brethren, screaming endlessly and yet unable to actually kill – and so, to its peers, it is hardly a Dalek at all.

Custom Dalek Asylum Atrium Resident

This custom is one of the few Daleks in the Asylum collection that uses one of the new Dalek figures as the base – the primary damage done to this figure is the missing ear light, the damage to the gunbox and several washes of black Citadel paint. The washes are usually effective at adding a grimy or dirty effect to the figures, and due to how regularly I mention the washes, one could be forgiven for assuming that the same method is employed each time. However, each figure requires a specific amount of washes, and at very particular intensities. This custom, for example, required nearly five complete black washes, each one needing at least 6 hours of drying each time.

Having sat in one of the upper chambers of the Asylum for centuries after losing a battle in the Time War, this Dalek now rarely awakens – however, recently interference from humanoids has disturbed it several times. Although it lacks a gunstick, this Dalek is still capable of killing, so it attempts to intercept any creatures that enter the Asylum.

Custom Dalek with Damaged Casing

This custom required some serious work, with the dome and the gunboxes requiring several cuts with a hacksaw – some pieces of the front panel fell away, and I filling the insides with tissue paper, hot glue and wires before painting over the entire damaged section with black Citadel paint. This custom is visually striking from the right angle, particularly due to the stark damage to the casing of the Dalek. However, it is actually remarkably easy to make, and with just a few simple cuts with a hacksaw this custom could be easily recreated. However, be sure to be careful with sharp tools if you want to give it a try.

Although the Time War left this Dalek scarred both in mind and casing, it remains as malicious as ever – the creature inside is totally twisted, and there are few instances in which this Dalek witnesses a fight break out and does not attempt to take part, despite the lack of an effective long-range weapon.

Custom Critically Damaged Supreme Dalek

This custom uses the relatively rare Supreme Dalek figure as the base, as this figure was given to me in a broken state – meaning it was a prime subject for creating an Asylum custom. The entire behind this figure is based on the concept of a Dalek Supreme being critically damaged by Dalek firepower but not totally destroyed, meaning the front section of the casing has been blasted out but the Dalek itself is alive. Supreme Daleks are always fun to customise, and this one was no exception – the inside of the Dalek was filled with tissue paper and the front section is held in place with hot glue. The figure was given several black washes, and the gold parts of the figure were given a few more coats of bronze to add to the effect.

A high-ranking Supreme Dalek during the Time War, this leader was aboard a command ship that crashed during a battle with the Time Lords, and the resulting damage to its casing caused the mutant to go insane. Now languishing in the Asylum, the former Supreme Dalek barks orders at the Daleks around it to no avail, which only intensifies its rage day by day.

Halo – MCC Gets a PC Release and Reach DLC – Classic Halos FINALLY get a PC Release

In a stunning move, 343 industries have exceeded fans’ expectations two-fold by not only announcing that Halo: Reach will be added to MCC, a wild but popular fan request, but also announcing that the long-awaited PC release for MCC is imminent and, remarkably, the game will be available on Steam. This is perhaps the biggest piece of Halo gaming news since the announcement of Halo: Infinite, and fans are ecstatic.

This can only mean good things for the Halo community, as provided that 343 doesn’t make the same mistakes as they did with MCC’s Xbox One release back in 2014, the Halo community is going to grow with a new influx of PC players who are either newcomers to the franchise and are curious or nostalgic former fans, perhaps those who never bought an Xbox One and switched to either Playstation or PC, who will now take the opportunity to revisit the franchise.

Halo 360

Xbox 360 Era Halo Games are coming to PC at last on the MCC –

Another important thing to note is that the release of MCC on PC will mark the first time that Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 4 will be released officially on the PC. In fact, a mainline Halo game hasn’t been released on PC since Halo 2 Vista in the mid 2000s, so this announcement is a big leap forward for Halo in the PC community. With the inclusion of the full classic multiplayer systems for all the Halo games, as well as Firefight, Spartan Ops, Forge, Theater, and not to mention the Campaigns for every classic Halo game, MCC in its current state is quite an impressive game in terms of content.

However, there are some technical conditions to this release regardless of what version of MCC you have – for console users, Reach’s Campaign and Firefight are premium DLC, whilst the multiplayer and forge are available for free. For PC users, each game in the MCC will release separately in chronological order – that is, starting with Reach, then CE, then 2, and so on. 343 industries have decided to release MCC on PC in this way to ensure that there are as few issues as possible with the release and to mitigate any immediate problems. Whilst this may frustrate some PC users who really want to play Halo 2 Anniversary or Halo 3 on PC, this is a good sign that 343 industries are have learned from the mistakes of the original release of MCC in 2014.


More NEW Content for the MCC is Coming

To get involved in what is essentially the Beta for Halo MCC (starting with Halo: Reach) on PC, and the concurrent Beta for Halo: Reach on the console version of MCC, it is possible to sign up to the Halo Insider program via the Halo Waypoint site.

The PC release and the inclusion of Reach are not the only pieces of good news, however. 343 industries also confirmed in the same announcement that the long-awaited Custom Games Browser is also coming to MCC. This will allow players to search for live Custom Games and join them as they would a Social Matchmaking game. This makes it much easier for players to set up their own Custom Games with enough players to test a forge map, try out a wacky game mode, or just host their own matches on the classic maps or modes they love that don’t pop up as often in Matchmaking. This is already a feature of Halo 5: Guardians and it was perhaps the best thing added to the game since Jorge’s Chaingun, and it was able to give the game a dignified send off as its impressively long post-release life came to an end at last.

However, as bombastic and exciting as all this glamorous news is, let us not forget that this isn’t even the full extent of the work that 343 industries is doing on the Master Chief Collection. In fact, months before this update dropped, a previous update to MCC that added new Skulls to Halo: CE also came with a promise that more content is being created for the classic Halo games, particularly new game modifiers in the form of either Skulls from later Halo titles being created for their classic predecessors, or even brand new Skulls that are being developed and tested by 343 industries behind the scenes. Factor in the Halo: Reach release, and the fact that Halo is coming to PC, and this opens up some exciting new opportunities, particularly with the idea of Custom Skulls, an idea that several fans have put forward as a possible means 343 industries could use to bringing modding to MCC on PC. Speaking of which…

spv3 visr

Modding Halo MCC on PC Will be Possible – But Not on Release

Although not every fan would necessarily ask for it as a feature, the idea of including modding capability for Halo: MCC on PC has been thrown around. For one, we know that modding Halo on PC is hardly a new idea – mods have been created for Halo: CE (via the official Halo: Custom Edition), Halo 2 Vista (but only just) and even Halo 5: Forge for PC, and we have already covered a popular new mod that was recently released for Halo: CE on Sacred Icon before – known as Halo: SPV3, this incredible mod is a full conversion that adds features from many other games to the original Halo and expands the weapon sandbox, levels and enemy variety. Could this kind of content become available for all the games included in the MCC for PC in the future? Could we see a new renaissance of the Classic Halo portfolio thanks to the ability of the community to continuously create new content?

Given that games like Skyrim or Star Wars Battlefront II, both games that have been available for a considerable number of years, still have a massive playerbase thanks to the release of new mods, it could well be possible that the Halo community, which has suffered more than a few distinct schisms and crises since 343 industries took over the series, may finally come together once again in the way that the original release of the MCC back in 2014 was intended to.

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Doctor Who – Big Finish – I, Davros Review

Davros, arguably one of the most iconic and recognisable characters in the history of Doctor Who, is also legendary for being one of the series’ least developed. As villains go, Davros is very much a ‘Palpatine’ kind of villain – as far as the TV show goes, he’s evil and that’s that, with no explanation or further extrapolation required. This is by no means a bad thing, in fact many of the best villains are the ones that are just inherently insane, but Big Finish had already had one spat at developing Davros’ character in the aptly named Main Range audio Davros, and in that story they presented a previously unseen angle to the character of Davros that left listeners wanting more. As such, Big Finish took a leap of faith and created the I,Davros series – a four-part prelude to Genesis of the Daleks, with each part showcasing an important moment in Davros’ life on Skaro, from his boyhood to the day he received his injuries.


Innocence_cover.jpgThe first audio in the series depicts Davros as a child, in a similar fashion to The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar from Series 9, although the circumstances are starkly different. Depicted as a self-entitled prodigy rather than a defenceless victim, this version of child Davros invokes little pity from the audience, as even in his youth it is clear that the Davros we all know is already beginning to emerge. However, the show is stolen by an unlikely candidate – the cunning Calcula, mother of Davros and perhaps the best addition to his backstory. Cold and ruthless, Calcula’s depiction in this audio makes it clear where Davros gets his sadistic or unfeeling tendencies. Some of the material depicted in this audio is fascinating, particularly as a fan of Genesis of the Daleks, as the Kaled history and culture is expanded upon as well as the history of the Thousand-Year war.


Purity_coverThe second story in the series expands on Davros’ military career and his attempts to be transferred to the Kaled Scientific Corps. Now thirty years of age, Davros is as ruthless as ever but is held back by his commanding officers, something that frustrates him throughout the story and drives his desire for power and influence. His lack of conscience is also expanded upon, as even when confronted with physical reminders of his horrors he has committed, he remains as pitiless as ever. One of the most interesting recurring themes throughout this series is the fact that Davros was already Davros before he was injured, and the excuse that his raving megalomania is the result of feelings of impotence are swept aside as little more than a misconception. Ultimately, as hinted at in Davros, the horrors of war are what forged the mind of Davros – his scars were just a formality.


Corruption_cover.jpgArguably the pinnacle of the series, Corruption depicts Davros’ rise to power in the Scientific Elite and has the most links with the audio Davros, as many of the events that are shown in that story are repeated here, but expanded upon. The highlight of this story is the return of Shan, Davros’ potential lover and eventual rival who was essential in the early development of the Dalek theory. This story also shows arguably the most important event in Davros’ life before the creation of the Daleks – the Thal attack that left him scarred, and his initial reaction to his new form. It is here that Terry Molloy demonstrates his deep understanding of the character and, despite not taking over the role of Davros until a decade after Genesis of the Daleks, he shows that he is the definitive Davros as his excellent performance is the highlight of the series.



This audio deals with the immediate run-up to Genesis of the Daleks, and fully realises the intent of demonstrating how life on Skaro rapidly declined over the course of the series. Now little more than a bunker, the once proud Kaled race has covered their battered city in a vast dome, and the insane Davros experiments with mutating the infant population of his own race. Highlights of this story include the introduction of a young Nyder, the expansion of the Kaled political system that was seen in Genesis, and of course the final stages of the Dalek project being completed, setting the scene for the first encounter that Sarah Jane has with Davros in the Wastelands. With the prelude complete, Guilt does a fantastic job of bridging this series with the show and creates an atmosphere that is very reminiscent of the world we saw in Genesis of the Daleks.


All things considered, I,Davros is an excellent depiction of the backstory of one of Doctor Who’s most iconic villains and not only does an excellent job of tying in both Davros and Genesis of the Daleks but also tells four gripping stories in its own right, many of the plot details of which have been omitted from this review as it is definitely something that is best experienced rather than simply retold. Though there are some issues with the series, such as a largely unnecessary framing device of Davros standing trial on Skaro, and the idea of him retelling his story to the Daleks making little sense as they would hardly be interested in the first place, overall this is a minor drawback that has little impact on the series as a whole. I, Davros is well worth a listen and as it is available as a bundle from the Big Finish website for just £14.79, it is one of the easiest Big Finish collections to pick up for those who are unsure of where to start with the Doctor Who audios.

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How to Fix – The Paradigm Daleks

Welcome to the next article in a series called ‘How to Fix’, this piece will discuss how the infamous Paradigm Daleks could be improved in future seasons of Doctor Who, should they ever return. As previously mentioned in Doctor Who Theories – What Became of the Paradigm Daleks? the taller, bulkier and multi-coloured redesign of the Daleks that took place in Series 5, Steven Moffat’s first series as showrunner, was not well-received by fans.

chrome of the daleks

Image Credit: Dalek 63 88

The most important thing that was to blame for the poor reception of the New Dalek Paradigm was the lacklustre set that was used for their big reveal in Victory of the Daleks – a tiny room in a disused matchstick factory with a ceiling that was barely high enough for the Paradigm Daleks to even fit. The Dalek props themselves were not nearly as badly designed as fans made them out to be, and alterations to the props for Asylum of the Daleks corrected several issues with the design that were evident from Victory – most notably the plastic-like colours that were replaced with the much nicer chrome finish, but the hump at the back was also reduced in response to complaints about the ‘hunchback’ design. For more information on the specifics of the tweaks to the design click here to visit Dalek 63 88’s comprehensive history of the Paradigm props used in Asylum of the Daleks.

But this seemed to be too little, too late, and the Paradigm Daleks were never seen again following Asylum of the Daleks. In total, they had featured prominently in just four episodes in the entirety of Matt Smith’s run as the Eleventh Doctor, which were Victory of the Daleks, The Pandorica Opens, The Big Bang and Asylum of the Daleks. They had also cameoed in  The Wedding of River Song and been featured prominently in several video games and comics of that era, but by Peter Capaldi’s first episode as the Twelfth Doctor to feature the Daleks, Series 8’s Into the Dalek, the Paradigm had disappeared and have never been seen since.


Before delving into speculation and ideas as to how to fix the Paradigm should they ever appear again, the narrative issues with the Paradigm must first be addressed. These issues are totally separate from the more commonly cited problem of the Paradigm’s design, but are perhaps caused by it – firstly, the Paradigm should have been introduced as an officer class for the Daleks from the get-go. Although it is clear that they later became this in Asylum of the Daleks, when they were first introduced they were certainly intended to replace the bronze design entirely. In interviews that were included in behind the scenes material relating to Victory of the Daleks with writer Mark Gatiss, who wrote the story and helped with the design of the Paradigm, he envisions future episodes of the show featuring the Daleks being staffed entirely by the red Paradigm variety, as he considered that the new ‘Drone’ for the Daleks and it was marketed as such at the time. Had the Paradigm been an officer class from the start, with the Progenitor in Victory of the Daleks producing a few Paradigm Daleks and then more bronze drones, perhaps they would have been better received and could have been included as recurring antagonists in a similar fashion to Russell T. Davies’ Cult of Skaro.

dalek series 6The second most glaring narrative flaw with the implementation of the Dalek Paradigm was the lack of Dalek stories in the following series to back up their introduction. Series 6 was devoid of a true Dalek story and this is possibly the greatest contributing factor to the failure of the Paradigm. Had Asylum of the Daleks’ design tweaks been implemented as early as the first half of Series 6, perhaps fans would have been more accepting of them, particularly as the chrome finish makes them look more metallic and less like oversized toys. Possibly in reaction to the poor reception of the Paradigm, Steven Moffat chose to put the Daleks on a mini-hiatus until Series 7, by which time he had made the decision to backtrack on the idea of the Paradigm completely replacing the bronze Daleks and introduced the Dalek Parliament, which featured bronze and Paradigm Daleks working together with no explanation as to why. Since this was the last appearance of the Paradigm, it is safe to say that this decision essentially killed the redesign for good.

series-9-daleks.jpgInterestingly, although the Paradigm were not featured in later Dalek appearances like The Time of the Doctor and Into the Dalek, it was still possible that they were working behind the scenes as the Dalek officer class that they had now become. Information from sources like Doctor Who encyclopedias and fact files from Matt Smith’s era suggest that the Paradigm were still very much alive, and were working behind the scenes to rebuild Skaro and the Dalek Empire, and that the booming voice of the Supreme Dalek threatening the Eleventh Doctor during his initial regeneration scene is in fact a Paradigm Supreme. However, when Series 9’s The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar came around and fans got to see the rebuilt Skaro for themselves, the Paradigm had been entirely replaced with a new form of Dalek command made up of various types of classic Daleks from the show’s history. Not an unwelcome choice of Dalek design for a modern day episode, but a surprising one. Even more interestingly, behind the scenes photographs from the Series 9 two-parter show that the New Dalek Paradigm props were on set at the time, alongside a Peter Cushing movie style Dalek. However, none of these were featured in the episode, and they seem to be the only Dalek props on set at the time that were excluded from the episode. It seems Moffat was considering following through on his idea to have the Paradigm return as the Supreme Council of the new Daleks, but instead opted to imply that they had either disappeared or had been assimilated into the ranks of a newer Dalek hierarchy instead. Either way, the Paradigm were gone for good.

paradigm-daleks.jpgBut if a future showrunner decided in the future that the Paradigm should return? Could it be done? The props themselves are almost certainly in storage somewhere at the BBC, and provided enough time had passed the return of the Paradigm could actually be quite nostalgic for many fans. Not only that, but bringing the Paradigm back might give fans of the Eleventh Doctor’s era some closure. But how could it work? For a start, there would have to be some kind of explanation as to why the Paradigm disappeared in the first place. Perhaps the mysterious Dalek Eternal meddled too much in Dalek history, resulting in the mismatched Empire seen in Series 9, and as a result the Paradigm were exiled. The explanation from the Doctor Who Experience, that the bronze Daleks eventually overthrew their superiors, could also make for some interesting television that harks back to the Dalek Civil War story arc of the 1980s Dalek stories.

If the Paradigm were to return in the future, it is highly likely that more tweaks will be made to their design. Although fans in 2010 were highly critical of these Daleks, there are many aspects of their design that are actually really effective that should be retained in future designs. These include the taller figure that makes them more intimidating, the biological-looking eyepiece that is perhaps one of the creepiest designs yet, and the interesting but sadly undeveloped ‘weapons hatch’ at the back that makes every Dalek capable of transporting multiple weapons or tools at once, which is a great idea that makes sense as a logical evolution for the species. The essential factor to take into account when redesigning the Daleks should be less of “What looks cool?” and more “What makes sense?”. An example of this would be the bolts and rivets on the bronze Daleks – they may look great, but don’t actually make much sense in the logic of the universe, as Daleks would hardly be likely to use human methods of construction when building their army. This goes to show that even the best Dalek designs have their flaws, and adaptations of the classic Dalek look are definitely the way forward for future showrunners who want to try their hand at giving the Daleks a makeover.

Whether they remain a cautionary tale of the hubris of the Moffat era, or they are one day picked up by a showrunner who wishes to do them justice, the Paradigm Daleks will forever be remembered as either a blatant mis-step or a tragic missed opportunity by various factions of the Doctor Who fanbase. One thing that almost all Doctor Who fans can agree on, however, is that although no showrunner should feel apprehensive about trying to put their mark on the Daleks, none should ever again try a Dalek redesign with such zeal without first checking to see if the design actually works well on screen.

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Halo MCC – Top 10 ‘Additional Skulls’ That We Want To See Added to MCC

In the most recent update to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 343 industries did something unexpected, exciting and ridiculous – they added new skulls to Halo: Combat Evolved, supplementing the game with several skulls that expanded its already impressive array of skulls from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary that was released in 2011. Halo: CE now features several skulls that, until now, had only been present in Halo 2, like Anger and Ghost, and several more that are staples of the modern incarnations of Halo, such as Thunderstorm and Tough Luck. However, in the blog post accompanying this update, 343 industries suggested that not only will the other Halo titles in the MCC be receiving new Skulls in the future, but also that there will be brand new skulls added to the game that have never been seen before. Since then, fans have been speculating as to what these skulls might do, so here is a list of the Top 5 ‘Additional Skulls’ that fans want to see in Halo: MCC.


#10 – Invincible Allies Skull

This one is fairly low on the list because, if it ever exists, it will more than likely be a 0x scoring skull, and rightly so – having invincible allies would make the game very easy, in a similar fashion to infinite ammo, but it cannot be denied that having invincible allies would also be hilarious and would open up opportunities for weird and wacky glitches as it would be possible to blast or whack allies into areas that they would usually not enter. This skull has been brought up several times in relation to Halo: CE, as Marine snipers would often teamkill their allies when firing a rapid sequence of shots at eye-level , if marines walked into their line of fire. This Skull might even open up entire new ways of playing levels – if your Marine allies could survive 343 Guilty Spark on Halo: CE, or your Grunt allies could survive Sacred Icon (the level this blog is named for) on Halo 2.

#9 – Halo 2 Grunt Birthday Party Skull

This one is slightly less likely, but many now forget that in the original Halo 2, the Grunt Birthday Party Skull had a totally different effect to what it became in later Halo games. Originally, activating the skull caused all headshots to turn into plasma grenade explosions, so any time a projectile heads a character’s head – even if they are dead – it creates a plasma explosion. This skull’s effect was likely altered as it did make the game easy, as you could wipe out entire squadrons of Grunts or Flood with a single headshot, but the skull was still fun to use and, like the Grunt Funeral Skull that has somewhat continued its legacy, it can sometimes create lethal deathtraps for the player. If the Grunt Birthday Party Skull in its original form did ever return to MCC, it would likely be implemented under the name ‘Grunt Birthday Party (Classic)’, or perhaps even be given a completely new name. Either way, that feature is sitting dormant in the code of Halo 2: Anniversary and it needs to be released.

#8 – Universal Bandana


This isn’t an idea for an original or returning Skull, but it is one of the most commonly requested ideas on Halo forums when fans are asked what Skulls they want to see implemented into Halo: MCC, and it is easy to see why. The Bandana Skull allows for exploration and exploitation opportunities in Halo: CE and Halo 2, but is not a feature for Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST or Halo: 4. As far as the hints that 343 industries have dropped in their blog posts are concerned, Universal Bandana will be implemented into Halo: MCC in due course, as it is likely that each game will be updated in separate updates.

#7 – Angry (SPV3)


Those who haven’t played the excellent SPV3 mod for Halo: CE on the PC will likely not be aware of the Angry Skull, but it is an excellent idea that was implemented to SPV3 but would likely work on any and all Halo games. The Angry Skull turns all previously allied AI against you from the start of the level, meaning you not only have no allies at any time but also have vastly more enemies, and some sections of levels that would usually be a breeze become vicious gauntlets. If this Skull was ever implemented to Halo: MCC, parts like the first section of Crow’s Nest on Halo 3, that features almost 50 Marines, will add to the challenge, particularly if playing on Legendary with other Skulls on. This Skull would likely score around 1.3x, as it would drastically increase the difficulty of many levels.


#6 – Combat Evolved Vehicle Armour

This Skull would essentially make all vehicles invincible, like they were in Halo: Combat Evolved. As in Halo: CE, this would not apply to certain vehicles like Banshees, Ghosts, Wraiths and likely other enemy vehicles, but would exist to give UNSC vehicles more versatility, especially on Legendary difficulty. This Skull would be non-scoring, likely having a 1x score, although a 0x score is possible. In other Halo titles this Skull would affect the Warthog, Scorpion, Mongoose and Mantis, and perhaps in Halo 2 Arbiter levels it would affect certain Ghosts, Spectres and Wraiths depending on which vehicles are intended for the player in each mission.

#5 – Bottomless Clip

As this feature exists as an option for Halo: Reach and Halo 4 in Forge and other modes, Bottomless Clip would surely not be a difficult feature to program into the campaign. After all, Bandana already gives players infinite ammo, and whilst this Skull would surely have a 0x score, it would make levels like The Storm and Tsavo Highway on Halo 3 a blast (literally). There would be other, practical uses of Bottomless Clip too in several of the Halo campaigns for the purposes of map exploration, boundary breaking, exploits and other shenanigans that Skulls are commonly associated with.

bang bang skull.png

#4 – Bang Bang

This Skull was from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, but modders have since been able to access it and discover that the effect turns all weapon sounds into a voice recording of a man saying ‘Pew’. Whilst the idea is funny, the execution requires improvement, and if this Skull is to be added it should be on the condition that all weapons get their own individual voice clips that associate with that weapon, of people trying to imitate the weapon sounds of Halo, that would be pretty funny. Grenades would definitely just be someone going ‘Bang!’ though. Since the gameplay change is entirely aesthetic, this Skull would probably just have a 1x score.

#3 – Wuv Woo (Halo Wars)

wuv woo skull.png

This Skull, which until now has only featured in Halo Wars, turns certain weapon projectiles into rainbow lasers with love hearts spewing from them, a sickening display which strikes fear into the hearts of all who see it. In Halo Wars, the Skull only works on Scarab beams, but for Halo: MCC, each type of weapon should have its own comical design – rainbows for Covenant weapons and confetti for UNSC weapons, perhaps? And in Halo 4 the Promethean weapons can fire multi-coloured blasts instead of their usual standard orange. Again, this Skull is aesthetic, so would likely score 1x.

#2 – Third Person

Based on a cut Skull for Halo 3: ODST, Halo: MCC should include a Skull that switches players to a third person perspective, like in Theater mode or when in a vehicle, at all times – meaning players will have to rely on the HUD more in a fashion similar to the original Star Wars: Battlefront. When combined with the Blind Skull, this Skull would open up great opportunities for making Machinimas, and would allow players to player the Halo games again in a whole new way.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Big Head Mode Skull (All enemies and allies have engorged craniums)
  • Halo 2 Black Eye Skull (Meleeing enemies gives you Overshields like in Halo 2)
  • Gamble Skull (You do more damage, but take more damage)
  • Reverse Assassins Skull (All allied NPCs are permanently cloaked)
  • Brawl Skull (Enemies favour charging melee attacks over ranged weapons)
  • Permanent Cloak (Halo CE/Halo 2) – The player is permanently cloaked
  • Overshields (Halo CE/Halo 2) – The player has recharging overshields


#1 – VISR Skull

This simple but interesting idea for a Skull would essentially combine the ideas implemented into Halo 3: ODST and Halo: SPV3 by giving the player a night-vision mode instead of a flashlight for levels that are bathed in near-total darkness. Although this Skull would be fairly difficult to program, as it would require coding the VISR mode into all 4 mainline Halo games featured on the Master Chief Collection, but the end results would definitely be worth it. After all, the VISR mode was one of the best things about Halo 3: ODST, and bringing that over to the other Halo games would open up new styles of combat for each title, particularly in the Anniversary modes with their dynamic lighting.

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Have Microtransactions ruined Star Wars: Battlefront?

After the controversial release of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II in late 2017, the game has recently seen a revival thanks to the release of several free expansions. However, with EA being mired with complaints about the microtransaction system, the short campaign and the poorly designed level progression system, there are clearly still fans out there that are not happy with the newest installment in the Battlefront series. In fact, there is a significant portion of the Star Wars fan community that staunchly prefers the original Star Wars: Battlefront II that released in 2005 over the EA-branded remake. But are the two games in any way comparable?

battlefront 2
The original Battlefront II

When it was released in 2005, the sequel to 2003’s Star Wars: Battlefront aimed to improve on just about everything that had featured in the original by adding in space combat, more classes, a better rewards system and countless other gameplay, aesthetic and layout changes that helped to firmly establish Star Wars: Battlefront II as one of the most popular Star Wars video games out there. In the eyes of many fans, the game takes its place alongside other Star Wars classics like Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic as one of the best video games of its era, and thanks to a dedicated community that has seemingly only strengthened in the wake of the release of the EA Battlefront series the game continues to be one of the most popular Star Wars releases to date.

battlefront ii ea
EA’s new Battlefront II

Following the decision by EA to use the name ‘Battlefront’ for their new series of Star Wars first-person shooters, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II had a lot to live up to. Fans were cautious of the game when it was first announced due to the disappointment many had felt following the release of EA’s first Star Wars Battlefront, which promised much and yet delivered little in terms of maps and content. Early signs for Battlefront II seemed more promising, with the inclusion of the prequel and sequel eras as well as more customization, heroes, space battles and the single player campaign mode. In many ways, EA’s Battlefront II did deliver on what was promised, at least in terms of content – but the controversy surrounding microtransactions coupled with the vast amounts of playtime needed to progress through the levelling system led to many players writing off the new Battlefront game early on, particularly since EA had already failed once.

One of the most glaring weaknesses in the new Battlefront games compared to the Battlefronts of the 2000s is the significant reduction in the number of maps and modes, and the lack of customization options compared to older releases. For many players these features helped define the Battlefront games and for some the use of the Battlefront name on EA’s new games is little more than brand association.

However, the biggest and most controversial issue surrounding EA’s Battlefront II was the inclusion of its microtransaction system. Having started as a means for free mobile games to generate revenue through in-app purchases, microtransactions have gradually seeped into the mainstream console gaming market and the increasing numbers of publishers that have turned to this system has been criticized by children and parents alike. Those against the system argue that it comes across as an attempt by publishers to squeeze as much money out of the consumer as possible, and when the system is paired with randomized loot-boxes that have also become popular in the first-person shooter genre of games the result is something akin to child gambling, as children can spend real money on a random selection of in-game content without knowing what content they will actually receive.

This was particularly controversial in the case of EA’s Battlefront II as it was proven that, without using real money to purchase randomized loot-boxes, it would take hours and hours of playtime to earn enough in-game currency to unlock heroes like Darth Vader despite the inclusion of the heroes being one of the game’s main selling points. Ultimately, the controversy surrounding microtransactions in EA’s Battlefront II contributed to a growing movement against the system led by activists and politicians that particularly target the randomized loot-box system. Progress has already been made in some parts of the world, most notably the Belgium Gambling Commission that has made the inclusion of randomized loot-boxes that can be bought with real money illegal.

Despite the assertion from many Star Wars fans that microtransactions ruined the new EA Battlefront, the game has seen a small rise in popularity following the suspension of the loot-box system and the release of several free sets of downloadable content. Whilst there is no way to know for certain exactly how many active players there are in the game, the release of content related to Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the Clone Wars era has been met with positive response from what players the game has, so it could be that with the removal of the microtransaction system the game stands a chance of turning over a new leaf and winning back the disappointed fans that are flocking to Star Wars’ rival brands in their droves.

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