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Who Is Cortana? The 'Halo' Artificial Intelligence Explained


Cortana (Jen Taylor) is one of the first characters that comes to mind when you think of the Halo universe. With a live-action Halo series on the way on Paramount, we thought a guide to Cortana (without giving too much away for those who haven't made their way through all the games) was in order. Cortana serves as a guide and ally to the player throughout Halo gameplay, and in that sense and many others, she is essential to the Halo experience. Her mannerisms as an AI make for a sort of dry humor that makes her stand out among other recurring characters in the game. It will be interesting to see how this character, who fits so easily into the video game format, will be adapted to a live-action television series.

Check out these 10 great games of 2021 for your gaming PC


Getting a new gaming PC is a bit like opening Pandora's Box when it comes to deciding what to play. With frequent releases on Steam, a never-ending flow of free games on the Epic Games Store, a plethora of indie arthouse games on itch.io, and countless other launchers and storefronts to install and choose from, it can feel like the Netflix effect of paralysis by choice. So if you got yourself a new PC for the holiday, or even earlier, this list of excellent games released this year is a primer on what to consider. Some may be no-brainers because they are the biggest releases of the last few months, but others should not be overlooked. Many titles featured here can be downloaded and played via a PC Game Pass subscription, the PC version of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, while subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate get access to games on both Xbox and PC platforms.

Got a new video game console? Here's what to play: Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to Talking Tech. Brett Molina's off today, but I'm being joined by our colleague, Tech column's Marc Saltzman.

The Verge's favorite guilty pleasures


We all have stuff that we've bought ourselves -- or asked others to buy for us -- that makes us happy, even if we suspect our friends may not understand why it's so great. It could be a $100-plus coffee cup that keeps your liquid at the exact right temperature. Or a video game that you've been playing for years. Or a hair styler that is way expensive but would make you look fabulous. We asked the staff of The Verge what some of their guilty pleasures are, and the braver among us volunteered some answers. I'm hesitant to call it a "guilty" pleasure because I have used this $550 (or more) GE Opal 2.0 ice machine every day for nearly a full year and not once have I felt guilt about spending such an obscene amount of cash on a kitchen gadget that does exactly one thing.

Halo Infinite Made Me Love Gaming With Friends Again

TIME - Tech

Its memory manipulation makes us hyperinflate the value or quality of past relationships, experiences, things we loved. When we see them again, the disappointment can be a shock. No, Speed Racer was not a good cartoon show. No, your grade school crush wasn't that impressed at your spelling test scores. But yes, the first Halo game was, and still is, the greatest first-person shooter video game ever made. It all adds up to an unforgettable experience that begins what becomes an iconic trilogy of titles.

'Halo: Infinite' may have a grapple hook, but it's still a grind


The best thing I can say about Halo: Infinite is that it gets better as it goes. The single-player campaign starts out as a basic first-person shooter dripping in nostalgia juice, and it ends up as a rudimentary open-world shooter swimming in sci-fi tropes, starring everyone's favorite emotionless space soldier and his co-dependent AI assistant. As the first open-world entry in the Halo franchise and with more than a year of extra development time, I had high hopes for Infinite. And even with a grapple hook, this game just can't reach them. I say all of this with love in my heart.

The top video games of 2021: Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, NHL 22, Super Mario 3D World

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Video games make for great stocking stuffers for kids and kids at heart. But with so many console and computer titles to choose from, shopping for a gamer can be an overwhelming endeavor. After all, no one wants to gift a dud that will quickly become a drink coaster or shiny Christmas ornament. If you're looking for some suggestions, the following are a handful of recommended gaming picks – a very subjective look at some of 2021's best – divided into various age groups. Prices are $60 unless otherwise specified.

Gamescom: 'Halo Infinite' release date, new Marvel game from 2K and all the biggest announcements

Washington Post - Technology News

Publisher Devolver Digital also revealed its next big indie game called "Cult of the Lamb," an action RPG with roguelike and dungeon crawler elements. Players assume the role of a possessed lamb and build a flock of deceptively cute woodland creatures to become the biggest, baddest satanic cult around. It's developed by Massive Monster, the creators behind "Adventure Pals," a platformer whose art and humor took a page from cartoons like "Adventure Time." Its release date is scheduled for 2022.

E3 2021: The 5 biggest video game announcements so far include space, vampires, fantasy and ... Master Chief

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

It's only Sunday yet video game fans have been greeted with several big revelations about what they'll play this holiday and beyond. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, is one of the most important events for the video game industry, as fans and retailers get a taste of what to expect from the biggest game publishers. Thursday kicked things off with the Summer Game Fest featuring several game announcements, followed by events from publishers including Ubisoft, Square Enix, Microsoft, Bethesda and more. Although there are still a couple more days of E3 news and reveals, here's a breakdown of the biggest game announcements so far: E3 2021:'Starfield,' 'Redfall,' 'Halo Infinite' and more reveals from Xbox games showcase'Hardcore tile management':Why Upwords is the superior word game (ahem Scrabble) The hype for this upcoming role-playing game has been well deserved, bringing together the creative talents of George R.R. Martin, the author behind the Game of Thrones series, and Hidetaka Miyazaki, who worked on beloved video game properties "Dark Souls" and "Bloodborne." Publisher Bandai Namco says the game will feature a "vast and seamless landscape" with natural weather and time-of-day progression.

Watch the first multiplayer trailer for 'Halo Infinite'


Microsoft offered a fresh look at Halo Infinite during its E3 2021 presentation. To start, developer 343 Industries shared a new clip from the game's single-player campaign, showing off a sequence where Master Chief navigates a section of a low-gravity level with his new grappling hook tool. He then meets a new artificial intelligence that looks like Dr. Catherine Halsey and in turn Cortana. Just as he takes the AI with him, the clip ends. Microsoft then showed off a first-look at Halo Infinite's multiplayer.