Happy Christmas weekend everyone, I’ve been back into some serious Halo gaming on my Xbox One over the last few weeks. Love the franchise so much. Hard to believe it’s been around nearly 17 years. I remember one of my first Black Friday shopping experiences was waiting in line at Best Buy to buy the first one for 20 bucks. I played through the first game with one of my friends and I had developed infected tonsils near the end of the game. We were both pretty excited to beat the game but I was running a fever and had missed work. That did not deture my friend Mike. He eventually showed up with a large coffee and we got back to it and eventually saved the galaxy. Have you played and beat the first Halo? Man what an ending!
Eventually Halo 2 came along and it was the first deluxe game I had purchased. It came in a steel case which was a new idea at the time. The game play had been ratcheted up to allow “dual weild” which was awesome. Now Master Chief could carry two guns at the same time. Very badass.
The best new feature of Halo 2 was the broading of the story and cast. The story for part 2 introduced us to the Arbiter. A Elite whom was stripped of his rank as a result of Master Chief’s success in the first game. The whole story really dug into the extensive back story of the Covenant forces you’d been fighting against to give us their motivations and depth. Plus Energy Swords. Totally love Energy Swords.
Halo 3 would come along and bring an end to the war between the Covenant and Humanity with Master Chief and his A.I. counter-part Cortana seemingly lost after the battle. Folks who beat the game on Legendary, the hardest mode, or just watched someone else do it on YouTube knew the Chief had actually survived.
The franchise was growing now with successful games, novels, comics, and toys. An Animated Anthology film called Halo Legends also came out. All giving us new characters and back story, building the Halo Universe.
New games were released that no longer starred the main protagonist Master Cheif. HALO: ODST which was about the everyday troopers who weren’t Spartans and Halo Wars which was a strategy game featuring UNSC and Covenant forces.
The most successful of these games without Master Chief was Halo Reach. An astounding game that is often regarded as the best offering in the entire series. The game is a prequel to the series and takes place in the opening battle of the war with the Covenant on the outpost planet of Reach. You take the role of a new member of Noble Team, and elite Spartan fighting force. I’ve been replaying this game a bit lately and was surprised by how well it holds up and looks amazing on the Xbox One console thanks to backwards capability.
Halo Reach would be the last game from series creators Bungie who would go onto make their own series of new games called Destiny. Master Chief and Halo had become the face of Microsoft’s gaming platform and once Bungie was done Microsoft brought the franchise in house and 343 Studios took over. They delivered the awesome Halo 4 which dealt with a new threat to humanity, the Forerunners. Well actually it wasn’t all the Forrunners just the Didact and his crew of Promethean warriors.
Halo 5 Guardians has been the latest release in the series and while the multiplayer is a blast the Campaign mode is kind a meh. It’s 10 missions and you only get to be Master Chief for 3 of those. Mostly you are Spartan Locke played by Mike Colter of Luke Cage and Marvel’ s Defenders fame. For the most part your old buddy Cortana is now the big bad. Hopefully Halo 6 will make up for 5’s story shortcomings.
Halo is alive and well after all this time. The community of fans is large. Microsoft named their personal assistant on their devices Cortana. Loot Crate now offers a bi-monthly Halo Crate which I’ve just subscribed too. Maybe I’ll do a review of that first crate when it arrives. Until then keep your shields up and ammo loaded and have a Merry Christmas.