Why do I love Halo?
Halo...Why do I love it?
Where did it start?
It all started when I was round a friend's house, he owned an Original Xbox, where, at the time, I owned the PS2. He said something to the effect of, "Hey, look, I have this amazing game, it's called Halo, and you can play split screen." So I ask, "Whats' split screen?" Only having 1 controller at my house, I never played it. Well, I found out what split screen was alright, I bought my self another controller on PS2 so I could use it. And that brings me to my first reason, it gave me the ability to play with my friends at the same time.
Now, playing the game, we started as everyone else does with a cut scene, which my friend promptly skipped saying, "It's boring." I let it go and carried on. I then saw a sight I would never forget and that is the second reason I love Halo, the armour, I saw who I was playing as, I cannot remember ever doing that before. I went through some tutorials learnt about the shield system and health. Then, promptly, explosions started, so I panicked and ran. My friend, yelling (yes he actually yelled) "Come back you're going to miss something!" So I went back, and looked up, I then saw the first sight in a game which shocked me. A man, I only heard his voice, was thrown at the window. Then an Elite shows himself, and I felt fear. And this brings me to the third reason I love Halo, the enemies, somehow it really makes you hate them (more on this later).
After some confusing jumping and crouching (which I soon got the hang of). We ran down corridors with explosions, shooting and general fighting. That is when I met Captain Keyes, he wasn't the prettiest person I have ever seen, far from it. But instantly I wanted to listen to him, then he gave me an empty pistol. I literally said: "Like that is going to help!" Running out of the bridge I read a prompt saying Melee with "B." And saw grunts, I laughed at their funny walking, and the way they screamed as I punched one of them. I hated them now, because they were working with the Elites, at that point it was a guess (I knew Elites and Grunts as my friend told me what they were), which was later confirmed.
Diagram showing the button layout for Halo CE on Xbox
Running through the ship killing, you get to the mess hall (eating area). And I hear a voice in my head say: "Do what you do best." Having not understood the earlier cut scene I didn't realise I had an AI called Cortana in my head. My friend explained this to me, and that's the fourth reason I love Halo. Cortana, she is smart, funny, sarcastic and above all made me feel like I wasn't alone later in the game. Finishing the mission, my dad walks in saying we have to go. So, being the little squirt I was, I said no. Got yelled at and left.
The Love Grows the More You are Away
The next week was a terrible week, all I could talk, or think about was Halo. My dad refused to buy me an Xbox, saying "You have a playing station thing." I corrected him, of course, and he was not happy.
Finally, I got to go back to my friend's and got to carry on with Halo, I was happy once more!
The best part was that my friend lent me his Xbox and Halo, my life was complete.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Playing the whole game, from beginning to end 3 times in the next 3 days are not a blur, I didn't understand half of anything, but felt like I had just completed an epic journey in a world which was amazing and a bit weird. I mean, the floor is above me? What?
Halo CE Xbox Box Art
I grew a hatred for the Flood, which I still have now. I grew a fondness for Elites, but also did not like them. I fell in love with the power of the Master Chief and of course Cortana, but I never found her sexy or anything like that, I felt like she was family to me.
The final mission secured my love, well more than before. I got to shoot...shoot...shoot the hell out of Guilty Spark, the most annoying character I have ever met in any game ever! (Good English there, right?). I didn't hate him above the Flood, just equally. Then the escape, it is a heart pounding, gut raising, energy fueling, emotional charge. Losing Foe Hammer: that got me angry, and I felt helpless.
I shortly gave the console back to my friend, my dad having to persuade me, with food mostly.
When Halo 2 was released I had no idea. I turned up to the same friends house, and he said, "Hey look, Halo 2." I got excited and promptly played it. Dual wielding, where do I start? God, dual wielding, it was amazing! I quickly found I loved Needler in my left, SMG in my right. I still have no idea why, I think it may be for Elites, destroy shield with SMG, needles to explode them. It worked, very well.
Halo 2 Xbox Box Art
This time I never got to borrow my friends console, something about multiplayer and Xbox Live. I didn't know what it was, but I didn't speak to him for a few days after that. It's sad now I think back on it.
I forgave him and found out that my cousin also had Halo 2. He had recently bought an Xbox for Halo: CE and Halo 2. I still never managed to finish Halo 2.
Halo and PC
Finally, after a very long time (well, it felt like it), my dad bought a new computer. For him mind you, but he managed to get a few games with it, among them, Halo: Combat Evolved. I discovered what multiplayer was, I was hooked. It was all I played for a long time. I got amazing at it, and loved it. I made a good friend and we would often play against each other, neither one of us better than the other.
Halo CE PC Box Art
Fast forward a little while (a few years). Upon getting a laptop with Windows Vista (which I found out I hated) I discovered Halo 2 was on PC too. Well, I convinced my dad to buy it for me. I finally managed to play, and finish it. And well it was a ride.
Halo 2 PC Box Art
Halo 2's Ending
At the time I didn't know there was an uproar about the ending, which I thought was super good. But not as good as Halo: CE's. And with that, it brings me to another problem I found in Halo. The new consoles and lack of PC (I will get back on that later).
The ending mission of Halo 2, was a blast, killing Brutes, who I now hated more than Elites, and didn't respect them at all.
Halo 3 and Xbox 360
Well I just had to get an Xbox 360 and Halo 3. And so I did, after a year I got Xbox Live, now I knew what that thing my friend was talking about was. I was rubbish online, being so used to keyboard and mouse of Halo: CE and Halo 2 I was waiting for Halo 3's PC release, it never came, at least I had an Xbox 360.
Halo 3 Box Art
Well what can I say about Halo 3? Gods, did it look pretty. A Halo in HD. I fell in love all over again.
After losing Cortana in Halo 2 I didn't know what I was going to do, I missed that blue glowing half naked woman. Getting her back I made a literal "Woop!" for joy! My dad was confused, oh well.
As soon as I heard Halo was getting an RTS I instantly pre-ordered, when I heard it was being made by Ensemble, I canceled and pre-ordered the special edition. Unlike most people, I really enjoyed it. It expanded the story like I never knew Halo could. Are the Forerunners really that powerful? Well, that got answered. Then Ensemble got shut down. I never understood why, and I don't think I ever will, but suffice to say Age of Empires will never be the same again.
Halo Wars Box Art
The console RTS was well done, it worked, for a console RTS. It wasn't difficult or strategically amazing. But it worked, it really worked with a track pad. And that is why I like it, it took a risk, and given it is not perfect, but it pulled it off to a degree where I can forgive the faults, well most of them. What did happen to the damned ship, the UNSC Spirit of Fire?
Anders was beautiful and clever. Cutter was both strict and good fun. Forge was pure awesome!
Halo 3 ODST
Oh, Halo 3 ODST, what can I say? You were the most human driven game Halo had. You were so many things but you should have been a DLC. You were amazing, funny, emotional. But you were not a full price game. There is another problem I have with Halo.
Halo 3: ODST Box Art
ODST gave us Firefight, and a wave survival game mode, and gave me another reason to play Halo with friends. I have so much fun with Firefight, I still play ODST.
All the characters I liked. Butch, Dutch, Rookie, Mickey, Buck, Romeo, and Dare. You guys are like one mismatched, dysfunctional, crazy, funny, and amazing family!
As this would be Bungie's last Halo game, I felt the need to go out of my way to find everything out about Halo as I could, so I got the books.
Tricked ya, we are not talking about Reach yet.
The Halo books, god they are good. Not the best written books ever, but I finally got my dad to experience Halo! He reads, a lot, so books are just simply the best way to get him involved in Halo. I first read the trilogy of books covering the events before, during, and after the first game (The Fall of Reach, The Flood, First Strike). I finally understood the Chief, who and what he is, and who Cortana really is. I understood everything! (So I thought.)
The Fall of Reach set before Halo CE
The Flood the story of Halo CE
First Strike set after Halo CE
So, I read the next lot of books, short stories, Halo Evolution Volumes 1 and 2. And understood more!
Evolutions Volume 1 a collection of short stories
Evolutions Volume 2 more short stories (some are repeated from Vol. 1)
I then moved on to the book about the Spartans 3s, Ghosts of Onyx, Sgt. Johnson's (I will get onto him later) story Contact Harvest. And the story about the beginning of the Human-Covenant war, The Cole Protocol.
The cover of The Cole Protocol
The cover of Contact Harvest
The cover of Ghosts of Onyx
As I said before, the books are not the best written books ever, but they are not badly written. I love them as much as the games!
I am now reading the two new trilogies, The Kilo Five Trilogy being written by Karen Travis, the first called Glasslands, the second The Thursday War, and the third, which is not out yet, Mortal Dictata.
The cover for the first book in the Kilo Five Trilogy Glasslands
The cover for the second The Thursday War
The cover for the third Mortal Dictata
The other trilogy, The Forerunner Saga, is being written by Greg Bear. The first called Cryptum, the second called Primordium, and the third called Silentium.
(All the books have Halo before the rest of the title, just like the games).
The first book in the Forerunner Saga Cryptum
The second book in the Forerunner Saga Primordium
The third book in the Forerunner Saga Silentium
Halo Reach for Realsies
When I first played Halo Reach, I loved the story, but not as a Halo game. There was no end to my quibbles with it, I hated everything about it. Nothing could dissuade me. I liked it gameplay wise, but nothing else, as a Halo game.
Halo Reach Box Art
That is when I realised, that it all fit into the book cannon already. All except for two things, the Pillar of Autumn being on the ground, and Cortana not being on it. I will not get into too much about the small specifics, but suffice to say, in the book The Fall of Reach Chief and Cortana and the Pillar were all in space, all the time. Only small issues I can work round by saying the book was through the Chiefs eyes, who was in Cryogenic sleep and so did not know they went to the surface of Reach, or he was still fighting in space during this time. Cortana was only partly in his suit, only a fragment. So, I managed to overcome my hatred.
Halo Reach Try Two
After playing it again, having what I already knew, and had worked out, I fell in love with it.
Yep, that's all I had to say in this section.
343 Industries took over the reins. This was their first full game (Halo: CE Anniversary being their first game, more on this later). Oh Halo 4, oh...Halo...4. Character development was amazing, finally after so much time I got the experience the relationship between Chief and Cortana in a game, it was glorious. It was sad. R.I.P Cortana. I am not ashamed to say I did shed a tear at that part...
Halo 4 Box Art
Story wise, it really expanded on the Universe, and what both Greg Bear and Karen Travis started in their books. But it was just too short, the short campaign was amazing, if very rushed toward the end. Not much happened, then EVERYTHING happened. It was a bit of a mess. But then it is 343's first game, and so I can forgive slightly. But am looking for bigger, better, and longer things for Halo 5.
Uhh Mate, SHU' IT!
This probably is dragging on a bit, so I will do my best to wrap it up now. But I am ending with these last few bits.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
This one will be short. Halo CE in HD. Multiplayer maps are back, in HD. And everything looks pretty. It took me back, WAY back.
Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Box Art
I felt a little twang of love, it then flooded back. I remembered why I loved Halo, all the good times, all the bad, and all the ugly. I rekindled me hatred of Guilty Spark, well not that it could have gotten any hotter or colder, for that matter. And had a blast (with grenades and rocket launchers).
Sgt. Avery Johnson
I want you, to join the Corps! NOW! GET OFF YOUR ASS!
The Flood? Hell, Chief, it's going to take more than that pack of walking alien horror-show freaks to take out Sergeant A. J. Johnson!
That pretty much sums him up. He is badass, he is funny, and he sure as hell knows how to deliver a one liner!
When he died, when Guilty Spark killed him, I was angry. I still am, and I have a hate for Guilty Spark, you getting a pattern in this?
Sgt. Johnson's Death, just looking at it makes me sad
Hit it, Marines—go, go, go! The Corps ain't payin' us by the hour!
(Above is another Johnson quote)
And with that, I have shown why I love Halo. I did it with only talking a bit about multiplayer. That was never a massive draw for me, in most games it isn't either, but I still really enjoy it too!
As you have read, Halo is really part of my life, do you have a game franchise you really love as much as I love Halo? Let me know in the comments bellow, or write an article about it and put that in the comments. I will read it, promise.
P.S. The heading image is not mine. But very similar to mine.