Yeah, yeah. I know. Halo. It’s been around for a while. At this point, pretty much everyone who’s played a videogame in the past 5 years knows what Halo is all about. Yet here I am, sitting at my desk, writing words on my first experiences with the series. I’m nearly finished with Halo 2, having previously completed Halo 3 and Halo: Combat Evolved just within the past couple weeks.
It wasn’t hard to get my foot in the door as I’m a pretty big fan of Sci-Fi. I guess that probably goes without saying, but when compared with other genres (high fantasy, superheroes, zombie/apocalyptic) I’ve always been drawn more to sci-fi tropes than the other scenarios. Halo’s particular brand of Sci-Fi is exactly the sort of thing I look for in the genre: believable, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and no concepts or themes that are hard to grasp or that require too much explanation — yet still full of awesome aliens, powerful weapons, deep backstory, and cool technology. Not to mention some pretty rad settings. You probably know that already, but I find it to be one of Halo’s best attributes. Sure, there are better stories out there, and games with darker/more serious tones, but Halo is presented impeccably.
As I said before, I’m nearly done with Bungie’s original trilogy. From here, I’ll be tackling both ODST and Halo: Reach (and probably watching Halo: Legends), though not necessarily in that order. It’s actually rather hard for me to believe the words “I really want to play Halo right now” have passed my lips numerous times lately, but over the past few weeks, I’ve become a fan of this series.
I never thought much of Master Chief or Cortana before, but now I see what I’ve been missing out on this whole time. There’s just an undeniable charm to the series, and the gameplay is so polished and fine-tuned that it rivals that of the Half Life series, which for myself and others is the pinnacle of the FPS genre in nearly every way. There’s been very little about my Halo marathon I haven’t enjoyed; Halo: Combat Evolved is a bit dated, but at the same time, getting to experience the series’ progression is amazing. It’s rather impressive just how far each game evolves, especially the change between Halo and Halo 2; I had a hard time believing they appeared on the same console. I have yet to experience much of the multiplayer, which I know for most gamers it the standout aspect of the series. Rest assured, once I have my hands on Halo: Reach (and Halo 4 in the future), I’ll be bunny hopping and shotgunning with the rest of you.
If you’re like me and have held off on Halo, I highly suggest you try your best to right that wrong. I still have a few titles left in the series to experience, but I can safely say that the past few weeks have been a high-point in my entire gaming experience, and I am pleased to know that thanks to 343 Industries and Halo 4, I will have plenty of Halo to come in my future.
You can be sure I’ll have more concrete and fleshed out thoughts in the future, after I’ve completed the entire series catalogue.