A to Z Challenge: (H)alo

HaloLet’s take a trip back in time, to the days of the original X-Box and it’s breakaway hit: Halo.

Originally released by Bungie in 2001, ‘Halo’ was a military-style first-person-shooter game with a science fiction storyline. In the futuristic timeline of the game, humanity is entrenched in an interstellar war with an army of aliens called the ‘Covenant’. The player follows the war through the eyes of ‘Master Chief’, who is one of a group of suited super-soldiers called ‘Spartans’. Curious where the term ‘Halo’ fits in? Well the alien Covenant – and their religious leaders, the ‘Prophets’ – worship an ancient civilization known as the ‘Forerunners’. Before those Forerunners died out, they created huge, habitable structures in the shape of large rings – or halos – that were designed to destroy all sentient life on a planet. So the ‘Halo’ in question, is basically a doomsday device.

It ain't no angel halo.
It ain’t no angel halo.

The original Halo game was released during my final year of high school, and it became a quick favorite amongst my group of friends for it’s multiplayer capabilities. Mind, you young whippersnappers, that back then ‘multiplayer’ still heavily meant multiple players sitting on the same couch together and playing on the same machine. My friends and I would get together and play matches of four players at a time, with the losers swapping out to play anyone who was waiting in the wings. We would often play the ‘Gorge’ stage, which was a wide open field with a base at each end and several crags and caves to sneak away into. We would regularly include the ‘Warthog’ in our stages, because it was just plain hysterical to run over each other with the large all-terrain vehicle. My favorite item, however, was the sticky-grenade. If you managed to throw the glowing blue grenades with enough accuracy to actually hit your opponent, it would stick to their armor, making it impossible for them to get away from the blast. It was by far my favorite thing to do to my friends because it was a bit like adding insult to injury.

The Halo franchise only grew and grew after the first installment, with Halo 2 being released three years after the original, soon to be followed by Halo 3. To date there are ten Halo games, with two more in the process of being produced. Personally I only played three of the available games because, to be honest, Halo is one of those series that suffers from the ‘Call-of-Duty-Effect’ – that is, they’re all more or less clones of each other. That said, my friends and I had some good times with the original couple of installments, so for that reason the series holds a special place in my memories.

Have you played any of the Halo series of games? Which one is your favorite? Are you a single-player campaign kind of person, or were you all about the multiplayer? How good is your aim with a sticky-grenade? Please share!

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13 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: (H)alo

  1. Never been much of a Halo fan, but I miss multi-player split screen games. I want my jerk friends on the couch with me, not some random stranger yelling obscenities in my ear.

    • Right there with you. I appreciate that online multiplayer exists, but I LOATHE it when multiplayer games don’t have a local splitscreen option. It should ALWAYS BE an option to plug in an extra controller and play with your friend rather than having to connect to a server and play with people you don’t know.

      • Agreed! As a married gamer, it is crazy frustrating to pick up a multiplayer game only to find out it has no splitscreen. No, we’re not going to buy a second console, TV, AND copy of the game. But thank you for trying, I guess? *grumble*

        It’s even more rare to find a game that allows 4-player split-screen, though. And for that reason alone, Halo still shines among games. It’s so great for gaming amongst friends!

        • Yup, since companies first started extracting split-screen from their games my husband and I have been frustrated beyond belief. Like hell we’re going to buy two of everything just so we can play together!
          On a related note, we were super-excited to find out that some games can be cross-played between the PS3 or 4 and the Vita. Finally we can play some stuff together in the same room again!

          • Hmmm, now that would only take getting a Vita… that is much less of a commitment than ONE OF EVERYTHING!!! We’ve also been eyeing the WiiU, which sounds a bit like the same idea as cross-playing on the Vita. But we got a PS3 late, so we’re still working through a backlog of the good console-specific games there… plenty of time still to mull this over πŸ™‚

            • Pairing the Vita with the PS4 is great, especially if you also subscribe to Playstation Plus, because if you have the service you get free games on both systems every month, and sometimes they offer cross-play games, like Dragon’s Crown.

              • We have plus right now just with the PS3, have gotten some good free games from it. Hmmm… We’ve been trying to figure out which next gen console to go for, and here’s a selling point for sure!

                • Definitely an excellent selling point! We thought PS Plus was awesome when we only had it on the PS3, but now that we have it on the Vita and the PS4 as well it’s MEGA awesome. For about $50 a year we get at least two free games on each system every month. Can’t beat that at all!

  2. Never played. But I bet if I had an x-box I would! I was a big fan of Quake… Another first person multiplayer shooter game. It was on the compter so we couldn’t all play on the same machine. But since we all had our own computer anyway (or we would play in the computer lab on campus) it wasn’t a big deal.

  3. Loved the story line with Halo. I’m more of the single campaign person, although we did have a massive team building event at work where we played 8 on 8 capture the flag πŸ™‚ that was a blast. I hate the sticky grenade since I can’t throw worth crap. πŸ™‚

    • I’m with you, Shawn, I actually loved the campaign of Halo, and it’s one of my favorite video game stories (particularly the first one). I especially loved it for the 2-player co-op of the campaign, which my friends and I in college had fun beating multiple times – getting good enough to do it on the hardest difficulty. I have played very few games at their max difficulty – just not my thing – but with Halo, and a friend? It was worth it!

      And when there were more friends around? Boom, multiplayer!

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