Posted by : Starships and Dragons Wednesday, November 28, 2012

 Halo. That one word has, for the past twelve years, sparked the attention and hearts of millions of people around the globe. The Halo universe begins in the 26th century, with humans at intergalactic war with each other. Humanity has expanded so far out from Earth that they have split into two large factions. One being the Inner Colonies (The colonies closest to Earth), which is similar to the Union of the American Civil War & the Outer Colonies, which are similar to the Confederacy. The UNSC (United Nations Space Command) of the Inner Colonies soon developed ‘Supersoldiers’ designed to absolutely annihilate the opposition of the Outer Colonies. They called this new program the ‘Spartan Program’, and its soldiers weren’t exactly volunteers. They were children from ages 4-6, kidnapped from their homes and put into a rigorous and many times lethal training program that physically & genetically altered them until their late teens to early twenties. However, once deployed, they were the most efficient killing machines ever made. In fact, in order to keep morale up, if a Spartan were to lose his/her life in battle, the UNSC would mark them either MIA (Missing in Action) or WIA (Wounded in Action) to maintain the illusion that ‘Spartans never die’.

 However, in the year 2525 on the rich agricultural planet of Harvest, humans made first contact with a mysterious alien species known as ‘The Covenant’. The Covenant was originally a small group of aliens that banded together for protection against the universe. However, as their size increased, so did their power. They eventually had assimilated over eight different species of aliens into their uber religious mafia-like organization. They came to harvest looking for an ancient artifact, & when humanity did not give it to them (because they had no idea what it was), they declared a ‘holy war’ on all of humanity. Enter John-117 (AKA Master Chief), considerably the best Spartan ever produced, and the main character in all of the Halo games (with the exception of Halo Wars, ODST, & Reach). He has been fighting constantly now for over a half century, and still kicking butt and taking names. The Halo games focused around the aspect of giant ring-worlds, respectively called Halos, that when activated, wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy to stop the spread of an infectious, parasitic disease called ‘The Flood’. What I personally loved about Halo is how much of a story there is behind the game, where games like ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘Grand Theft Auto’ seem to lack. Whilst fun to play for a time, none of them (in my opinion) grab the player and thrust him/her into, a brand new galaxy of endless possibilities. As my mother puts it, the Halo series are like, ‘Desperate Housewives with guns and aliens’. A perfectly fine analogy to me, for I feel that how the game engrosses you in every little plot twist and detail is similar to how shows today grab your attention and make you become obsessed with another persons life.

 The only thing I’m worried about is how fast the ‘Universe’ is expanding. From 2001 released to 2008, three games were released; Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, & Halo 3. From 2009 to now however, FIVE Halo games have been released! Companies such as Bungie (and now 343 Studios) are realizing how incredible these games were, and how much people loved them, and released spin offs such as ‘Halo Wars’ or ‘Halo ODST’. While these games were entertaining, I felt as though they there just put out there to entertain us for a short period of time. However, with the release of Halo 4, I felt moderately satisfied with the new campaign and the introduction of the Forerunners (finally) to the game. All in all though, the action figures, posters, books, shirts, backpacks, comics and mini movies seem a little much to me. But hey, I know that when the next Halo game comes out, I’ll be in front of Gamestop with my tent and money in hand, because I am a Halo fan ‘till the end. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t be watching you 343 Studios… Consider me an active observer. Until Halo 5, Meine Freunde!

Liam Baker

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