2001 - Halo Combat Evolved: Began the series by rewriting the FPS genre.
2004 - Halo 2: Gave the Master Chief a more kick ass persona, but story was very confusing.
2007 - Halo 3: Launched the Xbox360 with style and online play has never been the same again.
2009 - Halo 3 ODST: Tried to carry on the spark from Halo3. But with a new hero.
2009 - Halo Wars: A prequel to the series, with an RTS style of game. a very marmite game.
2010 - Halo reach: Gave us 6 Spartans instead of one, with a story of epic proportions.
2012- Halo 4: New developer, new story, new enemies. Same Master Chief.
A brave new world
The year is 2001 and there I am, a little 6 year old boy on my way to visit a friend for the day, little did I know that what we would do that day would change my life forever. Having recently had his birthday he received an Xbox and his favourite game on it? Halo: Combat Evolved. Now back then, we couldn't even comprehend that Halo would grow into the worldwide phenomenon it is today, all we knew is that we were a badass green dude that killed aliens and that was good enough for us.
Halo is the first FPS I ever played and its the game that above all others made me love gaming as an art rather than just something to play. Exploring the mysterious ring world as the Master Chief was one of the most enchanting stories I had ever experienced. As I grew older the Halo universe grew with me, more games, books, comics, films and one of the most influential things to come from it, something that made me know what I wanted to do with my life, the Machinima Red vs Blue from Rooster Teeth Productions.
Halo 2 put console multiplayer on the map, and its sequels 3, Reach & 4 have dominated the most played games on Xbox Live since 2007. With the arrival of Halo 2, Halo became an obsession to me. I knew the universe like the back of my hand, I could reel off endless information on every significant battle mentioned in the history of Halo, I knew the levels inside out, the weapon spawns on maps, the best places to get kills in multiplayer and every Easter Egg location.
I have made some of my closest friends playing Halo 2 online; when the servers for the Original Xbox were closed I was part of a LAN part in the last ever Halo 2 lobbies, playing until our consoles & bodies couldn't handle the pressure anymore. As we were slowly torn away from the servers forever tears were shed, controllers were broken and relationships were formed. Halo 2 was gone but I had new friends and my first love was formed, something that would have never happened without the Chief & Cortana.
was late to the Halo 3 party, I didn't get a 360 until 2009, 2 years after the game release and somehow managed to avoid spoilers. Though the ending left much to be desired, online is what once again sucked me in. I had every achievement in less than a month, I overtook my friends multiplayer ranks in hours and I was the first out of anyone I knew to unlock the fabled Recon armour for completing all the inhumanely difficult Vidmaster challenges. Halo 3 became a way of life, though Call of Duty has started to rise in popularity and many friendships were lost due to them jumping ship from Halo to CoD. I spent every waking moment that I could on that game, and then came Reach.
Reach is, despite being one of my least favourite entries in the franchise, ultimately consumed my life until Halo 4's arrival 2 years later. I, along with a friend attended the midnight launch for Reach; I got the legendary edition, my first ever collectors edition of a game and we stayed up all night to complete the campaign before school the next day so we could zombie walk to our lessons proud with the knowledge that we were among the first in the world to finish a Halo game.
I achieved the games initial highest multiplayer rank in just over 3 weeks and was in the top 1000 players for a long while. When the new ranks were released I quickly climbed the ranks only for my GCSE's to stop me in my tracks, but none of my friends have surpassed my rank even to this day which is something I consider one of my greatest achievements as a gamer.
I was no longer a boy when Halo 4 landed in my disc tray, now a battle hardened man. A battle scarred soldier, born on the digital battlegrounds of the Halo itself; but nothing could prepare me for what Halo 4 had waiting for me. Never had I been emotional in a game before, but I was actually mourning the death of a fictional character, I couldn't bring myself to play it without having that fateful scene replay over and over again in my mind. However I continued, for her. I reached the highest rank multiplayer had to offer those who did not buy the special edition in little under a month and then went on to reach the highest achievable rank before it was even unlocked for standard edition owners. But I never went back, sometimes a soldier has to lay down his weapon and walk away defeated. Halo 4 may have defeated me inside, but I will be back with a vengeance in time for Halo 5.
When I hear the words Halo, I think not of a game; I think of a world that is real, that I lived in as a super-soldier nearly as long as I have lived as a normal human being. I see some of the best moments of my life replayed before me, the first ever play at my friends house, the Halo 2 farewell party, getting Recon, Reach's launch night and a death that hit me so hard I had to give myself time to recover.
The reason why I love Halo, is that it is not just a game, it is what has defined me as a gamer for the past 12 years. It has inspired creations that have made me know where I want my life to go. It has given me love, it has given me a world I can escape to whenever I wish to and worlds I see as second homes. Halo is where I can be the person I was born to be and that is why I love it.