16 November 2021

HALO: Combat Evolved Turns 20!


Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Bungie's HALO: Combat Evolved, and it got me thinking about HALO:CE and its importance to me and the wider world of military science fiction. During the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise, I saw the TV ad spots for this game called "halo" on that new system, by Microsoft called the "Xbox". Then I started reading gaming magazines that basic said the HALO: Combat Evolved was the second coming of Christ. Then I played some of HALO: Combat Evolved and I was hooked like an addict and I need some HALO in my life. Then my home was robbed and the meth-head took my PS2 and with the insurance money, I bought an OG Xbox and HALO: Combat Evolved in 2003 and I never looked back. After the first play through, I knew HALO: Combat Evolved, was going to be my favorite game of all time and it still is. I still own my original copy of HALO: Combat Evolved and my original Xbox and I cracked it up on the 20th anniversary of the game and I time traveled back to 2003. I've been a video gamer since my dad gave me ATARI 2600 in 1982 and this game was nearly a religious experience and I replayed it over and over. None of the sequels have equaled the original to me (HALO: Reach is my 2nd favorite). In terms of the wider world of military science fiction, HALO: Combat Evolved, it was a key moment the history of the genre and the HALO franchise would go to be one of the best ambassador products for the genre to this very day. HALO forged new fans and reinforced fans of military science fiction. However, the apex of HALO's power and influence was reached several years ago and currently HALO is struggling with how to navigate far away from the poor handling (and shrapnel) of the sequel games by 343 Industries. The fate of HALO as a franchise will greatly rest on the how well Infinite performances with critics and fans, but the whole of HALO will stand, despite HALO 5, as one of the greatest military sci-fi franchises of all time.              

1 comment:

  1. To think it was twenty years ago that this game was first introduced to the world. My first time playing was during a family trip and I played the entire campaign on one of my nephews' own Xbox with the original Halo:CE. It was a good play, but it wasn't on the level that actually convinced me to get my own Xbox at the time (though was really close thanks to Steel Battalion), but I have followed it from time to time, especially when one of the release dates fell on my birthday, the Halo Legends Blu-Ray, and it's only recently did I find myself a copy of both the PC and Anniversary version of Halo:CE for the Xbox 360. Still in the process of collecting all the available Halo games from Bungie since I have the opportunity.

    Hopefully they don't screw up the live action TV series on Paramount+, been waiting for a live action adaptation for a least a decade.