Halo: 15 Years Later
Halo has been a big part of my life being my favorite franchise ever and now its hit the large milestone of fifteen years. I'd also like to mention that Xbox is also hitting that fifteen mark today as well, which is incredible actually. I'm going to be somewhat brief on key memories playing the Halo series for this article; as I could go on for days discussing my adventures and thoughts, but I'll save that for a larger time milestone. Halo is a game I've been playing basically since the start, I typically say I was six when I started though more likely seven since it released near the end of the year 2001. Believe it or not, Halo has been something I've always played and some of my earliest gaming memories. I'd head over to my friend's in order to play on his Xbox and all we did was play Halo, then the Star Wars Battlefront titles a bit later on.
There was definitely some Fable watching involved as well, but it was always Halo that was the go to. I also recall having some nightmares about the Elites when I was little since they were terrifying with those amazing graphics back then. While doing cooperative play I wasn't as serious as I am now with the series and just went around blasting creatures with my friend having to do all the driving and serious work. We didn't care at all about moving through the story quickly as we just enjoyed taking in the world or even setting up some local multiplayer with other kids from the block as well. I'll definitely never forget the ending as it was not only epic, but frustrating as we kepy dying yet so worth it for the shocking ending.
See, I've already gone too far with just talking about the original Halo so it's time to move forward a bit. Halo 2 was another huge milestone as I had just gotten my original Xbox for that game alone basically. Crimson Skies and Fable were also cool though that was the Halo box and while I never had live back then we played tons of splitscreen multiplayer. I'd also go over to another friend's a bit later to play online with Xbox 360 before I got mine and just played Halo 2 online. It would actually annoy him considerably that all I'd want to play is Halo 2, but I love the game. There are of course some gaps here, but I'm trying to keep this going and saying in general that my early gaming time was just Halo. That love and connection for the series has only grown with my first midnight release of Halo 3 with that title being my all-time favorite title. I'd wait hours for DLC packs as slow downloads back then were killer and I have so many memories of just playing Halo 3. Even now it's really the main thing I like playing on the Chief Collection having just under 800 hours there, I would have more though reviewing games takes so much of my time now.
I'm once again getting off track, Halo Reach was also an incredible time being that next big step in the series. I was big into the Forge community there running my little fun Halo Map Raters crew for checking out community maps and also digging into the multiplayer with about a month of pure time on there at this point. I also did thoroughly love Halo 4 as it brought an emotional campaign and despite having complaints about the multiplayer, they did tweak things to a point that I did eventually find it to be solid. Halo MCC was the first Halo title I received early to review and like with what I've briefly touched on it was emotional to review. It was actually soul crushing after so many developer re-assurances that the servers would work to see the launch state of the collection. I asked many times about it and slow matchmaking was just mentioned as being something that was due to a low player base. It was so exciting to see it release and then it was sad with so many of my friends just giving up on it right away to never come back. I obviously still love playing the collection with the time I've spent on it, but it's lonely for sure and that's not what should have happened.
Halo MCC does work absolutely fine now and anyone that says otherwise is full of it. I'd personally love to see them do a Halo 3 upgrade or remaster despite them saying they won't recently. Upgrading the package for 4k with even just small touch-ups on Halo 3 (cutscenes) would be a great refresh for the collection and something they should consider. Halo 5: Guardians was another title I reviewed early from Xbox and that one had some great points going forward, but overall wasn't my favorite Halo title. The multiplayer is sharp and great featuring some of the best multiplayer of any shooter in the current generation. This was negated however by the complete lack of content with so many missing multiplayer features and the shallow campaign. I won't go too far into this as it was still a solid Halo game, but it just didn't hit my expectations. With that I'm happy to see the series I love so much still continue to thrive moving forward with Halo Wars 2 and Halo 6 with both bringing high 4k expectations as Halo titles always look great. I'd love to see them finally finish the damn Halo TV series if that's ever happening and perhaps someday a full movie franchise. It's one thing to do digital films, but to take Halo to the big screen so regular non-gamers can see this series would be amazing. That's Halo, wanted to keep it shorter though expect a full discussion for a large milestone as there are many Halo stories to tell.
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