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How to play the Halo Games

If you are a hardcore Halo fan like myself, you probably played every Halo game many times and more. But do you play them like they should be played? Like I say they should be played? Let’s see…

First of all: Play the goddamn campaign. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing people only going for the multiplayer. You are missing out. BIG TIME! The campaign is what makes Halo so freaking great. True, the multiplayer does that too. But to me, the campaign is the cake and the multiplayer is the icing. The icing alone is delicious, but only combined with the cake, it reaches its full potential. You need both.

You should also play the campaigns in a chronological order (see below: Release Date order or Timeline order). I played the games in the release date order. Halo: Combat Evolved was my first Halo game. And yes, it’s old. But it aged like a beautiful woman…with grace. It is THE Halo game. Trust me, you need to play it. Then I went up, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST (don’t even think about skipping this one. It is such a good game. The atmosphere is fantastic and it has one of my favorite soundtracks), Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 5. I know I didn’t mention Halo Wars. I didn’t play either of the games. I can’t bring myself to do it. It is just not my type of game. I like FPS and not RTS. But if you want to play all of the Halo games you should of course play Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2. Then there are 2 smaller top-down Halo games called Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike. Those are very special. I tried Spartan Assault and couldn’t finish. The controls were just too weird for me. So if you really want to be a Halo specialist and show off you should consider either playing the games in chronological release order or to play the games in chronological timeline order.

Release Date Order:

Timeline Order:

I didn’t include The Master Chief Collection and Halo: CE Anniversary. But since the big update for the MCC, you can of course go and play the Halo games on there. At least Halo 1-4.

What else do I consider important when playing the Halo games? Hmm, let me see. As I said before with the icing and the cake. The icing on the cake is pretty important. So yeah, play some multiplayer. It’s so much fun. Even if you are not a pro you can have your moments and most importantly you can get together with your friends and play a few rounds. But! Please be a good teammate. Don’t abandon your team in the middle of a game. Don’t be a d*** about losing a game. Have some honor. If you beat somebody in your skill range in a fair gunfight, go ahead, teabag the shit out of them, but don’t ever go about teabagging someone who is going 2 against 4 or is way below your skill. That my friends is not the Spartan Way.

Another important how to is to play the games on Legendary difficulty. Of course, this is only possible if you have enough experience with the games. If you are a noob you should start by going with Normal difficulty. But if you want to call yourself a true Halo nerd, you need to at least try to play the games on Legendary. It can be a pain in the ass but if you succeed, you belong to the 1 % (maybe the 5 or 10 %…). The most difficult Legendary campaign is definitely the Halo 2 one. It’s so hard! But trust me, try to play Legendary. You will feel Legendary.

Be it during the campaign or while playing the multiplayer, use all of the weapons. Try all of the weapons. You will be surprised how good some of the weapons work. Don’t go through the campaign with only your DMR or BR and Pistol. You are missing out. If you decide to play on Legendary you will be forced to use whatever is left on the ground anyway.

If you are playing a game where you can turn on skulls during the campaign, turn on the Grunt Birthday Party skull. Nothing is more satisfactory than popping a Grunts head with that sound.

And to conclude this How to I strongly advise you to enjoy the soundtrack while playing the campaign. Especially the original Halo trilogy and Halo: Reach and ODST have amazing soundtracks.

And as always, have fun!

 

Halo Infinite – Back to the Roots

Hey guys, it’s been a while. It has also been a while since we had any exciting Halo news. But that my friends has changed since Microsoft’s press conference at E3.

When the conference started I wasn’t really ready, meaning my beer was missing and the couch wasn’t correctly angled and the volume wasn’t right and and and…I was not ready you understand? So then this trailer starts, beautiful pictures of vast landscapes and weird looking animals and then soldiers and then OMG IT’S MASTER CHIEF! That moment I sat upright and shouted something at the TV which I don’t remember. Next thing the Warthog cruises through this CE looking world and then the Ring.

Halo Infinite Banner_FistoftheUnicorn

Phew! Mind blown! Confusion! Doubt! Happiness! All at the same time.

For starters, is this Halo 6? If so, why doesn’t it say Halo 6: Infinite? Could it be something different? Or is it just too early for 343 to be making it that official. Do they want to cause confusion and generate more hype? Would make sense to me. Many voices assume that this game might be an open world Halo and I think I would love that. I think…Also, the title Infinite could be interpreted quite literally: Infinite meaning Open World?

What made me worry was the missing release date or at least an approximate date of release. That can only mean that it will take a long time for this title to come out. I expect it to be late 2019 or maybe even 2020. Which would be hard to bear. But then again, I want 343 to make it right this time. Halo 5 was so flawed in its story, they can’t mess it up this time.

So what stood out the most in the trailer?

Since we know that this trailer was a showcase of the new engine called Slipspace, it makes sense that they chose to show rather unconventional Halo stuff like animals or the impressive landscapes. I didn’t think that it was a Halo trailer because of the focus on the animals and the scenery. So far Halo trailers have been action-packed and/or character focused. While watching and rewatching the trailer I was reminded of the first Halo trailer from E3 in 2000.

In this Bungie showed 2 species we have never seen in the actual games (3:45) and (4:26). And I’m pretty sure we have only seen other animals in Halo: Reach so far. I could be remembering that wrong though. Why did 343 put such emphasis on the animals? Is it to give the Halo world more life? Just to show off the potential of this new engine? On the other hand, it is only logical and realistic to have animals on the Ring. The Librarian did put all kinds of species on the Rings, right?

The other thing that I saw early on was the „Fight for Her“ poster in the crashed pelican. We know this poster from Halo: Combat Evolved as well as the Anniversary edition. If this is just a nostalgic note or has more meaning to it, I couldn’t say. Some might have been confused about that Fight For Her quote thinking it had something to do with Cortana. Like, save Cortana, fight for her. But it is just a nod to the old school Halo titles.

Fight For Her poster_FistoftheUnicorn

The other thing I saw in the pelican and I am not sure if anyone else has picked up on it, is the dashboard in the middle of the cockpit. It’s pretty hard to catch but if you look really closely you can see a date flickering. If my eyes did not betray me it says 2560. If this is correct then it gives us a clue at the time Infinite will take place. Halo 5: Guardians took place in 2558 and the last post-Halo 5 lore we know of are the events of Halo Wars 2 which happens in 2559. This would mean that it is a definite sequel to Halo 5 and probably Halo 6.

Right before you see Chief you can see a huge herd of animals and above them floating in the air you can see actual Sentinels. They look like they are just watching everything. They don’t seem alarmed at all, more on patrol maybe.

The appearance of Master Chief was a sight for sore eyes. I miss this guy big time. My boyfriend thought that Chief looked weird in the scene where we see him holding his helmet. He said he looked too skinny. And that is true. The legs look more like those of a woman or a slender boy. I don’t remember where I read it but someone said that it looked like the version of Master Chief in the Halo 2 Anniversary’s cinematics. After watching some of those again, I can only agree with that.

To conclude this, what does the last scene mean? Chief pushes an AI chip in his neural interface. The chip looks like the one we know so well. Cortana? Could it be? Is it a new AI? Does every AI chip look the same? AHHHH, I don’t know. I want the old Cortana back so much. But at the same time, I can’t picture a story that brings her back that makes sense and isn’t complete bs.

In the end, we will have to continue guessing and rack our brains for a while longer. But isn’t that the greatest feeling anyway? The hype and the excitement we are experiencing again? Last time I had that kind of feeling was with Hunt The Truth.

With that said good hunting Spartans.

Halo Infinite MC_FistoftheUnicorn

Halo: Retribution

Although I am still finishing the Karen Traviss trilogy right now, I am already hyped for the next installment of Halo lore. On August 29th Troy Denning’s Halo: Retribution will release. The cover art alone is just beautiful!

Fotu_Halo:Retribution_Cover

Here is the official summary:

December 2553. Less than a year after the end of the Covenant War, a string of violent incidents continues to threaten the tenuous peace in human-held space, culminating in the assassination of UNSC fleet admiral Graselyn Tuwa and the abduction of her family. It is a provocation so outrageous that the Office of Naval Intelligence must retaliate swiftly and ferociously—but only after its operatives identify her killer and rescue the hostages.

This mission will be the first for homicide-detective-turned-ONI-operative Veta Lopis and her young team of Spartan-IIIs, and something feels wrong from the start. The obvious suspect is an infamous Brute who leads the Keepers of the One Freedom, an ex-Covenant splinter group in fierce opposition to the UNSC. But Lopis and her team soon realize that the truth is much more insidious than they could ever have imagined, and with Fred-104, Kelly-087, and Linda-058 of Blue Team for combat support, they must stop a plan hatched in the bowels of the secret research station Argent Moon — a plan so sinister it could destroy all those still reeling from thirty years of intergalactic conflict…

I haven’t read Last Light by Troy Denning yet, but this seems to be kind of a successor to it. At least some of the same characters will appear. Most importantly Veta Lopis. I am really looking forward to her character and story and I will definitely read Last Light before Retribution.

The story is set in pre Halo 4 times, which is a little sad, because I am dying to read more Halo 5 era stuff like the one story in Fractures. Which one was that? The one where BB and Osman land on this secretive planet? Gosh, excuse my memory. It is the worst.

Hah! I just found out. It is Rossbach’s World. I really liked that story! And I would love to see more lore from this era. But that is a tricky part for 343 I guess. I don’t think they will make the same mistake as they did with Halo 4 and the Karen Traviss trilogy. Telling the complete pre story of the game in the books and the people who haven’t read that and only played the game (like me, back then) are completely lost. I don’t think that they would do that again, so I don’t expect much or any Halo 5 sequel lore soon.

But 343 could always extend the very weak plot of Halo 5: Guardians couldn’t they? They definitely could.

Gamescom 2017

Fotu_Gamescom2017_Plakat

It’s this time of the year again. E3 is history and the Gaming World is looking towards Cologne, Germany. The Gamescom will open it’s doors on August 22th for Press and Media and on August 23th until August 26th for everyone who is lucky enough to have bought a ticket early on. As we have seen last year and the year before, tickets are selling faster and faster. By now there are no tickets left for Friday and Saturday. You can still get tickets for Wednesday and Thursday but I would hurry if you are interested in going.

343 has already confirmed that there will be no announcement of a major Halo title like Halo 6. We have to wait for next year. If you ask me I think that is quite alright. Although I would love to see maybe like a tiny teaser or something. Like the Halo 5 teaser with Chief in the Poncho.

Microsoft is going to have a live event on August 20th which will be hosted by the lovely Maxi and well known Scotsman Acey. The focus will be on the new Xbox One X and probably some of the new titles like Forza 7 and Sea of Thieves. I am looking forward to August!

 

New Narrative Director at 343i?

Brian Reed might no longer be the narrative director at 343i. 2 days ago they posted a job advertisement for the position of narrative director. Brian Reeds LinkedIn and Twitter accounts have also been deleted. I really hope that he is doing ok. cfbrianreedh5gi-a94275f0040c4e1595e9c955c9ab4dcbAt this point I don’t know if he decided to go or if he was let go. Both possibilities would make sense, seeing that he was subject to extreme harassment and didn’t have much fans in the community. His work as a narrative director was criticized a lot, so much so, that 343 shut down most threads concerning him on the Waypoint forums. I personally don’t like the storytelling of Halo 5. I think that it is the worst campaign of all the Halo titles. So yeah, I would not mind if someone else took the position of narrative director. What I don’t like at all is bullying and harassment though. And Brian Reed has definitely been a target of both. Some fans have been real assholes.

Despite all this I am quite excited to see how this unfolds. I wish for Halo and all the lore fans that they find someone capable of this huge task. I would not ever want to fill such a position and be watched and judged so closely. But it’s Halo. We care. Sometimes too much I guess.

If you want read more about Brian Reeds role at 343 and his backstory visit Halo Monitor. Kind of an old article but very relevant right now.

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