In the Dark Days, the simple primitives made do with games like Quake and Unreal Tournament, and Carmack and Romero and Specter and Molyneux said unto them: "All your base is belong to us," and the gamers lived in the darkness. And Microsoft said, "Let there be Halo," and there was Halo. And the world was transformed into a new and mystical being enthralling and consuming the fanboys of the XBox and the PlayStation and the Windows and the Macintosh and the forgettable Nintendo thingie of the era. And the Dreamcast, yeah, that too. And there was much flame warring. And Microsoft said: "Let there be more Halo," and there was more Halo...sort of...if you don't need an ending, enjoy Oogie Boogie as an evil mastermind to the once faceless Flood, and don't mind a near-clone of the first story. And Microsoft said: "Let there be yet more Halo," and there was yet more Halo. And in the grand scheme of things it was some pretty good Halo...sure it kept the dumbed down gunslinger style, but the layout was great, and we didn't care. And Microsoft said: "Let there be isometric Halo, and even more first person Halo too," and the heads of all the fanboys exploded in a big puff of smoke.
Yes, Halo changed the face of gaming and started a near-religious devotion of fans almost as virulent as the Covenant itself. To its detractors, it's an overly simplistic repetitious shooter with little substance, a thin story, and modest gun-play. For its fans its an untouchable beacon of perfection and balance for first person shooters. For those who first
played Halo on the PC, it was a a sluggish, crash prone, overly specular game that made all surfaces look wet. I indeed remember having to stop the game and copy my checkpoints folder after nearly every checkpoint to avoid game crashes between. The end-days of PC gaming were trying indeed.
Yet the announcement of a new Halo game in the middle of a gaming convention is akin to shouting "your pants are on fire" in a refinery. The chaos and frenzy-driven madness that follows can not be contained or controlled. That madness rapidly spreads to the news sites, and before you know it there's an anticipation of "the new best game ever." Whether that
title is earned or not becomes largely irrelevant. It's Halo, after all; And it has just traversed full circle...
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