Published on March 30th, 2010 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
Can Halo Reach Bring Back Old-School Halo Fans?
Some of my first, and fondest memories, of the original Xbox were firmly entrenched in gaming’s 400-lb gorilla we know now as Halo.
I was still in the Air Force at the time, living in the dorms. My buddy Efrain and I were the most stoked guys about the Xbox before it came out, and the both of us preordered our Xboxes, a copy of Halo and a couple of extra Dukes. Neither of us knew the sleepness nights that were to come, but we were ready for it just in case. We got back to the dorms and the very first thing we did was play co-op through the campaign. It was a marathon session. It took us hours and we even had a few people as an audience, commenting on the graphics and, of course, our epic kills. Yes, they were all epic! It’s my story and that’s how I remember it!
After that night, our ideas of gaming were all changed. We hyped other gamers into picking up Xboxes and Halo, too. (We seriously should’ve gotten a check from MS for all the Xboxes we sold) Within a couple days we had two other Xbox gamers, so what did we do? We went to the day room and immediately hooked up split screen play.
That’s the day my Halo life truly started. Every day off we had, we were in that day room 16 gamers deep, each of them owning an Xbox and controllers, honing their craft during the work week just for our games. It was unimaginably epic. Sidewinder. Blood Gulch. Hang ‘Em High. Battle Creek. There were 13 maps overall, and while we didn’t like them all, we played them through the ground nonetheless! If you’ve played as much Halo as I have, just reading the map names, you’re probably reminiscing about the sniper battles, the “Killtacular”s or the rockets matches. There was just so much to do!
Over time, though, the hype waned. Halo 2 came out and wasn’t as awesome as we’d hoped. Was it still great? Of course, but we had online play so we played on. Halo 3 came out. While it was epic, it still never brought back the original feel. For some reason, it felt slower than before. It could be that other, faster shooters came out, but Halo felt… Different. Personally, after Halo 3, I waned off Halo. There was too much of it in the marketplace for my taste. It was Halo Overload. Surely I’m not alone in this, there are tons of gamers that got sick of it. It was just too much.
Fast forward to now, we’re only months away from the Halo: Reach Beta, and I couldn’t be more stoked! I ordered a copy of Halo: ODST just because I want in on it. Now, there could be a part of me that just misses Halo, of course. I think it’s more than that, though. This could be the last Halo game we ever get from Bungie. Their last Halo Hurrah, if you will. That fact alone makes me think that they’re going to work harder than before to deliver a game worthy of being the last title they create in the series.
I realize that it’s not likely to be as epic as the original. Nothing ever is, right? But if it plays anywhere near the way the first did, I think we’re in for a treat of epic proportions. The question now, though, is whether or not Bungie can please both the old school Halo veterans that have been there from the beginning (but may be done with Halo due to crowding the marketplace) and the newer Halo gamers that just got into the series.
What do you think? Are these the rants and ravings of a mad man? Am I a fanboy looking to reenact the glory days, or does Reach truly look to be a revival of the original formula that could bring back those Halo gamers that fell away from the franchise after Halo 3?
Luckily, the dust will clear and we’ll have an answer to this question on May 3rd. That’s the day that the Halo Reach Multiplayer Beta hits the streets of Xbox Live, and we can see for ourselves. I, for one, can’t wait to see for myself.
Tell me in the comments or in the forums.
In the meantime, enjoy some Halo: Reach screenshots care of EBGames: