I will readily admit that I wasn’t historically a Halo fan. When I saw people catching on to the Halo craze back in the early 2000s, I didn’t get it. Many gamers were having a blast on the original Xbox and I even remember friends of mine saying that Halo was the best game they had ever played at the time. When I first played the game for myself, I just couldn’t understand what the excitement was all about. To me, it was a decent shooting game with a decent story. I didn’t think much of the multiplayer aspect of the game, which many Halo owners spent most of their time on. So I was left baffled at this surge in Halo popularity.
Halo 2 followed and then Halo 3, but to this day I’ve never played them. I completed the first Halo on Xbox One when I used to own the Master Chief Collection on that system several years ago. Even then, I still wasn’t moved to becoming anywhere near a Halo fan. Yet something inside me wanted to always try to understand the Halo universe because I’ve always felt that there was something special there even if I had yet to discover it. So I ended up purchasing Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC in late 2019. Through this purchase, I was committed to finding out what Halo was all about. But I first wanted all the games to be released in the collection before I would start any of the campaigns. Once that happened a year later, I started with Halo: Reach. Although Halo: Reach was the fifth entry in the series, it was the first game in the Master Chief Collection due to the events in the game taking place before the original Halo.
After finally finishing the game during the summer, all I have to say is WOW. That story and experience pulled me in deep. It got me real good. Halo: Reach was a story that did not turn out the way that I had imagined it would in any way. And that is part of the reason why it was so brilliant. The one word that would best explain what Halo: Reach was about would be “sacrifice.” If the events of this game had not taken place, there would have been no premise for the storyline of the first Halo. I know that Halo: Reach initially came out on the Xbox 360 years after the original Halo was released, but this prequel was something truly special. And it was through this storyline prequel that I found out why Halo is an extraordinary series and why it receives the adoration it does.
Halo Reach’s story had me on the edge of my seat throughout the campaign with some action sequences that kept me on my toes. There was such a variety in locations, experiences on the ground and in the air, and an awesome arsenal of weaponry. The Covenant had humanity on the ropes and you truly felt that weight as you played through the game. The final mission/scene was very powerful and extremely well done. For those of you who have not played Halo: Reach, I will not spoil it. But let’s just say, it is a very fitting end to the events of the story.
I have such a newfound appreciation of Halo after playing Halo: Reach. Now, I’ve moved on to the first Halo with a greater understanding of how that story begins. Playing through the original Halo again has been much more meaningful as a result. I’m finding myself constantly thinking about the crew in Halo Reach and how this story I’m now following with Master Chief is possible because of them. The way I feel about Halo now, I can not wait to eventually finish the campaign across the entire collection.
Sometimes, you may not catch on to the greatness of a game the first time you play it. But something may eventually help you to understand it in a whole new way. For me, Halo: Reach was the catalyst that made me fully aware of why Halo is such a beloved series. I’ve still got quite a ways to go to get completely caught up.