HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED
By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on November 9, 2018
You know what, dear readers? I know I sometimes have some genius ideas, as I thought the bouncy castles were, but it seems that ever since I placed them my dear compadre seems to be unable to get any work done... I should take care of this, where is that machete that I confiscated from him ? It should be here somewhere...
If he only didn't make such a mess when looking for all his weaponry I would actually be able to find something, and as long as he is bouncing around in there, there's no way he is going to clean up his mess. But without further ado, let's get this show on the road and visit a game of yesteryear. Today, we will turn our time dials to the year 1999, a year of good beer and the year in which Microsoft needed a cool game in order to sell their first ever gaming console: the Original Xbox. The game I am talking about was made by none other than Bungie and is called Halo: Combat evolved.
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John 117; that is our name and getting rid of pesky space invaders is our game. To do so, we start aboard the UNSC starship Pillar of Autumn, where we are awoken from our cryosleep... I just hate monday mornings, don't you? and without even giving us a chance to get some much needed coffee, we have to do some workouts to get used to being back in the land of the living... or, in this case, the land of the not sleeping! We are a Spartan Soldier of the Spartan II project; one of the genetically enhanced soldiers with near superhuman reflexes, strength and speed.
These genetic enhancements were required for a human being able to handle the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor which, on its own, weighs about half a ton. These awesome warriors were initially designed, trained and built to fight against human rebels on any of the intergalactic colonies the humans have set up through the universe. However, we come into contact with the Covenant, a interstellar multi specie... well, Covenant. This Covenant is on the search for ancient structures made by the Forerunners, a long gone species that lived centuries ago.
While we are taking care of the pesky Covenant boarders, we are informed that the Pillar of Autumn has gotten into some serious trouble. Captain Keyes sees an oddly shaped artificial planet, and when I say oddly shaped I mean it's a Ring and the Captain is left no other option then making an emergency landing with the help of escape pods on said Ring planet. We soon find out that this planet has been given the name HALO by our adversaries and now we get into the thing where this game really shines: large open areas with no particular defined area to go to. However, the level design is done in such way that will ensure you will never be really lost.
Another thing that Halo also brought into the FPS gaming world is the limitation of the number of weapons one can carry at any time. No longer are we the Duke Nukems or B.J. Blaskowiczs of the world, being able to carry every single weapon at the same time. In Halo, we will have to make choices, because we can only carry two weapons and two types of grenades. Luckily, we can switch out weapons with the ones dropped by our fallen comrades or enemies, so there is almost no limitation to the number of weapons we can find and pick up, and the arsenal is pretty diverse. It ranges from simple but highly powerful pistols to long range sniper rifles to SMG's with a high firing-rate to awesome rocket launchers. The weapon selection that halo introduced soon became known as Halo's offensive triangle, yes a triangle my lads because at any point and with one push of a button you can also smack your enemies in the face with your titanium covered forearm.
The melee punch is very tough on your enemies and it completes the triangle of guns, grenades and punches. It is now our duty to use this deadly triangle to navigate our way through the game, which leads us to another shining star in halos firmament of total awesomness, namely the vehicular capabilities. Alongside all the weapon choices we are able to make while making our way through hostile territory, we will also come across multiple human and covenant vehicles that aid us on our travels. From the 4WD Warthog to the Flying Banshee, all of these vehicles will assist us in getting to the bottom of this strange planet and gain the information we soon wish we never found, because before long we run into another enemy... The Flood.
This creepy parasitic organism is the reason the Halo planet was created. This planet is not just a planet with biomass and life, it is also a weapon and research facility! Yes, you heard that right; it is a planet sized weapon capable of stopping the flood, so that is what we should do, right? ...right? Well, maybe we should read the fine print first because the Flood's parasitic way of life means it is nigh on impossible to get rid of, and the way this Halo Ring eradicates the threat is by eliminating all sentient life in a range of about 25000 light years. What do you mean "we activated the ring already?" Where is the Big Red Cancellation button? There is none?! *gulp* How are we going to fix this now?
I know! We are going to use the Nuclear Reactor in the Wreckage of The Pillar of Autumn to blow this thing to smithereens... and so be it, one huge explosion and one daring escape later and we are in orbit again. Wait, what is this pinging sound I hear...? What do you mean there are more? Yes, me lads and lassies; at the end we find out that the halo ring was not one of its kind and its activation has put all other rings in its array on high alert! It seems like we are going to have a sequel to this game... but for now, it's time for us to get back to 2018 and do the impossible; get Sadhonker's attention...
What is that shiny thing over there? OOOOOOHHHH, it's Sadhonker's prized possession; his machete! This will make quick work of his bouncy castle! SADHONKER!!!!! THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!!!!!! GET YOUR ASS BACK INTO ACTION...
Well, still no response... Let's cut this crap wide open to release all the..... WHOOOOOOSHHHHHH........ SMACK!!!!
Sadhonker...? Sadhonker?! Oh my... euhm... that looked like it genuinely hurt... Computer, activate Escape Protocol Backdraft! Hey Sadhonker... I'm reeeaaaally sorry dude, but I have to go now. See ya later!