In the shadow of Destiny 2, I couldn’t help but think to another sequel to a Bungie FPS game that some folks may have heard about, called Halo 2. Back in 2004, the internet and gaming was a buzz with the new features found in Halo 2. Gameplay additions such as mix and match dual wielding of weapons and being able to GTA someone and steal their car by kicking them out of the hover-motorcycle Ghost or by punching them to death and yanking them out of their tank. Beyond that we had a lovely time being able to customize ourselves to an extent never yet had at that point. From the color changes to the logo creation, we could customize our online avatar for our Spartans and really feel like it’s US fighting out there.
One of the most amazing things about Halo 2 is that it really expanded on the novels to make an FPS game with a story. This was something that barring Half-Life 2 was something you never saw. Counter Strike was up to this point the golden standard and it left us with a great competitive feel but Halo 2 had a wide spectrum of entertainment. It had an amazing campaign with spectacular set pieces such as riding on and destroying the Scarab, ending off with a great cliffhanger. Even the tone of the NPCs from the stoic Cortana, to Commander Keyes, to the amazingly Marine-As-Fuck Sergeant Major Johnson. My personal preference when it comes to the generic NPCs is for the ODSTs while even the enemies were entertaining and unique (Grunts are always good for a lol) ODSTs represented a unique bad ass that was not para-dropped but effectively shot from a ship into a combat zone. The couch side-by-side split screen led to so many fun times with friends, family, and other students at school when we were blessed at year end with the ability to play in class. Finally and most memorable to me is the online Xbox Live. For the first time ever I had an ability to go online, murder and trash talk some strangers, and learn to get better. It was by and far a harsh lesson to learn that not being able to screen-look makes you considerably less combat effective.
A special shout out goes to Halo 2 for being integral in another major component in my life. For those of you that watch the podcast, you are likely well aware of the fact that MrSok and I are huge Rooster Teeth fans. In fact, its been a dream of mine to make content for RT and just enjoy making video game videos for a living. Rooster Teeth’s main draw was the machinima series Red Vs Blue, and has inspired a new industry of content creators and even international conventions. The show was created using the original Halo game engine and eventually upgraded. Beyond all else I think I love Halo 2 for being able to do fun things with the community including adding these lovely characters as NPC Easter Eggs.
More than anything, Halo 2 represented something new and evolving. For probably the first time, video games became more of a mainstream thing. We began to see merchandise like wallets and shirts accompanying slogans and poses. While this was not the beginning of e-sports it was the pre-cursor to such events and genuine mainstream acceptance. Akin to the process of Marvel Cinematic Universe making widespread love of superheros like Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, we now accept things as a society that were once shunned such as being an Otaku or Gamer. Again this game did not make the culture of gaming, it was not a pivotal show, it was not THE game but it by and far helped pave the way. Unfortunately we have found Halo falling off and becoming almost a joke with other games and franchising taking center stage, but without a doubt Halo 2 was a highlight of gaming and brings back fond memories. Did you enjoy the original Halo games and finish the fight? How about GTA San Andreas or Half Life 2? Leave a like, subscribe and let me know your thoughts in a comment below!