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#1 Spark

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 12:26 PM

S97q7qV.png

 

That old thread is too old and long winded, I think it's time to start afresh. I'll post in here frequently with my own takes on each piece of the Halo Story I've experienced. And I'll be happy to answer any questions you might post here.

 

 

Also there was this neat thing a few days ago.

Spoiler

 

Yep. Halo Infinite is coming, And it is coming to PC.

 

I know Halo's an old bag, and most aren't really interested anymore. Kind of saddens me, because of how richly built Halo's mythology has become.

 

A few useful fan-cultivated (Not me, before anyone asks) links if you're interested in diving in at some point:

Halo Story, and Where to Find it.

The Entire Halo Timeline (Basically your Cliffnotes Chronology)

And also of course, Halopedia, the absolute best place to find out everything you want to know.

 

And here's my own TL;DR chronological order of the "Important" stuff (there's a lot more, but I don't think they're important for enjoyment)

Spoiler

 

Next week, June 26th, is the release of Halo: Bad Blood, a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians on the games side, and also a sequel to Halo: New Blood, which itself is a sequel to the old spinoff Halo 3: ODST, Starring everyone's favorite Nathan Fillion, Nathan Fillion as Nathan Fillion Spartan (former ODST) Edward Buck.

 

Halo_Bad_Blood.jpg

 

Spoiler


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#2 Spark

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 01:22 PM

I'm finally gonna sit down and play Halo Wars 2 today. (I should probably mention that as of right now, Halo Wars 1 is on Steam, and in the Summer Sale! HW2 is also on PC, but through the W10 store.)

 

I've played it on and off, but I haven't bothered to sit down and finish it, because RTS simply isn't really a genre I experience much. But I did keep up with it for the story.

 

Halo Wars 2 is not just a sequel, but a side-story to a different part of the universe during and after Halo 5: Guardians. The events of HW2 lead me to believe they will be coming into play in Halo Infinite.

 

Mainly by way of introducing the new faction, the Covenant remnant known as the Banished. Particularly, this is Atriox's story:

 

 

Halo has needed replenishment in the Rogues gallery for a while. Atriox and the other ones from Halo 5 are a good start.


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#3 Spark

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 04:40 PM

I guess I should post the *improved* version of the Halo Infinite trailer

 


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#4 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:24 AM

Spoiler

 
Did you leave out Halo Reach on purpose or by accident? :P


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#5 Spark

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

 
Did you leave out Halo Reach on purpose or by accident? :P

 

Kinda on purpose, but I had changed my mind. I clearly forgot to go back and add it.

 

I've really soured on Reach these 8 years since it's been out. It introduced a lot of the unpopular gameplay elements that Halo 4 got crucified for, despite being mechanically the same as the former.

 

And it seems like it went out of its way to introduce problems that compromise the Fall of Reach book, which IMO told the same story, but way better.


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#6 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:15 PM

I guess I should post the *improved* version of the Halo Infinite trailer

 

 

Mmmh, not the song I expected they would use.

 

So I fixed it:

 



#7 Spark

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 09:51 PM

HYPE THRUSTERS SET TO STANDBY.

 

A few days after the Halo Infinite trailer dropped, Marty O'Donnell (the composer of the Bungie-era Halo games, and Destiny 1 before he was fired without cause during D1's development) posted a winky wink comment on twitter:

 

tszPiXE.png

 

Nobody thought much of it, since it was a piece of music he had come up with years ago. But then, a few days ago, couple of people met up with him at a Seattle coffee shop. You might know some of them.

fWDSucm.jpg

 

So that's Joseph Staten (Head writer of the original 3 Halo games, currently works as Overall Senior Creative Director for Microsoft Studios), Jen Taylor (Voice actor of Cortana and Dr. Catherine Halsey) with Marty.

 

And then just a little bit ago:

 

bQKT99K.jpg

 

Either he's trolling us real good, or Marty's coming back to Halo, and then the WHOLE band is officially back together. Marty, Frankie, Joe Staten, and the voice actors.

 

 


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#8 Spark

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 10:36 PM

Here's a great vid on why the Master Chief stands out among the hordes of FPS protagonists (guest starring the Master Chief himself, Steve Downes)

 


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#9 Ocelot

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 06:06 AM

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Does anyone remember this one game called Halo? This little game that came out about forty years ago on a console that you can't even refer to by its original name any more because history has stolen "Xbox 1", before video games had any of those things that we apparently love these days like lootboxes and having to pull two triggers to shoot guys instead of just one, and people have been telling me for years that I should play it because apparently it's pretty good? That Halo? Well, I played it. And guess what it SUUUUUCKED lol more like suxbox I'm gonna do a 360 and then walk away lol

 

No I'm just kidding it was actually really good. I ploughed through the whole game in two days and really enjoyed... most of it, and I'm excited to talk about all this Halo stuff now that I've finally played it after only SEVENTEEN YEARS. What a great game! I've never been much of a shooter guy, but even I can tell when a developer just nails all the dude-shooting mechanics as well as Bungie did here. Every gun feels great to shoot, every enemy has an interesting little quirk to keep you on your toes while you're fighting them, your movement speed and all that sticky-aiming stuff Bungie does feel just right the moment you lay hands on the controller; it's really good. I always hate bullet sponge enemies in shooters, like those big mechs that turned up in Mass Effect 2 that you just have to duuuuump ammo into forever, and to me a good shooter will always give you some way of dealing with everything it throws at you in a fun (and timely) manner. Doom 2016 did this by always giving you that huge arsenal of weapons to make sure you always had something big in stock, but Halo does it with all kinds of different sneaky little tricks, like charging a Plasma Pistol, or hitting Hunters in their gooey lower back bits, or sticking someone with a Plasma Grenade and then running away laughing. It just feels really good to fight dudes in this game.

 

And then you're fighting dudes for a little while, and you're thinking that this is all pretty great, but then the MUSIC kicks in and you're just like UNG UNG UNG UNNNNNNNNNGH. I don't know if the game sounded like this back in 2001 or if all the music was remastered for the Anniversary remake, but boy oh boy does it sound incredible. Ones the string section starts up and those drums kick in? Forget about it. FORGET. ABOUT. IT. Even when I was technically just running around shooting my two-thousandth dude, that music just turns the whole experience into this volcanic, transcendent... thing. Did I mention the drums? Oh my GOURD.

 

Speaking of the Anniversary edition, I'm a big fan of the button that pops the game back and forth between original and remastered graphics. I hit that pretty regularly over the course of my playthrough, and I think the game looks pretty good either way. The newer look goes pretty hard on the purple, and is maybe a little busy for its own good, but it can also look really nice, too, and the original has that nice, clean look of an older game running at a modern resolution. Though, if I'm perfectly honest, I'm such a spoiled Millennial that I quite often forgot which set of graphics I was looking at, because in the comparison between 17 year old video game graphics and 7 year old video game graphics... they both look kind of old. Nice, but things only stay state-of-the-art for so long, and what was cutting edge for 2011 is now just "Yeah, this looks great for its time". I'm sorry, I hate myself too :P

 

If you'll allow me to segue into the complaints section, though, I'm surprised nobody seems to talk about how much asset re-use there is in this game. It honestly reminded me of Devil May Cry 4, a game that famously has you turn around at the mid-point and then play through the entire first half of the game again in reverse. You spend the beginning of Halo fighting your way through all manner of Halo environments until you hit the Library, and then the Library is the exact same giant corridor like four times in a row, and then you practically go all the way back to the beginning through all the same levels again. They even find a way to re-use the Covenant ship and the Pillar of Autumn. And, to be fair, there is still some new stuff in the back half; it's definitely not to the same extent as DMC4. The addition of the Flood changes your playstyle a whole lot, and it's a whole lot of fun seeing the absolute chaos of all the different enemy types fighting eachother as you steamroll through with your new shotgun. It didn't ruin the game for me or anything, but, y'know, you like to see new stuff all the same.

 

My biggest complaint about this game is that it ranks pretty highly on the "WHERE DO I GO!?"-o-meter, with the bulk of the indoor levels made up of identical-looking rooms where I'd get into gunfights, get turned around and then forget which door I came in. It's one of those games where you have to play the "Oh, enemies, I must be going the right way" game a lot. That is, until I realised in THE FINAL LEVEL that there's a little waypoint arrow on the assault rifle's little ammo-counter screen thing that always points towards your objective. I legitimately never even saw it. I... I am not a smart man, you guys.

 

I had some frustrations with some of the vehicle levels, like getting insta-killed any time a Ghost or a Banshee even brushed up against me (I even got killed by MY OWN Banshee once by getting out too far from the ground and having it fall on me), but overall I found Halo incredibly playable for a game of its vintage. And now I have three more Halos in this here Master Chief Collection, so I suppose I'll have to play those, too. I still remember some guys I knew in High School taking the day off school when Halo 2 came out, so it feels weird to have it ready and waiting to go right after I finish the first game :P



#10 Spark

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 07:05 AM

Yup. That was the Halo experience, Ocy. The anniversary edition only had a new coat of paint. Halo 2 is gonna feel a little less nicer to play tbh, but more than makes up for it in bombastic story.

 

Halo 3 probably strikes the best feel between 2's bombastic story, and 1's general goodness to feel. Backtracking is far more minimal in the later games as well.

 

Halo 4 is...different. Don't let that scare you away. It's focused on telling you a much more personal tale, to the point that actual bullets and action aren't even really the point.


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#11 Ocelot

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 04:55 AM

OK, fellow players of Halo, let's talk about Halo 2! I... can't say I really liked it. I definitely appreciate the move towards all the dumb video game tropes that I like, like massive setpieces, bossfights, villains to hate and Keith David to listen to. I really liked some of the new Covenant weapons, and I loved that bit where you jump off a bridge onto the new Covenant Metal Gear to kill everyone inside it and shut it down. I still had a fun time blasting through another Halo campaign, buuuut...
 
It didn't really keep me engaged like the first Halo did, though. Despite a lot of really nice improvements, I could only get through the game one or two levels at a time, whereas I finished the first game in a couple of days. It could just be shooter fatigue, but I also feel like that first Halo has such a solid throughline of "we crashed on a Halo and we have to escape", so you always know where you're going and what you're doing. Halo 2 adopts more of a globetrotting style with a different goal, a different environment, and even a different playable character for seemingly every mission, so it's constantly halting its momentum and restarting over and over. 
 
But more than that, I think it's just that I found the story totally impenetrable. Bungie likes to come up with a couple of dozen generic nouns to use as names of characters or McGuffins, breezily introduce them exactly once, and then just assume you're keeping up for the entire rest of the game because nobody has time to explain why they don't have time to explain anything to you and the game never slows down to take a breath. You're endlessly pushing towards the next thing while characters throw around capitalized word salad like Truth, Regret, Oracle, The Sacred Icon, High Charity, Brutes and Grunts and Elites and the Forerunners and the Reclaimers and the Demon. I suppose you can either keep up with all of it, or you can just fall hopelessly far behind with no chance of ever catching up.
 
Adding to my confusion is that the Covenant just speak English now. At first I thought it was an MGS3 situation where their BLARGs were being translated into English for my watching benefit, but then I got to a scene where the Arbiter and Master Chief spoke to eachother in perfect, American-accented English, while being held by a giant tentacle monster that also spoke English, so I don't know what's going on. Honestly, I even had trouble keeping track of where anyone was during the story in the game. I was playing as the Chief on a new Halo and I fell into a tropical ocean, and then I played as the Arbiter for a bit on what I thought was a totally different planet, only to fall down a hole in a snowy installation and end up in a chamber with the aforementioned giant monster... with Master Chief right next to me. And then the very next mission started with Chief teleporting into the inner sanctum of the Covenant's holy city. And I accept that some of this is probably down to me being dumb and missing stuff, but I feel like once we're getting to giant tentacle monsters that live inside Halos and can teleport you wherever they please, you can cut me some slack for losing the thread. The tentacle monster doesn't even come back until after the credits.
 
I don't mind so much when the rickety, held-together-with-duct-tape Master Chief Collection crashes, but it really sucks that it lacks any kind of individual audio mixing sliders, and its subtitles option doesn't actually seem to work. You get subtitles in cutscenes, where you probably don't need them, but you're left high and dry during gameplay where the bulk of the exposition actually happens, and the audio mixing is such that the in-game dialogue is completely drowned out by the general roar of combat. Basically I just couldn't hear about 75% of the script, and the parts of it I did catch sounded like they wrote a normal script and then went back through it to cut out any of the connective tissue or explanations for things to make absolutely sure I wouldn't understand anything. And then there are these terminals you find that boot you right out of the game to a separate Halo Xbox app to show you some cutscenes of 343 Guilty Spark studying Covenant history or something, which I'm sure the Halo Wiki editing crowd must eat up but doesn't really do anything for making the actual moment-to-moment storytelling of the game any easier to take in.
 
It is a joy to watch Halo 2 Anniversary's NNGOOORGEOUS cutscenes, though, even if you aren't following the story they tell. It feels like an entire high budget CG movie's worth of goodness, writing cheques that the in-game graphics absolutely cannot cash.You watch the beautiful cutscenes, then the gameplay starts and you think "Oof, these must be the old graphics", so you hit the button to swap to the new style but then you realise, double oof, you were already on the new graphics and these are the old old ones. Again, it's still a nice-looking game, but that ability to A/B so quickly between two sets of graphics just puts it all in such stark contrast. Music is still incredible, though. I don't know what they paid Steve Vai to shred as hard as he did, but whatever it was they got their money's worth.
 
So I think I'm going to take a break from Halo-ing before 3 so as not to Halo myself out. I was already just sprinting from checkpoint to checkpoint at the end of 2. It's not an ideal point to take a break, considering Halo 2 doesn't really have an ending, as such, but I suppose I'll have to manage.


#12 Spark

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 09:07 AM

The tentacle monster is the Gravemind, prime consciousness of the Flood, the very reason the Halos were built in the first place. At the time though it was more or less trapped on the ring you found it on, but saw opportunity when High Charity slipped in. So it attempted to play the long con by helping Chief and Arbs on their respective journeys while it was left alone to put the pieces in place to take over the space station, which happened midway through that level where the In Amber Clad jumped in and crashed into one of the buildings.

 

So now it had interstellar transport, and a certain AI stuck in its systems that has encyclopedic knowledge of everything there is to know...

 

 

Also, called it you wouldn't like Halo 2 as much. ;) Hope I'm right about 3 too.

 

EDIT: Oh and for clarification, you cannot actually kill the Gravemind.

 

It's consciousness resides on an altogether different plane of existence, emerging once enough biomass has been turned by the Flood infection.

 

The Flood itself is mindless without its Gravemind pulling the strings. This is what you saw in the first game. The Flood on Delta Halo have had eons to gather their strength and usher in its return since the Forerunners first fired the rings against it. The worst thing the Halo rings can do to it is destroy its body and all potential hosts living at the time. It'll simply ebb back into the ether and wait for the next round.

 

It's that reason why it's popular to theorize the Flood will one day return to the series in a big way.

 

In the allegorical sense, if the Forerunners are the Angels who have forsaken the dark and terrible mortal world for the Promised Land, the Gravemind is the Snake in the Garden of Eden.


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#13 Princess Bacon

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 09:35 PM

Hang on, the Assault Rifle's compass points towards the objective? I swear I remember wee 8 year old Bacon reading the manual for Halo 1 way back in 2001 and the weapons section mentioned that the Assault Rifle's compass was supposed to always point towards some gas giant (Titan? I swear it started with a T) to give troopers some sort of point of reference no matter where they were, because manuals used to have lore and stuff, before they turned into a controls list and then just stopped existing altogether.

 

EDIT:

Threshold! It was Threshold. http://www.gamesdata...ame_Studios.pdf

Look at this, this is peak manual. Kids these days don't understand the thrill of getting a new game and being so dang excited to play it that you pull out the manual and read it cover to cover on the car ride home.



#14 Ocelot

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 05:08 AM

The tentacle monster is the Gravemind, prime consciousness of the Flood, the very reason the Halos were built in the first place. At the time though it was more or less trapped on the ring you found it on, but saw opportunity when High Charity slipped in. So it attempted to play the long con by helping Chief and Arbs on their respective journeys while it was left alone to put the pieces in place to take over the space station, which happened midway through that level where the In Amber Clad jumped in and crashed into one of the buildings.

 

Wow, really? I didn't get any of that :P

 

Hang on, the Assault Rifle's compass points towards the objective? I swear I remember wee 8 year old Bacon reading the manual for Halo 1 way back in 2001 and the weapons section mentioned that the Assault Rifle's compass was supposed to always point towards some gas giant (Titan? I swear it started with a T) to give troopers some sort of point of reference no matter where they were, because manuals used to have lore and stuff, before they turned into a controls list and then just stopped existing altogether.

 

EDIT:

Threshold! It was Threshold. http://www.gamesdata...ame_Studios.pdf

Look at this, this is peak manual. Kids these days don't understand the thrill of getting a new game and being so dang excited to play it that you pull out the manual and read it cover to cover on the car ride home.

 

Y'know, I have apparently understood so little of what's going on in these games that I'm perfectly willing to believe I got that one wrong, too. All I know is I followed the arrow and it worked out for me, so I guess the objective also happened to be in the direction of Threshold.



#15 Phaedrus

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 05:24 PM

Yeah, Halo is one of those series' that is definitely guilty of having a lot of plot elements kinda fly under the radar, especially for first-time or casual players. A lot of important characters, backstory, and overall plot information is contained within the plethora of expanded universe material. At the time of Halo 2's release, there was already 3 novels and graphic novel that definitely provided more context for the events and characters than you could find in the games. Not 'mandatory reading' by any means, but pretty helpful.

 

Also, Halo CE:A and Halo 2:A both contain terminals scattered throughout their respective campaigns that play short-ish, animated comic-style videos that shed light on a lot of stuff. You may have stumbled upon a few during your play through so far, but they are kinda disjointed if not viewed in order. 

 

 

 

Check those out if you are interested in Halo universe world-building!



#16 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 06:30 PM

A lot of important characters, backstory, and overall plot information is contained within the plethora of expanded universe material. 

 

Are we talking about Star Wars or Halo?



#17 Phaedrus

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:07 PM

 

Are we talking about Star Wars or Halo?

 

Yes.



#18 Spark

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 02:09 PM

Oh also Ocy, you have got to watch Red vs. Blue. Particularly Seasons 6-onwards. Starting with 8 they started using CG on top of the machinima and the results are best described if Halo suddenly acted as stylish as Devil May Cry.

 


Your Resident Halo Nerd

The New Halo Thread

Halo Infinite  - TBA (PC/Xbox One)

"Resignation is my virtue. Like water, I ebb and flow. Defeat is simply the addition of time to a sentence I never deserved...but you imposed."

-The Gravemind (Halo 3, 2007)
 


#19 Ocelot

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Posted 25 December 2018 - 09:43 PM

Oh I used to love RvB back in High School. I was watching it loooooong before I ever even had an Xbox to play Halo on, in fact. I think I lost track of it at some point right around the start of their foray into awesome fight scenes, and then I couldn't remember which season was the last one I saw, so I picked a point at random and I was way off and had no idea what was going on. But now that you've reminded me I'll definitely (hopefully) try and get back into it for real.







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