Plasma Shattering Energy fills the air around me, leaving burn marks in the wall behind my forehead. I hide behind a broken tank, charge my shields and check my weapons. The usual arsenal of distant sci-fi weapons: a plasma rifle, an alien sniper weapon. Then I make a plan and try to record a path of destruction by the aliens who are gobbling down on me. I jump out of cover, prepare my weapons and get to work.
I've done that a hundred times already. It's the basic battle rhythm of Halo a chaotic sandbox with a threat posed by Supersold. Alien, one of the defining game experiences of the early 21st century. Halo and its sequels made the Xbox a viable video game platform, proving that first-person shooters can work on consoles, and fundamentally changed the video game landscape. The story was simple, with enough depth at the edge to create a full story for serious fans: an alien armada called Covenant, rising on a futuristic, space-distant human society. We lose. They are here to fight back.
For the first time, these games ̵
I'm excited about this news and I'm not the only one – the fans were so excited that they sent the developer 343 Industries Pizza. In fact, so much pizza that they had to ask them to stop. Recently, I revisited these games, notably Halo: Reach and Halo: ODST which will both find their way to a non-Xbox audience for the first time soon. (No release date is announced, but the games will appear in fiction on the PC in order of place, starting with Halo: Reach and continuing until the entire MCC fails.)
ODST and Reach differ from the other Halo games of . I think they will offer some of the most compelling experiences the series has to offer in 2019. If someone takes lessons from Halo in 2019, I suggest that it should be these two games where he takes lessons because they offer something that becomes more and more special in the world of games.
Main Series, Halo 1-5 Play as Master Chief, the ultimate human super-soldier or someone like him. A character known for supernatural luck, who always wins every fight, changing the course of the story in each game. You fight and you come forward, and even if you have to resort to desperate tactics, you win in the end.
However, in Reach and ODST you & # 39; t. They play as normal people in ODST and much less fortunate, slightly less powerful super soldiers in Reach . And you get a new experience that I almost never see as often as I want in Triple A games: they learn to lose what it is like.
Both campaigns constantly guide you through the back foot as a player You find yourself regularly overwhelmed, cornered, and trying to cut through a huge number of enemies. Both campaigns have moments of siege, protracted defenses that do not end in victory, but retreat, usually dropping bombs to destroy what is behind you, a scorched earth that costs time, but not much other.
Halo games offer the experience of being a hero, fighting impossible odds, winning battles and even saving lives. They also offer a special experience, an experience that conveys desperation, the experience of being overwhelmed, the experience of fighting battles against opponents that you know you can not beat. Master Chief never runs away from a fight, but in these games that's the case. You have to.
This kind of experience does not exist in new single-player games. These games seem to have less friction than ever before, and the win comes inexorably and consistently, a strong positive reinforcement that underlines and reinforces every player's success. The ride can be fun, but it's exciting to take on a more complex, fragile role. It is interesting to be able to play a role that is willing to take risks, make sacrifices, possibly die and beat the unlikely battles so that the great heroes can someday win the war. It's exciting to be the hero who keeps the line in the Battle of Thermopylae to see your defeat, but try to keep the line as long as possible.
When the Halo games come to PC, I'll & # 39; I commend everyone, but these two especially for the specific way in which they define their attitudes by reversing the standard empowerment narratives and forcing you to be a more creative player, a more thoughtful player. Every superhero can win a war. To be the one who helps the hero despite the adversities – that requires something special. The most interesting Halo games let you take that role, and they are essential to it.
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