One fine autumn morning, my dad decided to surprise me yet again. I woke up to the enchanting smell of a new console, as a brand new Xbox sat beside my bed. From then on, it has been an eventful journey exploring the myriad nuances of the console. The console also came with a shooting game, something called HALO. Little did I know that game would go on to be my first of many amazing adventures in the Halo universe…..

To say that HALO single-handedly turned me from a normal kid to an avid gamer would be an understatement.

The HALO series revolves around one man: The Master Chief i.e. Spartan 117, an advanced super soldier trained for missions requiring abilities well beyond human reach, along with his companion, an organic AI called Cortana. They take on the covenant (and the forerunners) in order to save humanity.

Master Chief, perhaps one of the biggest bad-ass gaming has ever seen
Master Chief, perhaps one of the biggest bad-ass gaming has ever seen

You must be wondering what makes HALO so special. There’s been some amazing moments in the HALO series which have been etched in my memory. It maybe child goggles, but I remember the goosebumps I had when on the sixth level of HALO CE (Halo Combat Evolved), called ‘343 guilty spark’ I encounter the only enemies that the covenant feared, The Flood.

The day I completed the campaign of HALO CE was one of the happiest days ever! The last level, ‘The maw’ was a really hard level for me back then, and reaching the ship before the end of the countdown timer for the pillar of autumns self-destruct sequence felt pretty awesome!

And then came HALO 2……

I used to spend most of my time playing HALO CE splitscreen co-op with my brother. One day, dad came home and asked me one thing I wanted real bad, with a hand behind his back. I wanted HALO 2 for quite some time, and that’s what I told him. His smile grew bigger, as he extended his hidden hand to reveal what seemed like a disk case for an XBOX game. It was HALO 2!

I started jumping around at first, then plugged in my XBOX and hence began my adventure on the second installment of the series…..

The coolest thing in HALO 2 was the ability to dual wield (hold and fire 2 guns at the same time) a lot of cool guns like the SMG, plasma needler, plasma rifle, etc. Then, on the sixth level (called ‘The arbiter’) we got to play as an elite of the convenant! Gaining the ability to become invisible, and to hold plasma swords! (most EPIC weapon in the HALO series).

A fan art depicting the Arbiter
A fan art depicting the Arbiter

On the seventh level, called ‘The Oracle’, we face the flood again, and get to fly the banshee, an aircraft with high speed boosters! Then came the eighth level (called ‘Delta Halo’), where we get scorpions (tanks) and rocket launchers that lock onto enemy vehicles! Then the ninth level (called ‘Regret’), where we hunt down the prophet of Regret, and kill him (he doesn’t die by guns, we have to climb onto his chair, and PUNCH him to death!). The final level of HALO 2 involves an EPIC and REALLY HARD boss fight against a brute called TARTARUS, who’s almost invincible, and can kill us with a single swing of his hammer!

Thus ended HALO 2….

3 Years later, dad got me the xbox 360 HALO REACH special edition, which came with the game. The game was a prequel to HALO CE. I set up the xbox 360 and started the game that would go on to be my favorite game ever. Not just from the series…but like ever ever.

The attachment to Team Noble, where your unnamed character joins as NOBLE SIX, was amazing, and the pain of watching each and every team member die one by one is extremely excruciating….Till the end which is an infinite level (‘lone wolf’) which ends only when you die….

Reach was like an action filled drama. It felt as if the Halo series was growing up with me. I was no longer a solo super powered soldier powering through missions. Instead I was part of an overwhelmed team, fighting a losing battle as best as I could. It wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t pretty. It was a lesson.

Even More Halo…

Later on, I played the demo of HALO WARS, and instantly fell in love with it. It was my first Real Time Strategy game, which was actually a new genre for me. Hence, I bought the game and enjoyed the gameplay quite a bit, with a cool level in which we fight a scarab, which destroys your units in one hit!

Master Chief and Cotana: Still a better love story than Twilight
Master Chief and Cotana: Still a better love story than Twilight

Soon enough, I bought HALO 4 and played the hell out of it! Playing it in Legendary mode with my brother in co-op splitscreen was a dream come true! There was a cool level in which we fly a broadsword jet, navigating through a covenant ship and destroy the cannons. The multiplayer was really cool as well along with Spartan ops being a pretty cool addition to the game.

I don’t own a Xbox One, but I know if I ever do, the new Halo game would be the first one I would try. In my opinion, HALO is a series every gamer must play, ESPECIALLY a gamer who owns a Xbox. I’ve been playing halo since forever and fall in love more and more with the series after each game. Master Chief and Cortana has taken us on one hell of a ride, and I hope it doesn’t slow down any soon.

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