Why Halo?

So how did I get into Halo?

I am (as I write this) a 44 year old woman – so how did I get into playing Halo last year and why do I love it so much?

Simply put, Halo has its own universe with characters and plot and it drags you in.  The main protagonist is the Master Chief; a super human due to some genetic tinkering and additions.  He stands over 7′ high and you get to view the universe through his eyes.  There’s a cracking plot with real human emotion and depth (see Haruspis for some inspiring critiques).

I grew up on science fiction and there is a pre-school photo of me with a Doctor Who book in my hand – Claws of Axios.  You can blame my Mum for that along with Blake’s Seven.  Wonderful but if you look at them now, the effects are slightly cringeworthy.  However, the stories have stood the test of time – 50+ years for Doctor Who.

Science fiction offers us a way to view our own lives through a different lens.  It’s brilliant for exploring how humanity would cope with extremes such as an apocalypse or being alone in the vast void of space.  It takes our human experiences and makes them more epic.

So that’s science fiction but what about Halo as a video game?  I played a bit of Tomb Raider in my early twenties and loved it but getting my own home stopped that.  I love the new iPhone and iPad games but last year I bit the bullet and bought an Xbox.  That’s hard core gaming.

It’s so different to the clunky looking Tomb Raider from 20 years ago.  Even though the first Halo game is now 16 years old, it has been remastered into an Anniversary edition and looks amazing.  The cut scenes (bit between the game action) are as good as any Hollywood movie.

My Halo adventure actually started in Hong Kong when I was visiting my friends Liesel and Keith.  One night we were all a little sleepy from sun and a boozy brunch so we sprawled out to watch Netflix.  Hong Kong Netflix is dire.  There’s nothing on it.  There were two Halo movies though.  So whilst I watched them, the others snoozed.  I’m not going to say they are the best movies ever made but I came home and decided to buy the Xbox so I could play the game.  The rest is history as they say.

I started off on normal difficulty but it’s years since I played video games so I ended up playing the first few games on easy just to get through them.  One of the first levels in the first game, Assault on the Control Room took ages to get through… I got better as the games went on but I’m probably not up to a 12 year old boy’s standard!

There are 5 main Halo games and a few others – ODST, Reach, Spartan Ops, two Halo Wars…  I’ve played them all and they kept me busy for a while!

You spend your time saving humanity, never a bad outcome, and journeying through new worlds, meeting new species (although you normally shoot first) and encountering more and more difficult challenges.

Halo is a universe.  There are books – I’ve read a few; movies – I’ve seen them all; youtube videos galore on how to get through the levels – thankfully; there’s even a Halo Channel app and a very dedicated fan base.  I’d love to do a full size suit like you see with cosplay but maybe that’s taking it a little too far…

Then being a modeller I decided to look for models.  There aren’t many given how large Halo is but I found a great 11″ high Master Chief model by Sprukits (Bandai) and built that.  Next up was a jungle to put him in inspired by the Infinity level in Halo 4 (my favourite for the story).  That’s the video series that follows this post.

And then came Red vs Blue…

Somewhere along the way I got in to Red vs Blue. It’s a web series about a group of dumb soldiers in the Halo universe.  Guess what my next sci fi diorama will be… complete with Sheila and a warthog…

All photos from 343 Industries; Red vs Blue from Rooster Teeth.

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