Halo Franchise Retrospective: From Reach to Halo 4

This iconic first-person series made its debut back in 2001 for the original Xbox console. Released as “Halo: Combat Evolved”, it was an all-new intellectual property designed by Bungie Inc. The flagship launch title of the system, it helped Microsoft take on the likes of Sony and Nintendo, and quickly garnered a large and dedicated fan following. This was due to redefining the shooter genre’s gameplay mechanics, unparalleled graphics, and use of console-based online multiplayer. When all was said and done, the Halo series became the benchmark for modern game design. Join WatchMojo.com as we take a look back at the Halo Franchise.
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Halo Franchise Retrospective: From Reach to Halo 4

A Spartan super-soldier has become our only hope against an alien alliance hell-bent on our destruction. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look back at the Halo Franchise.

This iconic first-person series made its debut back in 2001 for the original Xbox console. Released as “Halo: Combat Evolved”, it was an all-new intellectual property originally designed for Mac Computers by Bungie Inc. However, Microsoft intervened by buying the small company outright, securing both its exclusivity and providing their console with the flagship it needed.

Launching the then-new Xbox against the likes of Sony and Nintendo, Halo quickly garnered a large and dedicated fan following. This was not only due to the game’s exclusivity, but redefined the genre’s gameplay mechanics, provided unparalleled graphics, and introduced home console owners to online multiplayer. When all was said and done, the Halo series became the benchmark for modern game design with its introduction of elements such as its rebounding health bar, use of vehicles within its campaign mode, as well as cinematic cutscenes and soundtrack. In short, it became one the first “blockbuster games”.

Beyond these elements, the Halo franchise has become well known for its epic narrative, which has since been expanded upon in novels and spin-off games.

The story of Halo is centered on an alliance of hostile alien races that have come together to form a covenant against humanity. A religious society, these aliens worship an ancient and extinct alien race called the Forerunners, an advanced civilization that built seven large ring-shaped mega structures in deep space, referred to as Halos.

Once overrun by a frightening parasitic adversary called the Flood, the Forerunners built these rings as a last resort weapon that would destroy much of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Despite the success of the Halo weapon thousands of years earlier, the Flood were accidentally released by the Covenant in the 26th century during their war with Humanity.

At the time, the best weapon humanity had in their possession were their Spartan Super-soliders. However all but one were already destroyed I the Covenant’s initial attack on the human colony on the planet Reach, the events of which showcased in 2010’s prequel installment, aptly named “Halo: Reach.”

Following this, the last surviving Spartan, Master Chief, John-117 and his AI companion Cortana took the charge to defend Earth by stopping the Covenant from activating the Halos and destroying the galaxy in the process.

Following this, a civil war erupted within the Covenant ranks due to the realization that the central tenant of the alien religion was suicide, as it called for the activation of the Halos. With the help of one such alien defector called the Arbiter, Master Chief soon detonated a big enough blast from a single Halo to eliminate the threat once and for all.

The final result was that the hero and Cortana were sent drifting through space in a damaged ship, having placed themselves in cryo sleep. That is, until they came in contact with a far off world.

A complex story with several installments, the Halo series has recently come to be inherited by Microsoft’s 343 Industries. Not only helming an entirely new trilogy centered on the Master Chief, but the company has taken up the task of creating an HD remake of Bungie’s original iconic masterpiece for a new generation to experience.
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