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File Upload 3/19/2019

The Hawks Squawks: What Halo on PC Means to Me

Last week 343 Industries announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection, would be releasing on PC. Along with this, they also announced the addition of Halo Reach, which will also be in for the PC release as well as added on the Xbox One. This is the first major step for bringing the IP to a new PC audience. Although Halo: Combat Evolved released on PC many many years ago, the platform hasn’t seen a true Halo release since Halo 2 on PC which was only playable on Windows Vista. Although Halo has seen a lot of love in terms of private servers and other projects such as ElDewrito, fans have been eager to get their hands on a new, true PC title for a very long time, and when 343 announced last year that Halo Infinite, the next installment, would come to the platform, we all rejoiced. Hopefully we won’t have to wait until November now to get our hands on a new PC Halo game, but since there is no release date for The Master Chief Collection yet, who knows? I’m not too worried though. When I heard the news, I was ecstatic. I heard all the rumors, but I didn’t get my hopes up until I knew for sure. The moment the announcement went out my phone blew up. I was getting messages left and right on all social medias. It felt like christmas to be honest. I think what I was most happy about was the fact that I will never be tempted to buy and Xbox One again (unless Fable 4 comes as an Xbox exclusive). I did own a Xbox One on two separate occasions. The first time is when Halo:MCC first released, and for those who didn’t know, the game was garbage on release with terrible coding making playing online next to impossible. Needless to say, that disappointment pushed me to get rid of it. Later on after they fixed the game I picked up the Xbox One again. I was happy to see the improvement and was excited to jump back into playing Halo 3 online. However, everyone I played with either didn’t want to buy the Master Chief Collection or did not want to buy a Xbox One, so again I returned it. I didn’t have anything against the console itself, but it wasn’t convenient for me. Most of the games I would play were on PC as well and I will always choose that over console. Halo holds a special place in my heart. I know that sounds cliche but it’s true, The series essentially kickstarted my interest in esports and spawned great friendships. I remember when my older brother saved up his money and bought an Xbox with his first game being Halo: Combat Evolved. I remember watching him play and at the time I was stunned by the graphics. He played the first few levels and then he let me have a go. It took me a little while at first but I eventually got the hang of it. I had never played a shooter quite like that up to this point. I played Doom and 007 Goldeneye, but never anything to this extent. Halo made an impression on me and it demanded my attention. Between the gameplay, graphics, music and story I knew Halo:CE would be in my top 10 forever. I could honestly write a book full of my Combat Evolved memories, but I’m going to point out some of the great moments across the series instead of delving deep into any single game. I’m mostly doing that for you, that way I don’t take up all of your time. I remember while playing Combat Evolved, my brother, his friend and I would have “warthog wars”. In the early days, vehicles didn’t explode and break down, so we would jump into Sidewinder, hop in the warthogs and have a jousting match. The goal was to flip the other person over, and since the vehicles were indestructible, we’d get some awesome launches into the air. We would literally do this for hours. We would also have rocket wars on Prisoner. My brother was very good with the rocket launcher so his friend and I would double team him. It was always the first to 50 and ever so often when my brother was about to win, we would kill ourselves if we knew he had the upper hand It may have reduced our score, but it wouldn’t increase his. Halo also stempacked one of my friendships in elementary school. One of my friends came over after school one day and I had him play Halo. He didn’t own an Xbox and really didn’t play too many games at this point, and the ones he did were on PC. Halo: Combat Evolved hit him like a truck full of excitement. Needless to say, he got an Xbox shortly after and to this day he blames me for getting him hooked on video games. Hooked in a good way of course. Moving on to Halo 2; since we only had one Xbox in the house I didn’t actually got to play online as much. I played through the entire campaign, but since it was my brother’s console and game, he had first rights to play. It was because of this that I actually got to play World of Warcraft more since my brother and I shared an account on that as well, so I don’t really have quite as many memories with Halo 2 other than the fun times playing co-op legendary with my brother. Although I did play Halo 2 online some, it wasn’t until I got my Xbox 360 and Halo 3 when my online Halo career really took off. Halo 3 is one of those games that you play for a long time and the memories you made while playing it will always stick with you. Through all of Middle School I pretty much only played two games, Halo 3 and World of Warcraft. Many of the people I played with were playing both as well. Halo 3 was the first shooter I tried really hard at and worked my ass off in. Grinding out all the armor sets and ranking up in Halo 3 with my best friends was the greatest. One of my fondest memories about Halo 3 was during the course of playing online. When I reached Brigadier rank Level 45, I started to see a lot of the same players each game; more so once ranked General Level 50. I was notoriously known for my sniper rifle play. In fact when I entered in a game, the other team would rush to the sniper spawn, waste the ammo and drop it. It made me mad but also made me feel powerful in a way. Knowing that my opponent would try so hard just to hinder me. I met so many great people on Halo 3 and will always look back at those times as some of my favorite gaming moments. A Quick shoutout to Halo: ODST for having a stellar campaign, but that’s really all I did with it. It’s great and I highly recommend you play through it when it releases with The Master Chief Collection on PC. It’s basically Firefly in the Halo universe. Also the subtle foreshadowing to Destiny is great in hindsight. Enter Halo Reach, with the new ability system, it was a pretty significant change for Halo fans, but it was well received. To this day most Halo fans debate between Halo 3 and Reach being the best games for online play. I for one prefer Halo 3, but my brother would go with Reach. Reach was a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved and has one of the most memorable campaigns. When you look back at reach now, you can see how Bungie was testing mechanics they were going to use for Destiny. Reach was a great multiplayer experience. At this point I was starting to transition over to PC so I didn’t play Reach quite as religiously as I did with Halo 3. Even still I loved that game and I had a lot of fun playing it with new friends and my brother. One of my fondest memories with Halo Reach was during a snow day off from school. It was very cold outside and my brother and I were couped up in the house wondering what we should do. Instead of playing video games seperate in our rooms. We took our Xbox 360s and TVs and set them up on the coffee table in the living room, pushed it over by the fireplace and played Reach side by side for hours. A great game in front of us, drinking mountain dew, joking around and pwning some noobs (yeah old school terminology). All of that with a nice hot fire at our backs. The Master Chief Collection also contains Halo 4, which admittedly I did not play much of. I owned it for a short time when I had my Xbox One and only played the campaign. By this time I was an avid PC gamer and didn’t devote my time Xbox. I got rid of my Xbox One shortly after beating the campaign. I’m happy that with the PC release I’ll be able to experience Halo 4 in a new light and see what I missed out on. What I’m trying to get across with this article is that we all have that special something that always warms our hearts, and it’s something we can look back on and smile. That’s what Halo is for me. It rings so loud in not just my heart, but all of my friends and family who played it with me back in it’s prime. Many of us who don’t have Xbox One’s were literally just discussing a few weeks ago how we all are tempted to buy one just to play The Master Chief Collection, and now we won’t have to do that. I can’t wait to play through all of it with them and also introduce the game to some of my friends who never owned a Xbox and didn’t get to experience one of the greatest series in all of video games. I’m glad that PC players will be able to experience the entire series before Infinite releases. It truly is a dream come true, and it’s about damn time. Now I’m imagining the eSports scene that can come out of this and it’s making me feel all tingly. I’ll see you out there marines, hopefully sooner than later. OORAH!! Question - What are your favorite Halo memories? I’d love to hear them. Send me a tweet or a DM. #HaloMemories Twitter - @The_plaTpus