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In chronological order, not release order. The chronological order is:

Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, Halo CE, Halo 2 up until a specific mission, Halo ODST, the rest of Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo Guardians, and then Halo Wars 2. Bear in mind I am skipping the doodoo mobile Strike games.

My history with Halo began with the launch of the OG Xbox. My roommate at the time was one of my little brothers. We bought an Xbox and regularly played through the campaign together. It was incredible. Before Live launched, we used peer to peer PC programs to play Halo CE online against others. Halo 2 launched, still easily the biggest launch for a game I have ever seen, though maybe Halo 3 comes close. The hype and buildup were just unlike anything I'd ever seen before or since when it comes to gaming. Halo 2 I enjoyed but I didn't finish the campaign, I played MP extensively. It was a good game. A lot of franchises are just now incorporating things Bungie had in Halo generations ago.

I was pretty hyped for Halo 3, for the MP, but then the CoD4 beta happened. And my thoughts became, fuck Halo. I did still get it, but I barely touched it. Idk if I ever even started the campaign. So this is where I started to disconnect from the franchise completely. I barely touched ODST, though I did enjoy what I played. I never touched Reach or Halo 4, and I did a few missions of Guardians and some MP and did enjoy that but never finished. So I am utterly clueless when it comes to the story of Halo. And with Infinite launching in just four or five months, I figured I'd play through the whole thing. It helps that the entire thing is available on GamePass, though I do own some of it.

Halo Wars  7/10
Halo Reach 9/10
Halo CE 8.5/10
Halo 2 9/10
Halo ODST 7/10
Halo 3 8/10
Halo 4 9/10
Halo Guardians 7.5/10
Halo Wars 2 7/10
Halo Infinite 7.5/10

So game one is Halo Wars, a RTS set in the Halo universe that released originally in 2009. I played the Xbox One Definitive Edition, which released in 2016 and has a metascore of 81. Pretty good for a RTS. Originally designed by Ensemble, it would be their last game as IIRC, the studio actually closed before the game was even released? Amazing that they did such a good job with that kind of turmoil happening behind the scenes. I did originally play this on Xbox 360, but not much. I again played it when it came out on Xbone, but as is the case with most RTS games I play, I stuck to skirmishes and MP. The game is quite good in both. But this time and in all of these future games, I am ignoring MP and focusing solely on single player campaign and the story.

The opening cut scene has some marines finding a weird structure in ice on a foreign planet.

1. Alpha Base - This played out like a tutorial mission. Cool jumps, nothing substantial. In the ending cut scene, a scientist named Anders is on board the main UNSC ship orbiting the planet and wants to get down to the surface to inspect the structure but the commander is refusing it because she is a woman. Clearly this game is a fossil.

2. Relic Approach - Another tutorial mission. While the first one focused on movement, this is teaching you how to build. You're tasked with saving stranded Warthogs around the map. In the cut scene Anders is allowed to teleport down and inspects a relic in the structure. She touches it and activates it. Covenant Elites were there too, cloaked. They uncloak and attack, leading into the next mission.

3. Relic Interior - You start in badass tanks that Anders can repair. You fight off the Covenant attack and make it to a rally point. In the cut scene Anders reveals that the relic points to another planet, Arcadia. The commander doesn't want to go but Anders convinces him. When you arrive you see that the Covenant has beat you there. They are destroying UNSC ships and slaughtering civilians. You see Spartans in action for the first time.

4. Arcadia City - You see your first air combat here. You're tasked with protecting three civilian transports for a set amount of time until they fill up and can fly away. I failed this mission twice because I kept trying to protect the first ship, not realizing it is scripted to always be blown up as the pilot cowardly tries to evac early. On the third try I saved one transport. No cut scene.

5. Arcadia Outskirts - You start this mission in a giant crater. Wave after wave of enemies are attacking. Covenant has a giant laser that destroys everything. I finally took it out and got a second base going and just loaded up on Vultures and annihilated everything. The game dropped a Spartan team in for me which proceeded to annihilate everything. Was very cool. They do a good job showing just how bad ass Spartans are. In the cut scene we see that the Covenant have shielded the area where they are building something. Anders figures out that the shield is weak to plasma damage, which the UNSC can capitalize on with their new Rhino vehicle prototype.

6. Dome of Light - There is a scene in Jurassic World where a chopper crashes onto a bird dome and a bunch of rats with wings fly out. This scene was like that as you try to breach the dome with a Rhino but all that happens is a ton of Covenant enemies fly out. You have to place multiple Rhinos in key positions and then protect them and then all fire at once. I did it and they broke through. Then used the MAC satellite to fire down onto the buildings inside and destroy them. Cut scene has Arbiter and Prophet of Regret I believe it is? Very cool. Regret wants to Arbiter to amass an army to wipe out humanity. Arbiter is excited for his mission but wonders why they are wasting time digging on planets. Regret says they are looking for technology that will provide them all the ships they need. Wants Arbiter to capture Anders.

7. Scarab - The mission begins as you see two Scorpion tanks demolished. The Covenant is building a Scarab, a giant walking crab type looking thing that is immensely powerful. It's not finished, but the head can still move back and forth and it can fire its laser. This was a very cool mission. There are structures set up around the map providing power to the Scarab. Taking each one out weakens its power which makes the head scan slower and slower. There are piles of rubble and walls set up around the map to provide cover but the Scarab can demolish it and leave you open. You also have your home base set up behind cover that the Scarab periodically fires at and weakens, leaving you a limited amount of time to destroy it before it destroys your base.

The cut scene has Anders studying some ruins when the Arbiter sneaks up and grabs her. Forge, the main character you control, fights him. Arbiter easily makes Forge his bitch and moves in to kill him when Anders offers to go peacefully in exchange for sparing Forge's life. Spartans arrive on a Warthog just as Arbiter teleports away. UNSC follow Anders signal to an unknown planet.

8. Anders Signal - It's the Flood! I remember them from Halo CE. They're much much less annoying in this game than they were in Halo CE. They actually look damn cool in this one and it's awesome when your units die and get reanimated as Flood. You have to retake a couple Elephant vehicles that Flood have overrun and safely escort them back to base. I probably killed 1,000 enemies just on this mission because there are so many Flood. No cut scene.

9. The Flood - You're rushing to save Anders. A group of Spartans crash their Warthog and are overrun with Flood. You have to reinforce them. Along the way you find multiple small bases and you see that killing them weakens the main organism that is the big base. Finally I took out the big one and it ended the mission. Cut scene has Anders and Arbiter talking. Another Elite alerts Arbiter that the humans are hear, he orders an attack. The ocean opens up and Covenant ships fly out.

10. Shield World - You're trying to set up and evac and need to clear safe flying lanes for the ships. This was a hard mission because the Flood have these structures that shoot goop at your units and it decimates infantry. On the second try I loaded up on Vultures and it was a breeze. You go underground to where the Covenant flew out of, Flood follows you.

11. Cleansing - You're on board your UNSC ship as the outside of it is overrun with Flood and Covenant. It turns out this is a Forerunner structure you're in and they routinely run a cleansing beam across the mission area to destroy the Flood but also destroys you. I built up all my turrets and a bunch of Hornet airships and the mission was easy, just long. Cut scene has you shooting out of the base but you slam right into a Covenant ship. Oopsie!

12. Repairs - You're back on the outside of the ship but this time you're repelling a Covenant attack while also repairing the ships core, which for some reason is right there on the outside of the ship. You can build Cyclops units which are kind of like SCV units in StarCraft. I built a ton of them and had them doing repairs and had turrets around them and a couple Vultures, they repaired it in five minutes. Easy. In the cut scene Anders wakes up and is released from his electronic prison by Arbiter. Forces Anders to touch a relic which unlocks ancient technology and you see all sorts of ships moving around. While Arbiter gloats to other Covenant about the destruction of humanity, Anders sneaks off to a teleporter and beams back to the planet surface. She's about to be devoured by Flood when Forge saves her.

13. Beachhead - You have to escort Anders to a safe zone where she can be evacuated. Once she's gone you have to hold four bases and hold off a Covenant attack. This level more than any other captured the feel of Halo CE to me the most, probably because it looked a lot like the terrain from the first few campaign levels and Blood Gulch very much. Got to use a ton of ODST drops in this level too. In the cut scene the UNSC decides they are going to shoot a reactor into the planets sun, make it go supernova, which will wipe the planet out alongside all the Covenant there and the ancient tech they plan to use to kill all humans.

14. Reactor - The mission starts with two Hornets carrying the reactor, but they are shot down and the reactor crashes to the ground. I thought while watching like.. really? Something this important and you have a couple Hornets just flying it around? On this level there are three slopes that you have to work your way up. You have to build an Elephant vehicle which will connect to the reactor and tow it up. If an Elephant is destroyed while on a slope, the reactor will slide all the way down. So what I did was send a bunch of tanks up the slopes and wipe everything out and then sent the reactor up. It worked fine.

The cut scene reveals that when it fell, the reactor was damaged and someone has to activate it manually. Forge volunteers. He's setting things up when Arbiter uncloaks and attacks. It's another ass kicking for Forge, Arbiter is really just toying with him. But right when Arbiter is about to kill him, Forge stabs him in the neck I guess and then steals the Arbiters energy sword and kills him with it.

15. Escape - The final mission. You have to activate a portal to send the reactor through. Six doors have to be opened in a specific order for the portal to activate. Tons of enemies everywhere including Scarabs. I built up a huge Hornet army and it was very easy. You can upgrade the Hornets to Hawks and they just shit on everything. In the final cut scene Anders and the AI realize they cannot escape the gravitational pull of the supernova event so they decide to fly around the sun and slingshot away to outrun the blast. It works. But they used their own reactor to blow up the sun and now they are drifting. Everyone is going to space sleep. Anders tells the commander they saved everyone right before she drifts off. Commander looks at Forge's empty pod and says "not everyone". Game over.

Overall it's a very good game and a great start to this play through. The introduction to the Flood and Forerunners were great, I remember something about the Forerunners wiping out all life in the universe or something so that the Flood would starve out.

So the next game up will be Halo: Reach, which I have zero experience with and know nothing of the story. I think I read Halo Wars happens about twenty years before Halo CE, so Reach would have to be cutting that pretty close. I started Halo Wars on June 11th and finished June 17th. I will start Reach later today and will update my progress as I play through, I won't be dropping the entire game at once again like I did here.

Last edited by LudicrousSpeed - on 16 January 2024