Amp Blasts: Halo

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After Microsoft's E3 press conference, I think it's time I finally go after this topic. We all know about the large amount of sales that Halo got and the fact that many consider it to be one of the few saving graces of the original Xbox. We all know about the various stereotypes in terms of who usually plays Halo. Well, I'm not going to cover that, instead I'm going to cover the content in the game series.

The basic reality is this, Halo is not original at all. People say that the franchise innovates, but the reality is that it has constantly stole ideas from other games. The regenerative health concept was stolen from one of the power-ups from ID's Quake series. Dual-Wielding weapons was stolen from Unreal Tournament. Using Sci-Fi styled vehicles was also stolen from countless games including Unreal Tournament. Many of the storyline ideas were stolen from Marathon, another Bungie franchise which actually had some concept of originality unlike the Halo franchise. Even the control scheme (the abomination that is dual analog controls) was stolen from prior console FPS games. In terms of legitimate originality, I legitimately question if this franchise has any whatsoever.

Graphically, this franchise is a joke. The first game came out in 2001, but was outclassed by games made from ID's Tech 3 Engine and the Unreal Engine, which were already two years old at that point. Halo 2 came out in 2004, and got it's ass kicked graphically by console games based on Unreal Engine 2 and the Source Engine. Hell, Halo 3, which was rumored at one point to run at 60 frames per seconds in TRUE 1080p, only ran at 30 frames per second at 1152x640 resolution (not even 720p so they can't call it HD) on the Xbox 360 and looked like a joke compared to other modern games. (Of note being a little game known as Call of Duty 4!) Hell, even Halo Reach was 1152x720 (again, not legitimately considered HD as 1280x720p is the proper resolution) and apparently sometimes will fall under 30 frames per second.

With these factors in mind, I am inclined to believe that the reason for Halo's success is one of luck. It appears at the right place, at the right time, and it helped that it had a pretty large advertising campaign behind it. Hell, the only good thing that came from this gaming franchise is the hilarious Red VS Blue series. Despite that one positive note, many individuals including myself consider Halo's existence to be one of the biggest examples of what is wrong with video games today.

What has really made this worse is the fact that Microsoft just won't let this franchise die even though Bungie is now working on games with Activision! The announcement of Halo 4 and a remake of the first game wasn't enough to save their E3 press conference. For that matter, I saw on a considerable amount of online forums that many of the once diehard Halo fans have turned on the franchise now. Hopefully, this will help finally put this overrated franchise to an end.