Halo’s Reach

The original Xbox released on November, 15 2001. It was Microsoft’s first entrance into the home console market, and was competing against two established giants named Sony and Nintendo. Sales of the console were initially strong, but Microsoft needed something to get the console to take root in the homes of gamers, the Xbox needed that “Killer app”. Microsoft found that killer app in the form of a game called Halo:Combat Evolved.

I will be the first to admit I am a gamer, I play games maybe far too much in my spare time, but Halo never really got its hooks into me. Being a gamer it is impossible to not know about Halo, and this past week Halo Reach the final and fifth game in the series was launched and the gamer community collectively  screamed and proceeded to ignore EVERYTHING but their xbox.

What makes Halo a phenomenon? I have no idea? But to put it into perspective, Halo Reach made over 200 million dollars in its first day in stores. That is the biggest sales of an entertainment product in 2010, and one of the biggest launches ever. Iron man 2 was released this year and only took in 2.2 million in its box office opening.  Halo is to Microsoft what Mario is to Nintendo. Halo did to Modern consoles and online multi player what Mario did for the home console market.

Steve Carsten

But still I have no idea what the appeal is, but I knew someone who did, my old roommate. Steve Carsten is a gamer to the core, and has played every major Halo title. Were I am choosy on what I spend my time on when it comes to games and am sometimes fine with just reading a review on some of the newest games while I wait for the one or two I really want to play, Steve plays them all. You could find him in the living room for hours playing Guitar hero, pulling all nighters on xbox live on ODST, on Red Dead Redemption with his posse, or playing mindless indie games he bought from the Xbox marketplace.

Steve Carsten

When I caught up with Steve a few minutes before he was supposed to be at work. He was playing Halo Reach online, with his grip tight on the controller, headset in, and game face on he was not much for words, but I was able to get a few full sentences on his thoughts of the new game and the series as a whole.

How long have you had Reach on preorder?

” Maybe since December 2009, or February 2010. I pre ordered it with a gift card a long time ago, I could have gotten a game at the time but didn’t know if I would have the money when it came out, so I decided to go ahead and get it.”

Why were you willing to wait so long?

“Cause its Halo. I have played every Halo game.”

Why is this game or game series so Important?

“Halo was the reason I got the original xbox. The reason I got the Xbox360, and the reason I started playing multi player games altogether.”

What do you think of the new game?

“I started playing it the day I got it at 2p.m. to 7a.m. for two days in row.”

What do you think of all the attention a video game gets from outside of the gamer community? The sales numbers broke records and was featured in CNN,yahoo news, and ABC news. I saw cardboard cutouts at Walmart, and Halo Reach is on every bag of Doritos, and bottle of Mountain Dew in every store I have been to.

“Ha! I have no idea, I have been playing Halo.”

Steve Carsten's Head

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4 Responses to Halo’s Reach

  1. So, i understand Halo Reach selling 200 million copies, given its overall boom from the first of the series. It is understandable, given the character A.I. for the first, 2nd, and 3rd halo’s, how it might sell so well. For its time it set new standards in very high replay value for a fps game, not only through multiplayer but in the campaign alone. It seemed like every time you played something different and epic could happen. This is coming along way from those set cinematic fps games where things were set to explode only in certain places and what not…I mean, after one play through you know where the enemies are and how to react which cheapens the replayability of many games.

    While i appreciate what Halo has done in the past, i begin to ponder Halo 3’s major changes from the second game…and then ODST’s marketing idea just to throw in a few new weapons and change nothing to make the game renewed in its gameplay. ODST was a chance for a new concept and reinventive gameplay. It came well packaged only to cover up the fact that it was a Halo 3 polish. and for $60? I mean, the first game was so good maybe the 200 million copies sold was just in part due to the original fan base. Is Halo Reach really doing anything different? or is it a ploy to sale to old audiences who enjoy the original?

    Don’t you feel as though we are playing the same game once again? I mean, i havent played Reach but after seeing too much repitition in the gameplay i moved on to things like COD and battlefield. Which i must say have their own points of repitition these days.

    My question is What really makes Halo Reach? New A.I.? New Weapons? Where is the power play here? New abilities?

    What are some new and reinventive changes that make this game better or different?

    I mean is it really all that much different?

    -thanks man, brandon.

  2. I would say If you are not that into Halo , then no its not. But if you are really into Multi player games, you might see more people putting down the COD or Battlefield for Halo, plus Halo has a longer tail than the other two big online FPS’s at the moment.

    As for changes to Halo From what I have seen and read the graphics are better, Though Halo has never been a “pretty” game, most notice the difference. The A.I. gets a lot of mention. Reviewers note that when they died in a section and on the replay the section played out completely different. which this makes the replay on the campaign high, and features like this really helped sales of Games like the Left 4 Dead series. I personally put a lot of hours in those for the unpredictability of the A.I.

    ODST should have been DLC, and Bungie has all but said that. The notion was that Microsoft needed a Halo game on the SHELF in a weak software quarter. Halo games are notorious for being console sellers, and I believe in that quarter the PS3 slim was coming out, and with games like uncharted 2 along side a Hardware reboot Microsoft needed to compete. The $60 ODST price tag was a bit of a sting, but it sold, proving that as long game has a “title” that it will sale, regardless the value proposition. The same thing happened with that COD map pack that was $15 bucks. Gamers complained and said” Thats a bunch of old maps for $15? No way!’ and then they turned right around and bought it, making it one of the biggest selling DLC packs, and giving Activision a Green light for similarly priced DLC, and proving again the value proposition argument means nothing as long as its backed by a “title”.

    I also know that HALO took a few cues from MW2 with the multiplayer and controls. The big sale for some was the changing of the control scheme for Halo was different from previous games allowing for a more level playing field, downside some say its too much like a COD game.

    • Thanks for your comments and evaluation. I appreciate good research and u have gathered some good facts here on your webpage. Possibly go on to review games or talk about upcoming games and even upcoming console gear. Might i suggest more in game screenshots as well :)?

      Have you heard anything about Bulletstorm? what is it doing different?
      and maybe the latest details on MEDAL OF HONOR vs COD BLACK OPS…what is the better buy ?? just some ideas, but your work so far has kept me wanting to know more.

      thanks again ,

      Gamer -Brandon Petty.

      • I had thought about doing more news and reviews, and I plan on it. The problem is gaming news is recycled a million times. So I would just be afraid that my content would be old new stories , borrowed, and unoriginal.But I just got the new slim xbox and planned on reviewing it, and I bought a sonic racing game because I am lame like that, and I am getting that new castlevania game so I will definitely review that. I just need to to focus more, I want to cover games and nerd culture.
        Thanks for the Input.

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