One of the biggest gaming franchises of all time, Halo has everything you want in a shooter: Great combat, graphics, multiplayer, and an incredible story that might be hard to understand if you haven’t played all the games.
In fact, even if you have played through the games, the story can be more confusing than The Silmarillion or Back to the Future 2. So for those rushing out to buy Halo 4 this week, here’s a quick rundown of the important events leading up to the fourth installment...as explained by someone who didn’t quite understand all of it.
The First Halo Game:
Master Chief, whose real name is John and his last name is not Halo, wakes up on a spaceship that’s being attacked by aliens called the Covenant. There was some sort of disaster on this other planet named Reach that made Master Chief crash. In the Halo world, things have really dumb names like Reach. The planet could have been called Zeus or Mega-Wolf, but instead it’s named after a verb. Lame. We don’t call our planet Browse, do we?
For some reason (maybe The Force?), Master Chief lands on a Halo, which is a big ring floating in space. He fights some bad guys and then he visits a library where he learns that the Halo ring is actually a super weapon designed to kill all life in the galaxy. Why would it want to do that? Because there are zombies.
The zombies are called The Flood, which is also a verb. Perhaps in Halo 4 there will be new enemies called The Swim, or Bake. The Flood eat people and turn them into more Floods. So these ancient people called the Forerunners built the Halo rings to wipe out the Flood’s food supply, i.e. it kills all organic matter.
That’s a horrible solution to the problem, but the Forerunners did the best they could. They didn't have the technology to build a Flood jail.
So Master Chief kills a bunch of The Flood and Covenant and then the Halo ring is accidentally activated and the entire Galaxy is about to be destroyed.
Then the Master Chief saves everyone. Or something. It’s been awhile since I played this.
Oh, and there’s a computer lady named Cortana. She’s blue and lives in Master Chief’s helmet.
The first Halo game is awesome!
Master Chief is given a special party for saving everyone in the last game, but the Covenant are angry because they lost this war. So...stuff happens.
There’s another Halo ring. I don’t know why. I think there are seven of them, but I might be thinking of dwarves and deadly sins. Somehow Master Chief ends up on Halo 2. But some of the story takes place on Earth. The story is split between the adventures of Master Chief and the adventures of this Covenant alien who’s now a good guy. His name is Arbiter and he does not get along well with the gorilla people. (BTW: There are gorilla people in this game.) I call the Arbiter Arby, because Arby’s make delicious sandwiches. There should have been a product tie-in. Way to drop the ball, Arby’s.
I should mention that the Covenant worship the Forerunners and the Halo rings. There’s a lot of prophets and prophecies and stuff, but no one really cares. The gorilla people are tough to kill.
Remember The Flood? They’re back. And they have a leader named Gravemind, because it was probably named by someone who owns a spider as a pet and thinks Halloween is better than Christmas.
Master Chief fights and wins and Arby helps him. But Cortana, the blue computer lady, is now trapped with Gravemind. I don’t know why she’s trapped, but...now you can hold two weapons at the same time!!!
Halo 2 is fantastic, even if you play as Arby for much of the game.
Master Chief is awesome and he saves Cortana from Gravemind. (I think Master Chief loves her!)
There are also these floating orbs that talk and give Master Chief information, but they lie sometimes. They have names like Guilty Spark.
I forget what happens next, but it ends with Master Chief floating in space and everyone thinks he might be dead. He tells Cortana, “Wake me...when you need me,” and then takes a nap like a lazy dad on a Saturday afternoon. Master Chief is awesome and this game is the best of the series...so far.
Nothing happens that you need to worry about, but now you can have jetpacks!!! JETPACKS!
This prequel explains what happened on the planet Reach. Master Chief isn’t it in, but you learn how he ended up on the Halo ring. There are more jetpacks.
So there you have it. The story of Halo easily explained. Now go blow up stuff! And spend hours on Wikipedia if you want to know the whole story.
What did we leave out?