Halo has become a national pastime, on the same level as baseball, football, and complaining about gas prices, ever since its first release in 2001. It has become a huge cultural phenomenon, primarily because its principal character is named “John” but also because America felt sorry for those poor idiots who bought the first Xbox and had their hands fall off because of how big the controller was. We have now been through three of these games, and just three days ago I wound up playing Halo for the first time.
Halo is a game about rings, which sounds familiar, but neither of the two characters you can play as is a hedgehog. This is one of only a few problems I have with the game. Instead, you play as a character named “Master Chief”, a name he takes because again, his real name is John. John is not a masculine name. John is the name of your mother’s hairdresser. And whenever you’re up against enemies wielding guns that shoot giant railroad tie-sized spikes, you don’t want that. They’d just laugh at you. And then you’d have to kill them.
Master Chief is joined by an alien whose mouth is split at the bottom. I have no idea how he eats. This was the character I played as for most of the time I played this game. My cousin Josh played as Master Chief. This works out because, as I was informed by Josh, the alien is supposed to be the cool headed one, as I demonstrated by swearing as loudly as I could at the television screen throughout the game.
I saw very few rings. What I saw were lots of huge-ass aliens I was supposed to shoot at. I also saw a few “Warthogs”, some smaller vehicles, and a “Mammoth tank” that my cousin used to kill me several times in versus mode.
The first few levels were not difficult. For example, there was a base that got taken over by aliens, and Master Chief Johnny Josh and Myself the Alien Life-Form had to blow it up. Next, we took a tank out onto the mean streets of New Liberia Or Some Other African Nation and kill more aliens. I operated the turrent.
“FUCKING SHIT COCK-SUCKER FUCK YEAH KILL THAT FUCKING ALIEN BITCH-ASS HO FUCK YEAH” were my exact words as I attempted to kill aliens. I don’t really know why.
My mother comes in off the porch to yell at me for cursing while she was watching Denis Leary on PBS. Then we start killing aliens some more.
We stop for awhile to watch Jeff Dunham, a comedian with puppets, who is not funny. No ventriloquist is, unless the puppet in question happens to be a dead terrorist.
Next, more aliens.
The next level involved tanks and hitting at some sort of battle base; then we took on a giant spider, even larger than the type you see in Florida. We flew these flying things to a dropoff point, and killed some more aliens, as was the style at the time. Next, we landed on a giant ring. Sometime in all of this, we also killed an alien priest who wanted to infect the world with what appeared to be some kind of bowel disorder. The way it worked is, these little alien bug things would burst out of large fleshy sacs in the wall and start infecting you, and if you were dead, they would take over your body and make other soldiers want to kill themselves, probably because of the smell of rotting flesh combined with flatulence from the bowel disorder. I saw at least one soldier with a gun to his head mumbling some shit about the way his commander talked and how his skin was wriggling, so I hit him.
PROTIP: If someone you know and/or love is contemplating suicide, just slap them around for a few minutes. It’ll turn ’em around.
Using my personal favorite weapon, the Spiker, which was the one that shot huge spikes at people, Master Chief Joshie John-Boy and I infiltrated the biggest ring of all. We are talking a huge ring here, the kind that real men make whenever they don’t want to make a necklace. And it wasn’t even done, but it could apparently kill all life in the Universe including the bowel disorder aliens and the Covenant aliens and the humans. It was just that manly.
We go in, and the fucking obnoxious robot sphere thing that’s been talking to us throughout this bullshit starts shooting lasers at everybody, because firing the ring at this stage of its completion (second trimester) would surely destroy it and everybody on it. First, it kills the black guy, Johnson. Then it tries to kill the white guy, Master Chief. Then it tries to kill the alien (me). We kill it and it dies, and there was great celebration and cheering that finally the thing would shut up for a few minutes until Cortana, the digital little woman that Master Chief keeps in lieu of a real girlfriend (just like the guys that play Halo!) puts in the key that starts the giant ring. And suddenly we realize it’s time to go.
We run like hell for the nearest Warthog, which is still running perfectly in spite of the earthquakes and the aliens and the explosions, and we drive it like hell all the way to our ship.
Long story short, we both make it out of the ring before it explodes into flame but Master Chief’s part of the ship is split apart like the Titanic on Christmas Eve. He is forced to begin cryogenic sleep until Cortana needs him to clean the bathroom. Which is fine with Master Chief. Because Cortana talked as much as the damn robot sphere.
I, on the other hand, went back to Earth with the humans, and there are pretty pictures of mountains and a big barren place as a monument to all the soldiers who lost their lives in the big war against the aliens. Then the credits roll and Bungie Studios thanks us for helping them in their quest to conquer the world.
Hey, I couldn’t be happier to help. I have finally seen the world that is Halo, and it is OK. In spite of the fact that everybody died, the alien thing still can’t enjoy his sandwich because his mouth is split at the bottom and Master Chief’s real name is still John, I could see what was so cool about it, particularly in Versus mode, where you can finally kill all your friends like you’ve wanted to ever since they forced you to strip naked and run all the way to the 7-11 on Christmas Eve to buy liquor so they can try to light their breath on fire like a dragon. The rest of the game was pretty good too, although I’d say there’s still not enough alien killing. But if you can make it for the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft, I’d buy it. Assuming, naturally, I get tired of Super Smash Brothers.