Just over ten years ago today, a game called Halo 3 released. I was almost eight years old and I remember being handed a copy on Christmas Day. What a day that was. Halo 3 is quite honestly one of the best games I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Even now, ten long years later, Halo 3 still impresses me. I think there’s a lot of reasons for this, and it’s clear that they’ve shaped gaming for me.
So for the next however long it takes to read my work, we’ll be taking a look back at Halo 3 and the impact it had. More importantly, the impact it still has on the industry is just as important too. I still can’t believe it’s been over ten years for the release of Halo 3. It’s honestly pretty damn surprising, right? Because think about shooters today, they really do pale in comparison to how amazing this game is.
Shaping a generation
What exactly did Halo 3 do to keep me around for more than ten years? I think it was a variety of things, we’ll keep the most important one for later though. My own reasons for playing and sticking with Halo 3 are probably very different to your reasons. My reason is that there weren’t all that many games that interested me as a kid, except for this one and Left 4 Dead. As I got older I switched interests, but there’s always been something about Halo that has always captured my attention.
I think a big part of it is that all of my friends were playing it. Because all my friends were playing it I started playing it too. That and Metal Slug were the go to games of my childhood and it’s quite clear why. Honestly I’ve got memories of struggling through the level “Cortana”
The supplement of story
Honestly I do think the main reason I stuck with Halo 3 for so long is because it was the first plot I had ever become invested in. None of the other shooters at the time were offering anything in regard to plot. Call of Duty 3 certainly wasn’t, so I had to rely on sci-fi games like this to get anything in relation to real story telling.
To me, Halo 3 offered me my first experience in a full time shooter story. Most of my reviews really just state that the story was boring, but something about Halo 3 gave me such a weird interest. There was something about it that was so simple that it worked very well. If you haven’t played it yet then I would sorely recommend you do.
Story in shooters is something that is very vague and rare nowadays. Honestly I didn’t mind Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as a story. That may have just been the star power of Kevin Spacey though. Either way I enjoyed it, and I can’t actually pinpoint why. I can with Halo 3 though, it introduced me to a massive lore and world that was just fun to be playing around in. As a media piece, it’s amazing. There’s games, books, television, everything and anything to give yourself a greater understanding. That’s probably why I liked it, it was a good story teller.
The sudden downfall
By the time Halo: Reach had released, things weren’t looking too hopeful for the series as a whole. That’s not to say Halo Reach wasn’t a bad game, it was great! But what the main problem was for me and many others was not the game itself. Bungie had called it quits. There would be no more Halo from them. Instead they handed the reigns over to 343 Studios, and they’ve yet to make a decent Halo game.
It’s not the fault of Halo 3 that this downfall began, not at all. You can understand why Bungie wanted to go off and make an identical space shooter with Destiny. But for me, Halo 3 was the final game in the series that was truly mind blowing. None of the future instalments even came close to the fun I was having back then. Just something about it wasn’t as fun anymore. Maybe it’s because Halo 3 was honestly the peak for me. Nothing could top that for what it was. Either way, no other Halo game has managed to achieve the same amazing effect this one had.
Still, this downfall did seem pretty sudden at the time. On reflection, I’m surprised I didn’t see it coming to be honest, but I don’t think anyone was expecting 343 Studios to crop up all of a sudden. They made a poor port of Halo: Combat Evolved which ran really poorly, then they made Halo 4. At that point, the magic was dead. I had enough of Halo as a product completely. I’ve never looked back, but playing Halo 3 these past few weeks has been something of new life for the series.
What exactly was Halo 3? Compared to the standards of the industry today, it’s one of the few games I can vouch on having a good time with. Right now my interest in gaming is at an all time low, Halo 3 is one of the few games that still interests me. So how can such an old game still be made to be so interesting on so many different levels?
To me it’s because it was just so much fun. One of the games that I had been playing ever since I had an Xbox 360. There’s a reason Master Chief is the poster boy of the Xbox and this is possibly the biggest example of why. Halo 3 is quite genuinely the most fun experience a game has ever given me. To even think it’s over ten years old is mind blowing to me.
You can of course go and play this game on The Master Chief Collection, but who want’s that? Go dust off your Xbox 360, load up your copy of Halo 3 and play it how it was meant to be played. Ironically Bungie wanted to make a game that lasted ten years with Destiny. They already made a game that lasted a decade with Halo 3.