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In 2011, the Halo game series is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since then, there have been a number of great Halo games that have expanded the Halo game series, and there will be more to come. The Halo series has undoubtedly been the highlight of the Xbox and Xbox 360’s game libraries, and has inspired a whole series of Halo novelization and comic book series, such as Halo: The Cole Protocol and Halo: First Strike.
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The First Halo Game
The first Halo game was Halo: Combat Evolved, which was launched with the Xbox console. The game and the series begins on the Pillar of Autumn in 2552 AD after the ship has made a narrow escape from the human colony Reach, which has been wiped out by Covenant aliens. The Pillar of Autumn includes the last of the SPARTAN 2 soldiers, Master Chief, who is awoken after the Covenant discover the Pillar of Autumn coincidentally close to a mysterious large Halo floating in space. As such, Master Chief is left to battle his way through invading Covenant troops to reach Captain Keyes, who gives the order to evacuate the Pillar of Autumn and land on the Halo. The rest of the game features Master Chief and the AI Cortana's search for the Halo's secrets and the truth about the Forerunners and the Flood.
With its great storyline, soundtrack and exciting gameplay the first Halo game ensured a good take-off for the Xbox game console. The Halo game was awarded numerous Game of the Year Awards by various publications, and the BAFTA Best Console Game. As such, the Halo series had arrived with a bang with Halo: Combat Evolved.
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After the first Halo game the game series was expanded with two further sequels which made up the Halo trilogy. The first of these was Halo 2 which arrived in 2004. In Halo 2, the Covenant has discovered planet Earth, and so a Covenant fleet emerges on the outskirts of the Earth’s orbit. After a battle with the UNSC, one of the remaining Covenant ships, under the command of the Prophet of Regret, invades the Kenyan city of New Mombasa leaving the Master Chief to mop up the Covenant troops in the city.
Halo 2 was a great sequel to the original Halo game, and was the highest grossing game for the first Xbox game console. Unlike the first Halo game, Halo 2 included full multiplayer support with Xbox Live. The game also included a number of new innovations such as the wielding of dual weapons, and a variety of new Covenant weapons for the Master Chief to pick up.
Halo 3 was the final game of the original Halo trilogy, and the first on the Xbox 360 game console. In Halo 3, Master Chief takes on the remaining Covenant in East Africa. In this finale, the Master Chief has to prevent the Prophet of Truth from activating all the Halo installations with the Ark.
As Halo 3 was on the more advanced Xbox 360 game console, it had a more advanced graphic engine than the previous games. In addition to this, the game included new two-handed support weapons that provided Master Chief with greater firepower. Additional equipment and new vehicles were also available.
Halo 3 broke further records when it arrived in 2007. Millions of Halo 3 copies were pre-ordered, and millions more were bought after its launch. As such, Halo 3 had a record-breaking opening weekend as the Halo phenomenon continued.
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Further Halo Games
After the Halo trilogy was complete, Master Chief disappeared from further Halo games. This began in Halo: ODST in 2009. Instead the game stars a soldier from the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers), which are among the best UNSC troops after the SPARTANs.
Halo: ODST goes back to the Covenant invasion of New Mombasa in the second Halo game. A crew of ODSTs crash out of orbit during the Covenant invasion and land in the city. As such, an unnamed ODST rookie is left to search for his lost colleagues in Covenant occupied New Mombasa, which leads him to something the Covenant are searching for beneath the city.
In addition to this, Halo Wars was another Halo game that was the most unusual of the series. The game was not an FPS, but was instead a strategy game based on the war between the Covenant and the UNSC. In Halo Wars the armies of the UNSC ship Spirit of Fire are sent to defend the Harvest colony and retake a captured UNSC outpost. However, as it is not an FPS game Halo Wars is considered to be more of a Halo spin-off.
The most recent Halo game is that of Halo: Reach, which emerged in 2010. As mentioned, before the Pillar of Autumn was discovered the Covenant had invaded the UNSC colony Reach. Halo: Reach is therefore set on Reach after the Covenant has discovered the colony. Halo: Reach stars Noble 6 who is a part of the Noble team that is left to defend the colony from the invading Covenant.
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The Next Halo Games
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Halo game series, a re-mastered version of the original Halo game is set to arrive later this year. This Halo: Anniversary game will include revamped graphics and should be great for some Halo nostalgia.
A new Halo 4 game has also been announced for 2012. This is set to begin a new trilogy of Halo games that will pick up from where Halo 3 left off with the return of Master Chief. Official trailers for the game have been unveiled at E3. There’s still a fair amount of speculation regarding what the game may be like, but Halo fans will still no doubt be rejoicing.
The Halo game series could therefore be extended with a number of new Halo games in the next few years. These could be included on new game consoles beyond the Xbox 360. As such, after ten great years there is plenty more in store for the Halo game series.