It’s been well over a year since I fired up the old XBOX360 to play Halo. I had played pretty consistently for a few years after my good friend Pete bought me the system back in 2009. We had some fun nights on Multiplayer in Halo 3 and Reach (as well as in ODST, Halo 4, and various campaigns). I have to admit that some of those maps became special to me. They ended up becoming iconic spaces where Pete and I could chat and laugh while playing the game. They were as memorable as many of the real world places in which we shared life.
Above: Several versions of my Halo Avatars, Halo 3, ODST, and Halo 4.
Unfortunately for me (and my main teammate), my performances were often less than stellar. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes put it all together and did well (I achieved Legend status in Reach [I know, I know – not super impressive, but at least competitive] and I completed the Halo 4 campaign on Legendary difficulty), but things often went like this:
Above: Me killing myself with a grenade fail about 2 seconds into the start of a game.
Below: Again, taking myself out with an ill-timed grenade.
Above: But sometimes I redeemed myself.
Many thanks to Pete for documenting these highlights of my gaming career.
As I said above, many of the arenas in which Mutliplayer games took place became evocative spaces that have stuck with me. Periodically I’ll find myself dreaming about running through or flying above one of them. Every gamer knows the feeling of nostalgia that can take over when they venture back into Hyrule or dust off the old NES for a run through of a classic game. So in the spirit of this strange kind of experience that’s unique to the last 30 years or so, I’m posting screenshots of some of my favorite Halo maps. Who knows if I’ll ever get time to load these maps back up, but I enjoyed them while it lasted.
Above: From Halo:Reach, The Cage. One of my top three maps to play.
Above: Pinnacle, from Reach.
Above: Halo 3’s Narrows. Launching across that gap was always fun.
Above: Reflection, a map for Halo:Reach, always reminded me of a creepy, abandoned mall. Check out a fly-though of the level here.
Above: The legendary Guardian arena from Halo 3.
Above: The multilevel Boardwalk map from Reach. Watch a fly-through here. Pete hated this one (he detested having to run after opponents)
Above: Sword Base, with its room of carnage, was always a good map… unless the servers selected it too many times in a row.
Above: Forge World/Asylum, from Halo:Reach, was a remake of Halo 2’s Sanctuary.
There were many other great maps (Valhalla, The Pit, Epitaph, Complex, Construct, Haven), but the ones above really were quintessential Halo fun for me. Many thanks to Peter for all those hours…
My long-dormant XBOX account says that I played Halo Multiplayer for 30 days, 10 hours, and 20 minutes over the course of about 1,200 days. Now those hours generally go to my girls at home, but I still have that old muscle memory for the hand/eye coordination of Halo… maybe one of these days I’ll break it out again. Or maybe I’ll get out the SNES instead…
I never gamed! Not once! Mostly it’s because I’m too old….just turned 60, so I was on to other things by the
time it came time to test tallons, proess and skills on the gaming screen….BUT NO! NOT MOSTLY BECAUSE OF AGE,…IT WAS MOSTLY BECAUSE MY WIFE SAID no! TO AN XBOX. SHE DOES NOT YELL. I PLEADED…..%#%%#XBOX%#%#%#%#…….no! WAS THE REPLY.
I’m not sure that it was not before now though that I ever had the least bit of an idea of just how much I had missed. Matthew, your descriptions of the sights, the sounds, the crushing realization on your way to the wall that you’d already pulled the pin on your grenade! Ouch! That moment…I WAS THERE!
And I’m sure the the rest of you old guys out there are just as utterly refreshed as I am. Now we have an incling, a nearly unnerving, narrowing nicely, glimps at the true treasure, the gigantic gift the Gamer got
Gaming. At least I see and believe.
See Matthew, that’s what you give to us. And I am not just talking to all you other seniors now no!, listen:
Matthew has helped us all open our eyes, our ears, our energies………I think he’s the real gift here. There!
HAHA, Geo – I can hear your voice in my mind as I read this… hilarious and incisive simultaneously! Thank you!