The Escapist Game Circle: Halo


Big apologies to all who are still plugging away at Deus Ex, but, in the words of great statesmen everywhere, great sacrifices are required to ensure stability.

In honor of the most awe-inspiring media spectacle of all time, the game for October is Halo: Combat Evolved, the game about a cyborg with a hologram in his head that started it all back in 2001. Was the story really inspiring enough to justify two sequels? Does it make any sense at all that this game and its spawn have sold millions of copies and defined “shooter” for the last two console generations? You tell me.

Typing “Halo” into The Escapist’s (or any other game site’s) search box is like diving into the ocean and searching for water. We’ve written about it a lot. None, perhaps, more so than I. But here are some choice highlights:

The Escapist‘s recent interview with Bungie; Spanner’s talk with the Microsoft usability engineers; Shannon Drake’s interview with Jordan Weisman, the “father” of Microsoft Game Studios; a look at Microsoft’s Acquisition of Bungie; Allen Varney’s look at Red vs. Blue; Roger Travis’ examination of the story of the Master Chief as seen through the lens of ancient Greek mythology; Gearoid Reidy’s interview with Havok, the makers of Halo 2‘s physics engine; and my favorite, a look at online multiplayer game variants in Halo 2. This is your homework. Enjoy!

Halo: Combat Evolved is available for Xbox (backwardly compatible on Xbox 360) and PC, and can be purchased practically anywhere.

The Game Circle FAQ

What is it?

It’s pretty simple. Once a month we’ll pick a new game, and suggest you pick up or rent a copy. Then we’ll play it. Then we’ll talk about it. It’s really that simple.


What do I need to do?

Keep an eye out for posts like these. They will usually occur near the beginning of a month (in this case, October). Then, if the game and the concept interest you, find a copy of the game of the month and play it.

How do we discuss?

By checking the forum thread frequently, adding a thought when one occurs to you and commenting on messages left by others. It’s simple.

Nothing is unimportant. If your first impression is the graphic look like ass but the dialogue is neat, say that. You’d be surprised how easy it is to start a discussion.

Do I have to finish the game?

Ideally, but it’s not technically necessary I suppose.

Do I have to finish the game to start talking about it?

Absolutely not. That’s part of the fun of sharing the experience, sharing our impressions as we go.

Naturally some folks will have more time than others, and will play faster as a result. That’s OK. Let’s try to be aware of not posting plot or puzzle spoilers if we can help it.

We’ll set a deadline toward the end of each month after which it’s OK to talk about the full plot and whatnot. If you can’t help but talk about every detail, or don’t want to know anything about the game until you discover it yourself, then it might be a good idea to avoid the thread until the last week of the month. But I think we can promise to be good and avoid trouble here.

About the author