Halo 4, November 6th. I'm taking the day off.

How do you have a hero's journey when he is already a hero?

What are the sacrifices that you need to make in order to preserve something as precious as humanity?

John 117. He is more than a hero, he is the Master Chief. I grew accustomed to the occasional November release of a new Halo title. I'd live and die with the Chief, fighting my way through impossible situations while always knowing that Spartans never die.

Then they took him away from us.

After several Halo titles focused on other aspects of the Halo universe, on November 6 the Chief returns. Above is a "behind the scenes" video from the guys at 343; it gives me great hope they got this right. They talk about the hero's journey and show us the human side of this great warrior. You can bet I've pre-ordered the game and will be playing as soon as it arrives.

I also loved this video on "heroes".


  1. Yes!  If there is one certainty in life, it is that FPS games will always live up to their advance hype!

    Or not.

    1. Historically, Bungie’s Halo titles have lived up to (and sometimes surpassed) their hype.  And 343 has enough Bungie DNA within them that this, like the Bungie games before it, will be the only title I preorder this year, rather than waiting for other early adopters to find all the bugs.

      After five years, I actually went and ordered the Halo 4 Edition Xbox, so that my trusty old Halo 3 Xbox can finally be relieved of duty and sent out to pasture with a covetous nephew of mine.

      As for next Tuesday, I feel a sick day coming on.  *cough cough*  Better find someone to cover my shift.  I’ll, uh, be in bed.

  2. This one’s been getting good initial reviews.  Since most of the halo expanded universe fluff leaves me cold, I skipped out on Reach and ODST (though i regret skipping ODST, a little) and this might be the first 360 game I pick up since gears of war 3.   Thank goodness 343 left in the ability to play through single player in co-op (the only way i’ve done halo 2&3). 

  3. I wonder if this will do anything to reduce Republican turnout.  Or is Halo more popular with Democrats?

    1. There’s a poll I’d like to see.  I’m a fairly pacifist lefty myself, but I do delight in blowing up cartoon aliens.

      I’ve always been a little befuddled by polite society’s allergy to violent entertainment.  Yeah, I know, there are plenty of studies and such tying violent entertainment to violent behavior, and I don’t really doubt their veracity.  I just don’t have a personal connection to that particular truth.  I have a brother who’s, if anything, even sweeter and more relentlessly nonviolent than I am, and he makes horror movies for a living.  He often casts his wife as a victim in his movies, and over the years she’s been shoved down an elevator shaft, blown up by a bomb, committed suicide by slit wrists in a bathtub, and strangled by a guy with possessed hands.  My brother jokingly attributes their three decades of happy marriage to these fictional acts of violence, though in reality he supported PETA for years, faints in hospitals, hasn’t eaten red meat in years, and donates heavily to left-wing and feminist causes.

      For my part, I played War with my buddies, using toy capguns and sometimes just serendipitously-shaped tree branches.  My pals and I blew up dolls and action figures with fireworks, sometimes after sending them aloft on kites.  When we got older, we’d blow up bigger things and sometimes go target shooting with real guns.

      But I never felt the urge to harm anything living.  Violence and destruction always felt fun in the form of play, but for whatever reason my own urge to make things go boom was always directed at inanimate (and unwanted) objects.  I’ve shed tears over accidentally-squashed bugs (not recently), and in elementary school fights I’ve taken some serious hits from bigger guys without fighting back, simply because I didn’t want to hurt them.  (As if.  I was a scrawny little guy.  But still.  Nobody ever called me scrappy.)

      Videogame violence has satisfied any violent urges I’ve ever felt.  And usually, the less realistic, the better.  Monsters, mutants, zombies, aliens?  Yay, what fun!  But in certain game situations, like in the last two Fallout games when you run across some decapitated and crucified body, the result of some hideous act of pure evil usually perpetrated by normal humans… that kind of thing I find more than a little off-putting.  And I’ve never been interested in the Call of Duty games, nor the Grand Theft Auto ones, the ones that come across as an opportunity to live vicariously some of the worst life experiences that modern day can supply.  I don’t find that fun.  I crave something much more escapist.

      Anyway, sorry for rambling.

  4. John1:17  Moses is liek “Hay I has teh lawz”; Jebus is has teh grayce and teh trooth. http://www.lolcatbible.com/index.php?title=John_1#17

  5. I like this video talks about Master Chief as this character. Wasn’t he intentionally created as a blank slate so it would be “you” as the player? Hence, just having a title and no name?

      1. Like Jason sez.  In Halo: Reach, Noble Six is universal enough that you can play as either gender, with voice acting to match (though Noble doesn’t say much, so it ends up being just grunts and death screams anyway).  Six has no known name or age or background.

        But El Jefe is a very distinct character (he even gets called John on rare occasion).  He’s been voiced by Steve Downes since the beginning, eleven years ago.  You just don’t ever see his face.

  6. Fuck yeah. I’ve missed Chief, HALO 3’s ending, you just knew this was coming, but they kept saying that story arc was over. I’ll of course be there at the midnight release waiting to suit up again. From what I’ve seen, this is truly going to be epic. Very excited.

  7. FPS? Lame. I prefer 3PIVRPG’s myself. Speaking of which, Baldur’s Gate for iOS is due out later this month.

  8. Why does the “heart and human connection” in this story have to dress like a stripper? A tiny, hologram stripper.

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