Friday 14 May 2021

20 years of Xbox and Halo

Microsoft is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Xbox and Halo through November with a plethora of related products and Xbox FanFest.

Like many avid gamers in the early noughties, I bought an original Xbox solely to play Halo: Combat Evolved.

Bungie's seminal first-person shooter (FPS) had captured my imagination when Halo was unveiled by Steve Jobs at Macworld in 1999. However, Microsoft would acquire exclusivity of Halo, as the first killer app for its fledgeling console, much to Jobs' annoyance.

Master Chief and Cortana's story had me enthralled in what is lauded as one of the most influential video games of all time. As mentioned previously, I wouldn't return to the Halo franchise until Halo 4, after winning an Xbox 360 S from LOVEFiLM (now Prime Video), in 2012. Halo 4 was the perfect homecoming for this lifelong fan of storied space operas.

Xbox also introduced me to BioWare's fabled Mass Effect trilogy - arguably one of the greatest space operas in any medium. What gave Mass Effect 2 its edge was working with the enemy, lead by Martin Sheen's Illusive Man, propelling the game into The Empire Strikes Back of the saga. So, I'll be playing Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (affiliate link) this weekend as FemShep (Jennifer Hale) and will be an ugly mess by the end.

The next game in the Halo franchise, Halo Infinite, is set to launch later this year after being delayed, during the launch of Xbox Series X|S, due to the pandemic.

343 Industries‘ studio head Chris Lee said: “The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”

Personally, Halo Infinite evokes nostalgic feels for Halo: Combat Evolved and I'll be downloading day-one on Game Pass Ultimate.

What are your favourite Xbox and Halo memories? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. As you know, I’m a die hard PlayStation fan. With that said, they’ve done a lot for the gaming industry. From Xbox Live and setting the benchmark for how online console gaming *should* work with friends lists, achievements as well as their standardization of PC gaming Input with DirectInput. My favourite Xbox has to be the first Gears of War. I spent hours with that game and its sequel’s Horde Mode and I get why it was the standard for online console gaming.

    MS’ forward thinking approach to gaming and accessibility options is something that should lauded.

    1. For sure! I've flip-flopped between PlayStation and Xbox for decades, but now enjoy playing both platforms without any allegiance per se. Planning to eventually pickup an Xbox Series X.


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