#1 Posted by GalacticGravy (544 posts) -

How is the Halo series' universe? Is it alright for a sci-fi game? I love sci-fi universes and I've never really played a Halo game for more than a few hours online. I own Halo on Xbox and was thinking about playing through the series on normal or even easy because I feel like, as a big sci-fi guy, I should really see the story and get a knowledge of the universe.

#2 Posted by Irvandus (2818 posts) -

As someone who played a loooot of Halo 3 at one point and decided to dig into every bit of story he could find I would say it really depends what angle you're looking at. Bungie did a good job of giving different environemnts lore and making some decent backstory that's interesting. The actual plot and characters are pretty eh. Judging from Halo 4 and the other things produced by them, oh and the extended fiction, they seem to be doubling down on the character and plot stuff. Which has actually gotten worse in a very anime way. They're also pretty bad at backstory and environemntal stuff. Not a single map in 4 has the same suprising and totally unnecessary amount of depth some of the halo 3 maps had. Not sure if that's the answers you're looking for but there you go.

#3 Edited by GalacticGravy (544 posts) -

@irvandus: That's exactly what I was looking for, in fact. I love a good universe and am more interested in knowing about the world than the people in it. For example, I find the lore behind Omega Station way more interesting than whatever was happening with the reapers in Mass Effect. Maybe I'll give it a shot at least on easy.

#4 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

I never got into it until i played Halo:Reach, after that i did some digging and the lore goes deep. I really like what i know of the lore, it's up there for me with Mass Effect, and Warcraft in terms of video game lore i find interesting.

#5 Edited by Rebel_Scum (634 posts) -

Characters are bland and one dimensional. The overall story is cliche and boring. As someone who only really plays single player portions of games the SP is pretty meh as well.

I can say the same for Gears of War as well.

#6 Posted by Aetheldod (3509 posts) -

I personally think that it is a good lore ... maybe not the most original as you can find stuff from alien/starshiptroopers etc. but they did a great job and it seems Im the only one who did liked Halo Legends animated movies :( also the implications of the Spartan project and how it was first conceived and for what purpose and means gives the Spartan a more sinister (but awesome) spin on the tale and how contrasting it is when you see soldiers chearing you on and practicly having Spartans on pedestals.

People just like to be dissmisive because it originated from videogames. Do dig in and enjoy the tales.

#7 Posted by Brendan (7686 posts) -

I like the environments and the human tech. Halo's vision of the (military) future is interesting to look at. The first level of Halo: Reach was a good example of this, and the first Halo book is interesting in this regard as well.

#8 Edited by bugbarbecue (46 posts) -

It started from a very high point (it struck me as the gaming equivalent of Iain M Bank's culture novels when the first halo came around) but the story did descend into tropes from then, good tropes but tropes nevertheless.

There was something interesting going on around the covenant that I feel was never fully addressed, the religious fanatics being led toward annihilation by the unbelieving clerics story that seemed to be forming in the second game was fascinating, but that wasn't ever fully fleshed out.

#9 Posted by Irvandus (2818 posts) -

@aetheldod: Yeah you could basically sum my post up the same way. Great lore, eh story.

#10 Posted by bigjeffrey (4774 posts) -

I like the lore and the universe. Check out this gafthread. lots of factions and species. I've read 2 book, The Reach book is like really good.

#11 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1432 posts) -

@irvandus: That's exactly what I was looking for, in fact. I love a good universe and am more interested in knowing about the world than the people in it. For example, I find the lore behind Omega Station way more interesting than whatever was happening with the reapers in Mass Effect. Maybe I'll give it a shot at least on easy.

Well, pretty much everything in Mass Effect narrative and lore is more interesting than the Reapers. The whole "save the galaxy from ultimate destruction" aspect of Mass Effect was the weakest part of that universe.

#12 Edited by believer258 (11629 posts) -

I'll hold that the original Halo has a genuinely good popcorn science fiction story. It's simple and straightforward but it keeps you moving and has some pretty great moments.

The rest of them... not so much. Some people really like the Halo universe, and that's fine, but Halo 2 started going off on a weird tangent and by the time 4 rolled around, it was getting to be kind of incomprehensible and a little full of itself. The story of Halo 2 and 3 are both all right and ODST is decent, but Reach is just bland as hell storywise and Halo 4 seems like playing the third act of a JRPG without having touched the first or second. It looks and sounds cool but knowing exactly what's going on is next to impossible on a first run and without having read supplementary material.

My personal recommendation? Play Halo 1 and read The Fall of Reach. If you want more, then play 2 and 3. The Halo universe pretty much stops being interesting there in my opinion. ODST might be more interesting if it weren't so sparse and Reach has the best gameplay and pacing of the bunch but its story might just be the most boring of the bunch. Halo 4 can be fun but don't make it a priority.

#13 Posted by SteadyingMeat (1110 posts) -

It's boring as hell

#14 Edited by EXTomar (4494 posts) -

About as good as a comic book. They try veil how simple themes are with a veneer of pretentious themes.

#15 Posted by Octaslash (485 posts) -

All the Halo novels that Eric Nylund wrote were great and set up the human side of the universe far better than any of the games did. Halo 4 ties into the lore more than the previous games did, but it all the wrong places.

#16 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3735 posts) -

Read everything, watched everything, and played everything. Oh, and @aetheldod, I think Halo: Legends was the best of all the extended fiction for Halo, so I'm there with you.

The universe is pretty derivative of existing sci-fi. Bungie never hid the fact that they liberally stole from movies and books that they liked. If you're at all aware of Blizzard's style (and if not, Starcraft might be a better option for you than Halo), it's kind of like that. They did expand on their own a bit since the beginning, but not necessarily in many exciting ways. The characters are one-dimensional for the most part, and the universe is a bit shallow. Some of what's there is interesting, but there's little-to-know information on... like... humanity or the Covenant outside of their wars. No insight into the day-to-day life of the universe, or of anyone who's not already involved in fighting for or against the UNSC. That's what separates something like the Star Wars/Star Trek universes with Halo. Basically everything revolves around or expands upon the three games, which are very narrow in focus.

It's fun, but not especially deep. The origins of the SPARTAN project are the most interesting, and the Forerunner stuff is interesting if you're into something more approaching "hard sci-fi" but it's nothing groundbreaking. For a game, it's decent, but that's about it.

#17 Posted by adoggz (2040 posts) -

the halo fiction was pretty good until they started getting into the forerunners.