There are those who said this day would never come, what are they to say now? It’s a line that has stuck with me ever since I first heard it back in Halo 2’s trailer. It captured the eminence of the Prophets while conveying a sense of reward for those who had hope. While the Prophets ultimately fell, Halo has rallied and staged a comeback.
No one could deny the industry changing effect Halo has had. From its launch on the Xbox back in 2001 to the way in which Halo 2 set the foundation for online gaming on consoles, the franchise has consistently been one worth tracking. However, Halo went through a bit of a dark phase. It lost its way with the story, shifting focus from the Master Chief onto auxiliary characters. It lost part of its identity when the multiplayer tried to become more like its competitors: twitch-based, in-air movements, and ADSing. While the games weren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, they no longer emanated the soul that players had fallen in love with.
Pulling back and refocusing on what made Halo so great is no simple feat. There are so many qualities about the franchise that are almost indescribable. It’s like trying to focus on something in the night – if you try to look at it, it disappears from sight. And yet 343 Industries did the unimaginable and delivered Halo Infinite, a game that feels like it belongs right alongside the original trilogy.
The game taps into the memories and experiences we all went through the first time we stepped onto the ring in Halo: Combat Evolved. It delivers a multiplayer experience that reminds us of the grand fights we had in Halo 3. The game even manages to offer up a heartfelt story that spans every single title in the franchise. Halo Infinite has done all of this by the sheer will and determination of the talented team at 343 Industries.
As far as comeback stories go, the Halo franchise is one of the best we’ve seen in a long time, earning it the Shacknews Best Comeback of 2021 award. If Halo Infinite is the calibre of game we can expect from 343 Industries, the Halo franchise has a bright future.
Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.