Welcome back Halo

Halo Infinite just came out. In a previous life, this kind of date would have meant time off work, no phone calls, a stockpiling of mind-altering provisions, and midnight trips to Gamestop. It was like Christmas. Things are a bit different now but I suddenly felt that feeling again. Not because of some magic candy cane gummies (although I’d take some of those).

It’s Halo, and it’s is BACK!?!

Aside from perhaps Goldeneye on N64, there is no other game or series that I’ve played more with friends. I’ve spent days, certainly weeks, maybe even literally a month or more cumulatively of my life ON THIS EARTH playing the seven games in this series so far.

So, I guess it’s not surprising the newest entry seems to have brought me out of my recent (semi) retirement from online gaming.

Over the course of many years, my friends and I had a standing “Tuesday night” game session on Halo. We never missed it. This carried forward and reached its apex with Halo 3 between 2007 – 2009. God that feels like ages ago.

After Halo 4, things started to wane. We got older. Between nuptials, childbirth, new business ventures, moving country, and the rest of life, we got distracted from what we should have been doing all along: spending countless hours giving each other shit, perfecting grenade throws, and trying to not get tea bagged.

Where had my priorities gone?!

Did I even have friends anymore really??!

The first Halo came out in November 2001 (coinciding with the launch of the original Xbox) and the newest entry (the multiplayer component anyway) was surprise-released last month to commemorate the 20th anniversary. Queue epic expectations, it’s finally back!

Is this new entry good enough to warrant the Halo name? Is it good enough to warrant the amount of time and attention we gave it prior? Lots of people have pointed out all the ways it needs to get better.

The game is already good. Will it become truly great? Things will get added, bugs will get fixed. I’m optimistic that it will but that doesn’t really matter to me now.

What matters to me is this:

Am I having fun again gaming online as a grown-up (with a game I’m actually good at)?

Has this been the first time in years that a group of us have played together multiple times in the space of weeks?

Did I just destroy a warthog full of enemies with a sword and laugh giddily as it happened?

Yes on all accounts.

Welcome back Halo, I’ve missed you.

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