In Defence of Halo 2’s Cliffhanger

“Sir, finishing this fight…”

I love Halo 2’s cliffhanger ending.

I loved it when I finished the game for the first time, in the early hours of the morning, while sat – bleary-eyed, tired beyond relief – in the darkened game room at a friend’s house back in 2004. And I still love it now.

If there’s a hill I am willing to die on, it’s that Halo 2’s cliffhanger ending is good, and this is why…

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The Master Chief: A Character Study – Halo 3

“Wake me… when you need me.” For Halo 1, we looked at how the Master Chief was a well-defined character and how the game articulated his fears, flaws, and demonstrated, through his movement and actions, his surprisingly expressive personality. For Halo 2, a story that is half Shakespearean drama and half 80s action flick (with all the emotion, brilliance, […]

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The Master Chief: A Character Study – Halo 2

“Sir, finishing this fight…” In the previous article, we explored the characterisation of the Master Chief in Halo: Combat Evolved and the reception that had was everything I’d hoped! With the enrichment of greater context and a closer look at the cutscenes, the resounding sentiment was that there was definitely more to the Chief than one might expect to […]

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The Master Chief: A Character Study – Halo: CE

“I think we’re just getting started…” The Master Chief… There’s been quite a bit of discussion over the last few weeks, following Frank O’Connor’s stated intentions of doubling down on the Chief focus in Halo 6 – but the angle from which he spoke about that particular ‘lesson learned’ from Halo 5 left me somewhat concerned. […]

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On Halo 4 and the ‘Chosen One’ trope

One of the more divisive aspects of Halo 4’s story was a particular line spoken by the Librarian to John that has seen no end of discussion over the years.

“You are the culmination of a thousand lifetimes of planning.”

While Halo 4 does indeed deal with notions of ‘destiny’ and the trope of the Chosen One, it’s not handled in the way many seem to think it is…

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Halo 4, Level-by-Level Analysis – Epilogue

The finish line is in sight now, as the story of Halo 4’s campaign draws to a close. The Ur-Didact has been defeated, the Composer destroyed, and Cortana has sent John back home as she herself bows out of the narrative with her head held high. It’s the end of a very significant chapter in the […]

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Halo 4, Level-by-Level Analysis – Midnight

And so, here we are at last. The climactic conclusion to Halo 4’s campaign, and the penultimate post of this analysis which is likewise drawing to a close. The Ur-Didact has recovered the Composer and used it on Ivanoff Station to assimilate everybody present, leaving John the only human survivor following the Librarian awakening his […]

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Halo 4, Level-by-Level Analysis – Shutdown

I can give you over forty thousand reasons why I know this game is awesome. I know it because the story’s thematic resonance is disproportionate to its suggested size, I know it because its character arcs are more emotional than that of the common shooter. But for all that, I’ll never actually know just how […]

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Halo 4, Level-by-Level Analysis – Reclaimer

So here we are, at the half-way point of this little project. So far, we’ve covered what has primarily been the build-up in the narrative, the setting of the stage for that point in the plot where the stakes get raised higher than ever and the direction of the story becomes clear. Reclaimer is that […]

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