What's the key to a good Halo game?

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What's the key to a good Halo game, and by implication, a good game of Halo: Reach?

Several elements are key. Here's a few of the ones I think would make a good game. See if you agree!

Noble soldiers

Keyes, Cole, Johnson and even the Arbiter are noble soldiers. They perform certain functions in the games to give them respect and nobility. If Johnson was an immoral wag, Halo fans would be turned off. Instead his noble death at the end of Halo 3 symbolised the strength of one man and thus humanity. Game players love that stuff.

A noble soldier who is also 7 foot tall

Take the above, wrap it with an augmented human who was stolen from his parents and forced to sought out ‘problems between humans without prejudice’. Then throw him on a strange Halo installation with Elites and Floods giving him all they’ve got. Let him fight the good fight in a most heroic fashion and save the day. In a sense. You’ve got a crowd pleaser and an instant Haloween costume favourite.

A great story with Plot Twists

Oohh, we need a key! Get the Key! Ohhh there’s the flood! Look out! Oooh there’s a mystery to solve! Oohh Why are we back on Earth? Oooh it’s a Cliff hanger ending?! Play as the bad guy and arbitrate? Don’t get out of the Warthog? There’s a traitor? It's a trap! Always something going on in the Halo story to keep everything going along, keeping the player’s (and buyer’s) interest. A huge back story, slowly drip feed into the canon ala the Terminals also a key to keeping people interested.

Classic one liner Quotes

I would have been your daddy, but that dog beat me over the fence / Wort Wort Wort!  /  I'm glad that food nipple is waiting for me on the starship cause man, have I worked up a big, grunty, thirst!  / I know what the ladies like / Relax. I'd rather not piss this thing off / Don't they teach you kids to SWEAR in basic anymore? / Please... don't shake the light bulb! / Were it... so easy / You know they let me pick? Did I ever tell you that? Choose whichever Spartan I wanted / I heard their main weakness is bananas! / Do we have any bananas? 

Beautiful scenery:

Unforgettable music.

Dadda da da Dadda daaa etc. You know what I'm talking about, Marty.

Legendary Mode

Lets face it, before Halo: CE there was the setting 'difficult', 'hard' or 'Hammer, please don't hurt 'em'. Legendary mode changed all that. It's now a badge of honour* (and some achievement points) to complete a Halo game on legendary. Points off if you do it with a friend. Unless she's hot.

Guns, Lots of Guns

You know in The Matrix when Neo gets taken to the place with all the guns? And how cool was that? Halo's guns are better.


 Lets face it, if Halo CE did not have multiplayer net work, Halo would merely have been a ‘great’ Xbox game, not the game that spawned this generation’s Star Wars. Come for the campaign, stay for the multiplayer. Halo 2 nailed the format and was the reason Xbox Live became a flag ship for Microsoft.

There's way more to the Halo series, these are just the elements I think were key to making the games so good. What worked for you?

*Real world spelling, not Americana. K?

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