Just another Halo 4 screenshot…
I’m going to get back into posting nifty Halo screenshots. I’ll try to keep them visually appealing enough for the non-Halo fans out there…
Earlier tonight I watched Bungie’s GDC presentation, which explored some of the inspiration behind the art direction of the studio’s forthcoming Destiny. By the end of it, my only complete thought was, ‘Finally’. If we all go back and scroll through our own autogameography, we’ll be able to pick out those few and rare special moments, where the universes in which we played took on new meaning. Those points from which we never looked back.
Sadly, with the current state of gaming, where Geoff Keighley swoons over sequels with better graphics, these moments are rather few and far between. Take the recent footage from Battlefield 4. Aside from the better graphics (which are to be expected), it looks like a second attempt at Battlefield 3. As if the developers wanted another shot at it. The gameplay seems mind-numbing, recycled, and repetitive. And fucking old. Does it look pretty? Sure. But isn’t it supposed to? We’re at the point where graphics are a terrible crutch.
I think back to that moment in Halo: Combat Evolved when I first turned the camera to the (seemingly) endless sky. I was greeted with an entirely new world, an entirely new universe. And that universe spawned of the greatest franchises and story arcs in the history of gaming. And one that, on a deeply personal level, has always meant very much to me.
In absorbing all of Destiny’s early content, I get a fantastic feeling that Bungie can – and will – do it again. This time, in a massive, persistent universe, the likes of which we’ve never seen on consoles.
The thing is that we not only need new IPs, but we need new worlds – places that we’ve never been before. Places that we can explore with an incredible sense of curiosity and dedication. Places in which we can have more of those unforgettable moments (and blow shit up, too). I believe (and hope) that Bungie’s Destiny is that new world that we’ve all (well, that I have) been waiting for.
Because I don’t think I can continue debating whether or not the next Call of Duty installment will take place in the past, present, or future. I no longer give a shit.
Chrissy asked me to make something to announce our ‘Gender Reveal’ party – where we will have the gender of the baby handed to us in an envelope by the doctor, give it to our favorite bakery (Lochel’s!), and have them use pink or blue cake, depending on what the gender is. This way, we will find out with all of our family and friends. I’m not sure why she thinks I would not involve Halo in some way.
Rewind to my sophomore year at Temple University.
Philosophy Intellectual Heritage class.
This was probably one of my most memorable classes throughout my seventeen years of schooling. The professor was one of the strangest individuals I’d ever met, and every single class was an adventure into the weird. My high school and college sweetheart even sat directly behind me. To start each class, in order to “take attendance”, we played an oddball sort of name game where the subject would change each time. The theme I most easily recall is “Choose your favorite way to die.” Bizarre as it sounds, as our names were called, we would let the class know what our preferred method of expiration would be. Mine involved Viagra and is entirely inappropriate for this forum.
We even spent an entire class dissecting Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. There were even scribblings on the whiteboard to illustrate how poor of a film it was. He seemed to have a particularly fiery hatred for it on that day. I suppose we should have been discussing Sartre instead.
But this is all besides the point.
The class that truly stands out in my mind is when he assigned me a much higher calling. It was the last class before Spring Break, and the topic of our funky roll call game was “What are your plans for Spring Break?” Back then, this answer was easy as pie – play Halo (Halo 2 to be exact), lots of it. Of course, all of the rich kids in the class thought this was ridiculous; you’re supposed to have your parents send you to Miami or Cabo, right? Well, I was poor, and Halo made me happy.
Upon my answer, he sat in his chair with a strange upward and contemplative stare as if a philosophical bomb was about to drop. He began explaining that he’s surprised nobody else planned to spend their free time as Master Chief and went on to discuss whether or not my passion for playing Halo could be directly attributed to a predetermined role in a potential alien attack on planet Earth. A 10-minute monologue analyzing my potential ensued.
I never thought about it like that. Perhaps, if Earth is ambushed by some form of alien race, such as the Covenant from Halo, I will end up serving as a John Connor type – the one who will lead the people of Earth on an ultimate defensive against invading bastards. And win.
It could happen.
Sure, I’ll need more than my Springfield XD-M 9mm 5.25″ pistol and Savage .223 bolt action rifle. But if stuff goes down, looting an armory and loading my Honda CR-V to capacity with ACRs and SCARs while Springsteen’s ‘Death To My Hometown’ plays from roof-mounted speakers is clearly the first thing on my list. Anyway, it’s not all about calibers and twist rates. My intangibles would most likely be the real pudding of this saga – leadership among fearful folks, willingness to sacrifice, negotiation skills, etc. (really, I can’t prove any of these things yet). If Will Smith can punch an alien square in the face, so can I.
And so, teachers are awesome, and that strange professor can ride in my anti-alien Honda CR-V any time.
This post actually got fact-checked via Twitter, and the class was “Intellectual Heritage”. It was a Temple thing.
One the best things about finally moving into a new house is the process of uncovering all of my favorite things that, for space conservation purposes, were sentenced to unmarked boxes and containers. In particular, this original Halo collector’s edition Xbox has me fixing for our official move in a few weeks. Its location is currently unknown, although I know it is in one of the 7,000 boxes we’ve had packed for the last 2 years. To Chrissy’s (possible) dislike, it will become a centerpiece in the Man Cave (yeah, I bolded that shit) and remain there proudly for many years.
I just need to find it first.