November 9, 2004. I was 14 years old and I remember coming home from school and begging my mom to take me to any store that had a copy of Halo 2. At that time I wasn’t aware of preorders, or midnight launches, I just knew it was a game I not only wanted, but needed.
I spent most of the afternoon calling stores and eventually heard from Target that they had a copy so we drove over. Now being 14, I couldn’t even buy the game myself, my mommy had to buy it for me. I was so excited to hop on and play.
I’ll never forget playing on xbox live for the first time. I didn’t realize at the time how competitive FPS games would shape the person I am today but this was all the start. My friends and I would play 4 player Halo CE all the time but playing online with people and with a ranking system changed it all.
Single flag on Zanzibar, assault on warlock, Slayer on Ivory tower. You name it, I played it and boy was it glorious. I would spend all weekend and week nights just grinding out multiplayer matches. This was also the first time you could do voice chat with friends which blew my mind. Whilst now it’s normal to hop online and party chat with friends back in 04-05 it was earth shattering that you could do that.
Halo 2 was also the first game I’ve ever seen with PAID DLC, which may be looked at as a bad thing. However what Halo 2 did was exceptional, you could choose to pay for the DLC at launch or just wait 3-4 months and get it for free. The DLC was spread across time to give the game a longer life span and also added some of the best maps ever. For some reason the map Turf is always one of my all time favorite maps.
Halo 2 was my all time favorite FPS, and it may still be. The funny part of this post is Halo 2 gave me off a somewhat similar impression that Titanfall 2 is giving me currently. However unlike Titanfall 2 (as of now), Halo 2 will always hold a special place in my heart. Halo is the reason I got into Destiny. Halo is the reason I got into competitive FPS’, eSports, having online friends, and general gaming.
As a gamer you get asked the question “what if you could only play one game for the rest of your life” and my choice is and always will be Halo 2. It revolutionized the FPS genre, online matchmaking, and RANKED play (Still has the best ranking system ever).
April 13, 2010 was the last time I was able to play Halo 2 as they shut the servers down on the 14th. Till that point I still played Halo 2 on and off. I spent 6 years of my life with that game and loved every minute of it.
*side note: This makes me more sad that Master Chief Collection was SUCH a flop. Would love nothing more than to boot up a slayer match on Midship or Lockout. Feelsbadman.jpeg
**Also shout out to boost jumps and super bounces, custom matches, Red v Blue, Clans, BXB & BXR, Shotty Snipers, hitting rank 50, Splatter sprees, Puckett Rockets, MLG events, Final Boss and the Ogre Twins.