Campaign

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The Campaign menu in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Campaign is the single player aspect of the Halo games. In each game, the player participates in various episodes of the Halo storyline. The most recurrent character that players control is John-117, the Master Chief, although roughly half Halo games focus on other characters and stories. The events of the Halo campaigns focus on the confrontation between humanity and the Covenant, and also feature prominent interventions by other factions such as the Flood or the Forerunners.

Campaign levels usually consist in missions in which the player kills enemies while going through the level's areas and completing given objectives; the story is established with cutscenes and in-game dialogues. Cooperative play is available in most but not all games, but the number of players can vary. Different difficulty options (Easy, Normal, Heroic, Legendary) and gameplay modifiers (Skulls, Scoring) also exist. The additional Spartan Ops mode in Halo 4 is loosely based on Campaign and continues the game's story.

Most Halo games are first-person shooters where the player controls a single character. The Halo Wars series are real-time strategy games, in which the player can take control of dozens of troops and units at a time. Halo: Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike are top-down isometric shooters.

Campaigns

Halo: Combat Evolved

Campaign promotional image for Halo: Combat Evolved.
Main articles: Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

In Halo: Combat Evolved, the player takes control of the Master Chief. Co-op play allows a second player (also playing the Master Chief) to join in split-screen or system link. In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the second player can join via Xbox Live. There are ten levels, which can be played on four difficulties. Anniversary also adds Terminals, Skulls, and the possibility to switch between old and new graphics.

The Campaign is set in September 2552, as the United Nations Space Command is embroiled in the twenty-eighth year of a genocidal war started by the alien collective known as the Covenant. The plot revolves around the crew of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, a ship that has escaped the catastrophic Battle of Reach, only to stumble upon Installation 04, a Halo ringworld in uncharted space. With the Covenant at their pursuit, the Master Chief gathers the human survivors and engages the enemy on the surface of Halo while trying to uncover the ring's origin and true purpose. The Covenant consider Halo as a gateway to paradise, however it is revealed that it is in fact a superweapon capable of destroying every sentient lifeform in the galaxy if activated. After the battle degenerates into a four-way conflict with the outbreak of the Flood and the Forerunner constructs, the Master Chief detonates the engines of the Autumn in order to destroy Halo and closely escapes the ringworld's destruction with his AI companion Cortana.

Halo 2

Campaign promotional art for Halo 2.
Main articles: Halo 2 and Halo 2: Anniversary

In Halo 2, the player alternates between the Master Chief and the Arbiter. Co-op allows a second player to join the game in split-screen or system link (or via Xbox Live in Halo 2: Anniversary). Both players control the same character around whom the level focuses (ie: two Master Chiefs, or two Arbiters). There are fifteen levels (an introductory cutscene, a tutorial and thirteen full-fledged missions), playable on four different difficulties, and there are Skulls as gameplay modifiers. Halo 2: Anniversary adds Terminals and additional Skulls along with the possibility to switch between old and new graphics.

The Campaign starts in October 2552. The Master Chief has returned to Earth after the destruction of Installation 04. Meanwhile, the Covenant commander who failed to protect Halo is branded a heretic. The Covenant finally discover and attack Earth, prompting the Chief to defend the city of Mombasa, Kenya. Meanwhile, the deposed Elite becomes Arbiter and is sent by the Hierarchs to quell a rebellion against the Covenant. On Earth, the UNSC In Amber Clad, with the Chief aboard, pursues the ship of the Prophet of Regret, only to arrive to a new Halo ring, Installation 05. The Chief sets out to kill the Covenant Prophet while the Arbiter is sent to retrieve the activation index to secure Halo's activation. Both end in the clutches of the Gravemind, the Flood's central intelligence, who tasks them to stop the ring's activation. The Covenant fall into a civil war as the Hierarchs order the Brutes to betray the Elites. The Arbiter manages to defeat Tartarus, Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, by forming an alliance with the humans. Meanwhile, the Master Chief is forced to abandon Cortana in the Covenant's holy city, High Charity, as it is being infested by the Flood, and chases after the last Covenant Hierarch, the Prophet of Truth, who departs to Earth.

Halo 3

The four characters playable in co-op in the Halo 3 campaign.
Main article: Halo 3

In Halo 3, the player controls the Master Chief. Co-op allows two players in split-screen, and up to four players in system link or Xbox Live. The second, third and fourth players respectively control the Arbiter, N'tho 'Sraom and Usze 'Taham. It is one of only two Halo games in which the co-op mode has a canonical explanation. There are ten levels playable (an introductory cutscene and nine playable missions). The player can find Terminals and Skulls, and change the game's difficulty either with the four traditional difficulties or with the Skulls. It is also the first game to introduce Campaign scoring.

The plot starts in November 2552, as the Master Chief returns to Earth to stop the Prophet of Truth. After being retrieved by the UNSC, he is sent to the besieged city of Voi to destroy the Covenant's heavy defenses. The UNSC fleet then launches an attack on Truth's Forerunner ship, but he manages to activate the Portal and departs to Installation 00, the Ark, from where all the Halo rings can be activated. Miutes after, the Flood attacks Earth but is sterilized. The UNSC and the Elites join their forces and battle the last Covenant forces on the Ark, culminating in the assassination of the Prophet of Truth. The Flood also attack the Ark via the infested High Charity. The Chief retrieves Cortana and they set out to activate a newly built Halo ring, Installation 04B, to destroy the local infestation. During the escape, the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn is cut in half by the Portal, with the forward section crashing on Earth with the Arbiter and the aft section being lost in space, with the Chief and Cortana aboard. The Spartan waits in cryosleep until the UNSC find and rescue them, meanwhile the Human-Covenant War is declared over.

Halo Wars

Campaign concept art for Halo Wars.
Main article: Halo Wars
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Halo 3: ODST

Campaign promotional art for Halo 3: ODST.
Main article: Halo 3: ODST
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Halo: Reach

Campaign promotional art for Halo: Reach.
Main article: Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach also features matchmaking support for campaign where players can be automatically matched to each other. [1]

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Halo 4

Campaign promotional art for Halo 4.
Main article: Halo 4
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Halo: Spartan Assault

Sarah Palmer in one of the cinematics of Halo: Spartan Assault.
Main article: Halo: Spartan Assault
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Halo: Spartan Strike

Campaign promotional art for Halo: Spartan Strike.
Main article: Halo: Spartan Strike
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Halo 5: Guardians

Campaign promotional art for Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: Halo 5: Guardians
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Halo Wars 2

Concept art for the Halo Wars 2 campaign.
Main article: Halo Wars 2
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Trivia

  • All games except Halo: CE also have a unique, unofficial difficulty known to fans: Mythic, which is Legendary with all Skulls activated. In Halo: Reach, weekly challenges even feature completing levels on this difficulty. This is also known as LASO (Legendary, all skulls on).
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 3, Halo Wars, Halo 4 and Halo: Spartan Assault, the endings of the four games end with a huge Forerunner structure getting destroyed or very damaged: Halo: Combat Evolved ends with Halo Installation 04 being destroyed, Halo 3 ends with Halo Installation 04B firing (and getting destroyed by the effects), Halo Wars ends with a Shield World imploding, Halo 4 (and Spartan Ops) ends with the Didact's ship, Mantle's Approach, the Composer and Requiem destroyed, and Halo: Spartan Assault ends with X50 sabotaged.
  • Every Halo game released from 2001-2009, as well as Halo 4 starts and ends with the player in space. In Halo: Combat Evolved, the game starts with Master Chief on the Pillar of Autumn and ends with him in a Longsword. Halo 2 starts with him on Cairo Station and ends with him on the Forerunner Dreadnought. Halo 3 starts off with him crashing towards Earth and ends with him stranded inside the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. Halo 3: ODST starts with the Rookie on the UNSC Say My Name and ends with him on an ONI orbital facility. Halo Wars starts with Captain Cutter on the UNSC Spirit of Fire talking about the war on Harvest and ends with the freezing of Professor Anders. Halo 4 starts with the Master Chief inside the Forward Unto Dawn and ends inside the UNSC Infinity.
  • AI cannot perform needle supercombines, except in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians

Gallery

Sources

  1. ^ Bungie weekly update 8/20/10