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1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+

Imagine a Star Wars HALO Game

I've been playing a video game WAY too much. And believe it or not, it is not a Star Wars title.

But it sure should be.

For over a year practically every week I sit down with friends and engage in battle. A battle for earth against an alien opponent. The game is HALO from Bungie Studios (owned and published by Microsoft). And in many ways it is quite possibly the greatest video game of all time. Sure it didn't come at an emerging time for the industry like Mario or Donkey Kong. No, it didn't save a dying system like Sonic the Hedgehog and push the level of adult content like Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City. But it is arguably the best game for a console -- and far ahead of its time.

The Xbox was a calculated risk by Microsoft, the computer software giant knowing that it would lose money each time a system was sold. But the ace up their sleeve was a game from a company out West, a game that looked to upset the first person shooter universe. And that it has. Here's the company line:

Pursued by alien warships to a massive and ancient ring construct deep in the void, you must single-handedly improvise a guerilla war over land and sky. The epic single-player game is complemented by cooperative play and Multiplayer games. Three players might take the roles of driver, shotgun and rear gunner of a light, fast all-terrain vehicle, roaring and bouncing over uneven ground, ducking under a hail of fire from enemy fire from the opposing team.
It is about impossible to just tell you how awesome this game is. You can get in any vehicle and take off. Some hover, some rocket through the sky and others churn up a pile of dust - merely a cannon with treads. The cinemas are shot just like a movie, your squad yells and screams as if their life depended on it. The explosions kick up piles of dirt and the drop ships bring in reinforcements and support equipment. Usually you put everything together in one game, and some things come off really strong and others really weak. Somehow Halo manages to do everything right.

And that's just the start. We regularly grab an Ethernet hub and connect 4 Xboxes and 4 TVs together. Imagine 16 guys in the same room all playing the same game. It is an absolute riot, with taunts and threats being yelled across the rooms. The multiplayer experience is unparalleled and the single player an absolute firefight of intense emotion. There's local chapters of Halo gaming groups that get together for deathmatches, there's even a National Championship coming up next week. The game is flawless, demanding you purchase a controller with a fan in it because of the long hours you'll put in in front of the television. I have no problem declaring this the game of 2001, 2002 and for the first three quarters of 2003 -- and only stop then because next Christmas Halo 2 will be released. And the only possible way to top this news was that LucasArts and Bungie had entered into an agreement to take this stunning engine and turn our galaxies upside-down.

But aside from the amazing game that is now over 2 years old, every time I put it in my machine I can't help but think of what it would be like to see Star Wars characters and vehicles in this game. Imagine controlling a clonetrooper and you can get in a myriad of vehicles taking on the enemy of the Republic. Or perhaps a stormtrooper assigned to various worlds across the galaxy. And the vehicles? Why not have you and a squad of clones assault an enemy base - lasers, thermal detonators and rockets blazing. Republic gunships drop in vehicles, you can call in support and artillery. Man, that would be an absolute riot.

I'm all for role-playing videogames and an online persistent world sounds intriguing. Jedi Outcast 2 is right up my alley and the latest Red Rocks trailer does look really sharp. But a dream come true for Star Wars fans would be to let the boys an Bungie run havoc in our universe for a while. Take the Halo 2 engine and make Star Wars come alive.

Just an idea.

Let me know what you guys think.

Joshua Griffin
January 29th, 2003

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