Stores across the world opened at midnight for the launch of the latest instalment of the blockbuster Halo video game series. Hundreds and thousands waited in lines to get their hands on the first person shooter. In the US, more than 500 stores opened their doors at midnight, while glitzy events were held in New York’s Times Square, Stockholm, Seattle, Sydney, London and Oslo.
The title is the fourth in the series and the last from US developer Bungie. The previous edition, Halo 3, was at one time the biggest-selling game of all time. That record is now held by Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare. The first edition of Halo was released as a launch title for Microsoft’s XBox game console and became an immensely popular title, spawning a slew of sequels. The game sees players engaged in a futuristic war between humanity and a race of aliens hell-bent on mankind’s destruction.
This latest version sees the same game principles, but puts you in the role of a super-soldier called Noble 6 as he battles the alien collective. Guy Cocker, editor of gaming website GameSpot, said the title was “quite a big deal” and had generated a lot of excitement on the web.
We’re able to track activity and Halo Reach is the most popular game on the site right now. In comparison to Halo 3 though, I’m not sure how well it will go down. It’s had a good critical reception, but Microsoft are certainly spending a lot of money promoting the game.
The franchise has been a very successful venture for Microsoft. The game has sold more than 34 million copies in the nine years of its life and helped boost the popularity of the Xbox 360. In May, an invitation for users to help play test the game before its final release attracted more than 2.7 million players. Microsoft’s entertainment director, Stephen McGill, told the games industry newspaper MCV that it was the firms “biggest Halo release ever”.
Master Chief, the main character in earlier installments, does not feature in Halo Reach. Halo Reach is the last title to be developed by Bungie Studios, a former subsidiary of Microsoft. Bungie split from its parent company in 2007, less than a week after the release of Halo 3. Microsoft, which retain the rights to the Halo series, has handed it over to an in-house development studio, 343 Industries.
More information about the Halo series and Halo: Reach can be found by clicking here.