Reviewed on Xbox


Reviewed By: HALO

Computer Platform: Xbox
Produced by: Bungie
Price Range: $42-50
Learning curve time: 1 hr.
Age level: 17+
ESRB Rating: Mature

Genre: Sci-Fi Shooter
Christian Rating: 2 of 5
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Box art for 'Halo' "Halo". Quite possibly the game of the year, this game takes the fading FPS genre and breaths new life into it. Technically one of the best games this year, and definitely the best game in the Xbox launch line-up. This game combines a great plot with amazing gameplay and graphics, to create one of the best first person shooters ever made.

Screenshot from 'Halo' While at its heart “Halo” is a normal first person shooter, “Halo” combines elements from tactical shooters that enables you to do the ten different missions in almost any way you like. In the game you work together with space marines to find out the purpose of an alien ring planet called Halo. Halo was found when a space ship trying to escape from an alien race called the Covenant, stumbled upon it. The plot has many twists that I will not reveal as it would ruin the game if you choose to play it.

While this is artistically an amazing game, morally I would caution Christians (and others), especially anyone under seventeen. This game contains much violence (though most of it is shooting at aliens) and contains some mild profanities. Another thing that some might find objectionable is the fact that the Covenant seem to have a religion that centers around killing the human race.

If you are a mature Christian who does not find violence objectionable then you might want to consider adding this title to your library. But if you do not like such violence and/or are under 17, I would suggest that you check out some of the less violent titles available for the xbox. Give “Project Gotham Racing” or “Amped” a try.

Year of Release—2001

Positive—I think we're being a little simplistic here. Within the game, English translations of how the aliens refer to their theology may echo Christian terminology, but so what? Perhaps as Christians we habitually get defensive about religion in general, but it's laughable to deny that some of the greatest evils that have been perpetrated have been justified by misappropriating religious teachings. If you don't agree then you must be living in a cave, perhaps one in Afghanistan. That said, I think that credit needs to go where it's due in that most video games are decidedly secular or worse, and this game does raise issues that may prompt some interesting, timely discussions with your teenagers regarding religion (when it has been and can be misused) and war (when it is justified and when it is not). If you're sensitive to PG-rated language or violence, you might not appreciate the game, and this may not be appropriate for all teenagers, hence the Mature rating. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —BK, age 38

Positive—I am a bit concerned since we, as Christians, are the New Covenant, and the aliens are religious fanatics that are called the Covenant. Further more the alien ship is called Truth and Reconciliation. These seem to be a clear play on Christian jargon. The graphics are great, but the more I played the more concerned I was with the structure of the game and its possible hidden meaning. My Ratings: [2/5]
   —Rob Sweeten, age 31

Neutral—One of the best games I have ever played. I agree with the other comments listed above about the gameplay. On the box the game receives a “mature” rating for violence. That bothers me because they should have put a rating for the language too. While there is not much obscene language, there is some. I would not have bought this game had I known there would be obscenities in it. If I had children, and was worried about the language I would not recommend buying this game. Positives: great gameplay, storyline, and multiplayer fun. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Wes, age 24

This is by far one of the best FPS games ever made for a console system, This game has a storyline that keeps you interested from the beginning right down to the final level which is one hard task to accomplish. This game is probably the best game on the X-box console and the only thing that a Christian might not like about it is the killing of the aliens in it. The game places you as a cyborg human character who is forced to take on a race of aliens that are trying to destroy your whole race, along the way you are forced to fight your way thru many levels and take on better and harder enemies along the way and take their vehicles and use them against them. There is really nothing bad about this game except a little violence… My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Holden McNiel, age 19

Comments from Young People…

Positive—In response to Rob Sweeten's comments on the religious jargon and possible “hidden meanings” of Halo, I can assure you that Halo is in no way attacking Christians. Having played almost all Bungie games before (the creator of Halo), I can assure you that any religious terms and jargon are quite benign. They are there simply to add intrigue and mystery to the games. My Ratings: [2/5]
   —Matthew S., age 17

Positive—The Covenant are bent on destroying the human race is a objection I heard in the review. The funny thing is, isn't that a symbolization of what's happening in the Christian world right now. Muslims such as Osama Bin Laden (note, not all Muslims) are bent on destroying our faith. I feel too, though, that there are some language problems and violence. Maybe the game should have focused on making peace with the Covenant, but that sometimes isn't an option (and it wouldn't make a very good video game). My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Kaynen, age 16

Positive—While many of you view this masterpiece of art with a very secular view, I must beg to differ. One should not find this artwork to offend Christianity, the Bible, or anything else. Rather look as it as a Bible story in the form of premium software entertainment. First off, to really get a sense of the 'game' one must read the prequel book “The Fall of Reach,” by Eric Nylund. To prove my point, let us first anylize the mysterious alien race, the Covenant. I see many Christians who have played this game dislike the fact that this title be given to a race of unearthly beings bent on the destruction of man kind. The [Ark of the]Covenent was where the Ten Commandments were housed and basically God's throne on Earth. Think of the Covenent in this case as God's conviction on mankind, or the Apocalypse, and it is the responsibility of one man, the Master-Chief, for the salvation of his race. In Halo, you ARE Jesus. I know many of you reading this will feel mixed emotions, as Jesus certainly did not go around shooting aliens with guns and hand grenades, but he did give his life for the salvation of mankind… And so did John (The Master Chief). He may not have died at the cross but he devoted his life to the protection of mankind, completely blinding himself of temptation. The plot of this masterpiece is so deep and intriguing that it makes one's head spin. There too are many other references to the bible in this 'game'. With a little perception, one will easily find dozens of references to seven, John 117, the main character, has reference to St. John 11:7. The number seven, the biblical number for wholeness and completion is so widely used its hard to avoid noticing it. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Bill, age 15, non-Christian

Positive—What an incredible game. I must say i'm hooked on this. I've even started programming my own version of it. The gameplay is so addictive and the story is amazing. I've read the book as well and theres nothing really offensive about this FPS. Some of the Flood are a little bit too gruesome and turned the game into house of the dead. Overlooking this, Halo is the best game of all time and won the game of the year honours from many well known reviewers (IGN, EGM, Gaming Awards). My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Snyper, age 15

Positive—This game is one of the better games that I have played. At a gameplay point of view this game is great! My friends and I have X-box parties where they bring theirs and we battle it out to see who is the best. We bring snacks and pop and have a great time. It is a really fun and engaging game. I have read the prequel book and it is a very good book not really graphic. This game has some gore but I have seen worse (much worse). My Ratings: [4/5]
   —luke, age 16

Positive—This game rules. It is the best X-Box game so far, and possibly the best first person shooter aside from Half-Life ever produced. While there IS a little blood, it only occurs when you shoot the aliens or zombies (which are all you shoot). The X-Box's controller is perfect for this type of game, and I highly recommend this for anyone who has X-Box. This is the type of game you can play for hours on end without getting sick of. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Tony Howard, age 15

Positive—First off I thought this game was fabulous. The A.I. in this game is incredible. In which I believe is the best in any game I have played. The learning curve is about mediim because of the way the Xbox controls are. I violence is pretty heavy but your mainly only killing aliens so this game might be acceptable to people who are against having to kill people. The profanity in this game is pretty high. It mostly comes from the marines when they are fighting the aliens. The Co-op mode in this game is awesome. The different A.I. difficulties also enhance game play. You can play the unbelievable easy difficulty to the insanely difficult legendary mode. Another wonderful aspect of the game is that there are many different ways to overcome you enemies such as sneaking up in stealth behind your enemies and hitting them in the back of the head to charging in guns a blazing to sniping away at a distance. Also you can destroy your enemies with the many vehicles in the game. Another great aspect… My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Jacques G., age 13

Neutral—Halo is a good game, it's just that it has swearing in it and blood and that is not acceptable to me as a Christian. Halo has very good gameplay and the graphics are excellent too. My friends let me play this game for a long time and it was good and I didn't hear any swearing in it, they told me there was swearing. I would REALLY like this game if it had no swearing or blood. My Ratings: [2/5]
   —Chris Frezza, age 12

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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