Last time Sam stalked mean streets of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. But one of the major players in shaping the online multiplayer we play endlessly today is Halo 2, so Sam laces up his space boots for the ultimate sci-fi shooter adventure this time in Games That Changed The Industry:
Since the mid 70’s it has been possible to play games against other people. By the early 90’s there were systems in place to allow for gaming over an online network.
Yet, in 1994 there was only a mere quarter of a million subscribers to the ‘Sega Channel’, but as of April 2013 there were an estimated 143.6 million online gamers worldwide. Obviously, there have been many different factors in affecting the mass rise in online gamers but one of the most significant was the rise of Xbox Live in 2002, but more specifically, the release of Halo 2 at the end of 2004.
In many ways Halo 2 is a largely forgettable game. Arguably the least memorable single player campaign in a very successful franchise and as such by no means defines the first person shooter genre. It cannot claim to have brought a new level of graphics that was seen by the Xbox 360/PS3 generation of gaming. On several fronts, it is distinctly average.
Of course, I would not be writing about it if it was not influential and the effect of the mass success of the game’s online multiplayer cannot possibly be overstated. The huge amount of players to pick up the online gaming mantle was simply immense. With a wide range of maps and weapons that built upon the solid foundations laid down by the single player campaign, it cannot be seen as at all surprising.
Try now imagining turning on any console without at least the option to get yourself online. It is, frankly, unthinkable, and if anyone were to suggest that it was, you’d probably think they’d been hidden under the rock for the past ten years.
Not everyone loved Halo 2 and just as many didn’t care for Xbox Live, but you’d be hard pressed to find a gamer who doesn’t see the importance of online gaming and that is what Halo 2 gave the industry.
Sam Brewer, Games and Tech Columnist
What’s your favourite game in the Halo series? What other games do you think truly changed the industry we see today? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us an email at email@example.com. For more on everything else games and tech, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.
Next time, Sam gets his greatsword swinging in the seminal Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.