Halo has always been a pinnacle in the FPS genre. From its 2001 release of Halo: Combat Evolved to the 2018 release of Halo: Fireteam Raven. There is no denying that when FPS is in the discussion, Halo is always brought up. After Halo: Infinite, 343 Industries needs to make a horror title. It’s time for a Halo horror game with the treatment the fans deserve.
The Other Halo’s
It’s not out of the ordinary for Halo to diverge from the FPS genre. FPS is what it’s best known for but games like Halo Wars show that the series can venture elsewhere. The massive hit that is Halo Wars delved into the strategy genre, introducing a new incredible story with some deep characters and arcs.
Along with a great campaign it brought with it an amazing competitive multiplayer that gave me many hours of fun and stress with it. This, coupled with the hit game Halo 3: ODST proved that not every Halo needs to be about a Spartan saving the universe.
Halo 3: ODST put you in the boots of a orbital drop shock trooper in the aftermath of the Covenant ship that jumps orbit inside the city of New Mombassa. You have to piece together the story of what has happened to your fellow squadmates. Set in a night washed city, you are shown what it is like for a regular soldier to face off against the Covenant. A scenario that makes even the smallest grunt a formidable foe.
Now creating a horror can be dangerous territory. Every horror always risks being classed as a carbon copy of other, successful horror games. If they were to do a co-op horde-style game it could be accused of copying Left 4 Dead. If it did a lone survivor against an unkillable foe, it could say to be a copy of Alien: Isolation. But with the size of the Halo universe, there are so many possibilities for style and story whilst still having it keep its Halo roots.
A Flood Fest Horror
Halo has set up multiple scenarios in which a horror game could take place. The first would be during 343 Guilty Spark mission, the best setting for a flood-based horror. As the Chief arrives on the planet, Sgt. Johnson and the marines accompanying him had been out of contact for 12 hours.
This would be a perfect setting playing as a Marine member working alongside Sgt. Johnson. The biggest bonus to this setting would be having Johnson back in our lives. I have sorely missed the foul-mouthed sergeant defying the odds. This would be one of the best settings for a horror involving the flood as the Marines will never have witnessed them up to now.
Reddit user u/Grapeshotz discovered that from the moment you set boots on the ground during 343 Guilty Spark you are being followed by the Flood. This could boost the tension of being a Marine. Seeing shadows move in the corners and Marines suddenly going radio silent would really push that feeling of being followed.
So, the reactions that could show the true horror the first Marines faced when meeting the Flood. Also, having you step into the shoes of one Marine and venturing into a part of the forerunner facility before trying to escape could introduce some interesting scenery. The Flood in the dark could also be sweat-inducing for many players.
You could have other aspects to increase the tension such as limited ammo and no health regeneration. Or an infection level that makes even the smallest of flood spores a threat. Also you could have limited visual sight due to just having head torches. You could still have coop and be chased by a wave of flood spores and infected soldiers with 3 of your friends.
It could have a multiplayer mode similar to that of Resident Evil: Resistance was one person is playing as the Gravemind. They could control spawn locations for the flood, blocking corridors last second to put the players in tough scenarios. Then you could take control of the heavier Flood type to take on the players face to face. All would make an incredible experience. One which has never been seen in Halo before.
A Covenant Scare
Another idea for a Halo horror game is another Marine focused game. It seems like the Marines, and soldiers in a game for that matter, are easy cannon fodder. I cannot count how many times I have actually tried to make marines survive only for them to die 5 minutes into a fight in Halo.
This game could be based around the Covenant more than the Flood. Imagine what happens to the Marines that go onto covenant ships before the Chief makes it there? What is that experience like for them? Having the chance to play as another squad of marines who dwindle down into one lone survivor who has to circumnavigate this ship to escape.
This one could be more in the style of Alien: Isolation. You’d be a regular Marine up against foes you just don’t stand a chance against. Or something like Outlast where you’re followed by a different range of Covenant and have to use wits and stealth to outwit them. Imagine hiding and having an 8-foot elite walk into the room looking for you.
Now this idea is nowhere near as good as a Flood focused horror. The Flood are made to be terrifying and thus makes them an easy focus for a horror game. But still, the possibilities from the lore of Halo can make the Covenant just as terrifying.
Wrong Time, Wrong Place
Or we could step in the shoes of a regular citizen in one of the many cities the Covenant attack. We’d have to make our way from extraction point to extraction point having to avoid the different species of Flood. Or maybe even controlling some poor citizen who has many ‘wrong time, wrong place’ moments. Reliving key Halo events from the perspective of a regular worker could give some amazing insight.
The possibilities for horror are endless. 343 have so much to work with in terms of lore. There are many stories that don’t revolve around the Chief that need to be told. Hopefully after Halo: Infinite is released 343 will take the risk to create a horror game or series in the Halo universe. It is after all, the perfect setting and universe for a horror game.
Let us know what setting would make a great horror locale from the Halo world, and stay tuned to Generation Xbox for much more from the world of Xbox. And check back in after July’s Inside Xbox for our coverage of Halo: Infinite. Finally, check out our weekly podcast for discussion on the events of the week in the gaming world.