Sent To Die: Surviving The HALOCAUST

“That’s no moon.”

There’s a silent shadow looming over the industry right now, slinking its way across the pale surface of the moon and blotting out the stars one by one until not a sliver of light is left in the sky. Tuesday, just a shade past midnight, the only luminance will come from the blindingly bright storefronts of Gamestops. Wal-Marts, and Best Buys all across the country, primed to bid welcome to the first of many gamers drooling over their brand new copies of HALO 3. Their faces will look so hungry, that an unassuming passer-by might think they were standing in a Depression-era soup line.

But let’s not lie to ourselves. There are no unassumers or innocents in this endeavour. We all know what’s coming, but most of us remain woefully unprepared. We have heard of midnight launches for hardware before, but it’s rare that software commands the same level of attention (at least here in the US). There are those of you who would denounce HALO and also those that do not own an Xbox. You ask: what is it that you should do in these lean times, this week like mercury that slips between your fingers?

In my benevolence, let me shower you with wisdom, lest ye cast calls of “Unbeliever!” and “BETRAYALTON!” in my direction.

1) The most logical of solutions: Go buy a 360 and a HALO 3. ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

2) As a Playstation-only gamer, you can go grab yourself a copy of Heavenly Sword and play through that. You’ll beat it in about the same time as many will HALO 3’s campaign and you’ll have a better story experience to boot. Afterwards, go to your favorite forum or blog and talk up Nariko’s adventure in every HALO thread you can find! Sure, you’ll get banned, but hey, at least you get to share in the experience for a little while!

3) Retreat to playing Resistance: Fall of Man or Warhawk online and voice chat with all your friends about the “retards playing HALO 2 HD.” That should make you feel like a big man.

4) Well, there are a couple other games coming out this week. PS3 owners will have Skate. and Stranglehold to look forward to. That’s something, right? The only other “significant” 360 product for release is Eternal Sonata, which shows you how much Microsoft thinks of that game (sent to die).

5) Only have a Wii? Well, you’ve got a cavalcade of fillerware to try out. Get used to it, because that’s what your weeklies are going to look like until Nintendo kneels down to feed you two or three times a year.

And finally, if you plan to brave the wilds of your local strip mall on Monday night, be safe. Take a rain slicker and a nice pair of headphones, lest you be forced to weather the random flinging of fanboy drool or yet another pre-midnight debate over Master Chief’s virginity. Call in sick to work the next day, too. Of course, Michael Pachter thinks this is going to sell 3 million copies in a little over a week-and-a-half and the hype is palpable, so you might just meet your boss in an online match at 7 am the next morning.

That’s it. That’s the best advice I can give you for surviving the HALOCAUST. You’ve been like a son to me. Hope to you see on the other side (of my plasma rifle)!


~ by Cavin Smith on September 24, 2007.

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