Halo CE Escapism

Does anyone get the feeling that CE is great escapism? Being the first in the series, and having no knowledge about the world outside of that game, personally makes it feel very ominous, almost dream like. Along with the graphics of the time, it feels like escapism when played on its own. When playing together with the rest of the series and/or with the context of the series, it looses this feeling, but the rest of the series has it, but not as heavy as CE. Is it just me or does anyone else get the timelessness of the CE story and world and feel like it is a dream-state escape from reality.

Yeah I agree with you.

It’s really something. I totally agree. I think out of all the games I feel the most at peace or calm when I’m playing CE, probably because it’s dream-like as you say. The games going forward feel like there’s a sense of urgency or something that needs to be done; even with the possibilities of Installation 04 firing or the Flood escaping, it still has a certain charm to it.

The later games are trying too hard to be epic and cinematic. Whereas CE is just simple and enjoyable.

Yes to an extent. When I first played through Halo: CE it did feel similar to how you have described it. What felt especially mysterious to me was the Forerunners; whose name had no lore behind it at that time in the series. The mention of this species name conjured up many different images and questions about them; “what do they look like? How tall are they? What about their culture? Do they even have a physical form?” Now that the Halo series has moved along the Forerunners do not have as much of an enigmatic air surrounding them anymore, as more about them has been revealed.

However: I do not mean to say that this is bad. Video games evolve over time - like everything, and this means that certain aspects of a previous game may no longer be present in sequels. So despite all of this I still prefer the new/newer games over the old ones such as Halo: CE.

This is a good way of describing the feeling I got when playing CE for the first time. I started with Reach in 2011, so naturally I was really excited for CEA that same year once I fell in love with Reach. CE is a very very different mood from Reach. I think part of what makes it so magical is that there are no big exposition dumps to slow down the plot. The natures of the Covenant, the ring, and the Flood reveal themselves slowly and organically as the game progresses. There’s a lot of questions the environments poses that come to you naturally. Who built this place? Why did they build it? Where are the people who built it? I think Halo 2 and 3 exhibit some of this magic when they visit Forerunner installations as well, and I’d argue that the Ark is just as magical as anything in CE but in a different way. Similarly with Delta Halo and High Charity.

Halo has always thrived when it puts place over plot, and CE is the epitome of place over plot. Sure, things happen in the story, but it’s all about discovering more and more about the setting. As much as I love 4, I think that’s where it faltered a bit. At times the scenery is awe-inspiring and alien, but at other times you’d be forgiven for thinking you were back on Earth.

Reach succeeded because it also put more emphasis on the setting than the plot. Lots of people seem to care about Noble Team, but I think that’s mostly to the extent that their fates are a reflection of Reach’s fate rather than them being inherently interesting on their own.

I agree! CE is very memorable and timeless, as well as fun and engaging. Both multiplayer and the campaign are captivating.