Halo: Reach, the final installment-prequel in the Halo series by Bungie, chronicled the initial invasion and downfall of the human race on the planet Reach to the Covenant.
The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be pushed to the brink of destruction.
Known for it’s fairly short campaign mode and extensive multiplayer offerings, Halo: Reach is a perfect way to learn a few apocalypse life lessons.
Apocalyptic Lessons from Halo: Reach
1. Know your goal not just your enemy.
I’ve played a few rounds of Gruntpocalypse having no idea what my goal was. I knew I wanted to kill grunts but I didn’t know how many or for how long… I just played aimlessly. Finally, I called Husband and asked him what I was actually trying to do.
“Kill all the Grunts.”
“Yeah, but for how long and to what end?”
See, my problem was that I wasn’t aware of my objective so I wasn’t making an effort to achieve it. I just got frustrated and let myself die ten times without realizing there was a pattern and a clear indication when the match was going to end [1. Also, I’m the most impatient with the shortest attention span so that didn’t help.].
Knowing I wanted to Kill the Grunts wasn’t enough I needed to know why and to what end.
In the post-apocalypse, you can kill zombies all day but if more will just keep coming and you never realize there’s a shelter you should be making your way to, you’ll just get exhausted and never see the forest for the trees– or the new post-apocalyptic world for the zombies.
2. Swarms rarely come from just one direction.
This is something that applied to Grunts but was more of a problem with more intelligent foes. A pack of enemies would come running at you from the front and you’d merrily pick them off until all of a sudden you’re getting lit up from behind.
What the fuck, you you damn near Running Riot. Well, the fuck is you weren’t watching your back. In the campaign your NPCs are always watching Six’s six but in a solo firefight you have to make sure you’re covered on your own.
Either squish yourself in a corner or play with a friend. Just because you can see danger doesn’t mean there isn’t danger you can’t see.
Too many times we see people covering the entrance the came through or the herd of zombies they’re running from only to be got from behind, so stunned and surprised they rarely react well.
3. Hanging out in the corner and picking off enemies is not cowardly, it’s smart.
On the note of not getting lit up from behind, choose your cover wisely. If you can, find a hidey-hole with a good view and kill everyone from the safety of… safety. The objective isn’t to fight fair or give the other guys a fair shake.
Actually, fairness is contrary to your objective. Killing your enemies and staying alive is your objective. If you hang out in the open like you’re having an oldtimey quick-draw cowboy fight, you’ll get sniped by some dick on a rooftop.
Similarly, in the post-apocalypse, you’re objective isn’t to hear everyone out and be kind to others, it’s to stay alive.
When playing multiplayer it’s important to talk to the people on your team. Where are they? What’s the plan of attack? Are we all going hologram so it looks like there’s twelve of us?
Sure, you can win a multiplayer firefight without talking to your team but it’s not as likely. If you know where the sniper is or that there’s a guy running around with a sword near where your teammate is, you should either do something about it or warn the team so someone else can. Two options are always better than one.
Also, people will want to play with you again if you’re a team player. People don’t like the asshole who just does his own thing and isn’t really a part of the team. Maybe you’re really good and that’ll be awesome for a while but people don’t trust skill alone.
Communication, looking out for the interests of others, and working together to achieve a goal are all vital skills to learn and implement in the post-apocalypse.
5. Some people suck at stuff.
I love playing Halo: Reach, but I’m willing to admit I’m not awesome at it. Knowing that, my husband and my friends were all still more than happy to play with me. I still had to take a shot every time my kill spread was negative ten or lower, but they also cheered me on when I did well in my relative range of well-doing.
The thing is, I know I suck at actually killing people. Instead of contributing to the kill count, I make sure to step up my teamwork game. I warn, pose as bait, double-team and generally do what I can to avoid getting killed.
In the post-apocalypse we’ll have parties made up of all kinds of people, and some of them will suck at things that need to get done. Be patient and remind yourself that there might be some stuff you’ll suck at that they could help you with, or maybe they could just help you be better at things you’re good at.