Halo helped bring the FPS genre for consoles out of the depths of mediocrity as it set the standard back in 2001 for the console shooter. Taking full advantage of the original Xbox, Bungie started not only a new IP, but an entire culture. Since 2001, the series has not just stuck to first person shooters, but has spawned countless tie-ins. Here are our picks for the Top 10 Halo Tie-Ins.
10. Halo Legends
343 Studios has overseen the expansion of the Halo Universe post Bungie and they have taken on some rather ambitious projects to ensure the lore and feel has not strayed too far from Halo’s initial form. One of their rather unique projects was the Halo Legends OVA series. Animated and directed by some of the major studios in the anime realm, Bones, Toei Animation and Studio 4°C, to name a few. Halo Legends was met with mixed reviews mainly due to the varying tones and dips in animation quality on a few of the episodes. There were standouts though in the collection that helped build on the existing lore of the series and expand it in ways that the games never had. Additionally, some of the moments helped emphasize the true strength and aptitude the Spartan soldiers had which could never effectively be shown in a first person shooter setting.
9. Cortana Assistant App
Cortana is one of the most iconic characters in all of gaming, which is why it was a definite eyebrow-raiser when Microsoft announced Cortana for Windows, their answer to Apple’s Siri. It would share the same name, use the same voice actor (Jen Taylor)… but wouldn’t actually be related to anything Halo. As counter-intuitive as that may seem, it’s still pretty fun to play around with Cortana’s responses. She still retains that sarcastic personality, and some of the easter egg responses are great. While mostly just a companion app that happens to sound exactly like Cortana from Halo but isn’t actually Cortana from Halo, Cortana for Windows is definitely one of the more novel tie-ins from the videogame franchise.
8. Replica Needler
There have been plenty of quality replica weapons to come from the Halo franchise, but none are as downright awesome as the 1:1 Needler replica. The model itself is massive; the thought of a 5-foot tall Grunt rolling around with one of these in real life is more than a little amusing. On top of the quality size and build, the replica sports a nice lighting system, with lights illuminating the weapon, a blue laser when you pull the trigger, and illuminated crystals in the chambers. Additionally, the crystals are motorized, meaning they can move up and down as you “fire” and “reload.” Anyone looking to either cosplay some MJOLNIR armor or annoy their friends with their financial irresponsibility will find plenty of value in this replica. That value doesn’t come cheap, however; while the toy is certainly cool as hell, good luck trying to find it for under $300.
7. Halo: The Fall of Reach Novel
Not to be confused with Bungie’s last entry into the game series, Halo: Reach, Halo: The Fall of Reach is a military science fiction novel written by Eric Nylund and published in 2001. The Fall of Reach delved not only into the demise of the human colony of Reach at the hands of the Covenant, it also provided a somewhat disturbing backstory to the SPARTAN soldiers and cast a dark shadow over the actions of the UNSC. It was in this novel that readers found out how the UNSC selected, abducted and created the unstoppable super soldiers known as the SPARTANs. Additionally, the book played the part of a prologue to Halo: Combat Evolved as it set up the premise for the Pillar of Autumn discovering the Halo ring and propelling Master Chief to hero of the UNSC. With Halo: Reach, Bungie decided to show a different aspect of the battle of Reach and decided to retcon in the SPARTAN-IIIs and remove some of the elements described in the book.
6. Forza Horizon 3 Warthog
There’s really not much that can be said against Forza Horizon 3. If there’s such thing as a perfect videogame, it comes damn close to it (as long as you’re a fan of driving really, really fast). While the gameplay and open world are enough to satisfy any racing fan, Turn 10 went ahead and treated fans of the Xbox exclusive to a little something from another major Microsoft series- Halo’s Warthog. The M12S Warthog CST is a downloadable vehicle, and is easily one of the most entertaining vehicles for trucking it through the Australian Outback. For an Extreme Off Road Vehicle, it has near perfect handling, as well as a fantastic launch from neutral. As for the more aggressive multiplayer modes (King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, etc), the Warthog will definitely give you an edge over anyone driving something from this time period. Not only is it a cool and noteworthy crossover between completely unrelated franchises, but Forza Horizon 3’s Warthog is one of the best vehicles in the game.