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Halo is a military science fiction first-person shooter video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed and developed by 343 Industries, a subsidiary of Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant. The Covenant, led by their religious leaders called the Prophets, worship an ancient civilization known as the Forerunners, who perished in combat with the parasitic Flood. The central focus of the franchise builds off the experiences of Master Chief John-117, one of a group of supersoldiers codenamed Spartans, and his artificial intelligence (AI) companion, Cortana. Other characters, such as Noble Six from Halo: Reach, are also introduced in the series. The term "Halo" refers to the Halo rings: large, habitable superweapons that were created to destroy the parasitic Flood. They are similar to the Orbitals in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, and to author Larry Niven's Ringworld concept. Full article...

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Halo: Reach is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie, published by Microsoft Game Studios, and released on September 14, 2010, for the Xbox 360 video game console. Players control Noble Six, a member of an elite supersoldier squad, when the human world known as Reach is attacked in the year 2552 by the alien Covenant. Developed after the 2007 release of Halo 3, the game is a prequel to the original Halo game trilogy. Reach's music was composed by longtime Halo composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, who aimed for a more somber sound to match the story. Reach was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 in Los Angeles. It grossed $200 million on its launch day, setting a new record for the franchise. The game sold well in most territories, moving more than three million units its first month in North America. Critical reception was positive, and generally praised the game's graphics and sound, but the plot and characters were less positively received. (Full article...)


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