Midnight wait for new ‘Halo’ like a 3-ring circus

By Gina Christensen

Anticipation surged as Townsend Miller and 300 other eager gamers waited anxiously in hopes of completing their Halo collection.

Miller, a middle school education senior, and a couple of his friends lined up on the sidewalk of the Fayette Mall on Sept. 24. They were waiting for EB Games to open their doors at midnight for the release of the “Halo 3” video game.

“I stood in line for three hours along with 300 other people,” Miller said. “It was crazy.”

Fellow gamers cracked jokes and discussed the past two Halo games to pass the time, Miller said. Once inside the store, Miller said he was ecstatic when he picked up his pre-ordered game.

“It was the most excited I’ve been in a long time,” Miller said.

Miller was one of about 1 million people around the United States who pre-ordered the game, according to CNN.com.

With his fresh copy of “Halo 3” in hand, Miller immediately went home with his friends and started playing. He said they played for hours that first night and continued on into the next day.

“I bought an X-Box 360 just for this game,” Miller said.

“Halo 3,” the final part of the game trilogy, is played primarily in first person. Gamers take on the role of a soldier named Master Chief. These soldiers band together to fight aliens and save humanity.

Mechanical engineering senior Ben Hobbs has been playing “Halo 3” since he purchased it. He has been trying to find a balance between school and gaming.

“So far the game hasn’t taken away from my school work, but we will see how long that lasts,” Hobbs said.

These UK students weren’t the only ones who took part in the “Halo 3” phenomenon. In just 24 hours after the release, sales of “Halo 3” reached $170 million, and more than 4 million on-line gamers were logged in and playing two days after the game’s launch, according to CNN.com.

“You can’t get enough of it just yet,” Hobbs said. “Who knows how long it will take for people to put down the controllers and move on to something else.”

Now that the hype surrounding the game has died down a bit, Miller is still finding himself playing the game, but now he prefers to play it alone.

Miller said Master Chief was his hero because he is a “universal soldier who dominates in everything he does.”

Hobbs and Miller agree that the graphics in “Halo 3” are much better than their predecessors. They say the images are “smoother” and “crisper.” Microsoft, who produces the game, added 39,000 dialogue lines to add more depth to the characters.

The price of “Halo 3” ranges from $60 to $130 depending on the version. The cheapest version of the game has no special features, but the next version priced at $70 is the Limited Edition.  This game has two extra books, a bonus disc and a collectors’ case.

The most expensive version is the Legendary Edition, which has extra discs that discuss the creation of the game and comes with a Master Chief helmet that serves as a place to store the games.