This weekend I had the opportunity to visit a unique and amazing Halo experience at Halo Outpost Discovery in Chicago, IL. This felt like less of a "Halo convention" and more like a beautiful pop-up Halo museum. Instead of massive aisles of vendors selling merchandise, the main stage had museum-esque exhibits. There were massive life size statues of Master Chief and the Arbiter, as well as a full sized Warthog vehicle. Surrounding these massive displays were smaller displays that housed some of the series more recognizable weapons. I got to see weapons like the Magnum, Assault Rifle, and Needler. What was amazing was seeing these all in real life really put their size into perspective. In the game, you see these items and characters from the perspective from a massive 7 foot tall Spartan, so seeing how large they are in "reality" was very awe-inspiring. The tiny grunts in game are almost human height while many of these characters traditionally equal in height to players, tower over most of us in real life. Tilting my head all the way back to look at the massive Hunter on the size charter really looked cool. The needler and assault rifles looked like they were built for giants.
In addition to many displays, which were also peppered with fascinating informational displays on the history of Halo, were other cool aspects across the entire event. There was a live stage where prominent members in the Halo community discussed things on stage, as well as a cosplay panel where cosplayers talked details on the difficulties and massive undertakings that is Halo cosplay. There was a section where members of the cosplay community showcased their armor, and had a backdrop to talk photos with fans.
A friend of mine and Game Infinite, Jordan aka Savage Giggles is a prominent Halo Cosplayer with incredible and massive halo armor cosplays. I got to meet up with her and her friends. I wasn't able to record or photograph, but I was invited back stage to see the complexity and detail that goes into the armor and its finally assembly. Her cosplays are just absolutely incredible and I highly recommend following her. I learned that electric fans are needed to reduce fog on the helmets visor, as well as a speaker to relay the cosplayers voice to those around them. It was absolutely fascinating to see the complexity of assembling a full armor set onto a user.
In addition, I was able to get several photographs with some of the amazing and talented cosplayers one of which at a near spot on Master Chief that blew me away!
Halo Reach on PC
One of the most fascinating pieces of news to drop in the Halo community this year is that the entire Master Chief collection was being brought to PC. Halo fans have had Xbox and Xbox alone to enjoy the game since Halo 2, but that is all about the change. While still unreleased, and going to be released slowly one game at a time, Halo MCC is coming to PC first with Halo Reach. I was able to try Halo Reach on PC and I have to say it was amazing. I am hoping to add more PC content to Game Infinite's arsenal soon with my new studio, so being able to play this old favorite on PC was quite a gem. I plan to write a more detailed account of Halo Reach on PC in a separate upcoming article.
In the end I felt that Halo Outpost discovery was an amazing experience for any fan. My only critique was that I wanted more of it. I feel like Microsoft and 343 underestimated fan excitement and needed to plan for higher traffic. The VR experience looked cool but had over a 3 hour wait. The event focused on quality exhibits over quantity so everything had extremely long waits or became unavailable. I was unable to meet some key voice actors because they were booked up hours before the meet was scheduled. I think "too popular" is an ok criticism to have for any event and just means that excitement for Halo has never been higher. Perhaps if they had opened it up to vendors to sell Halo merchandise it could have been a bigger more traditional convention to draw the crowds away from the VR and other activities. With Halo Infinite coming next year, it was awesome to see the event as busy as it was. Even with the crowds, I recommend this event simply for the amazing cosplay and museum style exhibits.
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