With Halo’s 20th anniversary this month, 343 Industries is adding new cosmetics to Halo: The Master Chief Collection to celebrate. One in particular is an exceptionally cool throwback to the origins of the Halo franchise: the original Spartan armour.
No, I’m not talking about the armour that Master Chief wore in Halo: Combat Evolved here, we’re digging back even further into Halo history. We’re going back 22 years to the game’s original reveal at Macworld 1999 for the ‘Orion’ armour.
Available now in-game, the Orion armour set includes a Helmet, Chest, Shoulders, Arms and Legs that is usable for Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer within The Master Chief Collection. You’ll have two opportunities to pick it up from the Exchange using Season Points, from 3rd-10th November and from 5th-12th January. 343 say there will be other opportunities in future as well.
While it’s not exactly the same as the armour design shown in the Macworld unveiling, it’s clearly heavily inspired with a much lighter look than the Spartan armour that would appear just a year later.
Canonically, the Orion armour comes from a precursor to the Spartan project that led to creation of super soldiers like Master Chief. The Orion project sought to augment human adults, but was unable to do so, with the Spartan project then taking children that were augmented through puberty. Yeah, mankind isn’t all good all the time in the Halo universe…
As for the rest of the celebratory cosmetics? Eh, I can do without them. There’s colour schemes for weapons that mimic the Xbox colours, there’s original Xbox gamepads for shoulder pads, and some daft backpacks. Hurrah?
The other interesting addition is the Mirage armour set, a Semi-Powered Infiltration armour that was introduced in the novel Halo: Ghosts of Onyx as armour for the Spartan-IIIs. It looks a bit odd, though.
While I’m sure Microsoft would have loved to get it out in time, Halo Infinite will not be available until after the 20th anniversary for Halo and Xbox. The original Xbox launched on 15th November 2001 with Halo: Combat Evolved becoming a huge hit that fuelled the fledgeling console for much of the last two decades.
Alas, Halo Infinite will release on 8th December 2021, just missing that anniversary, and it will be coming in hot as 343 Industries push to get it out this year. The game will not have co-op or Forge mode at launch, but will come with a full single player campaign in a more freeform open world structure, while the Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play. That will naturally be supported by a battle pass and cosmetic unlocks.
I’d personally love to see that Orion armour appear in Infinite, but I know many Halo fans fear that it won’t be long before daft looking Fortnite-esque ‘Back Bling’ and gimmicky armour sets are added…
Source: Halo Waypoint