Halo season is here. We have a release date, an ongoing beta (which has gotten better since the first round), and time to accept the fact that cooperative campaign, as well as forge, will not be available upon the game’s launch. What else is there to obsess over besides the footage of gameplay trickling out with each successive weekend of technical testing? The answer, at least in this case, happens to be memes.
A trove of hidden gems within Infinite has been revealed by a Redditor that goes by marcopolo444. The Reddit post, spotted by Zack Zwiezen at Kotaku, is filled with links to helmet/vehicle attachments, charms, spartan poses, and emblems that were all ripped from the beta. The bulk of this data is cosmetic and won’t have too much of an impact on the gameplay itself, but one thing stands out for somewhat jarring incongruence with the tone of Halo: meme iconography.
There’s a handful of emblems that are styled after some of the most popular memes from the last decade. Take a look for yourself:
Here we have a number of the biggest internet memes from a different era. The crown jewel, in my opinion, is a grunt styled like the “This is Fine” cartoon. Not because the reference is exactly prescient but because the existence of grunts — low-level members of the Covenant — can be boiled down to the essence of the famous cartoon: an unwillingness, either by indifference or powerlessness, to accept the gravity of an objectively terrible situation. Master chief as The Rock with a fanny pack is pretty good too, and there are odes to the Ancient Aliens guy, in addition to Brent Rambo.
Why...? — Halo does have some self-awareness and the multiplayer doesn’t try to be an overly serious affair, so some unexpected humor makes sense. But the decision to lighten up the mood through meme references — many of them outdated — strikes me as a bit odd. Granted, it would be difficult to roll out emblems that are on the cutting edge of a constantly changing form, but Brent Rambo and the Ancient Aliens dude first entered online discourse in 2010.
Still, the inclusion of these memes is a much smaller slice of the overall leak pie. Some of the vehicle and armor attachments were legitimately cool. Check those out below and also feel free to take a moment to refresh yourself with the Halo story so far.