I’ve got to tell you how I came to like Halo: Reach and Jorge’s death.
Keep in mind that there are spoilers ahead.
Steam spewed out of my ears and my face turned beet red. I became incensed when my Xbox 360 got the three red rings and died last summer.
I vowed not to buy anything from Microsoft again. I refused to buy Halo: Reach when it came out in September 2010. “It’ll just be more of the same; that series doesn’t need more games,” I told myself.
But cracks started to appear in the fortress that was my resolve. And like a weak-willed addict, I just couldn’t fight the incessant cravings any more.
So I gave in and rented the game.
Reach’s first couple of missions didn’t really impress me. Maybe it really was more of the same.
Then Noble Six and Jorge – two Spartans from Noble Team – boarded a ship and launched into space. Suddenly, I squeezed the controller tighter, my pulse increased, and I glued my eyes to the TV.
I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen during one scene – Jorge’s death.
Lots of people, like Captain Keyes or Sgt. Johnson, died in past Halo games. So Jorge’s death is not novel for this series.
I still thought his death was particularly moving. Yes, I said moving.
Emotional Video Game? Just Look at Halo: Reach
Noble Six seemed upset as Jorge offered to sacrifice his life to take down a Covenant cruiser. Jorge explained his plan plainly and with courage. A stoic Spartan who lived up to the ancient ideal, Jorge didn’t think twice about dying. He only paused to save Six, throwing him into space.
I thought the game’s story was compelling at that point. I even felt a mixture of sadness and admiration as Jorge died. Your average game can’t make you feel that way.
Marty O’Donnell’s score only made the scene better. The score helps you feel Jorge’s sacrifice in your bones.
Wait! There was more.
New Covenant ships came out of nowhere.
I felt helpless. What did Jorge die for? The enemy came back bigger and stronger.
Six then landed on Reach and ran up a hill in a beautiful shot worthy of the silver screen. Maybe he hoped the Covenant were gone. Alas, all of his hopes went up in smoke: the Covenant were bombarding Reach.
Six clutched Jorge’s dog tags in despair.
A sense of hopelessness and sadness overwhelmed me. Did Jorge die for nothing? How could anyone stop such a relentless alien assault?
I missed Jorge, and now I loved Reach’s story.
Video Games That Make You Cry
Did Halo: Reach make you cry?
Sure, plenty of games deal with hopelessness and courageous acts, but none left an impression on me like Reach.
Even the other Spartan’s deaths in Reach didn’t quite impress me like Jorge’s. Jorge died first, making it hard to forget, and the game kept reminding me of his sacrifice.
People don’t use the word “moving” enough to describe video games. That’s a shame. I think Halo is growing up, and Jorge’s death is a good example.
I can’t say that Reach made me cry. I also can’t say that I’ll buy the next Xbox, but I am a fan of Halo again.