Opinions on Halo Video Game

Updated on June 21, 2011
K.B. asks from Thousand Oaks, CA
14 answers

Curious if anyone knows much about the video game Halo. My son is visiting my in-laws and his grandmother bought him Halo 4, is it appropriate for a 9 year old? I would never buy it for him, I'm not a fan of violent video games. I've read studies on the affects of violent video games, but I'm not familiar with this one and would appreciate any practical mommy feedback you can offer.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all very much for the responses, I truly appreciate it. Didn't realize there were so many versions, she got him Halo Wars rated T not M but ratings and studies don't tell the whole story that's why we wanted real life feedback. I gently suggested that she check with us before buying him these types of things.

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answers from Dallas on

We don't do first person shooter video games where the target is another person, and I believe Halo 4 is one of those. If she is set on Halo see if she'll exchange it for Halo Reach, it's still first person but the enemy is an alien. That is the only Halo game we'll let my 9 yo play, and he doesn't play that often.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Halo is our family's favorite game (there's my bias right there).

It's an incredibly complex story line game (dozens of books/ graphic novels/ etc. are written in/expanding the Halo Universe, similar to the way that Star Wars has been). In between every level there's a several minute long story section/ mini movie.

There's technically not YET a Halo 4, I suspect your MIL is talking about Halo Reach... but here is the list of them

Halo : Combat Evolved
Halo 2
Halo 3
Halo 3 ODST
Halo Wars
Halo Reach
(Halo 4 is now being created)

Halo 1-Reach is actually a circular story, with Reach being the Prequel to Halo 1.

The basic premise in Halo is this: Heroism / Saving Humanity/ Saving all the races in all the galaxies

Good to Know: At no time, in any of the games are you actually fighting or shooting other people (unless you're playing xbox live against other players in capture the flag type games, but NOT in the storyline games). There are 2 enemies in the game. An alien race named the Covenant (a collection of several bipedal alien races) who started attacking human planets, and an alien race called the Flood (similar to the Borg, if you're familiar with Star Trek) which is a blob shaped species that consumes every sentient being it comes across. In the beginning your character (and all of humanity's forces) are fighting both the Covenant and the Flood. At a certain point in the story arc, there's political division in the Covenant and Humans ally with one faction of the Covenant in order to fight the Flood together.

In Halo1 you start off the game as the last Spartan soldier (the rest having died defending / during the attack on Reach). In a later Halo you switch back and forth between being the Spartan and being a Covenant Elite and then you join forces. In Halo ODST you're part of a human "hell jumper" team that is trying to evacuate Earth (and many of the missions are just that, getting survivors to safety). Halo Wars is the only NON first person shooter (it's a strategy game similar to Dune, or Risk). Halo Reach you're part of a Spartan team of 6.

There are several recurrent characters in the game, and as I said, a VERY large back story. In all of the stories you're both the best at what you do AND recognized for it. (AKA none of this lone wolf/loose cannon stuff, but highly decorated and admired by the military higher ups and civilian higher ups, with close personal friends. The game isn't about besting a corrupt system, or criminal element, but instead much more idealistic. All of your contacts/superiors/friends in the game are moral/ caring individuals who are ALSO the best at what they do)

The game is actually quite serious, but there are also a lot of humorous moments. A lot of games go for straight out gore, Halo doesn't. It's visually STUNNING. Beautiful worlds, gorgeous scenes, the artwork in the game is utterly amazing and for each game state of the art/ gold standard for every other game to meet.

Are you shooting/fighting? Yes. Absolutely. It's a first person shooter game with over a dozen different types of weapons (2 kinds of grenades, several kinds of 'human' rifles from pistols to sniper rifles, several kinds of alien weapons). You're mostly on foot, but also occasionally piloting or driving. The blood is mostly neon blue (since you're fighting aliens).

There's a LOT of info/film out on all the halo games that you can look at. Here's a GREAT one to start with


4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

"M" rating I do believe.....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

My fiance and I play halo. But I definitely wouldn't recommend it for a 9 year old. You are fighting aliens in the campaign but if your playing with friends on multiplayer whether it's on live or not you all play as Master Chief and when he dies you do see red blood.

If you do decide to let him play Halo, it does have a good storyline. But definitely keep him off of xbox live, Most of the teens/adults that play that have foul mouths.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

I might be the odd one out, but my husband loves this type of game and has 3 of the Halo games, and we play them as a family with our 5 and 7 yr old girls lol A game is a game, in my opinion. This one doesn't show graphic violence and I don't think there's much "bad" language. We have a blast on the multi-player mode where we can go around killing each other. This type of game is great for hand-eye coordination and dexterity because there are so many controls, and honestly my kids are better at it than I am lol I love that I'm not great at this type of game because I can show my kids how to be a good loser, even when you lose every single time, and I can laugh at my own mistakes and show them its about having fun and not quitting just because its hard. I guess it just depends on how involved you are in your kids' video games =)

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answers from Minneapolis on

My 40-something hubby has played all the Halo ones and Gears of War and a few others. Even HE gets all worked up and wants to play it alot, talks about it ("man...it was so cool..I killed this guy with a sticky grenade and he just BLEW up"...blah blah..really? Don't care! LOL). Which is really fine here...I watch my shows or read, and he does his game a few hours a week...or a rainy weekend afternoon (or since he has no concept of sleeping in, and rises at 6am even on weekends..ugh...he might play then). But for anyone less than a teen, I say not appropriate. JMO~

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hello, I am a grandma and I would never buy that game for any of my grandchildren. One of them is 15, and I would have to ask his parents before I let him play something like that.
Good luck with your precious son.
K. K.

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answers from Dallas on

I hate those video games. They are all so violent and bloody! But, I can't say, if I had a little boy, would I let him play it? I *want* to say no, but probably all of his friends are playing it and telling him about it and he's being exposed to it at their homes anyway, so what's the harm in letting him play it?

Looky there, I even talked myself into it! Peer pressure sucks!!

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answers from Chicago on

9, I would say no. I am a gamer but that is on a system I do not own, nor is it up my alley of games. I have been around people playing it and there is nothing "wrong" with the game, I just do not think 9 is an appropriate age ... more like 13 or up depending on maturity.

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answers from Dallas on

It can really depend on the family. They are pretty graphic and the language can be kind of bad. Many of them have some settings you can adjust that turns off the laungauge and lessons the gore, but they are still pretty extreme. Not sure if you can on that one. My son was probably about that age when he started playing them. It just so many kids already have them and he was already being exposed to them. I myself can not really stand them and would rahter he not play them. But that is the most popular game style. They don't really make any quality games for that age group, and is why we finally caved in.
We also will limit the game play, and if he is acting up do to playing(which he did with any type of game, not just the violent ones) he would have to give it a break. This the age are kids are being rasied in, so instead of out right banning them, we just limit his time spent on them.



answers from Gainesville on

My 16 yo loves it, I would say as long as your son is not playing online like xbox live it would be ok. the reason I say that is xbox live allows him to play with others and I think that he would hear a lot of things you don't want him to!



answers from Houston on

My 22 yr old plays it and he said they shoot and throw gernades. You are killing aliens. When you throw grenades the alien shoots up in the air. When they are shot they bleed green blood. It is not real gory he would tell me if it was. I asked if they would axe poeple through the head or not he said no. He is not sure about halo 4 but halo coventent is more of a board game. It is a stategy game. But personally I don't buy the effects of violent video games mine has been playing them for years and he is not violent. Neither were my ssons who also played them.



answers from El Paso on

Definitely a second to the "don't let him play online" with XBOX Live. Older kids (and adults for that matter) don't hold back on their language while playing.

It's not person-on-person violence, if that makes a difference to you. You fight aliens of some sort. I would compare it to the original DOOM game that was on PC when I was a kid in terms of violence. Hope this helps!


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think video games have anything to do with behavior. I do, however, believe these games are too mature for a 9 year old.

I would give it a few years. Let him play Mario for a while longer =)

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