Hype is, by definition, extremely irritating. It's people who don't know what they're talking about -- let's call them the mainstream media, shall we? -- trying to explain to the general public, who couldn't care less, why a certain group is very excited about something. I'm a gamer. I'm very excited about Halo 3. And today I got to play it. Everyone else can sod off.
So Halo 2 didn't end the way I wanted. Never mind -- it made online console play come to life. It's like Heroes -- the first series didn't end in the maelstrom of an all-out powers vs powers firefight, but here comes another series -- the first ep was on US TV last night -- and it's almost certainly going to be great fun.
The hour or so of Halo 3 co-op I played at lunch confirms this comparison. It's packed full of the same brilliantly constructed set-piece battles that made the series so popular, with subtly upgraded graphics and a few tweaks to the weapons. Nothing radical, nothing revolutionary, just fantastic fun. So let's stop getting our knickers in a twist over everything around it, and what it 'means', and just have a game, shall we? Bagsy not being the Arbiter.
I don't care if Halo 3 is the game that makes gaming 'mainstream'. I'd rather play with my friends than a bunch of confused middle-aged people who'd really rather be talking about immigrants and property prices. More parochially, I don't care if Halo 3 is the game that 'wins' the console war for Microsoft. I just want to play the bloody thing. Dude, it's teh awesomes.