Opinion: Why The Forerunners are the Baddest Alien Race Ever Depicted on the 360

As a general rule, aliens are not to be messed with – at least not the kinds depicted in the average video game. Often possessing superior technology, some sort of telekinetic power and one or more grotesque characteristics, aliens are almost universally known to either have a deep seeded grudge against humanity or at the very least have their eye on Earth’s natural resources. Many alien species have vied for the top stop but it’s the eerily ancient and human-like Forerunners from Halo fame that prove both the most formidable and awe-inspiring. Here’s why:

Long extinct but still universally worshiped by all factions of the Covenant, The Forerunners were only one of three races to ever achieve the equivalent of Tier 1 technology – the others being their predecessors the Precursors and surprisingly enough, prehistoric humanity. And while many alien species throughout gaming lore have achieved equally impressive technological feats, it is how The Forerunners utilized their tech that proves so impressive.

It’s rather ironic that The Forerunners crowning achievement was the very thing that destroyed them. Despite what members of the Covenant believe, the Halo Arrays were constructed to halt the advance of the parasitic Flood. Able to sustain themselves by consuming sentient beings, the Flood threatened to wipe out all life in the Universe. If it were not for The Forerunners brilliance and selflessness, they most certainly would have succeeded.

See, unlike most alien races, The Forerunners were harbingers of peace. Basing the entirety of their civilization around their Mantle, The Forerunners were obliged to resolve disputes and protect lesser species.  Only once were they compelled to quell another species, and the means by which they did so will go down in gaming history as nothing short of legendary.

Considered an technologically equivalent yet violent species, humanity was deemed a threat to the galaxy, but instead of being destroyed by The Forerunners, they were systematically devolved. Does it really get any badder than that? Yes – it does. Apparently humanity was part of The Forerunners plan all along, and is later discovered to be a descendant of The Forerunners. What proves most ironic is that the factions of the Covenant fight humanity with reckless abandon yet revere The Forerunners and the remaining Halo Rings – which they mistakenly believe will guide them towards salvation.

Sure, we can make a case for the Reapers being even more bad-ass than The Forerunners. It’s hard to ignore that the Reapers simply overwhelmed The Protheans, and the justification for the Reapers existence in Mass Effect 3 was admittedly very cool. Also, the reveal that the Reapers were in fact responsible for the Citadel and the mass relays scores them a point, but The Forerunners triumph because they break almost every stereotypical rule associated with alien species depicted on the Xbox 360. Capable of destroying an entire galaxy yet driven by peace and sustainability, The Forerunners knew how to go out in style, and for the time being remain the baddest alien race for the 360.

What do you think will be revealed about The Forerunners in the upcoming Halo 4?


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