Going back to Halo CE and watching the Energy Sword dissipate in the hand of a dying Sangheili Zealot is a truly heartbreaking experience once you’ve played the following instalments of the series.
The art of swordplay for the Sangheili is one steeped in their ancient traditions and customs. Outside of their military forces, only the aristocracy are allowed to be trained to use these iconic weapons and they are, as a result, not eligible for marriage – they are allowed to breed with any female they desire to pass down the ‘swordsman’ genes. This obviously demonstrates the patriarchal nature of Sangheili society and the issues within it, but Sangheili females are far from the oppressed slaves they appear to be. Characters like Raia ‘Mdama and Elar ‘Nas are portrayed as strong people in every sense of the word who have complete agency over themselves – though, sadly, both are killed off in the same book.
You might also recall the numerous tricks you could do with the Energy Sword in Halo 2. Glitches which enabled you to lunge across entire maps and the fact that it had unlimited charge in multiplayer made it a pretty huge deal when it came to playing on close-quarters maps like Gemini or Midship.
Simply put: it’s basically Halo‘s equivalent to the lightsaber and that makes it an awesome addition to the sandbox.