Fans of Halo (that’s a computer game series in case you were wondering) are in for a treat if they drive around with Waze. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, Google has teamed up with Microsoft to bring Master Chief and Escharum to the Waze experience so the protagonist and the main antagonist of the video game series will give you directions and help you navigate to where you’re going to. And maybe, you can imagine you’re actually playing a role in the “fight to get humanity back on the right path”.
This new Waze experience will of course only mean something to those who actually play the game or maybe even know of the game and are bored with their current Waze theme. In any case, similar to the Star Wars experience before, you can choose which side you are on, whether you’re on the hero’s side with the UNSC and the legendary Master Chief or if you’re on the “rebellious side” with the Banished and their war chief Escharum.
To enable the Halo experience, go to the Waze menu and choose “Drive with Master Chief”. After that, you’ll be able to change the Mood, car icon, and the navigation voice to either the UNSC or Banished theme. When you choose either of the characters as your “mood”, it will change how the other Waze users see you. If there are a lot of people in the area that also chose the Halo theme, it may look like you’re all in a video game.
While the experience is available globally, the voice directions are only available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Maybe these are the languages most used by Halo players or they were the easiest to do or something, but don’t expect more languages to be added soon. The voice commands will of course sound familiar to those who know these characters well and there seem to be some “inside jokes” that only players will understand.
Just like previous themes, this will be on Waze only for a limited time so you might as well try it now, if you’re a Halo player or just Halo curious. With more people going out now (well, it really depends on where you live), there are probably more active Waze users now compared to the past year. We will probably see more themes and experiences over the next few months.