Saturday, September 29, 2018

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Xbox One) Review

Halo: Combat Evolved is a first-person shooter and launch title for the Original Xbox. It debuted on November 15th, 2001, was designed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. This review is for the Anniversary edition and was played on my Xbox One from the Halo Master Chief Collection which I played through Xbox Game Pass. The Anniversary edition was released on November 15th, 2011, exactly 10 years after it originally came out on the original Xbox.

This is the first game set in the Halo universe and has you running and gunning as Master Chief, a badass human who is humanities only hope to save the galaxy. Don your helmet and lead the humans to victory against the evil aliens.

Halo: CE is a 10 level first-person shooter that has you battling in space on ships and on planet surfaces. For the most part, Halo CE didn't reinvent the wheel they just improved upon what had come before. At the time of its launch, Halo CE was the best console first-person shooter available at the time and it manages to surpass Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 in just about every way.  A big upgrade was the ability to play the game against friends by connecting numerous Xboxs' together or even going online to play with players all around the globe. This was way better than Goldeneye where you could only play with four players on a single TV using split-screen on your old small CRT TV.

Halo mostly holds up but there are a few issues that I may not have noticed almost 20 years ago when this game came out but are obvious now. For me, it was the vehicles which I didn't enjoy. You use both joysticks to control each vehicle and while I was able to figure it out, enough at least to continue the game, the last mission has you in the four-wheeled vehicle for six minutes and let me tell that I nearly spiked the controller while playing that part. It's not my ability but the controls that make these sections hard and I was always glad when I had completed each vehicle section. To me, it was nearly as bad as vehicle controls in Mass Effect, not completely but bad enough.

Now that we've covered how the game plays we can move on to the differences with the Anniversary edition. The biggest changes are of course the graphics and sound. The sound is great in this version, I also like the newer graphics which are upgraded from the original Xbox graphics to an Xbox 360 look.  A great feature is that you can change the look from each version on the fly and I have to admit the original graphics aren't too bad, even compared to the Xbox One.

Original Xbox Graphics

Updated Graphics

The only other change is that you can earn achievement points in this new version. Actually, if you get the Anniversary Edition for the Xbox 360 and the Master Chief Collection for an Xbox One you can get a double set of achievements.

If you've never played Halo CE this is a great way to try it out, especially if you do not have an original Xbox and don't want to buy one just to play Halo. Microsoft makes it easy for you as they've released Halo CE on each of their consoles which doesn't give you any excuses to not try it out. If you played this game when it was new I think you'll like this Anniversary Edition and since The Master Chief Collection is nearly four years old at the time of this post it's affordable so pull the trigger and get ready for jumping. I give Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition an 8 out of 10.

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