Here it is guys, my review of the remake of a classic, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition. Let’s get started shall we?
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the release of the original XBox and Halo: Combat Evolved, 343 Industries(who now have full rights to the Halo franchise) has made an HD remake of the classic launch title that captivated gamers everywhere. You play as the Master Chief. The last known surviving member of the UNSC’s genetically enhanced super soldier program, SPARTAN. Master Chief is awaken from a cryogenic sleep in order to prevent the Covenant, an army compiled of multiple alien races who believe that they are on a mission from their God to eradicate any race that opposes their beliefs(and unfortunately, the human race is next on their list), from taking an AI named Cortana. Cortana has all of the intel that the UNSC possesses, including the location of Earth. Chief and Cortana land on a strange ring shaped planet that the Covenant call Halo. Now Chief and Cortana must explore this new planet, uncover the secrets of Halo, and save the human race. All in a day’s work for a SPARTAN if you ask me.
If I would’ve written a review for this game 10 years ago, I would’ve given that same score. 5 out of 5.
Body of Review:
There’s no denying it. The first Halo was definitely a game changer. It was one of the first FPS’s to really use the melee as an instant kill, and made, for the first time, vehicles fun to drive in an FPS. The controls were great and, the story was one of the best around at the time. And thankfully, 343 made it even better.
As far as the overall look of the game, 343 just gave it a facelift. There are a couple of characters that look a little different(in the first level, there are crew members on the ship that are bald when they had hair in the original game), but that’s it. I think the best way to describe the look of the game would be to say that it looks like how you remember the original Halo looking. You know, 10 years ago when you first played Halo, you were left in awe at the graphics, but when you go back and play it now compared to say Halo: Reach, you were left wondering how the first Halo made you wanna cream jeans(that’s right, I said it!!). But now that same feeling comes back as explore Halo once more.
As far as game play goes, 343 did the coolest thing possible and basically copy and pasted the game engine code that Bungie wrote for the original game. THANK YOU 343!! So the game feels exactly the same as it did 10 years ago.
Now, 343 DID do something really cool. They made it possible during game play to revert back to the original Halo graphics. So any time during game play, you can press the back button on the 360 controller and the game will go back to the original graphics with absolutely no load time and you can go back to the HD graphics with just another press of the back button. That way you can really see the difference in the look that 343 did. And it’s amazing.
Now, for the first time ever, you can play online four player co-op in the Halo campaign. Remember, the first Halo was made before XBox Live came around, so the only way you could play Halo multiplayer with your friends was by way of local games or getting a group of friends together for a huge LAN party. Now, you can play either four player campaign or you can go into the Halo Reach multiplayer universe through the Anniversary disc and play Reach multiplayer on classic maps from Halo 1 and 2 remade in HD!! These maps include: Battle Cayon, Breakneck, High Noon, Penance, Ridgeline, Solitary, and Instillation 04(which is the Firefight map in the Halo Anniversary map pack). And the best thing about these map remakes, all of the weapons and items are still in the sames play were in 10 years ago. The locations might be slightly different, but they are still in the same areas of the maps that you remember. So great job to the guys at Certain Affinity(who made the multiplayer maps for Halo: Reach and Halo Anniversary).
Another new addition to the game that was made was that 343 included skulls and terminals in the campaign. Each level has at least one skull and a terminal for the player to find. As you know, skulls can be turned on during the campaign to make the game more challenging for the player. For example: there is a skull that causes Grunts to throw twice as many grenades as they usually do(which for those who don’t play Halo, is a lot without the skull turned on). There’s one that only alows you to regain health when you kill an enemy with a melee attack.
Now terminals were first introduced in Halo 3. They were located throughout the campaign and when activated they just had a bunch of written text. The terminals in Anniversary are much cooler. When you activate a terminal it goes to a cutscene that is kind of a motion comic. It kind of gives a primer for The Forerunner Trilogy, which will start with the release of Halo 4 next year.
Well, that’s it. 343 Industries did a great job reintroducing the game that millions fell in love and became obsessed with 10 years ago to a younger audience. And it makes me even more excited for Halo 4 next year!!
Well, that does it for me. Stay tuned next month as I start off 2012 with a review for WWE 12. Laterz!!