Reviews// Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Posted 25 Nov 2011 17:57 by
I say this because when compared to the current crop of FPS titles, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition falls short in so many ways that it?s a game that is more annoying than entertaining. What I?m trying to say here is that there are much better FPS games out there right now than this remake, including the later games in the Halo franchise. You may declare this to be unfair as this is a remake of a 10 year old game and is therefore given a free pass. I?m sorry, but I must judge this game just as I would any other new release, regardless of whether or not it?s a remake.

The game has so many flaws that are clearly apparent years after the original incarnation?s release. For example: accuracy of weapons does not change depending on your stance, you just point the circle displayed in the middle of the screen and press fire when an enemy appears in it. It?s quite tedious and says much as to how shooting mechanics have evolved in FPS games.

?Evolved?, yes... now there?s a word that kept on leaping up at me while I played through this updated version. Not only was the game proudly displaying the word like some badge of honour, but it also did much to prove that video games have evolved so much over the past decade that the flaws that were minor issues in the original game are now gaping chasms that I simply could not get past. For aside from the archaic shooting mechanic described above, I then had to deal with the oddly paced level design that consisted of moving to one area, fighting over three to four waves of covenant, usually ending with two hunters to destroy, then moving on. After coming off the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 single player campaign, this felt very pedestrian.

Visually Halo: Combat Evolved was a tour-de-force 10 years ago. Sadly time has done much to diminish its sheen. To address this, the remake has a remastered texture map applied to it in order to make it a little more palatable. 343 industries has done a sterling job of re-texturing everything, as can be demonstrated by switching between the original engine and the remastered one by pressing ?back? during play. Sadly, this retexturing does have an adverse effect on the character modelling. The faces seem mannequin-like and very distorted due to the lack of polygons in each model. Everyone looks and moves not too dissimilar to Kryton from Red Dwarf. Only they aren?t trying to be funny, they just happen to be.

The environment in the game doesn?t suffer from this problem quite so much. There remains, however, the low polygon issue and the fact that there are far more visually appealing games out there when it comes to environment and scenery, Gears of War 3 and Battlefield 3 being good contemporary cases in point.
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