Reviews// Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Posted 25 Nov 2011 17:57 by
The music score for Halo is utterly superlative and indeed could be held up as an iconic piece of our times. The remastered version has a brand new soundtrack that enhances the experience of playing the game. This can be switched back to the original score, but personally I much preferred the new sound track.

I do however have a gripe with the chattering of the human marines that lend their aid to Master Chief. Originally I marvelled at their quips and interaction with the player but now, nine years later, I found them to be somewhat annoying. The repeated blurting of ?Where is he??, ?Man he?s taller than I thought?, ?Shoot ?em!?, ?I knew he was aboard!? etc can only be tolerated for so long. Eventually all I could hear was my inner voice begging them to SHUT UP. Regrettably there is no way in the game to silence their pointless bleating, so you have to put up with these same repeated phrases over, and over again. Just writing about them now is giving me a headache.

There are other current generation aspects of the game they have added to this re-imagining of Halo: Combat Evolved. There is the support for Kinect and 3D TV. Kinect support consists of the player yelling commands that can enable functions of the game. This includes switching back and forth from ?classic? to ?remastered? mode by saying those two words. You can also switch on the 3D mode by just saying ?Activate 3D?. It?s a nice little touch, but it does feel somewhat tacked on.

The 3D TV support works extremely well and actually does much to improve the gameplay thanks to adding an increased sense of depth of field. This makes the intense fire-fights a little easier to master as you get a better sense of what creature is closer in range. This is something I struggled with in 2D that was pretty much eradicated when I turned on the 3D.

The online multiplayer is a welcome addition to the game that was sadly missing from the original. For the first time it is now possible to play through the original Halo: Combat Evolved co-operatively online with one other player. So now you can share in the experience of archaic shooting mechanics, weird Kryton cast offs and their annoying chatter with someone else! You can even suffer through the now infamous Library level, although thankfully 343 Industries have seen fit tweak that level somewhat to make it less tedious.

On top of the two-player co-op mode, there is a selection of multiplayer maps, all of which are played using the far superior Halo: Reach engine. This includes the full and almost beguiling spectrum of game modes Halo games now have. It?s even possible to install the maps found on the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition DVD onto the ?360?s hard disk and then play on them using Halo: Reach. These maps are select few remastered versions of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 maps as well as a formerly PC exclusive map.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition is a high value package of stuff that does much to serve its fanbase. My major concern with it, however, is that the underlying game has not stood the test of time. This has led me to conclude that while the elements that have been brought up to date are very welcome and well implemented, the underlying game is not really very entertaining for a contemporary audience.

SPOnG Score: 6.3 out of 10

If you?re not a Halo fan, this won?t do anything to convert you to the cause. There are much better FPS games out there that deserve your time and, more importantly, money. If you are a fan however, then I suspect you?ve already bought it!
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