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Halo: Combat Evolved – Xbox

Halo: Combat Evolved – Xbox

Cover ArtPlatform: Xbox

Developer: Bungie

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: November 15, 2001

Genre: First Person Shooter

Nerd Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

 

 

There is no question I am not a fan of first person shooters, yea their fun for a little while, but a little repetitive for me. Halo is my exception to the rule, the sequels as well, but I’ll review those later. Halo CE, also known as Halo 1, is the first in a series of games that inspired comics, novels, internet shorts and even a movie. The online competition that revolves around these games can be extremely brutal and merciless, there are even tournaments held, although I have never played this one online. My introduction to this game was a dim lit den, with lots of people I didn’t know, and they were in the middle of playing a 4 player free for all locally(they weren’t online). On a 27″ tube TV with the screen cut into four squares, it was not the most flattering for first impressions. I’m not a huge fan of multilayer either, of any kind, except of course, for Halo. This was a new beginning for me, as the last enjoyable FPS I played was 007: Golden-eye for the N64.

ring planetPNGThe “Halo” is not the name of the main character as I thought when I first played, it is a ring planet created with countless others by the Forerunners, a race long extinct, for reasons I cannot explain without spoiling the plot. The main character, Master Chief aka Spartan:117 is a cybernetically enhanced super soldier weighing in at 1000lbs with armor and standing a ghastly 7 feet tall. The mystery around this guy is ridiculous, you will never see him take off his helmet and this just leads us to believe he is too awesome for our feeble human eyes. His holographic side kick Cortana rides around with him in the computer system of the suit he wears, she is pretty unimportant in this early game, as drama goes anyway, but she does relay some game changer information towards the end. master chief and scorpionThe super soldier is allied with the UNSC or United Nations Space Command to protect earth, as by the twenty-sixth century the whole planet, all nations and races, have resolved their petty differences and created a united front. The bad dudes in this game are more than just stupid aliens, they are pretty freaking scary with the level of defense and suicidal tendencies they harness, not to mention some impressive weapons. The UNSC is more than prepared to take out these Blue freaks with an impressive arsenal of their own, with everything from the M6D(handgun with zoom capabilities) to the M19 SSM(Rocket Launcher) and a few goodies in between.

The game starts in the UNSC space ship called the Pillar of Autumn, where after a brief period of learning how to move the character, the Covenant furiously and violently attack the ship and it’s occupants with no mercy. The player is handed a pistol and a few rounds, then shoved into battle. More weapons and ammo can be picked up along the way, as well as some grenades. After fighting your way to an escape pod, your adventure on the ring planet begins. EliteThe enemies you will encounter include: Grunts, the small little gas mask wearing suicidal freaks; Jackals, dread lock wearing, velociraptor looking snipers; Elites, the intelligence behind the Covenant and deadly in combat; Hunters, giant worm creatures that are almost invincible and fire a huge green plasma beam out of the gun/arm; and the dreaded Flood, a parasitic, hive mind race with the ability to animate and transform dead bodies into brutal killing machines. As for drivable vehicles for the UNSC, you get: the Scorpion, the quad-tread tank, slow but powerful;warthog and the Warthog, pretty much a souped up HUM V with a turret, I really enjoy driving this vehicle, once you get used to the controls it’s a blast. As far as Covenant vehicles you’ll enjoy the Ghost, a hovering speed bike with plasma blasters and the Banshee, a one man air craft, with evasive maneuvering abilities, all around great fun with the vehicles.

I had no trouble getting into the storyline and really enjoying the game once I started playing the campaign. With the quick start, straight through the action packed missions, this game is pretty involved. The storyline is directly tied to everything you are accomplishing as it is being accomplished. One of the items that set this game apart is the difficulty options, on most games I would leave this setting on Normal, play the game, then be done, but not so with the Halo series. Once you get used to the play style by playing it on Normal, you are expected to play this again on the next difficulty Heroic, and again with the hardest and almost impossible environment, Legen… wait for it… Dary, yea Legendary. I have never had much luck on this ridiculous setting, and Heroic seems to be perfect to really challenge yourself and still enjoy the game. Custom settings involve sensitivity for the “looking around” control, this can be perfected to become a crack shot, I realize I am not an extremely good sniper on this game because I like the sensitivity to be high, which doesn’t allow for the slow movement required to be a good marksman. down the barrelThere is a good balance though, somewhere in the middle that allows you to change targets quickly and still be accurate.

The A.I.(artificial intelligence) of the enemy combatants is extremely profound for the time this was developed. This is certainly the first game I’ve ever played in which enemies would panic when you kill a leader, or jump out of the way if you are trying to run them over. floodThe A.I. system developed for Halo CE is sophisticated enough for the enemies to not only attack the player, but also the flood, which are a faction of their own. About the only thing I like about the flood is their capacity to distract the Covenant. You will learn to run…fast…backwards, as this may be the only way to survive in some situations, or just scream like a girl(no offense to girls, but come on) and hope to reach a check point before your health meter is depleted. At the finish of this game you will realize the battle has just begun, and John-117 with his trusty blue female cohort will wage many wars together in the name of human protection and galactic freedom.  Once the campaign has been exhausted on all difficulties, or just one, the multiplayer is a great way to unwind, or wind up either way it proves to be exciting on all fronts. I have to give it to Bungie on this one, well done my friends, well done.

 

 

Written by Nerd Bacon

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  8. Halo was probably the single biggest reason I got into “modern” video games at the time. During its hey-day I was a freshman in college and everyone was so excited about the dorms having Ethernet connections and doing all kinds of Halo shit 24/7. I was such a lamer the first time I picked up one of those giant controllers. But I finally got into it, and then that summer discovered the equally impressive campaign mode.

    I still reach for Halo 2 or 3 whenever I want my fix, but I’ll always remember where it started.

     
    • My fall back Halo is actually Reach or 4 now but 3 was awesome with all the special equipment, like the deployable shield and the radar jammer.

       
  9. Shadow Links says:

    Lol, actually just ordered that xbox the other day. Only played Halo CE a few times on console, but I played large matches on the PC at summer governors school once. Everyone is in the same room made it even more fun. Still an amazing multiplayer. Need to go ahead and review the Anniversary Edition I have sometime.

     
  10. Dude I have so many great memories of this game. That first sequence of the a Flood attacking in their insane numbers was just mesmerizing! And the multiplayer mode was the best multiplayer FPS since Perfect Dark, and actually way better. Just a marvelous game!

     
    • Totally agree with you NB, I actually have the green Halo CE version Xbox. I really did love the split screen on this one.

       

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