Halo: Combat Evolved Review

Halo: Combat Evolved is a 2001 first-person shooter video game that was developed by Bungie Studios and released for the Xbox, Xbox 360, and PC. It is the first game in the Halo franchise and details the story of a super soldier named the Master Chief and his A.I. companion, Cortana, as they explore the artificial ringworld called Halo while combating the Covenant, a group of aliens bent on mankind’s destruction.


Positives:

  • Extensive campaign
  • Great voice performances
  • Great soundtrack
  • Competitive multiplayer
  •  Interesting story

Negatives:

  • Dated graphics
  • Linear campaign

Campaign:  Features an extensive campaign with a very immersive story as well as challenging gameplay.  The story is exciting but does gradually reveal the secrets of Halo as players take on the Covenant as the Master Chief and Cortana.  Master Chief and Cortana initially feel like flat characters but as the game progresses both not only show themselves to be great characters but the bond that forms between the two is solid.  A split screen mode allows players to play the campaign cooperatively and the experience is actually pretty fun.  It is great having another player take up arms against opponents especially during the tough spots or during harder difficulties. Perhaps the only problem with the campaign is that it can feel repetitive at times (players having to go attack this point or defend this point) and that it is incredibly linear.  There are no branching paths in the campaign.  (4 out of 5)

Gameplay:  Very challenging gameplay though it won’t be something new to players of first-person shooters.  Enemy NPCs can be challenging though obvious at times.

Graphics:  Visually the game is somewhat dated compared to today’s standards. The backdrops are beautifully crafted and do display a magnificent as well as massive appearance to the environment.

Score:  The game does feature a fantastic soundtrack. The voice performances are on point. Great use of sound effects.

Content:  In terms of replayability this is where the game does seem a bit lackluster. The multiplayer aspect is highly competitive and very enjoyable for multiple friends both local and online. There are several difficulty modes for those who crave a more challenging experience. Playing Co-op is an enjoyable experience and adds a level of depth to the campaign especially on more difficult settings. There is a serious lack of unlockable content that would help made the main campaign worth going through two or three more times.


The Verdict:  In the end, Halo: Combat Evolved is a very good first person shooter. Despite the linear campaign and dated graphics the game does have a competitive multiplayer, a good story, great voice performances, a bad ass soundtrack, and a challenging gaming experience. Halo: Combat Evolved gets 3 out of 5.

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