“Halo: Combat Evolved” was the game that helped to introduce the original Xbox console to the masses. Ten years ago, Bungie introduced a revolutionary first-person shooter to continue with its previous successes in PC gaming. “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” is a remake of the original and a tribute to the many fans of the “Halo” franchise.
The first notable change from the original to the remake is the upgraded graphics of “Anniversary,” which now comes with high-definition graphics, and includes support for 3D televisions. Since the upgraded graphics only add a new layer on top of the old graphics, switching between the old graphics and new graphics is simple, but reveals how different the game looks now compared to when the game was first released. The graphics of the remake are incredible, they make the game seem more realistic and bring new life into a game that is now over a decade old.
The campaign of “Anniversary” is played exactly like the campaign of the original “Halo.” The physics and AI are the same, with the same animations, weapons and powerups. For example, elites will still shoot around their feet and howl when they are killed. The level “The Library” is still a long, arduous walk through the multiple levels of a building while fighting waves of the parasitic enemy known as the “flood,” all in order to retrieve a key. The voices are the same, although the remastered editions of the game’s music add more depth to the game and allow players with better speaker systems to enjoy the clarity the remastered music brings with the option to switch back to the original game music.
Using the “Halo: Reach” engine for multiplayer and firefight gameplay, “Anniversary” brings new renditions to the favorite maps from “Halo” and “Halo 2.” The armor abilities and new weapons introduced in “Halo: Reach” are used in the multiplayer matches, with the same modes and look to the screen as the multiplayer section of “Halo: Reach.” In the future, gamers that have not purchased “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” will have the option to purchase the remade versions of the original maps to be played within “Halo: Reach.”
Of course, the hidden secrets that “Halo” fans love, skulls and terminals, make an appearance in “Anniversary.” The skulls add or remove abilities in order to change the player’s experiences during the game. The terminals show a fascinating backstory to the game, and give a further understanding into the AI “343 Guilty Spark.”
In all, “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” is a great update to the franchise’s origins, allowing newcomers and true Halo fans to enjoy the benefits of modern graphics and features and is a good purchase.