I have never loved the Halo series. In principle, I was not interested in this universe. But some time ago, I was presented with “Halo The Master Chief Collection” on Steam, and I decided it was worth a try. After playing “Halo Combat Evolved” (Anniversary), I would like to share with you my opinion on the game 20 years ago. And if you are still not familiar with this series, this review may be useful to you.
As I wrote just above, I played the Anniversary Edition. This reissue was released in 2011, in honor of the tenth anniversary. This edition is characterized by the fact that during the re-release, the developers completely redid the graphics in the game. Textures, models, lighting, interface. Everything has been completely redone.
As a result, even 10 years later, the visual of the redesigned version looks more than good. Although it is worth recognizing that in some moments, the original visual still looks more appropriate, although it is poor in texture. Fortunately, the developers have foreseen this and added to the game the ability to change graphics between the old and the new with just one click. And now, even 20 years after the original release, albeit thanks to the re-release (although the re-release itself is already 10 years old), the game does not scare at all with its visuals. We can easily dive into this project without experiencing any problems with it. Although, of course, the animations remained clumsy.
I will not talk about the plot of the game in great detail. This is a very large franchise with a massive layer of games. You must have heard something about her. I will give only a small annotation, for those who, like me recently, are still not familiar with it. The plot revolves around a conflict between humans and the Covenant, an alliance of alien races that have declared war on humanity. You are a genetically enhanced superhuman called the Master Chief. Your ship was attacked, and, having fought back, you are forced to land on the nearest planet.
In general, the plot of the game is not intricate and simple. For the time being. The game has an interesting plot twist (which, of course, I will not spoil), which completely changes the atmosphere of the game. From a simulator of shooting enemy aliens, the game turns into a simulator of shooting enemy aliens, but with elements of horror. The game itself serves as an introduction to a large (already large) universe and the ending makes it clear that the most interesting is ahead. Although, who knows, I’ve only played the first part so far.
The gameplay of the first “Halo” is, suddenly, an ordinary shooter. However, there are some peculiarities. First, it is a scale of health. The main character has two such scales. The first is the scale of the shield. Your character absorbs a certain amount of damage, which is absorbed by an energy shield. Over time, the scale of the shield is restored by itself and with the proper skill, you will not even need to think about the second scale. The second scale is already a real scale of health. If your shield is at zero, then the Master Chief remains defenseless. The health bar no longer regenerates on its own. Here you will need first aid kits. Such a feature has become a feature of the series in multiplayer, where TTK is considered one of the highest among shooters.
Secondly, one of the main gameplay features was AI and the behavior of enemies. All alien opponents are divided into classes and they interact with each other. If the local “commander” of a handful of opponents dies in combat, the smaller minions will start running around and panicking. Also, enemies react to how you fight and the weapons you use. And this is all in 2001.
And, thirdly, a little about complexity. This game has several difficulty modes and each level is balanced in its way. After modern games, where often the big difference between the difficulties comes down only to the amount of damage taken/dealt by the character, this approach is pleasing.
However, there are also some downsides. Sometimes you will come across levels for the passage of which it would be best to use technology. And the management of local machinery is terrible. I don’t know how things are on the gamepad, but the local jeep was very difficult to respond to my commands from the keyboard. It constantly drifts to the side and in places where you need to drive into a certain narrow place, it just hurt me.
At the time of its release, the first Halo was a revolutionary project. It was the first shooter with adequate console (gamepad) controls. It was, if not the first, then one of the first multiplayer shooters on consoles. Well, what now? Now, after so much time, this project remains adequate for story shooters. The genre itself is not in the best shape right now, which is why such old titles can please you on cold winter evenings. Moreover, thanks to the redesigned graphics and excellent AI of the enemies. The project is played cheerfully and not at all outrageous. If you love to shoot and are looking for an interesting universe, and are still not familiar with this franchise, Halo Combat Evolved is worth a try.