Ever since Halo was first launched for the Xbox and PCs, way back in 2001, it earned for itself a hallowed place in the annals of first person shooters. Developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo completely transformed the FPS genre and broke several barriers creating a name for itself in the gaming community. Till this date it is one of the best FPS games out there and receives loads of respect and appreciation from fans and critics from all over. In order to commemorate this great game, the studio released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Most of the basic mechanics like the story, soundtrack and other such features remain the same but it has definitely got a new touch to it that makes it stand out from the original. Back in the day the original Halo was beautiful to look at as it captivated the player while allowing him to explore the vast world. In the new remastered version the graphics are stunning and absolutely amazing to behold. The visuals are redesigned to perfection, the lighting brightens up each pixel with delight and the environments come alive on the screen providing the player with a truly immersive experience.
There is also an option provided to the player to switch between classic and remastered modes if he so wishes to. Stark differences can be seen in the graphical advancements compared to the flatter older version. The lighting has a major impact on the luminosity of the environments and truly makes it stand out. The audio has been tweaked to finesse as the player can hear shots being fired with greater impact over the sweet and serene soundtrack that remains a classic till this date.
The campaign is not old hat; in fact it has a few new additions that make it a memorable play through. There are numerous new terminals present in each level that trigger cutscenes which offer new perspectives on each character and tend to hint about the Halo we might encounter in future games. The combat has certainly evolved in this edition. The enemy AI is ruthless giving you no time to breathe as they maneuver around the player waiting to strike with brutality. The gameplay mechanics such as aiming and shooting has risen sharply and the player will be surprised to see the fantastic response of the control system.
The multiplayer aspect does not have the option to switch modes but this does not really impact the gameplay. The player is given only 6 playable maps out of a possible 13 though most of the other ones are placed in other Halo games. The same vigor and vibrancy can be seen in the multiplayer maps too as they have been remastered to bring the best to the player. The Kinect features added include players being able to scan the environment to gather information regarding the Halo universe but the action commands don’t react so well.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is definitely worth the player’s growing collection as it takes a classic game and turns it upside down to give it a completely new and exciting spin.