On November 15th 2001, Microsoft and Bungie introduced a new game as a companion release for the first of their Xbox consoles. Featuring a cybernetic super soldier fighting to preserve humanity in the universe against an onslaught of alien invaders, Halo became a worldwide phenomenon. Ten years later and more than 34 million copies of all the games sold worldwide, Microsoft are honouring Master Chief’s tenth anniversary with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition.
Featuring a completely overhauled graphics engine, support for co-operative and multiplayer gameplay over Xbox Live, and remakes of multiplayer maps from previous Halo games, Halo: Anniversary is a bumper pack of single- and multiplayer goodness. Kinect support also adds to the fun, but the single-player campaign has been structurally untouched.
It all seems very familiar, but the updated graphics aren’t a sloppy attempt to make a bit of money — it is obvious that great care has been taken by new developers 343 Industries and Certain Affinity in bringing an iconic game into a new decade, though its graphics are still not quite on a level with Halo: Reach.
The multiplayer is fast-paced and exciting, but not at the expense of fun. It resembles more a ‘best of’ — a greatest hits collection of Halo’s multiplayers to date. Coming in at £10-£15 cheaper than other shooters on the market, this could be right up your street if you’re feeling nostalgic.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (2011), published by Microsoft, is available on Xbox 360.