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Halo Anniversary Edition review (Xbox 360)

Pending | 1541d ago | User review
Reviewing: Halo Anniversary Edition
Graphics Evolved, everything else perfectly preserved
Yes, it has been that long. This is the ten year anniversary of Halo: Combat Evolved, I was playing this game splitscreen co-op during my early years of college. Arguably the game that introduced most people to First Person Shooters on consoles.
But in my view, was possibly the greatest Sci-Fi action adventure game anyone could ask for since MDK. You could say that Halo is just a first person shooter but it's more than that. The game encourages you travel through the environment with the occasional Warthog, Ghost or Banshee and to me, that's what Halo is all about. The jump from first person to third person in a physic defying vehicle without a hitch, suddenly changing the perspective of the skirmishes and from shooting, mowing down roadkill.
Other games have tried to mimic, but just haven't pulled it off. The truth is, only Halo can do Halo gameplay and before this. I believed that Bungie WAS Halo. but 343 and Sabre Interactive prove otherwise.

Halo: Anniversary, is exactly the same game you played 10 years ago. By that, I mean just mean the gameplay. Everything else is different. The graphics, improved. the soundtrack remastered and never sounded better, Skywalker Symphony Orchestra have done O'Donnel proud. The cinematics are exactly at the same angles and everything is where it should be.
But what makes this so special is the BACK button. Honestly, the BACK button is what makes this quite possibly the best HD remake yet even shaming recent PS3 efforts. It's pure genius to build over the original engine of a 10 year old game, update everything graphically and allow you to revert the graphics on the fly after a short blackout. I'm not saying that Halo: Anniversary has the best graphics ever, because it doesn't but it shows enough to show the huge jump of modern graphics and the structure and environment of Halo looks all the more better for it, in short, this is Halo 1 looking like Reach aside from character models.

Most interestingly, Halo Anniversary is a warm up for 343 and the fans to lead to the next trilogy of Halo games. Sure, there are a few retcons, Master Chief may look better than ever, vehicles and decals may be redesigned and Cortana looks more like she did in Halo 2 onwards. The assault rifle now looks the same as the one in Halo Reach we all found hard to get used to, but it still has that little compass on the display. The infamous pistol is back and this time done properly, not just like the power improvement in Halo ODST. All these things are brilliant improvements and we've not even mentioned the skulls to find which make additional playthroughs interesting or the new video terminals to find.

The terminals are worth talking about theirselves. I won't say any spoilers, but there are some really interesting threads being developed for the backstory of Halo 4, we don't know half of what happened. It's real exciting stuff, there are insights of minds going rampant due to loneliness and a most disturbing terminal which makes you realise the pain and torment the resistors of the Flood go through. Which by far is the best terminal I've found so far.

Halo Anniversary is an excellent package and I admit, I only played the campaign and not the Reach engine powered multiplayer. But this is Halo: Combat Evolved before Halo was mainly known just for being a hyper multiplayer shooter to take online with a campaign for free. It's about the adventure, discovery and the pace of the story. A real treat for Halo fans and a great way for those folks who have only played Halo from 2 or 3 to understand the whole pacing of the series. Most of all, with 343 Industries publishing a product like this. Halo is CERTAINLY in good hands and I eagerly await Halo 4 the continuing adventures of Master Chief and Cortana. This is for Halo/Master Chief fans and honestly, you'll keep the original in your collection too.

Lastly. Sabre Interactive might be a developer to look out for. The last company to have overnight success after porting Halo was Gearbox after Halo PC and look where that developer is now.
True Halo:CE experience
Better lighting in levels
Cracking remastered soundtrac
Character models step down from Reach
It ends.
Cortana's voice seems quieter
Graphics If this a brand new game, the graphics wouldn't be that impressive, what makes the graphics impressive is the huge jump from what you were used to. Blinking Forerunner lights are now fully animated decal loops. The lighting is vastly improved in levels such as 343 Guilty Spark and The Library.
Sound Just as lively, creepy, rocky, fast paced and electronic as the original. A really great remastered soundtrack. All original voice actors.
Gameplay Players who followed the series from Halo 2 onwards may have difficulty getting used to not hijacking vehicles and not having any kind of shields to drop or guns to tear off which may seem a bit backwards. Even worse if they first started from Reach as there is no running or pickup ability.
Fun factor Being slowly introduced to each kind of vehicle makes the game have an excellent pace instead of 'Level 2; jump on a tank'. You go on foot, Warthog, Ghost, to Tank and finally Banshee. It really feels like you're progressing and that's what makes Halo:CE different than the sequels.
Online Didn't take online. But the Reach experience with the Halo:CE pistol can't be too bad.
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)

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Halo Anniversary Edition

Average Score 9.0 Reviews(2)