The Year is 2552, bent on Humanities Extinction, a powerfull fellowship of Alien races known as the Covenant has been wiping out Humanities outer and inner colony worlds.
After the fall of Planet Reach you and and the other survivors of Reaches destruction make a desperate attempt to lure the Covenant fleet away from earth.
Shot down and Marooned on the Ancient ring-world Halo, you begin a guerilla-war against the Covenant while you you race to uncover the mysteries of Halo.
Well, on my first playthrough through the main storyline I guess what first got my attention was the games musical score in the opening scene that sets the mood, the great voice Acting helps aswell, Marty O' Donnel did a superb job with the soundtrack.
The Controls in the game are also very well thought out, the best controls in a console Shooter since Goldneye and Perfect Dark on the N64. The additions of two grendade/weapon limit one button for everything (grenades and melees aswell as regenerating shields also makes this game innovative to the FPS genre in it's own right.
The AI is very well put into the game, the Elites Constantly take cover when in danger, Grunts will run away when the odds tip in your favour, but sometimes enemies will get stuck in geomitry, or even jump off of edges to their deaths in order to dodge your grenades.
I think what stands-out the most though is the awesome story Bungie created that many of todays Gamers can relate to, especially in a post 9/11 world where Religious extremists are after us in the name of their Religion.
The games Multiplayer though was where it got allot of recognition though, 16 player Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and gametypes like Oddball and Capture The Flag really set this game apart and at the top for LAN tournaments and get togethers, the game also has two player Co-op.
The games main storyline though has it's fualts, after the 6th mission you fall into repetitive level designs and you revisit old locations from previous missions, but the final warthog run in order to beat the clock while everything is blowing up around you makes for an adrenaline pumping moment.
I would reccomend this game to anyone, whether you are a casual gamer or hardcore gamer, or just looking for something to pass the time, you will find something here that you like. The storyline also has many plot twists that will surprise you and leave you in shock at times.