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Halo: Combat Evolved

Developer: Bungie Publisher: Microsoft
15 November 2001
Halo: Combat Evolved - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.74 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
1,981 Ratings / 6 Reviews
#521 All-time
#23 for 2001
In a long-lasting war between humans and the alien Covenant, the cybernetically enhanced Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana are sent to stop the Covenant from utilising a mysterious ringworld known as Halo.
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2001 Bungie Microsoft  
DVD
XNA 6 59556 74516 5
2002 Bungie Microsoft  
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AU 8 05529 01768 9
2003 Bungie Gearbox  
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2011 343i Saber  
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2011 343i Saber  
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2011 343i Bungie  
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CA 8 85370 31465 6
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Title
It's a damn good thing that the gunplay is as awesome as it is, because the level design really hits the skids at the halfway mark. Such a shame, as the parts of Halo that were cutting edge back then still hold up today. The enemy AI and design is just really good and leads to a lot of tense and dynamic shootouts, and a wealth of weapons leads to a lot of options in combat...at least with the Covenant. The Flood and Sentinels are much more one-dimensional to fight, even if the in-fighting between all factions leads to some great setpieces. And although the music is surprisingly awesome and dynamic in its own right, the rest of the presentation is nothing to write home about, with a setting that only hints at a great wider story and otherwise features dialogue as stilted as any other game from 2001.

But it is the excellence of the game's combat which is testament to how much fun mulitplayer was. Both co-op and versus were the bee's knees back in the day, and it holds up near as I can tell. Other FPSes of the day had more solid campaigns, even stuff like Red Faction, but what Halo ushered in it did very well, even if the campaign has aged like milk.
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Lowlander2 2020-03-18T17:53:57Z
2020-03-18T17:53:57Z
3.5
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Still one of the greatest
This game did a weird thing to me where it started out feeling great, then had a dip where I really felt my enjoyment drag down from the tedium. Seriously, "Assault on the Control Room" is one of the longest levels I've ever played in a game, and I mean that more in feeling than actual length, because I'm pretty sure a couple later levels are actually even longer. And even if it stayed at that level, there's still a huge amount of praise I could heap on this game; the environments are great, the enemy AI is quite possibly the best in any FPS ever, and the general feel of the game was still something close to perfect.

Then two things changed:
- I switched from keyboard + mouse to controller, and
- I played with the anniversary graphics but with the brightness turned way down (somewhere around 2.5-3.0 I believe).
These two changes, plus the last five levels, significantly elevated this game way more than I expected.

For the longest time I've always thought FPS games played best with kb+m—like sure, you could play them with controller with aim assist and still have a good time, but actually playing them well and feeling the best? kb+m is generally more precise and gives a more direct feeling of control. And yet once I picked up that controller for mission 6, I never put it back down. The feel of using a controller to play was somehow magnitudes better than kb+m; likely a mix of some rather forgiving aim assist and the extra precision in moving around the left analog stick gives you. It turned the game from a rather long-winded shooting gallery to a journey through this hostile alien world, paced to my own emotions while playing. Halo wasn't just made to play on controller, it was designed for it.

As for the appearance change, while I certainly have my gripes with the Anniversary graphics changes (I agree with just about every point in Noodle's video about it, but just to summarize, it's far too noisy, destroys visual clarity, and is unfaithful to the original while not improving with its design changes), I really gave them a chance for the final half of the game after turning down the gamma rating quite a bit. Hard to be bothered by some of the biggest problems when it's so hard to see them, but one of the biggest problems initially with the Anniversary graphics was how bright they are, so it fits. But also, there is a small team still working on these games, updating and refining them bit-by-bit with each patch. They could have updated the lighting engine to be better than it was on release and I wouldn't know, either way the darker setting looks great. Now maybe bring back the original Xbox graphics instead of Gearbox's mutilations...please?

Changing to the anniversary graphics is the biggest reason why I think "The Library" is actually one of my favorite levels...even as I hear everyone else hate it. It's no doubt the longest, most monotonous level in the game, and yet for the whole level, that intense horror vibe from the start of it never leaves me. The almost pitch-black environments, the new-ness of the Flood and the general cosmic horror of their existence, it's some genius storytelling and atmosphere setting that really got me to take the story of these games seriously. I also just love how the Flood radically change the dynamic for how you play; now instead of the cover-based tactics used against the Covenant, the constant rushing of the Flood has you running and jumping around levels, getting in all the shots you can while not dying. Switching from Call of Duty to Doom without missing a beat. I totally understand why people write this level off for how much of a change in pace it is and how endless it feels, it just works for me in a major way. I'm pretty hyped for what comes next in a way I didn't think I would be at the start. And wow that ending, one of the coldest, most bitter-tasting endings I've seen in a while, wonder if that will be a running theme.

I guess I'm a Halo fan now.
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Pluginmonkey 2021-12-04T06:58:52Z
2021-12-04T06:58:52Z
4.5
1
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Extremely Influential
It's all been correctly said before: this is such an influential game (somewhat from its genuine innovations, more so from its commercial success) that made the Xbox a thing, Microsoft and Bungie big industry players, defined the console multiplayer scene for more than a decade, and helped elevate first person shooters to be the most popular genre of video game. Halo: Combat Evolved was influential on more subtle things as well, such as character design: it's easy for players to self-insert into the always helmeted, always first person super soldier that is Master Chief.

I'm not saying the gunplay, level design, or story and lore is the best or the best for its time, but it's all generally high quality in Halo: Combat Evolved and it's a fact that Halo franchise multiplayer was all the rage for the majority of the 00s. Many insults were uttered and many noobs were tea-bagged; lots of 20 and 30 somethings have nostalgia over calling their friends and strangers slurs on the internet in their parents' basement as preadolescents, rest assured. But really, it's a good game and the campaign is memorable. I personally thought the flood was an excellent twist, although not as dynamic as fights with the Covenant aliens.
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PeterGeach 2021-07-02T13:27:41Z
2021-07-02T13:27:41Z
3.0
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The original Halo is a massively influential action game that essentially defined how console shooters play, but as a single player experience it leaves a lot to be desired. Its gameplay is solid, but is coupled to some of the blandest, most repetitive level design you'll ever see in a game that isn't procedurally generated. What could be a very evocative setting is wasted endlessly traversing and back-tracking through anonymous copy pasted corridors. The remaster in the Master Chief Collection makes it a little prettier (and adds some poorly-written, poorly-integrated attempts to create continuity with the newer Halo games), but the basic issues remain.
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blargh4 2022-01-26T04:49:19Z
2022-01-26T04:49:19Z
3.0
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It's kinda bland and spening 30 minutes in corridors trying to find keyes nearly ruined it for me
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definitive best halo game because its the only game the magnum is the best weapon
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blue0x 2022-01-06T08:39:58Z
2022-01-06T08:39:58Z
5.0
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Catalog

retrobutonRYM Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-02-01T21:21:36Z
2023-02-01T21:21:36Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
incestcide_ Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-02-01T17:24:05Z
2023-02-01T17:24:05Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bgelinas Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-02-01T14:14:10Z
2023-02-01T14:14:10Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Vainx Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-02-01T11:35:17Z
2023-02-01T11:35:17Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
frogychairuwu Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-02-01T02:07:43Z
2023-02-01T02:07:43Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
doormatt456 Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-31T13:58:34Z
2023-01-31T13:58:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
andreh7676 Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-30T20:59:26Z
2023-01-30T20:59:26Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DiscipleNumbskull Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-30T18:31:06Z
2023-01-30T18:31:06Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Miniroltons Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-30T11:01:37Z
2023-01-30T11:01:37Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
phiasabanhead Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-29T21:16:14Z
2023-01-29T21:16:14Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pandasarecool Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-29T21:16:02Z
2023-01-29T21:16:02Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
philichili Halo: Combat Evolved 2023-01-29T05:07:26Z
2023-01-29T05:07:26Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
ESRB: M
Player modes
1-16 players
Media
1x DVD
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative , Deathmatch / FFA, Team play
Multiplayer options
LAN, Local
Franchises

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  • Previous comments (35) Loading...
  • SaneTBP 2022-05-29 16:46:16.902089+00
    this doesnt really work after youve first played its successors. i can respect it, but the level design and the combat was improved on later games
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  • ResetRPG 2022-07-12 00:43:55.195284+00
    Easily my favorite Halo
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  • one_lick_less 2022-08-14 04:03:05.712693+00
    The flood twist is genius and i'm not sure the game would work without it [2]
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  • inunonaizo 2022-08-18 15:34:29.697358+00
    did philip glass design some of these levels, goddamn
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  • Pumas 2022-08-26 03:07:13.119184+00
    Honestly think this game has the best levels of the series lol I don't understand the hate. Imo the backtrack levels are a testament to how well designed they are, they feel completely different. This game is light on narrative but the atmosphere is excellent and the combat is just perfect. I love every Bungie Halo, but this one has a slight edge over the rest imo.
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  • Lamneth 2022-10-06 03:09:26.251027+00
    this was so much better than halo 2
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  • Miry 2022-11-16 15:48:42.036845+00
    the multiplayer was so good. had a lot of fun with this one.
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  • frogychairuwu 2023-01-27 02:25:44.870529+00
    after spending 40 minutes in the library i believe this is the first evil-type video game
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