|117 is back|
I can scarcely believe it's been ten long years since Halo: Combat Evolved first graced our living rooms. I remember first playing Halo with a good friend of mine (I didn't own an Xbox at the time!) huddled around a 19" portable television, elbow to elbow and loving every minute.
Halo really set the standard for console based first person shooters and it's co-op experience was second to none. My friend and I spent countless hours tearing around the first level in a Warthog, mowing down the enemy and plunging off of the occasional cliff. Ah, fond memories!
Being an Xbox exclusive, It could be argued that Bungie's masterpiece was single-handedly responsible for the success of the Microsoft's first console. After all every platform needs that essential game to put it on the map. Halo was undoubtedly that game.
A decade on and the Halo franchise now rests in the hands of 343 industries who will soon honor us with a re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved simply titled Halo: Anniversary.
Anniversary will undergo a major face-lift with fresh, 2011 visuals created by Saber interactive. However, the game mechanics that we all know and love will remain untouched as changes to the game are 99% cosmetic.
Original fans of Halo: CE will be overjoyed to learn that the original graphics can be restored at the touch of a button (the Back button I believe) meaning that the entire game can be played as it would have been back in 2001. The switch can be made at anytime including during cut scenes.
|Do Spartans dream of sheep?|
In addition to this, Martin O'Donnell's original musical score has been completely re-recorded with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra. Some of the synth-heavy parts being replaced and the entire soundtrack now being audible in the glory of Dolby 5.1 surround sound.
Co-op will also make a comeback, with two friends now being able to team up over Live as well as via the traditional split-screen and system link options.
As if all that wasn't enough, players will have instant access to the multiplayer mode that was originally designed for four players around a single console (or eight with a system link). Multiplayer for Halo: Anniversary is being revamped to include seven original maps that have been re-imagined and the highly contentious Xbox Live play option. Multiplayer mode will be included on the same disc as the single player campaign, unlike Halo: ODST, and feature the mechanics that we have grown accustomed to in Halo: Reach.
I am ecstatic about Halo: Anniversary and can't wait to get my hands on it. This is just what fans need to keep them busy until the release of Halo 4 in 2012. What with this, Skyrim and Assassins Creed: Revelations all due out at the same time, November is shaping up to be a very anti-social month for me. That's what Xbox Live's for though, right?
Halo: A brief history
Halo: Combat Evolved - Fantastic graphics, gameplay and a lovingly crafted universe that inspired a cult following. A great boost for Xbox.
Halo 2 - The continuation of the great elements that Combat Evolved built up, as well as that a revolutionary multiplayer experience on Xbox Live.
Halo 3 - New graphics engine, new enemies, new generation. Halo's first outing on the Xbox 360 was a treat for all the senses.
Halo Wars - An unusual departure from the usual FPS to real-time strategy. The first game to come from a different developer, Ensemble.
Halo 3: ODST - A large side story that took the focus off of the familiar protagonist, Master Chief, and put the player in the roll of an ODST Trooper.