Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Review

Better than Halo?

Version tested: Xbox 360

Revisiting past masters is a prickly business that video games are only just beginning to dabble in, with varying degrees of success. Do you go for preservation or reinvention? Either way, you've got to tread carefully, for you're stepping on the precious memories of those who hold the originals dear.

There have been, of late, Bluepoint Games' delicate remasters, restoring Ico and Shadow of the Colossus to glories they never knew and providing a more modern theatre for the bloody spectacle of God of War. There are the curios, repackaged and reskinned for audiences new; witness Treasure's brilliant revivals of Radiant Silvergun and Guardian Heroes, and Daytona USA's 13-years-overdue homecoming earlier this month.

Then there are the remakes, a trickier business still, the most recent and most successful being Grezzo's reworking of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. An elegantly handled return to Hyrule that managed to offer a drastic visual overhaul while staying faithful to the tone of the aging original, Grezzo's masterstroke was presenting the game as you remember it, handling those memories with care and massaging them onto a new console.

Confusing Halo Anniversary with memories of Bungie's 2001 original is unlikely. Saber Interactive's take on the campaign throws up a surprisingly modern game thanks to its aesthetically aggressive makeover, throwing in everything you'd expect of a first-person shooter in the HD age.

It's an approach that can work to brilliant effect, too. The beaches of the Silent Cartographer, Combat Evolved's most lauded set-piece, are now lapped by more dynamic waters that reflect a redrawn skybox, the thin clouds of the original lent new volume, an added dash of purple being thrown into the previously clear blue expanse.

Old textures are ripped out and replaced with ones more fit for purpose on an HD screen, while Marty O'Donnell's soundtrack - re-recorded by the Skywalker Orchestra - thunders out in full-blooded 5.1 surround sound, lending a sense of Hollywood that the original could only allude to. One button washes away the new look in a near-instant, and Halo's classic visuals, untouched but now presented in 16:9 widescreen, look shockingly simple in comparison.

Anniversary looks like a modern game, and it's the greatest testament to Combat Evolved that, with the mechanics of the original untouched, it plays like one too. Bungie spent the best part of a decade trying to recapture the brilliance of the original campaign, and it's arguable that it ever really managed to - and the likes of Reach and Halo 3, for all their many achievements, certainly never bested the tale of Master Chief and Installation 04.

As a first-person shooter, Combat Evolved remains a remarkably open experience, and in the context of this year's slew of Simon Says shooters, a refreshing one too. There's a dizzying sense of freedom that undercuts even the most scripted of moments: set-pieces like the fraught opening of Truth and Reconciliation are still alive with possibility, while Assault on the Control Room, with its contrasting expansive battlefields and tightly woven honey-comb interiors, remains a masterpiece of level design.

3D implementation sparkles - Halo's plasma splashes and bright alien worlds would always be perfect for the effect.

It's a perfectly tuned toy-box, and one that's a pleasure to tinker with. At times, when playing on Heroic difficulty, the trial-and-error nature seems more akin to a Trials HD than any shooter contemporaries; a little delicate squeeze of the trigger at just the right moment can break you out of a fatal loop in which every failure is met with Master Chief thrown across the scenery like a doll being violently discarded.

And what toys Combat Evolved offers. Playing with Halo's original set of tools - before they were mutated, watered down or repurposed - is an absolute treat. The Magnum pistol remains gloriously overpowered, a pocket-sized powerhouse that's just as effective close up as it is at long range, and it's met on the Covenant side with a Needler that's utterly brutal. The Assault Rifle, meanwhile, is as reliable as it ever was, perfect for painting pockets of enemies with peppery bullet spray.

Ten years on and the Covenant forces of Combat Evolved still impress with their intelligence in a fight. Elites, when faced on the right difficulty level, are infused with a menace that's undercut by the comic relief of the Grunts, Halo's divisive cannon fodder. (And for what it's worth, I don't find them as much as a nuisance as some. You can, after all, always stop their chatter with the butt of your rifle.)

"Bungie spent the best part of a decade trying to recapture the brilliance of the original campaign, and it's arguable that it ever really managed to."

There is, of course, the Flood to consider too, and the passing years haven't been kind to an aspect of the original that's always been a sore point. Their arrival still heralds a noticeable sagging in the campaign towards the latter half as they make their presence felt, and one of the only legacy problems that Anniversary finds itself having to face.

Anniversary's real problems, though, are more intangible, and the appendages to the aesthetic upgrade come across as either wrong-headed or just plain wrong. Kinect features are limp at best - an Analyse mode bathes the screen in thermal vision, with objects scanned to a library where they can be examined later. It is, though, more than a little awkward in implementation, and the rewards - a series of 3D assets dimly illuminated with some scant text - are hardly worth the effort.

It's one of the omissions that cuts the deepest. Multiplayer sits awkwardly aside the main campaign via a series of classic maps playable in Reach's separate game engine, which also hosts a new Firefight map - Installation 04 - that's modelled after one of the second level's Forerunner structures. A more powerful Magnum helps complement the nostalgia, but it's a poor substitute for the four-player split-screen of the original that's sadly been nixed for Anniversary.

Terminals are one of Anniversary's new offerings, little panels ferreted away in corners of the remastered campaign that expand on Halo's increasingly stretched mythology. There are glimpses, for those immersed enough in the lore to decipher them, of what lies in wait for Halo 4, though it's ultimately jarring to see the simple sci-fi of the original mixed in with the weighty and self-important mythos that's increasingly marred the series. It's a conflict that's felt more urgently elsewhere.

Here's Halo then; here's Halo now.

There's a grating tension at the heart of Anniversary, and its visuals, for all of their splendour, lack the harmony of Grezzo's work on Ocarina of Time. Instead of being teased into the new look, the original's artwork is too often just trampled over. The golden brown dust of Combat Evolved's world has been turned to burning white sand, while the dark expanses at the depths of the Forerunner architecture have been lit up and filled out with panels of electric-blue steel. There's still a sense of wonder here, but it's a more garish one than the melancholic fantasy conjured by Bungie.

And if at times Anniversary's new look is insensitive, at others it's just plain clumsy. Some of Bungie's visual cues have mysteriously not made the journey over to the remastered version, the flashing doors that signpost the way in Assault on the Control Room being absent in Anniversary's new mode. Cloaked elites, meanwhile, are hidden within the new detail and clutter, demanding that you often have to switch over to the classic visuals in order to progress.

It makes for a curious game, and one that's as problematic as it is exhilarating. This is no longer Bungie's Halo, though much of what made the original so successful is here and intact. It's an awkward reinvention that manages to be at once faithful and a little wide of the mark. But such is the strength of Combat Evolved, this is still an Anniversary that's worth celebrating.

8 / 10

Read the Eurogamer.net scoring policy

Comments (105) 2 months ago

Comments threads automatically close after 30 days, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!

  • mrpon #1 3 months ago

    Crap comment here.
  • rauper Verified Managing Director, Eurogamer Network #2 3 months ago

    Who's going to say it...
  • JohnnyCullen Verified UK News Editor, VG247 #3 3 months ago

    Equal than Halo? /baddumtish!
  • thedaveeyres #4 3 months ago

    Eurogamer/10

    It had to be.
  • StolenGlory #5 3 months ago

    Another 8/10 score from EG.

    Not as good as Halo then.

    *Thought I would get all that silly shit out of the way so others can comment without resorting to the same, tired posties each time either a Halo game is reviewed or an 8/10 score is decided upon by EG*

    There you go; two birds, one stone.
  • the_dudefather #6 3 months ago

    AS
    GOOD
    AS
    Uncharted 3
  • Beano #7 3 months ago

    "And if at times Anniversary's new look is insensitive, at others it's just plain clumsy. Some of Bungie's visual cues have mysteriously not made the journey over to the remastered version, the flashing doors that signpost the way in Assault on the Control Room being absent in Anniversary's new mode. Cloaked elites, meanwhile, are hidden within the new detail and clutter, demanding that you often have to switch over to the classic visuals in order to progress."

    After all the hype and bravado about respecting the original game :(

    Getting my copy tomorrow, hopefully it's a non-issue...
  • Wizard83 #8 3 months ago

    an 8, well colour me surprised!
  • darkmorgado #9 3 months ago

    My copy has just landed :D
    Excellent, just what I need after the hugely disappointing Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
  • Dr_Salvador84 #10 3 months ago

    As good as Brink then.
  • adofessex #11 3 months ago

    @darkmorgado what was disappointing about AC:R?
  • RedPanda #12 3 months ago

    Post deleted at 14:31:59 28-01-2012
  • darkmorgado #13 3 months ago

    @adofessex The tower defense game is probably the worst bit - truly, truly awful. The FPS bits are like what would happen if Ubisoft had invented portal, but without the creativity, imagination or sense of humour. The zipline is pretty much redundant, the story is paper thin, the city lacks variety and feels a lot smaller than previous games (no exploring outside the city boundaries this time round), and bomb-making isn't as useful as has been made out.

    It's a good game, but a step back for the series. Very much more of the same, with all the new additions varying from pointless to utter gash.
  • schnide #14 3 months ago

    Post deleted at 09:51:22 12-12-2011
  • lavalant #15 3 months ago

    Never noticed this review hidden away in the news section, I'm happy and content with my Backwards compatible Halo:CE copy, but I might pick his up when it's a bit cheaper (yanks get it for $40 so hopefully it's region free) if only for the online co-op.
  • Armoured_Gideon #16 3 months ago

    "the four-player split-screen of the original that's sadly been nixed for Anniversary."

    What in the bloody hell? Is the 360 not capable of something its Dad could do?
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 14:30
  • onyxbox #17 3 months ago

    If 10 is the new 8 then 8 must be a 6 right?

    :)
  • cloudskipa #18 3 months ago

    I received this game on Saturday thanks to Shopto and I'm really impressed with it. It's testament to how good original Halo was that it can still stand up with the best of them ten years later. The graphics overhaul 343 have implemented is HUGE, it looks so nice now, I think I may even prefer it to Reach in that respect. I also think that Halo has the best single player campaign out of the series, I'm enjoying this in very much the same way as I did on my first playthrough at launch. The best FPS game this year imho.

    So another overly critical review from Mr Robinson then. I disagree his comments regarding the clumsy visuals, I've had no trouble spotting cloaked elites and not once felt the need to (or even thought to) switch over to the classic mode. In fact cloaked Elites are supposed to be just that...cloaked. Or else what's the point?? The OoT comment was just bizarre. But then after the Forza 4 review I'm not surprised by much he says now. Sorry.
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 14:47
  • Mister-Wario #19 3 months ago

    I always like playing these games with their original graphics, wherever possible. I just find it interesting to see how far, graphically, we have come over the years. I had the pleasure of playing Dino Crisis last week on PS1.
  • lolercopter #20 3 months ago

    Mugwum should've reviewed it.
  • philreid #21 3 months ago

    Well cover me with eggs and flour and bake me for EIGHT minutes!

    Fair review - disappointed at the prospect of multiplayer which has been polluted with turd, but I'm still chuffing buying it!
  • Phantom_Dynamite #22 3 months ago

    Yeah been playing this quite a bit got a back log of games, so I thought I'd just play the 1st mission and all that nostalgia comes flooding back games plays amazing hence I couldn't put it down, just finished the silent cartographer, Good times.
    I was really hoping for 4 player co-op but since the original was just 2 I knew it would not happen with out major changes.
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 15:10
  • miiiguel #23 3 months ago

    Found it in Lisbon today. Woot. 40 Euro..., quite good actually, for our standards.
    This is one of those titles that if not for anything else one has to have it, for historical reasons.
    Popular culture history, like it or not.
  • Darren #24 3 months ago

    I got my copy on Saturday but I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with it to be honest.

    The graphical upgrade is very nice, it goes without saying, but it seems the decision to include the original engine as a switch in the game has resulted in the HD makeover not running as smoothly as it perhaps would have. It works brilliantly in undemanding games such as the Monkey Island series but here the game judders and jerks every time it loads data off the hard drive (it's installed) or autosaves at checkpoints. It's not terrible but it does distract from the otherwise polished look somewhat.

    And given how ugly the original mode now looks anyway, especially compared with the upscaled AA-enhanced Xbox version when running on the 360, I think they'd have been better leaving as a seperate mode altogether personally so the new engine could have been improved and tweaked further. They didn't even bother adding any AA to the original engine, perhaps to highlight the differences between the SD and HD versions further.

    Terrific game, still by far the best in the series IMO, but not quite the HD makeover I was hoping for. Oh well.
  • Darren #25 3 months ago

    P.S. You cannot switch between new and old graphics during cutscenes either so there's no way to compare them directly.
  • Shadders #26 3 months ago

    @Armoured_Gideon There was no four-player split screen co-op in Halo CE. There was only 4 player split screen competitive multiplayer and you can still do that. The reviewer is mistaken.
  • ThePissartist #27 3 months ago

    What's the 3D like?
  • bdaggers #28 3 months ago

    Why bother with a review score these days ? It's gonna be an eight.

    Unless its not.
  • morriss #29 3 months ago

    " though it's ultimately jarring to see the simple sci-fi of the original mixed in with the weighty and self-important mythos that's increasingly marred the series."

    Yeah, that's why EG Gave Halo 1 a 8, Halo 2 a 9, Halo 3 a 10 ad Halo Reach a 10. because it's got worse....

    ;)
  • Shadders #30 3 months ago

    I've been playing this over the weekend and I have to say it's the best FPS I've played this year. It feels remarkably modern when playing with the new visuals, there is very little about the gameplay that separates it from any new FPSs.
  • Armoured_Gideon #31 3 months ago

    @Shadders Thanks for clarifying. Didn't expect co-op, but four player split-screen Blood Gulch accounts for approximately 90% of my university life.
  • Diomedes117 #32 3 months ago

    It's got better enemy AI than BF3-MW3, that's for sure. And it's sad also...
  • wizlon #33 3 months ago

    If this version scored more than the original Halo then I think the planet would have imploded. /crisis averted
  • darkmorgado #34 3 months ago

    Well I'm really enjoying it so far. The graphics are lovely, the weapons have a real kick. The achievement list is really good as well, there's some rather imaginative ones in the list.
  • Armoured_Gideon #35 3 months ago

    @darkmorgado All achieves are single player, am I right in understanding?
  • miiiguel #36 3 months ago

    From what I've read there are some Achievements for coop
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 16:02
  • DarthMartious #37 3 months ago

    The £39.99 question: Does the Library *shudders* still suck?

    *Edit*
    By implication, people negging this post liked the library level and are therefore de facto slack-jawed cretins.
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 20:09
  • Al_Swearengen #38 3 months ago

    @Armoured_Gideon

    The 360 is perfectly capable of doing 4-player split screen. Split screen made sense in a pre-XBOX LIVE world, but in 2011 why sell 1 copy of the game when you can sell 4?
  • ps-360 #39 3 months ago

    How would the kinect work with this?!!!8/10 what a shock!
  • Koborover #40 3 months ago

    Enjoying it so far. The great thing about Anniversary is that with the graphical upgrade it doesn't feel that dated (compared to Halo Reach for instance). The ingredients that made Halo great were there from the start: cool weapons, awesome vehicles, above-average story and characters, wide landscapes, decent AI, epic set pieces, wonderful music etc.
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 16:24
  • ps-360 #41 3 months ago

    @darkmorgado would you say that brotherhood is better? Did you play online?
  • RodHull #42 3 months ago

    @RedPanda

    It was hardly a negative review. A glowing report card on the gameplay and AI, with demerits for slightly wooly visuals and disparate multiplayer. Eurogamer gives out a lot of 8's because a lot of recent games have been good enough to warrant this score.
  • dirtysteve #43 3 months ago

    Heavy negs for anyone who points out that the review and score don't seem to match.
  • darkmorgado #44 3 months ago

    @Armoured_Gideon

    There's a mix of singleplayer and coop. There aren't any for competitive multiplayer as they have their own achievements when you redeem your DLC code for Reach.
  • darkmorgado #45 3 months ago

    @ps-360

    Brotherhood was much better. Revelations is more of the same, but with new crap bits that do their best to spoil the experience.
  • ps-360 #46 3 months ago

    @darkmorgado would you not recommend buying this then I take it? How do you get your games so early?
  • coolbritannia #47 3 months ago

    Post deleted at 09:51:22 12-12-2011
  • Ror1984 #48 3 months ago

    A rather bizarre review :/ It seems very nitpicky, and I came away with the feeling that it's an almost entirely different game at times. Which it isn't. Granted, some areas do look rather different (though I do like that they do), but the game still plays identically. Well, except for the bizarrely increased difficulty, which the review essentially neglected to mention - and I'm not the only one to notice that difference.

    And the terminals are fan-bloody-tastic for those of us that like the lore. Plus there are skulls to be found as well, which are gameplay modifiers (Grunt Funeral is brilliant) and the new maps, which can be downloaded and played in Reach. For £30 it's an excellent package, and it still plays beautifully.
  • Badassbab #49 3 months ago

    Version Tested: Wii
  • mcmonkeyplc #50 3 months ago

    You people make me sick.
  • megalomaniacs4u #51 3 months ago

    Does it still have the cut & paste levels and the hideous backtracking?

    If so 0/10
  • robbiejc85 #52 3 months ago

    @Armoured_Gideon With you on that. Nightmare. That's the ONLY reason I wanted to buy this - relive those maps again like th good old days, you know, in person!
  • ucankurbaga #53 3 months ago

    Version tested: nintendo ds
  • darkmorgado #54 3 months ago

    @ps-360 I preorder through Shopto. They normally get the game to you early. I'd skip this one, or at least rent it or wait for it to drop in price. The review is up now, and it points out perfectly what's wrong with Revelations.
  • scuffpuppies #55 3 months ago

    Great game, great review. Feel the love...
  • BBIAJ #56 3 months ago

    @Darren The lack of graphical switching during cutscenes irks me greatly, as it's something they banged on about being able to do pre-release.
  • Raziel #57 3 months ago

    I've been playing it co-op over the weekend and while it's awesome to play trough again, we've both had terrible stutter and frame-drops while playing it...
  • NunianVonFuch #58 3 months ago

    @Shadders Thanks for clarifying that. Main reason I get the Halo games is for the split-screen multiplayer, heart was in mouth when I read it in the review!
  • UkHardcore23 #59 3 months ago

    Good to see we are back to the 8's.
  • Badassbab #60 3 months ago

    My copy arrives tomorrow but from what I heard there are some pretty unforgivable issues. Unforgivable in the sense that they shouldn't be there. First of all it's sub-720p. Will we ever play a proper HD Halo game on an Xbox platform? Second of all the frame rate can be dodgy. Now considering this is a 10 year old game surely they could've got all this perfect? I suspect as others do the on the fly switching back and forth between the old and new graphics engine had a part to play. As for Kinect integration, I'm almost certain MS forced this hence the half arsed attempt.

    Maybe I'm being a bit harsh as most 'HD' remakes this gen have been nothing more than uping the res and frame rate while Halo CEA is pretty much an overhaul so the developers had their work cut out BUT perhaps it would've been nice if MS had taken that route ala GOW Volume 1 & 2. 1080 or 720p @ 60fps (with an option to cap it @ 30fps) 16:9 Widescreen + 4XMSAA? Doesn't sound so bad now does it.
  • anomagnus #61 3 months ago

    Well, wouldn't it have made a mockery of the entire review process, if they had given it a higher score. The game play is nearly the exact same, its only been made shiney. That the even gave it a score seems a bit daft.
  • ruisranne #62 3 months ago

    I'm really sorry, but I'm so angry right now... I will get negged, I dont care.
    It feels that this review didn't even scratch the surface of Anniversary. And, if I understood correctly, this guy also reviewed Forza 4? If so, how does he even get to review 360 games anymore?
    Look, I'm not a MS fanboy, but this game, Halo CE is my favorite game of all time. This is the game that made me a gamer. And I'm trying to be objective with this.

    I was 11 back then, I remember when every morning I ran to my friends house, before school at 7:30 (my parents didn't know why) just to play Halo. Even to get 15 minutes of playtime before classes was all I, we, needed. My friend lived just across the street from our school. And right after school it was Halo-time. Till this day, I must have played Halo CE the most (and I've played a lot). I played the original with another friend of mine about 6 months ago, and that feeling still rushed in as the bumblebee landed on the ring, and the Halo world opened up before my eyes... My god the game still felt good, played fantastic. And even, LOOKED great. Pure nostalgia. Pure joy.

    But then.... this review... I feel it didn't even scratch the surface (this is the part where the negs start to mount up). This wanker didn't even go to the multiplayer maps (check achievement hunters previews of them on youtube, they... look... Fantastic...)neither did he mention the skulls. And the multiplayer still has AS IT DID 10 years ago have 4 player split screen (NOT the fucking campaign, theres only two pods for chiefs on the Pillar of Autumn, dumbass!!). And if I understood correctly from Major Nelsons last podcast, you don't have to swap discs between Reach and this, so the multiplayer should be a seamless experience. The first couple of paragraphs made me so happy, but then the nitpicking started about that Elites, that have cloaking, are CLOAKED!! (Yea, I know! Those bastards at 343, what have you done!!!). And the kinect features? Fuck 'em.

    The new design of the game looks just delicious, everyone familiar with the original has been in awe of it. Switching all the time between classic mode and the new around every corner, just reminiscing...
    With all these fucking half-assed 'remakes' and HD versions that has been coming out recently, one game, one studio that really tries to honor the original, keeping the soul of it, the history, the feel of it intact and trying to really still deliver something new, with love, it gets a shitty review from a shitty reviewer. Fair, huh?

    /Rant over, goes to drink self to sleep.
  • kirankara #63 3 months ago

    As good as halo:ce was, it was really repetitive at times, with a lot of retreading areas towards the end. Really think people look back with rose tinted glasses, and that other games, in series are better
  • Toothball #64 3 months ago

    This is probably my favourite strap line to any Eurogamer review.
  • Ror1984 #65 3 months ago

    @kirankara - that could only apply to people that may not have played it in years. I've played CE a ton over the years, most recently in the run up to the release of Reach. So a little over a year ago. It still held up wonderfully, as does Anniversary. Yes, there is a bit of retreading in CE, but when the core combat and controls are such unadulterated fun, it's much less of a problem than it would be in, say, a scripted corridor shooter.

    I, for one, am definitely not looking back through rose-tinted glasses.
  • cloudskipa #66 3 months ago

    @Badassbab Oh please, this game is gorgeous looking, it's actually sharper than many native 720p games out there. In fact there's nothing in the overall look of the game that would suggest "sub 720p". I bet if DF hadn't of ran that demo analysis back at E3 you wouldn't of known any different. Remember, 343 also said they made a LOT of improvements since the E3 code too, so you are assuming it's the exact same code.

    But it's insignificant anyway to be honest. The high resolution textures and awesome lighting is why the framebuffer is a bit lower, this game is pushing the Xbox. 720p is not the goal, awesome visuals are, which this achieves.

    I would of HATED a "GOW Collection" style remake, that game looked horribly dull and outdated even if it was rendering at 720p @ 60fps (see how resolution doesn't really matter?). This game looks way sharper than that and the additional effects they have piled on top is pure eye candy.

    I've not personally suffered any stutters that weren't already in the original (like when it autosaves). I have noticed a bit of texture pop in occasionally if you switch between the engines often but that's understandable.
  • cloudskipa #67 3 months ago

    @ruisranne Yeah that's fair. Well said mate, I'm right behind ya. The Forza 4 review also carried similar negative undertones throughout with constant comparisons made to other games. The cloaked Elite comment was ridiculous. The multiplayer wasn't even discussed, only moaned about and there' inaccuracies such as he 4 player split screen comment and not a single mention of online co-op. The Kinect features were always throw-away to begin with, we knew this an it wasn't supposed to be anything great, even 343 said that themselves.

    Mentioning Grezzo's work on Zelda OoT 3D is just weird to me, it's not even a valid comparison because he moans about 343 being insensitive to the original art style of Halo yet the whole original, upscaled in 16:9 and looking as good as it's ever looked is INCLUDED alongside it at the single press of a button.

    I'm not angry about the score, it's not that, it's the words and the tone of the review itself, it's the exact same feeling I got from the Forza 4 review; very nitpicky and jaded. I feel in the situation of Anniversary Collections and such-like, give the review to someone who A) knows what they are talking about and B) has affection for the series. After all this is a game for the FANS and this review does not do it justice.
  • kirankara #68 3 months ago

    @Ror1984 the controls are wonderful in all the halo games, I just felt later games were tighter in terms of a cohesive, non repetitive game play.
  • Badassbab #69 3 months ago

    @cloudskipa

    Ok maybe I went a bit overboard and I guess the resolution isn't my main concern, it's the frame rate. But it would be nice to play a modern Halo game that's HD and with some decent AA. And in case you didn't know the developers of the campaign are Saber Interactive who's last game averages 39 on Meta.
  • ajaxpliskin #70 3 months ago

    Was anyone else hoping for forge and more multiplayer?
  • ruisranne #71 3 months ago

    @cloudskipa +1 I know, right? I basically didn't mind the score either, but basically deducting two points because he can't see cloaked enemies?
    But the crappy review aside, the multiplayer maps look absolutely gorgeous with the sheer amount of detail in them. Everything looks and feels really well thought of.

    @ajaxpliskin If I'm not completely wrong, Forge will get an update with new objects and scenery like trees and whatnot. Or at least there was some talk about it. I remember this from some panel a while ago, but I'm not 100% sure about this (it could be already). Either way the multiplayer maps will also be playable in Halo Reach, where the Forge exists and you should be able to play around with the maps in there.

    I'm really not worried anymore about the future of Halo without Bungie. Everything 343 and co. has made so far has been fantastic.
    Edited by 1 at 14/11/11 @ 22:15
  • kirankara #72 3 months ago

    Gotta love fanboy responses to reviews . Ok., you don't feel.same as a reviewer does about the game, but that doesn't make their own experience of game any less valid. I didn't agree with the overall conclusions of uncharted 3, but the dudes entitled to his opinion, and saying he shouldn't review the game , as he's not gushing over it is retarded. Not everyone will love the game having played it either.
  • Ror1984 #73 3 months ago

    @kirankara - honestly, I somewhat agree with that point - I was just offering a counterpoint to your rose-tinted glasses theory ;)

    Until recently, I was one of those "CE is the best!" guys. In the run up to Reach, I played all the games in a row (having played all of them many times over the years anyway), and it was only then that I realised how much better Halo 3 is (personally speaking, of course). I hadn't played them that close together since 3 released, and Halo games always take a while to really sink in for me. Who knows, maybe by 2013, Reach will be my favourite!

    CE had something none of the sequels could ever replicate though - the sense of wonder and mystery at setting up this whole new universe. Sequels can either be vague, or expand on the setting. Expanding on it carries the risk of ruining the setting, but being vague could translate into a boring game that gives you nothing to get interested in. Considering I have all the games, and much of the extended material, I'm sure you can work out how I feel about that.

    And I can't fucking wait for Primordium.
  • VeyronMick #74 3 months ago

    Was more a fan of the BBT Danger Canyon but would like to give this game a go again.
    Is Blood Gulch included?
  • cloudskipa #75 3 months ago

    @Badassbab 343 Industries developed Halo Anniversary. They used a game engine borrowed from Sabre Interactive (Saber3d) that suited the specific purposed they wanted (to be able to run both games in tandem). So I really do not understand the point of highlighting their last metacritic score when they didn't have a hand in developing it..
  • kirankara #76 3 months ago

    Post deleted at 09:51:22 12-12-2011
  • kirankara #77 3 months ago

    "CE had something none of the sequels could ever replicate though - the sense of wonder and mystery at setting up this whole new universe."
    Can't argue with that mate
  • cloudskipa #78 3 months ago

    @kirankara Not a fanboy, but I understand what you are saying. However I think this is a different scenario altogether to Uncharted 3.

    This is an Anniversary Collection designed for the fans to celebrate the original Halo and the series as a whole. A lot of love and hard work has gone into this game and as such it should be reviewed accordingly ie. by someone who can appreciate the lengths 343 has gone to, to celebrate the game's 10th birthday. NOT by someone who is neutral to the series, as the majority of people who will buy this game will be Halo fans...

    The same fans who played it 10 years ago and were amazed by it. The same fans who dreamed to play it with online co-op yet there's not even a mention of it! The whole of the multiplayer has been woefully dismissed simply for using the superb Halo Reach engine (which works wonderfully well and adds even more value to the package, that's 3 engines in 1 game for a budget price!). How can that be right?

    I hope you understand the difference here and what I'm trying to say.
  • Subdominator #79 3 months ago

    @cloudskipa You're totally wrong, the game was developed by Sabre, 343 was just overlooking production and giving them access to Reach assets. The only thing 343 did is the terminals and the multiplayer.
  • cloudskipa #80 3 months ago

    @Subdominator OK that's fair enough if I am wrong, apologies. I personally don't care about that (or if Certain Affinity were involved) and if that is the case then the Wikipedia page needs updating fast because it does not credit them in any way other than use of the game engine. Though I still do not see the point in bringing up this developers past game scores from metacritic when they only programmed the graphics engine on a game that isn't even theirs.

    I am sure 343 done a little more than that though, they obviously directed and oversaw the whole project, Halo is their Franchise now after all. I guess they are hard at work on Halo 4 anyway so having other teams help develop this is a good thing.
  • kirankara #81 3 months ago

    @cloudskippa, kinda appreciate your point, although don't necessarily agree with all your points. Uncharted 3 review had many similar issues too. Just let it go, as like you said , its the fans of series who will buy game and most likely feel differently to the reviewer.
    I don't personally feel.that the reviewer should be a fan of a serieS, but should judge game on its own.merits.
  • Oceadge #82 3 months ago

    I only got about a third of the way through Halo on the Xbox before getting bored and just a little further when I started playing it on the 360. I have this one on pre-order...I hope I can force myself through to the end this time so I can play Halo 2 and then 3 etc.
  • steagz #83 3 months ago

  • ilmaestro #84 3 months ago

    Still can't believe they thought this was a good month to release this.
  • darkmorgado #85 3 months ago

    The idiots claiming that the difficulty has been adjusted need to take off their rose tinted specs and replay the original, because it's clear that they have been spoiled by a decade of patronisingly easy difficulty settings in modern games. The game IS EXACTLY THE SAME other than the graphics. The original code is fuelling the whole thing, only with an added modern skin on top.

    Is it harder than recent Halo games? Yes. But that's because Halo has become easier over the years, not that the original has suddenly jumped in challenge.
  • ambar_hitman #86 3 months ago

    Halo CE= Brink= Uncharted 3. AWESOMESAUCE.
  • irve77 #87 3 months ago

    Well , as with most games , and certainly with a retro one there is no point picking this up untill it's in the sales.

    Lets face it this should have been released at a budget price in the first place.

    If guardian heroes can get released for £6 how is this game worth £40.
  • jablonski #88 3 months ago

    @ ruisranne

    Well said mate.
    It's hard to write an impassioned defence of a game without sounding like a bitter fanboy, but you put a very good case forward
  • Cobalt_Jackal #89 3 months ago

    @irve77 I agree completly, i mean £40 pounds for what is essenstially a remake (its 10yrs old and its not even HD lol). But yeah £40 is defo a right piss take for a game like this.
  • braydee89 #90 3 months ago

    8/10.com

    for £25 I might pick this up.
  • Toothball #91 3 months ago

    @cloudskipa

    The game may be for fans, but the review is for the Eurogamer audience. I actually prefer this more whimsical review style to a list of hard facts about the game. I like the Forza 4 review for example, because despite laying out two pages of criticism it was still awarded a 9. That left me eager to discover what about the game earned that score in spite of any issues I might also encounter.

    I'm not so interested in reading a review of this game by a Halo fan, because the chances are they're going to enjoy it a great deal. They'll have a good time revisiting areas and set-pieces that are probably at least as good (if not better) than they were ten years ago, and wax lyrical about the hours of delight they're having with the game online. I'm not a Halo fan though, although I can appreciate that they're well built games and provide a solid experience. A review like this is ideal from my perspective, as it tells me what I'm likely to think about this release.

    It's easiest to criticise something you really love than something you have no interest in after all.
  • layleeloo #92 3 months ago

    I think i would have stopped reading EG if this got more than an 8. Although I liked it at the time - its boring as shit now
  • Bawlsz #93 3 months ago

    @Cobalt_Jackal and irve77
    The game isn't £40, its £25-£30, $40 in the US, normally retail games in the US is $60, and retail price usually £40 in the UK.

    So get your facts right, its is around the same price as other HD releases, but this isn't some simple up-scaling.
  • Uncompetative #94 3 months ago

    @ruisranne "...and that feeling still rushed in as the bumblebee landed on the ring..."

    LOL. WUT?

    I think the gentleman meant "Pelican".
  • Bedders Verified Content Editor, Eurogamer Network #95 3 months ago

    @coolbrittania I think I just accidentally vanished one of your comments. Sorry about that :-(
  • Springchicken #96 3 months ago

    @Uncompetative Nah, Bumblebee. He means the escape pod thing.

    These comments are wearying, especially those complaining about nitpicking. This is a re-skinned Halo: CE. You know what it's like. You know exactly how it plays, what it involves, whether you'll enjoy it. The only thing left for a reviewer who wants to inform their audience is to nitpick.
  • Morte-360 #97 3 months ago

    If I'm honest I have considered picking this up but I've brought Deus Ex,Space Marine,Modern Warfare 3,Battlefield 3, Dark Souls, Uncharted 3, Football Manager 2012,Arkham City,Stronghold 3,Skyrim,Revelations and have being disapointed and returned 4 of them and given away 1 of them (Guess witch) and have not had anywhere near enough spare time to complete the rest (Got a couple of days of for Skyrim at least), I still have not even opened Football Manager,Uncharted or Dark Souls.

    And Saints Row 3 is preordered basically they are realeasing this at the worse possible time My girls birthday is on the 25th, Ill be Dumped or slaughtered if my excuse for not getting a good presie and a good night out is I dont have enough money because of 'Halo Anniversary'. Why have so many games come out the last two months if it wasnt for sainsburys I would be especially fucked:S. I just can't justify spending over £30 on a re-make of a 10? year old game with how much crap I've brought this month have to give it a miss.
  • ruisranne #98 3 months ago

    @Uncompetative No, a pelican is a dropship, bumblebee is an escape pod. At least they used the word 'bumblebee' on Major Nelsons podcast when talking about the small aircraft landing on Halo the first time. Put the game in, gentleman, they didn't land on a pelican. ;)
    I myself played, and finished the game today on one sitting. I do know what I mean.
  • JetSetWilly #99 3 months ago

    Have they added ADS or is the Chief still running around with his arms spot-welded to his sides at right angles?
  • BlinkeredAxis #100 3 months ago

    Thanks for the review, it's really good. The standard of writing and objectivity on this site is generally really good.

    Just had to add some balance. Sometimes I find the negativity towards great games and talented journalists just a little bit repetitive in these threads. It might help some of you to try being positive about something, maybe once a month to start with, and then to increase the frequency until it gets to be a habit.

    Then write something nice about a reviewer, or a game on a console you don't own.

    Further therapy is available at 800 MS points per hour, or free if you purchased the season pass.

    Carry on the great work EG!
  • Skywalker2345 #101 3 months ago

    Man. How can you spend an entire review just talking about the graphics. Anywho, who cares about the graphics? It's Halo. 90% of people buying this game know what they're getting without having to read a review. The remaining 10% learn little about this game because Halo is a timeless classic. Doesn't really deserve an 8/10, especially at its price point.
  • dr_zoidthrob #102 3 months ago

    Just picked it up in Game (of all places) for £25. Bargain. Silent Cartographer nearly brought a tear to my eyes :)
    Edited by 1 at 17/11/11 @ 13:58
  • Biker_Bob_1971 #103 2 months ago

    Having played this, I really wonder what all the fuss about Halo actually was. It's a dreadful walk to the end when the flood appears. Seemingly endless rehashed rooms and corridors with a seemingly endless steady stream of respawing flood thingies. Then there's the dreadul handling of the Warthog, back again when they nailed it so prefectly in Halo 2. Why bring this back? For the frustration of the end level to be rekindled? I stopped at The Maw. When I start to yell at a game, I know it is time to change discs. It's mediocre at best. Actually, I cannot understand why I ever liked Halo in the first place.
  • jabberwocky #104 2 months ago

    4 player splitscreen slayer is still in there btw. i just think the reviewer was looking for the actual splitscreen option. select a custom match and sign in 4 profiles and it works fine.
  • Marshall2008 #105 2 months ago

    Martin Robinson has now proved that he is pish at reviewing games. In fact I would go as far to say that he has not even played this one at all otherwise he would know that it does have 4 player split screen mode.