Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Halo's remake hasn’t done much to push the envelope, but it’s a good stop-gap filler
- It’s a classic game, remade very competently
- Enough with this FPS formula, already.
It’s possibly the least spectacular Halo release to date, but it’s proof that Microsoft can handle this franchise without Bungie.
Price$ 59.00 (AUD)
The original Halo is a game we can simultaneously praise and hate. A real pioneer of the FPS genre, a lot of what we see in the thousands of FPSers released on a weekly basis have cribbed many of their ideas from trends Halo set in motion.
Indeed, while Halo itself might have just capitalised on a few of the ideas that were emerging from the likes of Call of Duty, it went a long way to popularising them.
For obvious reasons, the remake hasn’t done nearly as much to push the envelope, but it’s a good stop-gap filler while fans wait for the true new Halo game to be released next year.
It looks the part of a modern game — the visual aesthetic of Halo: Combat Evolved was superb back in the days of the original Xbox, and with a HD coat it really develops that big-budget, space opera atmosphere. Planets look suitably alien, enemies run around with a great fluidity, guns flash with the usual science fiction rainbows of colour. The only disappointment is in the facial animations during dialogue and cut scenes. That part is plastic and stiff, a remnant of the past that most modern remakes struggle with.
The game itself plays out much like the Halo we know and have played a million times since — run down a corridor (whether in a spaceship or the usual FPS artificial corridors of mountains, trees and invisible walls). Every so often you’ll run into a swarm of enemies. Kill them. Run down the corridor a bit more and kick off a cutscene.
Every so often you’ll have a vehicle section to “enjoy” (the Warthog could still use some control tweaking). And then eventually, after the explosions can’t get any bigger, it’s game over.
To be brutally honest I am thoroughly sick of this formula. Yes, Halo does it really well, and yes, it’s a formula that enough people seem to enjoy to make the FPS the dominant genre of the industry right now. After a few hundred of these games, though, it’s a formula that’s getting about as tired as playing the duck shooting gallery at a carnival a thousand times.
But then to many, that single player game is hardly the point of Halo. The multiplayer is where it’s at, and here’s an opportunity to play some really classic maps online, perhaps for the first time. Halo’s multiplayer maps are generally a balanced bunch and personally this game is a touch more accessible in multiplayer than, say, Call of Duty or Battlefield. You’ll still have to deal with the irritating children who have only just discovered how cool it is to swear, but at least the game itself won’t be so uncomfortable.
Ultimately Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is just a stop-gap. Microsoft needed to have something to tide fans over until Halo 4, and this does a reasonable job. The game itself is showing its age a touch, and does very little to advance a genre that is rapidly approaching stagnation. Those who have fond memories of the original game, and Halo fans who might have missed out on the original, should get a kick out of this.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk Support Analyst x3QLD
- FTC# (Full Stack) DeveloperNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperACT
- FTProject Co-OrdinaterNSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness Project Manager - DigitalNSW
- TPProject Support Officer - Data and Information ManagementVIC
- CCUX DesignerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTRACF Mainframe Security Analysts / Engineers - Multiple Roles - SydneyNSW
- FTSenior BANSW
- FTPMO CoordinatorNSW
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTC# / ASP.NET DeveloperSA
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- FT.Net Developer (x2)NSW
- FTSenior Oracle DeveloperVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst/Project MangerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst (BPMN or UML & Agile)QLD
- FTAgile Project ManagerACT