STAFF REVIEW of Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)


Wednesday, March 27, 2002.
by E Nomini Patri



Halo: Combat Evolved Box art Halo was, is, and will be the most memorable gaming experience to me for a long time. The first time I placed the disc into the drive and booted it up, I was in awe at the graphics, sound, gameplay, and very immersive story. The first level was intense as I learned the controls, and tried to get to the next level to continue the incredible experience! When I first stepped outside, I was in awe at how real it looked. I could almost smell the grass and the waterfall flowing serenly over the edge. I got dizzy when I looked down the side of the cliff and witnessed the incredible drop (especially when I fell off :)). The trees were swaying realistically as if there was a slight breeze and the sun shone through the graphically advanced leaves like it was actually there. These are memories I will have for a long time. I played for 3 days straight after I opened that shrink wrapped case and found myself dreaming about Halo many times. This game has amazed me, enticed me, intrigued me, shocked me, freaked me out, and plain horrified me! The last level is incredibly fun and suspenseful. I especially enjoyed the credits at the end!


The controls are absolutely exceptional and makes you wonder if the controller was made for Halo instead of the other way around! The story was smooth, shocking, and suspenseful all the way up to the end, which still leaves you wondering. This game is an unforgettable experience! And, if you actually get tired of sending aliens to Hades, there is still an incredible multiplayer experience waiting for you and your friends if you can stop taking turns with co-op mode! Don't forget the vehicle aspect of the game! I love the smell of tank fuel in the morning! Driving the vehicles is extremely fun because the physics are really defined! You and a friend can each grab a Warthog and have a demolition derby for hours on end and not get bored!


The graphics make this game even more believable! You can play with very little slow down inside and out. The Warthog kicks up dirt and rocks, the tank cannon creates large explosions that look good on screen, and the damage models are really good for the Ghost and Banshee! The weapons look great when they shoot and reload. Every object in the game has specular lighting that looks incredibly realistic. The visuals in Halo are enough to make your mouth water!


The music in this game is really intense! It comes on at the right time, and, in certain parts, can be really spooky (level 6 anyone?). The weapons, vehicles, enemies, explosions, and voices are really well done! Some of the things the Grunts and Marines say are hilarious and can make you wet your pants! I enjoyed playing with the bass all the way up! BOOOM!!!


Suggestions:
Take all the time you need for Halo 2 and do your best to take advantage of the hardware capabilities presented by the X-Box. Take the good from Halo and magnify it 100x in the sequel. Halo will be hard to beat, but I know that Bungie is perfectly capable of making a sequel that will make Halo look dull in comparison. Can't wait for the sequel!


Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10

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