Review by Beldin

"The reason to own an Xbox is now on PC!"

The reason to own an Xbox is now on PC. And it makes the transfer rather well. I owned and completed the Xbox version so I will compare the two in this review.

Story: You are a genetically altered super-warrior referred to a the Master Chief. Your planet was attacked by a group of aliens known as the Covenant. Different races of aliens brought together by a religious need to wipe the Human race from the galaxy! Some humans get away from the attack only to find more waiting Covenant at the end of the light speed jump. Your ship is attacked and forced to land on a strange ring-world known as Halo!

Graphics:8/10: I start with graphics as it is a port of a 2 year old game. I have to say that it looks marvelous. But to truly appreciate the game you will need a nice gaming rig. And a DirectX 9 vid card is almost a must! The reflections(called specular effects in the menu) are beautiful! The bullet holes/casings, and blood effects are impressive. Rag-doll effects are nice but not perfect. Some strange looking results can be found when you kill something near a ledge! But you can also have the satisfaction of opening up with your rifle and lifting an enemy up off the ground and pasting it to a wall until you release the trigger. Overall the graphics hold up very well and were not distracting to me at all!

Gameplay:9/10: This is what this game is known for! You can only carry 2 weapons at a time and up to 8 grenades. This adds strategy to all encounters and you will naturally find a nice combination of weapons that fit your style! You can jump as well as use the butt of any gun as a blunt object to bash heads in with! Driving the many vehicles of Halo can take some getting used to, but becomes second nature very soon.

Sound:7/10: I had some problems with the sound at times. Most of the time it is wonderful, surrounding you with environmental effects that really put you in the game. But occasionally the sound for a specific source will cut-out. For example: the Warthog jeep's engine noise just stops occasionally if there are a lot of other sounds happenening around you. And unfortunately this tends to be a jarring experience! But for the good side, you can hear the bullets impacting different surfaces, shell casings bouncing off the floor, etc.

Multiplayer:8/10: The new maps and inclusion of up to 16 players online really make Halo multiplayer a fun experience. You have Deathmatch, capture the flag, racing and team combat to choose from. So it covers the UT experience of deathmatch and the CS teambased fun!

Overall the game is a wonderful experience that brings you back for more! The enemy AI is astounding on the harder levels and makes you want to get better to defeat them! I definitely recommend this game to everyone who has the rig to play it!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/03


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