Review by peach freak

"What a great port over from the Xbox"

Halo was pretty much the greatest game created on the Xbox, but the computer version was just as awesome. There are very little flaws with the computer version, and if you don't have an Xbox, I hope your computer is powerful enough to run this game.

Story
It's the year 2552 and planet Earth has become overpopulated, forcing people to get out of Earth and make their own colonies elsewhere. Space travel is a big reality now, and because of that, people are living in habitable planets in other solar systems. Days before this happened, the Covenant took down planet Reach, home of where SPARTAN II soldiers were trained, and are now trying to find the location of Earth. With the ship the Pillar of Autumn, there is one last SPARTAN II in a cryo tube inside the ship, known as a Master Chief, who will try and prevent the Covenant from finding the location of Earth. A ring in space is also discovered called "Halo", and soon to be found out that it can destroy all of the living universe, and it is your mission to get to it and destroy it before the Covenant are able to use it.

Graphics: 10/10
Halo's graphics were a huge step up from earlier games. For these types of graphics, you're going to need an excellent video card to play this game, also needed at least a 733MHZ processor, 128MB of RAM, and you'll need 1.2GB of free hard drive space. Aside from the required specs, you can adjust the game to higher resolutions, and it looks nice and crisp on high resolutions. The marines have been designed nicely, outer space and weapon animation look realistic, and the Covenant sure look like real enemies to face and take on. You can easily tell which enemies are which, as they come in different shapes and sizes. Each weapon looks different, and the covenant and human ships look great as well. You also have the atmospheres and backgrounds, which have an awesome design and flow to both the levels and the game.

Gameplay: 9/10
This is just like the Xbox version, but the PC version had a few step downs from the Xbox version. First, the excellent part is that all 10 levels are still here. You start out in the Pillar of Autumn and by the time you meet your captain, Jacob Keyes, you will have learned how to use your controls and how your shields and health work. By that time, you'll get a Pistol to start getting into action and you will also have Cortana, an extremely smart AI, to help you around and tell you what to do. Sometime in the middle of the game, the pillar of Autumn will have been crashed and disabled, and you must find out a way to destroy Halo during the game before it can wipe out the entire galaxy. You will board Covenant ships, find on the ground, and you have vehicles to your aid and as well as the available weapons, even if it means killing a Covenant to get a weapon. This game has non-stop fighting action in it, even if it means playing on the hardest difficulty, Legendary. Yes, the game's difficulty can be adjusted, and this can determine how much fun you will have in the game.

Then being on the computer, you can play online as well. You can have up to 16 players in a deathmatch game, where you can have red team vs. blue team in Capture the Flag, a team match, or just an all you can kill FFA (free for all) in every man for themselves, adding on to the fun in this game. The people on your team can also make all the difference in how fun the game is. But the bad part about multiplayer is that Cooperative play has been removed from the PC version of Halo completely, so it's bad news for those are aren't big fans of deathmatch. In Multiplayer, new maps have also been added and so have new weapons, such as the Fuel Rod Gun (the powerful gun Grunts use in the later levels) and the Flamethrower. There is also a Rocket Warthog, which has a rocket launcher in the back instead of a machine gun turret. You can also use the Banshee as well in multiplayer, and you couldn't use it back in the Xbox version. Another multiplayer addition is the stationary guns the Covenant use, but they aren't as useful online.

Now here are the flaws about both this game and multiplayer. In single player (and multiplayer as well), the controls can drive you nuts, as you are using a keyboard instead of that old Xbox controller you loved using. So using the mouse to fire and turn and W, S, A, and D to move around. When I first started playing this, the controls drove me nuts and I could not get used to them at all, but the good part is that the controls are CUSTOMIZABLE any way you want using almost any part of the keyboard. Even with customizing, it won't feel the same as the Xbox controller and it still may take a while to get used to. But if you do happen to get used to the controls, you can become a pro at the PC version. For bad parts in multiplayer, you will most likely come across a vehicle freak who will kill you nonstop with a vehicle and camp around the respawn spots killing you before you can even move a foot. So just watch out, as it may get you annoyed.

Sound Effects: 9/10
Another awesome and realistic part about this game. The sound effects are awesome and right now I have found no major flaws anywhere, and a decent sound card (or maybe even onboard sound) should be able to handle this easily. The firing of a gun sounds realistic to the sounds of the voices from Cortana, the marines, and the Covenants voices sound awesome too. Elites have a really cool voice when talking but the voice of the Grunts are pretty annoying, from them screaming to saying "I SEE HIM". There are also some sound effects that really scare me, such as those Covenant machines that make all these noises and beeps, and most of the time when you are near one of these, nobody's around to fight you or anything.

Music: 8/10
The music in this game is pretty good, and when there is music, it's just about right for the action you're in. Like when you're inside a Covenant cruiser, "unique" music may start playing once you approach a control room. When it action, the "Halo" song will start playing. But when playing a level like 343 Guilty Spark, scary music will start playing because during the cut-scenes from that level, it feels like somebody may be watching you, and then the scary music will start playing. But sometimes the music may annoy you when you're not in the mood, so you can just turn down the volume in that case. But there isn't any music that is too loud in this game, so don't worry.

Replayability: 9/10
No matter how many times I play this game, I never get tired of it. After you beat the game, you can play any level you want on any difficulty. Or you can start fresh from the first level and play again for fun or you could play on a higher difficulty to become a better player or such. With a friend over, or if you have 15 other people playing online with you, there will be pretty much endless fun in this game. This is also a great game to play when you are extremely bored.

Final Recommendation:
This is a PC game, so you can't rent it, but it needs the CD to run anyways. If you are unsure of whether you want to play this game or not, try downloading the demo from Gamespot to see what it is like. If you like it, then I'd really recommend buying it, otherwise you may want to stick with other games you are into. But this game is definitely worth buying, as it is one of the best games on the computer in my opinion. You could also buy it for the multiplayer too. If you're still not too sure about this game, try comparing it with the Xbox version and see which one you would prefer more.

Overall: 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/20/05, Updated 04/19/06


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