Review by TheRedneck14
"Halo: Corrupted Emulation"
Before I start off, let me say this. I already have a review for Halo on the Xbox, but this is a different review for a different system, so readers don't regard this one as a cut and paste of the old one.
So lets start with the introduction... Halo is a game that everybody and their grandmother should know about. It is the story of Master Chief blowing up Aliens on some kooky ring world. And somewhere along the way, it became known as "the best game of all time" for some people. And because it was going to be on the PC as well as the Xbox, it was only natural for Microsoft and Bungie to do something after a while. So in late 2003 Gearbox Software developed a Port of the game to whet the appetites of the five people who did not already buy an Xbox for the game. Lets see how they did shall we?
Notice that I dropped the score in this one from the Xbox review; I had already beaten Halo with a friend a few times so the story really did not do much for me.
Well, as it starts off you are Master Chief escaping Reach after a Covenant [evil aliens] attack inside of a Ship called The Pillar of Autumn. The Covenant finds you and board the ship, so you have to escape with Cortana [the ships AI]. After you escape you are on a Ring-Planet known as Halo, which is filled with Covenant, and you have to find the surviving Marines of the UNSC.
So you go through a few levels, and you have to rescue the Captain of your squad, then you have to find a computer underground that shows you where a Control Room is... you go there and you find it. Then you go to some cache, and all hell breaks loose when the Parasites known as The Flood are unleashed, and they kill all of your buddies. So you have to go through the Ring and kill them too.
I'll stop this section now so I don't ruin the game for the few people who haven't played the game yet.
Like I said before, you get a few guns like the Shotgun [a shotgun] or the Needler [a gun that shoots explosive purple needles... with homing capability] and you get some Grenades [the Stickies and the Frags], you can also only carry two guns at one time which does make you think. Although some weapons are so good that you will only carry them and leave the other ones alone until the situation calls for it [I found myself using the Shotgun Pistol/Plasma Pistol the most]. You also have some vehicles, I don't really feel like going over them but just think of the normal vehicles in a Sci-Fi Military game and you should be fine [that is if you are one of the few people who never played the game].
The AI behaves well, your Marine allys are smart enough to fight but not stupid enough to run in front of you whenever you try to shoot something. And the enemy AI's all have their own personalities, the Grunts run around like cowards, the Elites will use cover and try to bash your skull in, the Jackals use their shields for cover and try to blast you in the head with a charged plasma bolt, and the Hunters will bash your head in if you get close enough. They are different enough to make it interesting and not boring.
There are also checkpoints where you get revived after you die, which is easier than having to trod through some of the levels over and over again. It also does not change anything so don't worry about this being "BioShock" respawning.
The vehicles work good enough in here. Some of them also let you ride on with other people, like the Warthog which lets a person get in the side seat [and fire their gun], and someone can go in the back and fire a Chaingun.
Now onto the things that irked me. This game, even though it was first made in 2001 runs ungodly slow on some computers. This is a true story, I have "Star Wars: Republic Commando, and I can get it to run with every thing turned on full with my computer with little to no slowdown, but in Halo I need to turn the Graphics down a lot on some levels to make it run at a speed that does not feel like walking through molasses. It is so frustrating to play a game where you need to turn down things to make the game run at a good speed, and even that does not help sometimes. This game was so badly coded that a lot of Computers will go really slow. And the same problem I had before, the last half of the game had levels that were like carbon copies of the first half. And some of them [I'm looking at you Library and 343 Guilty Spark!] were so confusing and you kept getting lost because everything looked the same.
If it wasn't for that, I would of given this a good friggin score.
Halo does offer a good challenge to you, the AI is good enough to make you think even on the normal difficulty, and the harder modes will make you cry if you're not prepared to have to go through a bunch of revivals just to get past one spot of the game. But the biggest pain in the *** is when the game slows down, that ups the challenge so much when you are trying to blow up some Covenant baddie and the game goes down to 10 FPS while it runs up to you and bashes your skull in. Playing the game on Legendary will make you cry, the lag will make you pray. It's simple as that.
This is what happens when you port Console games... Master Chief feels like he moves a lot slower than he did on the Xbox, and although the WASD setup was used it does not feel right trying to use it when I play Halo. But you can change the mapping so you should experiment with that and see if you can find something that works for you.
I swear to god, there is no difference between the graphics on here, and on the Xbox one. It even looks worse in some spots for me.
Although some things like the Aliens, the Marines, the Vehicles and the levels look good, there is no change at all that is really noticeable. You still do have the blood stains that spurt out whenever anything gets shot [and a few different colors for the Aliens], you can still see a nice glint off of the metal for your Armor, and the Vehicles. Don't get me wrong it does look good, but it looked good in 2001, this game came out in 2003, the standards are different and Gearbox could of at least made it look better.
And like I said above, horrible slowdown corrupts this game, you will need to turn down a lot of stuff if your Computer was not up to date enough to run this game. And remember, if your Computer is weak, you will lose A LOT of the special stuff just to make it run, no more blood, no more bullet holes, no more marks on the ice from crashing a banshee into it. Nothing. Also, all of the textures will go down to PS1 level.
At least something did not get mutilated in the Port. Everything still sounds as good as it did on the Xbox.
There is still great voice work, and most of the levels are filled with comments from the Marines and the Aliens that you will encounter, you get to hear objectives being told to you. But I am glad that everything that is said sounds how it should.
And the effects are still great, from the burst of fire from the muzzle of an Assault Rifle to the clanking of a Hunter's footsteps charging at you from across the room.
But the best part like I said before is the Music. Halo still has that Epic sounding orchestral music which really sets up the mood for wherever you are. Kudos to Bungie for the great job they did with the soundtrack.
Like I said before, everything does have its own way of drawing you in. But the slowdown sucks you right back out, how immersive is it when you are playing through a level blowing away Covenants when suddenly the game becomes jerky as hell, I know that I mega-loathe that. But other than that you do feel like you're on that Ring killing aliens.
I was really expecting more from this, Halo finally having online Multiplayer; count me in! But everything is so bloody laggy that it feels like the coders did this in a couple hours after a weekend of binge drinking. Everything moves so slowly that it feels like Dantooine on "Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic", and sometimes your weapons get really wonky. Anyone who has read Yoh_of_Izumo's review, he hit the nail on the head, the Sniper Rifle can fire, hit someone and then they will die 15 seconds later. A few times, I have fired a weapon at an enemy and the bullets did nothing, sometimes it does not fire and I find out that I was shot in the head by a sniper a few seconds ago.
The only thing that kept me from tanking this score was the Mods which let you play around with the game, I remember playing a game with eight Banshees, Ghosts, Warthogs and Tanks and it was so freaking fun... although so laggy. There is also a little bonus for the Multiplayer levels, two new weapons, you can use a Flamethrower, and the Hunter cannon in Multiplayer on Halo now, there is also a Warthog with a Rocker Launcher on the back of it instead of a machine gun.
So, if you decide to play Halo online, please find a good connection because if you don't it makes you want to kill yourself, and ignore all of the annoying people typing the most idiotic things in the chat room during the game.
You can keep going to finish every level on all four difficulties [hard as hell!], or you can keep playing on the Multiplayer. But I would recommend replaying the game on the Xbox instead because it is much better there.
Its Halo on the computer, sound is still good, if you can get everything working right its almost as good as the Xbox version.
Botched port, terrible multiplayer coding, need to turn some things down if your PC won't handle it, laaaaaaaaggggggggggg!
Should you get it:
If you really want Halo for the PC, or you don't have an Xbox [that's why I have it], then buy it. If not, then don't even bother.
Even though there was a lot of promise in putting Halo on the Computer, Gearbox dropped the ball and screwed up really bad. Halo is a great game but this laggy, glitch filled mess does not do it justice.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/01/07, Updated 10/08/07
Game Release: Halo: Combat Evolved (US, 09/30/03)
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