Review by K a l e l

Reviewed: 10/03/03

Slow frame rates on high end PC Systems is Unacceptable

Slow frame rates on high end PC Systems is unacceptable from a game whose PC release was delayed by several years.

Graphics: 7 out of 10
Gameplay: 8 out of 10
Controls: 8 out of 10
Sound: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10

It's been a long wait for PC Gamers when Microsoft took over Bungie, Halo's PC release was delayed for a XBox release instead. After the successful XBox release of the game, one would expect that after all this time the PC release would be far superior with many improvements; one would be expecting too much.

Graphics - Score 7 out of 10:
The visuals are unique but the graphics engine looks outdated. The game requires a high-end system if you want to play with nice looking or even decent lag-free graphics. I know the official word is that the game only requires around 750Mhz to run but by the looks of it, you should have at least a 2Ghz CPU with 500MB Ram, the latest Geforce or Radeon card and maybe if you're lucky you'll get 30fps. I'm not kidding either, the graphics lag for some people with far better settings then I have mentioned.

Gameplay - Score 8 out of 10:
The gameplay is very good. You can fly aircraft’s, man turrets, drive jeeps and tanks but don't expect much from the single player mode. It's very basic stuff like rescues and moving from point A to point B. It can get very repetitive at times.

This game was meant to be an online game, and that’s where Halo shines most, but again beware of lag caused by poor frame rates. If you're lucky enough to have 30fps offline, online it's far worse.

The different weapons and vehicles have a good balance and keep the game fun, but the aircraft’s do seem to have a slight edge and allow good speed in covering large areas. Halo isn't as massive an online experience as Battlefield 1942, which supports 30 players on a single server and the most commonly seen servers allow 10-16 players. The most commonly seen Halo servers however only allow 4-8 players, and on large maps this can get lonesome. A few servers do allow as many as 16 players but most times they are full.

Controls - Score 8 out of 10:
The controls are good. Operating Vehicles can get some getting use to. It's not hard to see this game was designed to be played with a gamepad and you can use that option if you prefer it.

Sound - Score 8 out of 10:
The sound is okay. Sometimes in single player mode, the repetitive voice of the badies can get very annoying. The music on the other hand is perfect for this game.

Overall - Score 7.75 out of 10:
I would have expected to see patches released to fix the slow frame rates but this is what I have learned:

Randy Pitchford of Gearbox says:
''Halo PC is fast for what it's doing. And it's doing a lot. Halo for XBox wanted to be locked at 30fps running at an interlaced 640x480, but often dropped frames during the tricky scenes.''

If it wasn't for the poor frame rates and high system requirements this game could have been great, but by the looks of it Gamebox doesn't feel anything is wrong with 30fps. So don't expect any patches to fix this problem.

I recommend you stay away from this one unless you have the latest and best PC hardware to run it at an enjoyable rate.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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