When was the first time you played Halo? My first time playing Halo was in Pennsylvania. I went with my Girlfriend (now my wife) to a family friends house. He had an xbox which to me was the first I’ve ever seen the system. The controls were awkward but fun. From the moment I turned it on I knew I wanted one. Halo was one of the games he had and it’s the one game my wife’s brothers and I wanted to play. At that time we took turns playing the campaign because there was only one controller. This was the first time I’ve played a FPS and I was hooked.
When Halo was released November 11, 2001, I got my own Xbox along with copy of Halo: Combat Evolved. I was roughly 16 at the time. It was the Christmas after it was released. To this day Halo is still is one of my favorite FPS series, It took my neighbor and I the whole summer to finally beat the campaign on legendary. Still, one of my crowning moments in all the years of playing video games. Many have praised Halo as one of the greatest games of all time and IGN ranked it as the fourth best FPS of all-time.
The Story Line
When it comes to a compelling story line most first-person shooters fall short. Halo is a great starting point for the franchise that is up to its fifth installment; maybe a sixth but we won’t know until E3. The campaign follows a cybernetically advanced super soldier known as the Master Chief. The game opens as a space ship known as the Pilar of Autumn, is getting chased by an alien race called the Covenant. Your Mission as the Master Chief is to protect the A.I. Cortana from these aliens at all costs. This sets the tone for the rest of the game as she then becomes your companion on your adventure. The pillar is falling apart, now the Chief and Cortana must get to a weird halo looking planet were the rest of the survivors are. This is the point when your journey as the Master Chief really ramps up.
Halo is an FPS that was built on the great story line and the different strategies one can use to complete the level. In each level there are multiple flanks or different paths to accomplish it. In my opinion this is what every FPS Campaigns should strive to be like. Still, most shooters lack that depth of story that I want. They try to make characters that are relatable but fail.
Halo’s game play is what makes it a triple A title when it came out and still to this day. For defense The Master Chief has an energy shield and a health bar. In his arsenal he can carry two weapons with two grenade types. Each weapon in Halo is great for specific situations. The assault rifle is a great all-around weapon, Plasma pistol is great at taking down shields, etc. Now on to the vehicles. Yes I said vehicles. Now you can use an indestructible jeep known as a Warthog or a Puma, a covenant ghost and a host of other crazy awesome vehicles. When driving any vehicle the camera changes to third person view.
The game play is the best part about Halo. No matter how long it’s be since I’ve played the game the muscle memory is there. I can’t do that in any game, it takes a few minutes to remember the controls. There are some things in the game I can harp on, for instance there’s is no sprint button. Now I know it’s a small thing but it would have been nice to have. That’s why the developers added it in later in the series. Other than that the game play still holds up even after all these years.
Halo was launched before Xbox live was created. Now that doesn’t mean it was impossible to play against your friends. I know I’m dating myself here but long ago when LAN (local area network) parties were still hip, you could accomplish this by connecting up to four Xbox consoles together over a LAN The Halo multiplayer was the one thing me and my friends would play a lot. We would start at 7:30 pm and not stop until at least 5 am. Those were some fun times. Especially when we terrorized some of our friends that weren’t good. Sorry guys.
Halo had 18 unique maps to wage war on. one of my favorites and I am sure many more was blood gulch. It was great for sniping your friends and when you got a tank all matter of hell broke loose. It was almost impossible to get killed unless the enemy had a tank of their own or rockets which spawned in the middle of the map. The halo multiplayer experience was and will be always great. If the game came out today most people would consider it a Call of Duty killer or Battlefield killer. Halo lacked the main stream online experience but it still can hold its own against the new generation of shooters.
Halo has some of the most iconic music in any video game. From the main theme that is haunting yet epic. To anytime there is a fight the music ramps the thrill factor up. I still have the soundtrack on my iPod and I listen to it when I need to get pumped for a hockey or softball game. Most game nowadays just have a main theme and a few sprinklings of music. Halo is the complete audio experience. You knew when a big fight was coming just because the music became louder and more epic.
Halo: Combat Evolved is one of those games that can perform all these years later. Halo was a big part of my childhood, there have been good times and bad times but it is a game I can go back to year after year. I will always remember the details of that first time playing, to playing the Maw on legendary difficulty over and over with a great friend. The whole package is what make me love this game, the soundtrack, the story, etc. Everything about this game is what I expect a FPS to be like. Halo will be one of the games that no matter how many years have pasted it will be great.
All4gamerz rates this a 10/10. It is perfection in my eyes.
-Matt a.k.a. Devotedsaint.