Halo anniversary edition on the Halo Master Chief collection review: Halo combat evovled has a few flaws to it.
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Halo the master chief collection
note all pictures and videos on this hub were taken from the game using a game capture device. Photos have added text to them added in Photoshop
One of the first games I picked up for my Xbox one was Halo the Master Chief collection. It contained an Xbox one upgrade to the Xbox 360 Halo anniversary collection which featured upgrades to the original Halo Combat evolved, and then did the same coat to the rest of the Halo series. Now normally this would be a situation to celebrate but when it came out ultra-buggy, and it requires an 18 GB patch on installation. YEAH YOU HEARD ME 18 GB, WHEN YOUR PATCH SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD SENT MARTY MCFLY BACK TO THE FUTURE YOUR PATCH IS TO DAMN BIG and I would like to say it fixed all the issues but there are still a few bugs I have encounter in the game. That said playing through the original game was a more enjoyable experience on this collection. What I am playing is a remaster of a remake of the original Halo Combat Evolved out of all the Halo games I would say this one is the most flawed. I played this has my first Halo game after I purchased my Xbox 360 about 8 years ago. And all I can about it is that it was a bit on the meh side.
I’ll explain it why has we sit down and take a look at the original Halo on the Master Chief Collection.
Halo is a sci fi game that takes place sometime in the far future after man has started to colonize space. Somehow we have managed to tick off a bunch of aliens called the Covenant, who are now trying to wipe out humanity, they haven’t discovered earth yet. Humanity best hope lie in what are called Spartans super solders with cybernetic implants that make them super human. The pillar of autumn is under assault by the convenient and on board they have a Spartan called the Master Chief. When the Pillar of Autumn crash lands on a mysterious ring shape world the Master Chief Takes possession of the ships AI Cortona. There they must battle the covenant for possession of the ring shape world because it is in fact some sort of ancient super weapon that can wipe out all life in the galaxy. And oh yeah they also release the zombie-borg parasites known has the flood, and also manage to piss of the ring worlds AI in the process. It isn’t easy being the master chief.
The story by in large is ok but there’s nothing spectacular about it, if you know the sci fi action space marine clichés you know the story. You know the captains going to get assimilated, you know the chief will be the only one to survive, and you know there will be a ton of bible references. One of the unique things about the game is the chief character, he’s a man of few words and he never talks whenever you’re in control of him, he will during cut scenes but never when the player is behind is helmet. Most of the talking is done by Cortona. Not completely a silent protagonist but close.
The gameplay in Halo Combat Evolved is that of a first person shooter. Halo did change a lot about the first person shooter, more so then the N64 goldeneye. While Goldeneye and his spiritual successor Perfect Dark did prove that there was a market for these kinds of games, Halo kind of shown how it was done. Ok for starters Master Chief is not a walking armorer. He may be cybernetically enhanced up the wazoo but he’s not going to be able to carry all the weapons on board the ship on his person. In fact he can only hold 2 weapons at a time, so you have to pick what weapon’s you want, tricky whenever you put things like a sniper scope or rocket launcher weapon you’re not going be using in the standard open combat areas of this game. This does add in a certain area of strategy and other games like Call of Duty have built upon the formula.
Another area that Halo changed the FPS genre is the rechargeable shields; the master chief has shields that deplete when he gets hit. If he gets hit enough then his health quickly depletes before he dies. However if you stay in a save place where he can’t get hit his shields recharge, health will be recharged only by the med kits. This does safe on the forge for med kits unfortunately still having the health still means and that, and there have been times playing thorough this game that I have passed through a check with no health before a huge fire fight and have gotten royally frustrated.
And despite having shields and the health the enemies are really smart. Each type of enemy the grunts, the elites, and the shield carriers known has Jackals have 2 or 3 types of personality. Some will charge, some will run away, and others will regroup or flank constantly keeping you guessing what the best strategy to beat these guys is and it does help relieve the tedium that for most of the game it’s really only these 3 types of enemies that you will be encountering with the exception of the rare boss fight against hunters.
The fact that enemies can run away and act like cowards.
Later in the game you do get the flood and they are obnoxious but there not clever or anything, unlike the covenant aliens that react to getting shot, shooting a flood will have them keep charging at you until you have killed them.
Now let’s talk about some of the really bad points about this game, yeah the health thing can be annoying but it’s not the worst thing about this game. The worst thing about this game is its stage design. Now not all stages are bad some of them are really good the 2nd stage that introduces us to Halo, plus the stage called the cartographer are really pretty good. Unfortunately there are a lot of them that are bland looking especially in the original version, go on way to long with areas that repeat, and despite being linear in nature is possible to actually get lost in them. To say that’s not fun when that happens is an understatement.
And to make matters worse Microsoft launch game for its very first console took cues from Nintendo launch game on their very first launch system. That’s right Halo Combat Evolved rips off Super Mario Bros but in its worst aspect. It has repeating stages that are made a little harder with the introduction of the flood. In fact the last stage is pretty much the first stage with a new skin. Now Super Mario Bros was reinventing video games has a whole on less memory then the word document I made to write the script for this review, what’s your excuse Halo. And worst it’s not the fun stages you repeat but the ones that annoyed you the first time through.
The graphics in the master chief version have been improved on the 360 version which really redid the whole game to make it look nice. The original game did look kind of bland, the newer games both the ones Bungie made the 343 made games to have a lot more color in them then the original ones did. They also have a lot more effects and added details to the environment making the game and the Halo world seem much more alive.
They also greatly improved the character designs to all of the characters and enemies they all look better then there original versions. None more so then Cortona which they use her Halo 2 design. I remember my younger brother who’s a major Halo fanboy saying he had a crush on this character, so I remember when I first playing the original Xbox version of the game getting to the bridge where you first saw her and having this reaction to the character so popular Microsoft named it’s assistant program after. And that reaction was…
KILL IT WITH FIRE, KILL IT WITH FIRE
Yeah the original Cortana is kind of a freaky looking thing coming very close to the nightmare inducing terror that was the great fairy in the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. But there is a reason for this she was originally supposed to go evil when she connected to the Halo circuits in this scene, I even remember asking my brother if she flips out, however the developers like her character better than the old monitor so she stayed good and he became the bad guy. And they would save the whole she goes Maverick until another Halo game. Anyways the new look for Cortana fits her build in the rest of the game and while I am not into blue holograms, this look at least doesn’t give me nightmares.
Cortona has she appears in later versions.
Has for the Xbox one improvement’s a vastly improved frame rate, plus going back and forth between new and old is done instantly without a need for a brief load. It’s hard not keep hitting that select button.
Yeah the sound track is really good and what’s nice is the voice acting. Jen Taylor does the voice of Cortona now if you haven’t seen my Super Mario Advance and Super Mario Sunshine reviews I can sum up my thoughts on it simply by saying. I would rather have my ears torn off by a rabbit hyena then listen to her do Princess Peach or Toad again. That said has Cortona she’s pretty good, she sounds normal, and her character is serious but with a smarmy sense of humor.
The rest of the voice acting is pretty solid but my favorite lines have to go to the grunts. Nothing likes beating the heck of these guys and here they scream.
The music is also pretty epic sounding and fits in the whole sci fi.
The online play is ok in the 360 anniversary version it would go to a Halo Reach map set and act like DLC. Since Reach was an ok game I didn’t mind it too much. In the master chief collection things are a little more messier. You get kicked out of the group and lobby and have to form a new game every time, and the whole menu system seems a bit clunky. But that just goes for everything in the Halo Master Chief Collection
When it comes to Halo Combat Evolve I always did consider it a flawed game that had some really good ideas. The AI for the enemies is a lot of fun to beat around, 2 weapons provides a level of strategy, and regenerating shields makes the game flow a lot easier. Unfortunately crappy level design really does undermine this classic from being truly good. It gets a 3 out of 5. But what about its sequel. Well has of this recording I haven’t played the Xbox one version of Halo 2. Let’s pop this baby in and find out.