Monday, 25 January 2010

Halo Combat Evolved PC Review.

In all fairness I would be insulting your intelligence if I started to brag about how good Halo on Xbox was, "Oh its ground breaking blah blah blah".
But I'm not here to talk about that I am here to review the PC port of Halo.
Now normally with FPS games they are released on PC's first and consoles later, which makes sense seeing how PC is the home of the genre.
But every now and then you get games like Halo that decide to do it the other way round. Since then a trend has started where console games come out first and PC last, which is a shame for all those people who spend a killzillon quid on computer hardware, so that they can play the latest games in the highest quality.
Anyway Halo was released as a launch title for the Xbox back in 2002.
In all fairness at the time the Xbox was the underdog console, most people were use to a market of Sony, Nintendo and Sega. But sadly in 2001 Sega decided to drop out of the console race because it became apparent that they stood no chance against the incredibly popular PS2, not to mention the Nintendo Game Cube was on its way, and let's not forget the Xbox either.
Anyway enough of that on to the game itself.

Single Player
The game shares the same single player campaign as the Xbox version.
The game follows the war between Earth and what I can only describe as an alien religious cult. This cult is known as the covenant, now there are two types of covenant, Grunts who are very small and feeble, and then there are the elites, these guys are fairly tall and they put up a good fight.
In Halo you play the role of a solider known as the Master Chief, the Master Chief is unlike other soldier he wears a suit of armour that protects him from enemy fire, he is also incredibly strong, in fact he is on the par with the covenant elites (who are a lot stronger than the Human Marines).
Anyway like I said the single player campaign here is the same as the one in the Xbox version there are no extra levels or anything like that.


The Xbox version of Halo did get some good feedback for its multiplayer mode. Because the multiplayer was so good people started to call it a modern Goldeneye, sadly through the multiplayer for Halo was missing something that past console FPS games had as a feature, online play (For example Quake 3 on Dreamcast was known to have good online play, saying that through online for the Dreamcast wasn't cheap).
Anyway as you'd expect from a PC game there is online play and it is very, very good, it features all 13 maps from the Xbox version of Halo plus 6 new ones, that's 19 maps in total.
The PC version of Halo also features game modes that weren't in the Xbox version of Halo.
In all the multiplayer is worth the time and it does add a few hours to the games lifespan.

The game still has the ideals and mechanics that made the Xbox version a hit, you still have the shield to protect you from damage, you still have the easy to use grenades, you still have the cool vehicles, and you still have tea bagging.
The game has your standard keyboard controls W,A,S,D to move, space to jump, and left click to shoot so I'll move on to the other stuff.
First let's try the aiming, for starters you are using the mouse so you would expect it to be better, the good news is that the mouse does give you better aiming than the normal gaming joy pad.
On the Xbox version the grenades were easy to use all you had to do was press the left trigger, as you would guess this has become a standard with most FPS games today, here grenades are just as easy to use, all you have to do is right click to throw a grenade.
Another thing worth mentioning is the weapon switching, to switch weapons you press the Tab key witch is different to most FPS games where you would press the number keys to switch weapons, but then again you are only allowed to hold two weapons at a time so I can see where they were coming from.
There isn't much more for me to say really this is a really good port it takes everything that was in the Xbox version and improves on it.
As for the difficulty it lets you choose from easy to hard (which is fair enough because not everyone is good at FPS).
The difficulty effects things like enemy AI, if you have the game on a low setting there will be fewer enemies and they will be easier to kill, but if you set the difficulty high then there will be more enemies and they will take a lot more to go down.
Be careful what difficulty you choose have it too high and you will drop dead every few seconds, but if you have it too low then you will breeze through the game and find it boring.
One thing that I did really like about the game was its ability to create tension, the game is also full of moments that burn themselves into your memories for years to come.
In all the game takes about 10 hours to complete (add a few more hours if you play it online), the game features several levels all of which are different, in all there are only a few levels that you won't like.

Graphics and Sound

Playing the game on the highest setting I didn't notice much of a difference, in all the graphics are very similar to the Xbox version only with better textures and a higher resolution.
The music is great the game has a piece that fits just about every scene.

While it is an improvement over the Xbox version it really doesn't stand out much as on the PC due to its huge library of FPS games.

+ Same Great Gameplay
+ Improved Graphics
+ Some nice extras
+ Good Online play
+ Very Good Single Player

- Doesn't stand out as much on PC
- Can be very try and die later on.


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