on 24 February 2005
I don't get it... I really don't understand... I mean, there are so many people complaining that Halo doesn't work properly and that you need an amazing video card for it to just load the game in the first place.
For a start, I have never seen a video card in my life and after completing MOH: Allied Assault and wanting more, I decided to order Jedi outkast, Halo and Beyond Good and Evil for the PC from amazon.co.uk. Jedi Outkast is just painful and I won't talk about it anymore... B G + E is alright... Bit of a Zelda copy but hey...
But then I put Halo in... I feared the worst... The computer warned me straigt away that I had no video memory and said the game wouldn't work. But, as it's Windows XP, I figured it was wrong so I carried on. I'd just like to thank everyone at Bungie for giving me so much fun over the last couple of months! I had played the XBOX version a bit and had never really got into it... But this just amazed me. It look beautiful, maybe better than the XBOX version and the gameplay was just pure bliss.
Then I got broadband.
I can safely say Halo online is one of the best gameplay experiences ever. Honestly, play 16 people, SideWinder, Team Capture the flag and you'll see what I mean!
The way you can burn five hours and not notice 10
Just... Wow... Just buy it...!
on 1 February 2004
When Halo finally arrived on the PC, it had its work cut out. Firstly it had to soothe the hurt feelings of PC gamers slighted by its ‘treachery’. Secondly, first person shooter standards are far higher in PC gaming than they are in console land. Thirdly, a little spit and polish aside, the game was already three years old before it came to the PC – making it practically middle-aged by gaming standards. How would it cope?
This game – as the title suggests – is a genuine evolution of its genre.
Though this is not immediately obvious from the first few scenes. We start off on board the space ship Pillar of Autumn (such a nice name) which is attacked and boarded by an enemy known as the Covenant, who are intent on destroying it and everyone on board. Once the opening scenes explaining the plot and a thinly disguised tutorial level are out of the way, you will find yourself wandering through corridors (a first person shooter staple) encountering several local skirmishes between Covenant and human forces as you go. It’s solid enough but, as I have said, fairly straight forward.
The game really begins in earnest when you go down to the Halo itself. It is here, in Halo’s open spaces where the AI is free to do its stuff, that you realise you are not playing just another shooter.
One of the main features of Halo’s combat is its use of vehicles. Its selection of small and large, land and air, alien and human vehicles are a key factor in the dynamic, occasionally epic nature of the battles you must fight.
The Warthog is probably the most well known of the vehicles. This is the light reconnaissance vehicle used by your troops. Its three barrelled mounted machine gun cuts a swath through infantry, but its, shall we say, ‘enthusiastic’ suspension means that it is prone to rolling over when sharp manoeuvring is required.
But Halo is not simply an average shooter with a vehicle gimmick tacked on. Most of the time, you are have to negotiate the enemy on foot. Bungie have made sure that each element of this experience pulls its weight. Each weapon has its benefits and its drawbacks.
In addition to your standard issue weapons, you will be able to acquire many other types of weapons from the battlefields of Halo; both alien and human. Human weapons include assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and fragmentation grenades. Covenant weapons that can be procured include plasma grenades, plasma handguns and rifles, which over heat and temporarily lock up with sustained fire (a game play balancing trick to compensate for not having to reload them, I suspect).
If the player were able to acquire all these weapons, he/she would become an unstoppable cannonball of death about half way through the game. To prevent this, Bungie have limited the player to just two firearms and four of each type of grenade at any one time. This frequently left me agonising over which to take and which to leave behind. You need a rapid fire small arm for all the foot soldiers you meet, of course, but what should the second weapon be? Do you take the rocket launcher to deal swiftly with any big boys you might encounter? Or do you take the sniper rifle to thin out their numbers before you move in?
This is something you have to really think about before paying serious attention to your battle plan. One of the reasons for this is the game’s saving system. Unfortunately for those PC gamers whose index finger is always hovering around the F5 key, there is no quick save. Instead, the game awards you with a checkpoint; usually when you reach a certain point in the game but sometimes when you have cleared an area of the enemy. Some people might complain about this being a relic of its console origins, but it is more than that. The fact that you cannot simply fire off a couple of rounds, hide behind a rock, quick save and repeat means that you have to think more about what you are doing and the possible consequences of any tactical mistakes you make. Besides, Halo is generous with its checkpoints; you will never find yourself having to repeat more than just the last few minutes, and the organic nature of the combat means that no two battles are ever the same anyway – even if it is the ‘same’ battle as the one you just croaked in.
Another interesting tweak is the shields of your personal body armour. If left alone (i.e. you are not taking any damage) they will recharge themselves. The good thing about this is that you will never find yourself in a situation where you are half dead with no shields and progress is virtually impossible. The fact that you can always enter a field of combat with a full shield means that you always have a fighting chance.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a truly superb game, one by which others of its genre will be measured. It is a must for all fans of first person shooters and even worth a try for those who aren’t. Even my own brother, who had always despised shooters, was singing its praises in the end.
If there is one area in which Halo might disappoint, it’s the technical details. Whilst there are always some people who experience problems installing and running games, Halo seems to have caused more than its fair share of nervous breakdowns regarding sluggish performance and other miscellaneous technical issues; awakening painful memories of GTAIII. Even so, most people, providing they are realistic when it comes to scaling to game’s graphics options, should be able to run this game perfectly well and enjoy the elements that make Halo: Combat Evolved what it is.
Play Halo, you won’t be disappointed. I promise.
on 2 April 2007
This is highly recommended, fighting the Covenant is good fun, 4 levels of difficulty make it more interesting, and half-way through you meet the real bad-guys, turn up your gamma if you're afraid of the dark. What I wanted to point out is that in the other reviews I find no mention of Halo online - this is what gives it its long-life, I've been online-ing for two or three years now, making friends and killing them all over the world. So highly recommended.
on 25 September 2006
Halo stands out as somthing above the ordinary. It operates a perfect mix of fast reflex action and of more controlled tactical situations. Each stage of the game offers different challenges as the player can go suddenly from being the hunted to being the hunter. From an apparently safe vantage point you play havoc with the sniper rifle before the ingenious AI finds you and you're fighting for your life. The occasional addition of tanks add to the fun (I think the Scorpion may be too powerfull!) and again changes the slant of the game.
Another point that seriously stands in its favour is one not much considered. Halo will operate on anything from a mediocre PC (low end graphics I agree) all the way to the highest spec machine where the scenery is stunning.
This Game is a perfect example of what a FPS can be.
on 22 January 2004
I dont know what that other guy was on about, but after updating my graphics drivers on the internet halo ran fine on my pc (2400 athlon, 128mb geforce 4600).
Gearbox have done a reasonable job in porting it over to the pc. The game plays well in single player, and multplayer is great fun. There are only really 2 snags in my opinion, first up there is no co-operative mode as in the xbox version which was half the fun of the original. second, large multiplayer games can get quite laggy, but this is perhaps more due to the hardware of those hosting the games, than the game itself.
Aside from these points Halo for the pc is well worth getting. If u've never played the xbox version u will immensely enjoy single player. But even veterens of the xbox version will get a great deal out of the multiplayer mode (provided u have broadband).
Hope this helps.
on 26 December 2004
A pretty good storyline: Bad-ass alien are trying to conquer all the worlds they can, and you have to stop them. However these alien have also discovered another alien race and are keeping them in check very wise, but the humans inadvertently let them out, big mistake...
The two races of alien within this game are the Covenant,
the obligatory technically-advanced race, which then have a hierarchy of [Beavis and Buthead] sounding grunts, Egyptian-like jackals, and very hard and large porcupine style hunters.
And then there's the Flood, who are parasitical aliens that turn their hosts into zombies. These are much more fun as you shoot them apart and they still keep moving, do very reckless things such as fire rocket launcher within confined spaces, but the best and most funny are the walking bombs, who simply swell up until they burst - Don't be near one when they do so.
Unlike games such as Far Cry where stealth was the key to survival, the combat in this game is definitely a question of up and at 'em, but with that it never gets boring. This is one of the most entertaining games I have played.
It's a hardware eater this game, no question about it, but with my Athlon 3.2GHz and [pretty mediocre] ATI Radeon 9500, I was able to conjure up a very acceptable frame rate.
Bottom line, BUY IT!
on 18 April 2006
I found the solo player mode rather dull to be fair, after playing it on the x box. In my opinion first person shooters are superior on the PC platform and as this was a console game it feels as though it has not got anything to offer that hasn't been done before. In parts it is good and there is some frantic action but I can't help feel there are better games out there.
However, playing online is great fun and makes the game worth buying for this reason alone. I have spent hours playing capture the flag, it is highly addictive and the vehicles and teamwork elements make it stand out. I couldn't even be arsed to finish the one player mode after playing it online.
Highly reccomended for anyone with a broadband connection but I can't justify reccomending it for the solo gamer.
on 16 November 2003
Having never played Halo before, I was coming to it with no idea how good, or not, it would be. While installing one of the first impressions I had was that it looked well put together, being fairly bug free and stable does tend to be a benefit of console conversions. After some time install completed with no problems.
Straight into the game, and a fairly length cut scene began. The story was set and some minutes later, you are given full control of your character. Pretty much all the story telling after this point is done as you go, with full control of your character remaining. This gave a better feeling of involvement then having to sit through helplessly as the CD churns the next scene out.
The story wasn't anything amazing, but the acting and pacing was pretty good, though the main character seemed a little lifeless at times, maybe to be expected of a 'semi-cyborg'.
The weapons look and sound reasonable, but the console conversion shows here, the aiming reticule is huge and it doesn't take a lot of effort to make contact with your target. The melee ability on weapons is a lot of fun, though not very useful unless your reloading.
The vehicles are wierd to drive/fly at first, with the steering being controlled with the mouse and not the cursor keys. After you get the hang of it they are easy to use and one of the best parts of the game, especially in multiplayer.
Music & sound is faultless throughout, with the music being exceptional, getting you in the mood for the chapter and providing a nice break from the silence, sometimes lengthy in the game.
Overall, Halo is a pretty mindless shooter, there are no puzzle elements and the AI while showing impressive intelligence is still basic fodder. Halo isn't meant to be a serious shooter and there is a comic feel to the game, especially with some of the 'lesser' creatures. If you want an old style, but very fun shooter there isn't much out there to rival it. In its basic form its average, but when you include the vehicles, story telling, comic elements and impressive soundtrack it becomes far above average, if not anything ground breaking.
on 11 October 2003
So first off, I've never played the XBox version of Halo. No, really!
With this in mind, I'm reviewing the game from a PC only perspective and not comparing it to it's XBox counterpart, although I'm told the single player story is identical.
The first thing that comes to your attention when playing halo is the sense of involvement you get (this is re-enforced later by the solid team AI for your marine friends). You start off on a fatally wounded spaceship with things going off all around you, alarms sounding, explosions - you get the picture. Despite the way this situation has the potential to be confusing, you are guided through it by the voice of the ship's computer/tactical advisor program, which you are carrying and trying to get off the ship. This ensures new players are not overwhelmed.
Throughout the portions of the game I have played so far, the story remains just as involving and well presented - often prompted along by your little helper you're carrying.
Next is the vehicle combat. Virtually unheard of on the PC, it's fundamental to Halo. It's not thrown in as a cheap gimmick for one small section of a level, it is fully integrated with the game and works extremely well - especially when coupled with the very good team AI (some vehicles carry passengers and have gun turrets etc). The vehicle control system, while unusual, is no trouble once you've adapted to it and it too works surprisingly well.
Standard combat is just as fun, and this is not a game where you have to watch your ammo to any great degree. You can spray firepower any which way, and when you run out of ammo, drop your current weapon and swap it for the one carried by the enemy you just shot.
Graphically, Halo is still impressive despite being a few years old now. There is lots of detail and special effects, including some impressive bump-mapping effects from your torch. As graphics hardware has moved on somewhat since the game was originally released, the game will play on pretty much any machine that's around 2 years old and still manage to look fantastic.
The game's sounds also impress and there has been plenty of attention to detail here too, down to members of you squad commenting "nice shot!" as you pick off targets from a sniper position.
Network multiplay is also great fun, with the many vehicles and weapons to be had across sprawling landscapes making this a unique style of multiplayer combat on the PC.
All in all, from what I've seen Halo fully deserves it's staggering reputation. How it stacks up against the XBox version I don't know, but viewed alone as a PC game it is simply brilliant.
on 27 April 2015
Good product, arrived quickly and well packaged. I've had no issues with this product and had great amounts of fun playing over school wifi on multiplayer.
It's important to note that the internet multiplayer that is included with this game does not work due to the servers being shut down, however there is a healthy community of open servers that can usually be joined for a quick online game. It's not really the multiplayer that you buy this game for... Play the campaign, Love halo, Adore this game...