Retro Recap

Retro Recap: Halo Combat Evolved

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With it being Xbox week over here at The Koalition, what other game could I really take a look at? Halo undoubted popularised the Xbox (one? What do you can the original Xbox?) system and spawned a number of well received sequels.  So this week’s Retro Recap is none other than the title that began Master Chiefs journey; Halo Combat Evolved!

Ah the campaign. One of the most talked about aspects to Halo is the supposed gripping storyline. Given its genre, it’s an unlikely scenario that the campaign could provide such immersion, but according to many players, it is like no other. I mention that it is according to many players mainly because I didn’t get it. The campaign in Halo games has always been a meagre component and the main fun always lay in the multiplayer experience.

Master Chief 2

What was more fun than downloading a portable copy of Halo, setting up a Halo LAN party, and just going wild? Many of the more infamous maps tore through our time (Blood Gulch anyone?) and the plethora of vehicles at your disposal added an extra dimension to the gameplay. And not forgetting those special weapons you could find in odd locations throughout the maps. You know what I’m talking about, the race for the Sniper Rifle or the Rocket Launcher was just as much fun in itself (until you find out one of your friends has been practicing profusely with the Sniper and can now headshot you from across the map). Even just running around with the delightful Magnum and sticky grenades was cool. Halo really showed that the multiplayer experience didn’t have to be dull and repetitive.

There are hundreds of fun facts about Halo, here’s a few of my favourites:

  • The original concept for Halo was that of an RTS style game. This eventually moved to a third person shooter idea, and then settled on the first person game we see today
  • It was also originally intended to be a Mac exclusive game, until Microsoft bought Bungie
  • During the first European Press Tour, Halo actually blew up the testing PC and had to explain what Halo was about rather than demo the title

Master Chief

Like I said above, I always preferred the multiplayer experience to the single player campaign. On the other hand, playing the campaign co-op was hellishly fun. Mainly because me and my teammates got bored of playing through properly and proceeded to mess about on levels and run over grunts and each other repeatedly. For me, the multiplayer experience really brought to life what Bungie has envisaged with Halo. Sure the campaign did have its merits and I can definitely agree that it had much more substance to it than other shooters, but focus on the main story mode isn’t really the focus of the genre and fortunately enough, Bungie were able to see this from the early days and focus more on the increasingly popular multiplayer game.

How many of you played Halo in your youthful days? How many of you didn’t touch the series until the smash success of Halo 3 on the Xbox 360? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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