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Halo: Combat Evolved (Windows)

81
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.4
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pagen HD (81)
Written on  :  May 18, 2013
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

Life in First-Person

The Good

- Ability to change difficulty mid-game. I couldn't get past a certain point in the final level, and I changed the difficulty setting right there.

- The game runs on a whole variety of graphic cards and drivers. I had a computer that was pure crap, and it could run Halo. I used to believe in love, but these days, I tend to believe in Microsoft's ability to make games that run smoothly on Windows instead.

- Great Gamepad support. My Gamepad from the days of "Monster Truck Madness 2" works perfectly here. Any Gamepad with two triggers, two shoulder buttons, and dual-analog layout should work.

- Every weapon is memorable. As you play, you'll become familiar with each weapon's strengths and weaknesses. Since you are only allowed to carry two guns with you, you are constantly choosing the best weapons to pick up, based on the task at hand.

- Flying a Banshee.

- Driving a Jeep.

- Driving a Jeep across the river.

- Flipping a Jeep.

- You can flip a Banshee too.

- Watching Master Chief get inside a vehicle, switching to 3rd-person view.

- Watching Master Chief get out of a vehicle, switching back to 1st-person view.

- Not letting your teammates down. The sniper rifle can zoom in 10x so it's kinda hard to miss. So you won't let your teammates down.

- Sticking a plasma grenade to a powerful enemy.

- Shooting a rocket launcher at a vehicle far away, and seeing it explode.

- The pistol. Yeah the pistol. My roommate once said that "the pistol is actually a sniper rifle". You can zoom in like crazy and shoot stuff up with that pistol. That's a fine pistol. That's a pistol to write home about.

- Watching, and hearing, your shield recharge.

- Watching an enemy's shield being attacked (by you).

- Picking up a med kit when your health is red (low). The screen will kind of light up a little, it's like being touched by an angel.

- Turning on a flashlight in a dark corridor. The flashlight is so sweet, I don't wanna leave the dark areas.

- Watching Master Chief reload his guns. I never get tired of that.

- Listening to the subtle sound effect when you pick up a plasma grenade.

- Walking around and noticing something on the ground that kinda looks like a plasma grenade, walking there, and confirming that it is indeed a plasma grenade.

- Concise and powerful text notifications. These are shown in the top left corner (same position as another Microsoft classic, Age of Empires 2). You pick up grenades, text shows up. You pick up ammo, text shows up. You walk near a weapon, text shows up. The most amazing one is that whenever you reach a checkpoint, it says "Checkpoint... Done." It's an amazing feeling to see this after a long and challenging fight.

- The environment is comprised of mountains, grass fields, trees, rivers, smooth-edged buildings, and the beautiful night sky. I was never an outdoor person. Wild is the wind, who cares. Halo showed me the beauty of the wilderness. Ever since playing Halo, I became OBSESSED with the great outdoors. I would spend everyday walking through forests and plains (didn't have to work at the time), looking for places that resemble the Halo levels. And I found a LOT of these places. I found places that looked almost exactly like the environment in Halo. Halo showed me that, when you're walking, something special happens. You see different things around you. As I was moving ahead, I saw brief glimpses of beauty. I saw this in the game. I saw this in real life.

To say that Halo turned me into an athletic person is an understatement. Halo changed the way I look at the world. Halo taught me how to walk. Before Halo, my life was sort of in a top-down view, I don't know. After Halo, my life is a life in first-person. The way it should be.

The Bad

Everything bad about this game has been wiped out with a single plasma grenade. You carry four grenades, so, yeah. YEAH.

People sometimes say "it's so beautiful, it hurts". I think I know what this means now. Now that I do have to work, all day long, often into the night, I will probably never relive the outdoor life that Halo inspired me to live. But hey, it's the memory that matters, right?

The Bottom Line

Using a Gamepad is much more fun than using a mouse. It's designed for the console controller, and the PC port didn't change that design.

Ignore the "easy" difficulty, the "hard" difficulty and the "legendary" difficulty. Those aren't fun. The Normal difficulty is where it's at.

It gets kind of scary too, so you may not wanna play it if you live alone. Enemies sneak up behind you and suddenly appear inside of buildings.