Halo: Combat Evolved
Description official descriptions
Humanity is in the midst of a long war against an alien alliance called the Covenant which has been wiping out colony after colony. Your hero is Master Chief, who is given no name beyond his rank in the game itself. He is stationed on the Pillar of Autumn, a ship which, per protocol makes a jump in a random direction to retreat to avoid revealing the location of Earth. They find themselves at the titular Halo, a planet-sized ring of mysterious origin, and function with the Covenant on their heels. Master Chief must repel the Covenant assault and discover the secrets of Halo with the assistance of the female AI Cortana who lives in his suit and gives missions.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a sci-fi first-person shooter with considerable driving elements. Features include friendly NPCs who fight alongside the Chief, squad-based AI where enemies groups work together to flank you under the direction of a leader unit and can be demoralized by his death. They also use cover, set ambushes, etc.
Only two weapons may be carried at a time: one active and one on backup. There are five human weapons and three Covenant with distinct art styles for the two groups. Human weapons look basically like real guns and fire projectiles. Covenant are sleek and purple and fire energy. For the most part, weapons are not just left around the environment and must be procured from fallen enemies though there are supply points.
Your life is armor and health as in most games of the genre, however, rather than armor being an item that is picked up, it is a force field which quickly recharges itself after several seconds without taking damage, which emphasizes finding cover.
One of the most significant features is vehicles. You can drive a variety of vehicles in both single-player and multiplayer, some of which have additional seats for passengers or gunners which can be used by AI characters. Vehicles also come in distinct human and Covenant varieties with their design philosophies. Human vehicles roll around the ground on wheels and covenant vehicles hover or fly.
Halo also has a significant multiplayer component with basic deathmatch (called slayer here), capture the flag with the unusual addition that the flag takes your weapon spot while you are holding it, so shooting your way in and out of the base on your own is not an option, territories, and some options unique to the game, such as oddball, where you must hold onto a skull for the longest time, race where you score points by getting to checkpoints and juggernaut, where one super-powered player must get points by killing the others and the other players try to kill him to steal his powers. There is also a game editor which allows you to set custom rules for all the basic game types. All the playable weapons and vehicles from the campaign mode are available in the multiplayer maps with the ability for members of the same team to share the game's distinctive Warthog vehicle, which is essentially a small truck with a mounted gun on the back.
- ヘイロー - Japanese spelling
- 光晕：战斗进化 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 最後一戰 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- Console Generation Exclusives: Xbox
- Games made into books
- Games made into comics
- Games made into movies
- Halo series
- Launch title: Xbox (North America)
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Setting: Space station / Spaceship
- Technology: amBX
- Xbox Best of Classics releases
- Xbox Best of Platinum Hits releases
- Xbox Classics releases
- Xbox Platinum Hits releases
Credits (Xbox version)
185 People (107 developers, 78 thanks) · View all
|Assistant Art Director|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 91% (based on 110 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 402 ratings with 26 reviews)
Halo is one of those games that was in development for a long time. What began as a third-person action/adventure for the Macintosh, became a Windows game. And then became a first person shooter for the Xbox. Love it or loathe it, Halo made the Xbox the success it is today.
In Halo, the last inhabitants are embroiled in a losing war with aliens known as “The Covenant”. They are a pious group that see humanity as a threat. A super solider known as the “Master Chief”, is the only hope of the Earth. In Halo you are the Master Chief. You are given a rude awaking when the fanatical aliens board your ship. From here you must fight you way past them, and escape the vessel, to land on the strange and ancient ring world known as Halo.
Halo is seen as a reward for the Covenant. The truth is soon revealed. And you know you must keep the aliens from using Halo at all costs. Or humanity will be lost.
Halo plays much like any other FPS. You explore levels kill enemies, find ammo, better weapons, etc. Health is unique in that you have a recharging shield, that protects your health, it must be drained first for you to die. The recharge takes time however. In combat you strafe, shoot, jump, and use grenades to flush out aliens. The most unique aspect of Halo’s gameplay comes from the use of vehicles. An all terrain vehicle known as the “Warthog”, a flying “Banshee”, “Ghost”, and tank like “Scorpion”. Are all at your disposal. Many vehicles can house many, and human troops will join you in the fight. And in COOP mode two human player can use the same vehicle…sweet!
Speaking of multiplayer, like most FPS of today Halo packs in multiplayer fun as well. You can play on the internet, if you run your Xbox through your PC, this however is a little complicated, so most will likely just play via split screen, or better yet system link. Modes include standards like DeathMatch, CTF, and Domination. As well as less common COOP. In which two players can play the campaign together. This is great fun, more so than playing alone.
The Graphics are very good for early Xbox. Of course later games like Doom3, Half-Life 2, and Halo 2, put them to shame. The graphics are clean and crisp. Nice lighting effects here as well.
The Music is epic and grand when it needs be. And fast and rocking when it needs be. Halo’s score really puts it’s sequel down. The sound effect are top notch. And as one would expect from a newer game the voice overs are solid.
Some levels don’t feel right. Such as the level in which you board a Covenant ship. The difficulty is unbalanced. Easy is too easy. And Hard is to hard.
The game ends with a driving stage, WTF? Oh and you know a sequel is coming. Even before Halo 2 was announced.
Halo also spawned a lot of crap ass games, like Darkwatch, Killzone, and Pariah. This is a very bad thing. Despite what others say.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Halo is an enjoyable game. And now is a Platinum Hit. You afford $20...right?
Xbox · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006
Way back in the day Bungie was a Mac developer. Their greatest release, for many, was a great Doom-a-like called Marathon. Marathon not only had better graphics and sound -- a side effect of Macs actually being better for that until the mid-90's -- but had an incredible backstory and amazing multiplayer back when that was rare.
After doing the wonderful Myth they started talking about Halo. I couldn't wait, it looked like it was going to be Marathon x 10. But I had to wait... and wait... and wait. Then they got bought by MS, then the Mac version got canned, then it went x-box only. Finally after what, FOUR YEARS, it's out on the PC.
And sadly, it's not Marathon x 10. It's better, sure, and the hardware-based 3D graphics are excellent, but really, this is just Marathon with vehicles. The physics are better (but come on, flight sims were doing this a decade ago), but the weapons are mostly the same, the action is similar in many ways, even parts of the story seem to be lifted from Marathon.
One oddity is that it does seem to play a lot better on the Mac than Win. I see a lot of complaints here about the performance, but I was playing it on a iMac without anything fancy and it seemed fine.
When I heard MS was buying Bungie I got the feeling they would loose all of the originality that made Bungie the company to beat. Seems I was right.
I guess if they had actually released it back then it wouldn't be so bad. But today it really does feel like a four year old game.
The Bottom Line
Definitely a good game, and it was certainly ahead of its time -- but that time was three years ago.
Windows · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2003
I played halo on both platforms at the same time. I played it on the PC in Legendary settings and on Normal on the Xbox. I come from the PC and so it is not so easy for me to use a gamepad. There is no doubt that a mouse/keyboard is a better combination, but a gamepad works too if you allow the game to be more forgiving by using the Normal settings.
Plot: Very interesting, finally something that brings back memories from Wing Commander fight with the Kilrathi. It was interesting enough for me to consider buying Halo fiction. I loved the fact you got to meet TWO races, both the Covenant and the Flood.
AI: Amazing, especially in Legendary. You really have to think before you take your moves. There is no way you are going to survive by running and shooting everything,
Sound: If you got the right speakers, it is superb! Amazing work on the 5.1 Dolby digital.
Graphics: Considering it is a port, they are awesome. True, they are not as good (or even close) to Far Cry's, but they are good enough.
Action: This is what really rocks. There is always something going on. You move from challenge to challenge. It is hard to put it in words, but the game keeps you so much involved, which is a rare thing for an FPS. You can drive an APC, a tank, fly two types of crafts, use both human and alien weapons. WOW!!! So many tactical decisions that you have to make all the time. I don't think there was an FPS till Halo that offered that much.
Performance: Obviously the game takes a ton of resources and it should not. It was not that much of a problem for me (CPU 3Ghz, Radeon 9700 PRO, etc.), but I did have to turn the resolution down to 1280x1024, something that I did not have to do with any other game from Halo's release date.
Level Design: This has been said by many people, certain levels are repetitive.
The Bottom Line
You can probably find Halo for $10 or less, I suggest you take the ride now!
Windows · by The Gay Elf (12) · 2006
1001 Video Games
The Xbox version of Halo: Combat Evolved appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The end of the PC demo features a 49 second infomercial-style video, narrated by Sgt. Johnson, which extolls the virtues of buying the full version. "Buy one! Heck, buy two!"
Halo went through many changes during its development. As originally conceived, it was a real-time tactical game for Windows, something like a sci-fi version of Myth. The focus shifted toward direct control of one of the individual units and it became a third person shooter and work began on a Macintosh version as well. This is how the game was originally announced.
After Microsoft bought Bungie, Halo was shifted to being an Xbox exclusive. Around the same time, it became a first person game, with Bungie saying there wasn't any way to get precise aiming to work in third person. Many of the art assets changed too, with the Master Chief's armor in the game as shipped looking quite different than the original trailer. Eventually, Halo was ported back to its original platforms of Windows and Macintosh bearing no resemblance to how it started.
Beat the game in Legendary difficulty and you get an additional funny cutscene at the end.
Halo has a strange enemy hidden in the game code called the Engineer. You can only access it using a mod chip. It's a pink, blobby thing that just sort of floats around. It's the same creature as seen in one of the earliest videos of the game, the one with the marines going into the huge building.
- If you look closely at the shotgun shells taken out when Master Chief reloads, you'll see there are hippo heads pictured on them.
- If you highlight the "Edit Gametypes" section in the multiplayer section of this game, you come across an image of Master Chief with text that, to the reader, seems to be schematics for each of his body parts. If you look closely, some of the text aren't schematics, but text: Text on Head/Gun: "UV Protectant Sun Visor for Protection from Elements". Text on Upper Right Leg: "Sometimes I give myself the creeps, sometimes my mind plays tricks on me" (lyrics from the Green Day song "Basket Case"). Text on Lower Right Leg: "Hydraulic Suspension Thigh Pads with cool Kevlar crap". Text on Left Leg: "Directional Locks MJOLNIR cyborg dealer parts". Text on Arm: "Action/Reload see may flexible joint system". Text on Torso: "All your base are belong to us".
Halo: Custom Edition
On May 5th, 2004, Halo: Custom Edition was released for free. It is a multiplayer only, 170MB standalone version of Halo PC which enables gamers to play user created content created with the halo editing kit. It requires the original cd and a valid key to play. Download it here.
Halo is used to film the machinima web series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles, which is currently in its fifteenth season.
As of July 2017, there are a total of twenty-one Halo tie-in novels. The first three being: Fall of Reach (prequel), The Flood (novelization of the game), and First Strike (successor).
Halo was originally rated T for Teens.
- At the center of the Halo logo, you can see the
Marathonlogo (Marathon being the FPS series Bungie was previously famous for). The Marathon logo can also be seen in several places throughout the game, including on the hull of the human battleship, on Captain Keye's uniform, and on several of the doors found around Halo. The character design of 343 Guilty Spark, one of the game's pivotal characters, also strongly resembles the Marathon logo.
- The cyborg Master Chief wears a suit of Mjolnir battle armor. The hero of the Marathon series was a Mjolnir class cyborg.
- The alien grunts sometimes scream out "They're everywhere!" in combat. The human civilians from Marathon would also scream the same thing during the alien invasion.
- Certain weapons have similar names and appearances in both games, such as the SPNKR rocket launcher.
- Both games have very whimsical chapter names, like "Wait! It Gets Worse!" or "Fourth Floor: Tools, Guns, Keys to Superweapon" in Halo or "Kill Your Television" or "You Think You're Badass? You're Going to Die Badass!" in Marathon.
- Rampancy, or "When AIs go nuts and rebel against humanity", played a major part of Marathon's story. If you kill the command crew in Halo's opening level, Cortana will complain that you've gone Rampant and will sic the Marines on you.
- The hero of the Marathon series spend most of his time taking orders from Durandal, a megalomaniacal A.I. named after a mythological sword who had few qualms about breaking a few eggs (using humans as expendable pawns) to make an omelet (liberating a slave race). The hero of Halo spends most of his time taking orders from Cortana, an A.I. named after a mythical sword who's beginning to show signs her ego is expanding, and who has few qualms about breaking a few eggs (destroying Halo and killing the marines on it) to make an omelet (saving Earth).
- Much of the dialog of the "Grunt" characters is taken from the Human characters in the first Marathon: "Thank God it's you" was spoken by characters called "Exploding Bobs", which were sythetic Humans who would run at the player and explode. The line "They're Everywhere" was spoken by frightened Humans the player would come across.
- The architecture in Halo is very similar to Jjaro architecture - the Jjaro were an equally ancient race in Marathon.
Some of the dialogue spoken by the marines, comes directly from the film Aliens.
- As of 2005, Halo is the best-selling Xbox game of all time. It has sold three and a half million copies.
- On August 31, 2003 has Halo (Xbox) won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Many people believe that Halo takes place during a one-hundred-and-thiry-nine year gap in the Marathon timeline, in which the creators wrote "This century intentionally left blank. Seriously, nothing really happened."
Much of the dialogue spoken by the Covenant Elites is in fact dialogue by the human Sergeant, reversed, with some pitch alterations.
Windows and Macintosh versions
- Gearbox took over programming of Halo PC and discovered that they can't use much of the existing networking code (for the XBox). They had to rewrite that entire section, delaying the title for PC by several months.
- The PC version (and probably Mac, too) of Halo adds a few bonus features for the multiplayer mode, these include two weapons: a Flamethrower (which was scrapped from the game at the last minute) and a Fuel Rod Gun (the weapon that the Hunters use in the main game) as well as allowing you to use the Banshee and a rocket-launcher version of the Warthog.
- 2002– Best Xbox Action Game of the Year
- 2002– Best Console Multiplayer Game of the Year
- 2002 – #2 Best Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
- Computer Gaming World
- March 2004 (Issue #236) – Year's Biggest Letdown
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- April 2002 - Game of the Year
- 2001 – Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
- 2001 – Xbox Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- 2003 – #6 PC Game of the Year
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/2008 - One of the "10 Coolest Levels" (for the level "The Silent Cartographer". It combines all fun elements from the first person shooter genre into one level.)
- Interactive Achievement Awards (Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences)
- 2002 - Game of the Year
- 2002 - Console Game of the Year,
- 2002 - Console Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- 2002 - Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
- PC Powerplay (Germany)
- Issue 03/2005 - #1 Biggest Disappointment
- Issue 12/2006 - #9 Hype Disappointment (was no longer impressive when it was ported two years after the console version)
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #18 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (VUD)
- August 31, 2003 - Gold Award
- Walk of Game
- 2005 - Member
Related Sites +
An Apple Games article about the Mac version of <em>Halo</em>, with commentary being provided by Project Manager Marc Tardif and MacSoft President Peter Tante (November, 2003).
Official Site - Bungie
A wiki covering all Halo games
Microsoft: Halo Website
The Halo: Combat Evolved wikipedia page
Wikipedia's page on Halo: Combat Evolved.
- MobyGames ID: 5368
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by JPaterson.
Additional contributors: Istari, Kartanym, Unicorn Lynx, Entorphane, karttu, tarmo888, Kabushi, Pseudo_Intellectual, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Zaibatsu, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, yellowshirt.
Game added November 17th, 2001. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.