The original installment of the insanely popular first-person shooter game
Windows 2000 / Windows 98 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 98 SE / Windows ME
Microsoft Game Studios
The first game in an iconic and revelatory series, Halo: Combat Evolved, is the first step into the first-person shooter sci-fi genre that made big waves in the video game industry. Even despite its age, Halo: Combat Evolved continues on as a heavily played game even today. Some argue the original is better than the games that followed.
First game of the massively successful Halo series, this game was one of only two that was released for the PC. It features an epic solo campaign with fast and furious multiplayer combat. The game dates back to 2001, and even today, it looks surprisingly good. While it might not compete with the high-definition games we see in today's world, the art style matched the technology of what we had available 10 years ago. Should you decide to try out the single player demo, it hands you access to a dynamic combat system from the main campaign.
Anyone who has played an FPS will understand the controls of Halo: Combat Evolved. The game and the modes are fairly simple to understand. Unfortunately, you can only play on a single map with the multiplayer and the demo for the game. However, the entertainment of the level makes it fun to play in no matter what. You can also find rooms with other players to square off against others. Halo: Combat Evolved has plenty of varieties of vehicles and weapons so that you will almost always have a blast.
As a classic shooter, this game provides you with hours of entertainment in a free online multiplayer environment. It runs quite smoothly on today's PCs, which is another one of the many benefits of playing this game. Even if you keep the company's well-earned reputation in mind, Bungie has always provided gamers with a stunning level of quality when it comes to games. This game remains one of the high-end games, and it has perhaps 16 hours of dedicated gameplay in the plus version.
The game takes place within a space-faring future, and the forces of Earth have all converged together into a great conflict where they must face off against the alien race called, "The Covenant." The game starts where you wake up out of a cryo sleep, and you learn how "The Covenant" has obtained a mysterious artifact that is perhaps a weapon. Your new mission is to stop this from happening. Your military commander will brief you on your mission and arm you. This is the game that set everything in motion for the future of the FPS genre. It remains one of the best titles in the video game vault.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a highly regarded first-person shooter that was developed by Bungie. Many attribute the partial success of the first Xbox to its having had Halo to offer to console gamers, so it's likely that Microsoft released its successors to that system at least in part because of the game. Halo is considered by fans to be exemplary when it comes to offering satisfying FPS single-player gameplay, with many praising the artificial intelligence on display in particular.
The PC port of the game was done by Gearbox Software, and they did an admirable job of translating it. Although Halo was undoubtedly designed with thumbsticks in mind, it plays superbly with the mouse and keyboard setup that many PC gamers will naturally gravitate toward. In fact, some might think that it plays too well with such controls, with the mouse being such an accurate aiming device that the game's difficulty is definitely lessened compared to playing on the console. Fortunately, Bungie was good about offering a variety of difficulty levels, and the game's "Legendary" setting will likely provide some challenge even for FPS veterans.
Halo is an older game, but some excellent art direction helps it to stand up visually even today. Even modern PCs of modest power will run the game very smoothly at high resolutions, and gamers with high-end rigs are likely to be able to pour on the anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering which help so much with improving image quality. Played when down-sampled from a higher resolution, in fact, the game can look genuinely stunning at times, showing off as it does to great effect the work of Bungie's talented art department.
The action holds up even better. Halo bears the signs of a game that went through loads of internal testing and tuning before it was unleashed upon the world, as gun play is as satisfying as one would hope. The Flood and other enemies make for great targets, too, sometimes seeming truly alive as they scramble to organize and take down the player-controlled Master Chief.
To gamers used to the modern warfare-influenced offerings that so crowd today's FPS market, Halo's science-fiction setting should feel like a breath of fresh air. Bungie's creation is famous for the lore and back story that support it, and even players new to this unique world will quickly feel right at home in it. Even for those who have already played later games in the series, this classic is well worth checking out.