Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Halo: Combat Evovled Anniversary (sort of)

Is 10 years really enough time for nostalgia to sell a game? 343 Industries thinks so. The big question is "is Halo in HD worth buying" Well that's the thing... it's really a matter of how devoted you are. This is going to be fun... and short.

Halo's story is a simple one. A space marine of the United Nations Space Corps(UNSC) name Master Chief has been woken up to stop the Covenant from taking over the Pillar of Autumn and taking the A.I Cortana. He escapes and now has to fight the Covenant in his search to find out what Halo is and what the Covenant want with it.

For those returning the game is EXACTLY like the one you played 10 years ago only with a HD coat of paint and uglier face models. For the very small amount of you who haven't played it before it's a first person shooter so you already know how to play it. The thing is that nothing has changed at all in the game... well they did add terminals with extra info into the story but they are there more for a couple of achievements instead of expanding the story and skulls like in the other Halo's.

While 343 Industries did do a remix of the original soundtrack of the game and reskined the game, they missed out the opportunity to fix Halo's problem or better yet remake the entire game using the REACH engine and make it play like Halo Reach instead of it's clunky original. Also the remixed music is crappier then the original and the HD reskining looks good for everything except the human characters faces and the lip syncing is worse then the original. Fortunately you can switch between the original game and reskined version by pressing the back button at any time and you can switch the music back to the original in the menu.

The multiplayer is Halo Reach's but with new maps and it comes with a download voucher to download the maps into Halo Reach. This will be the main reason to buy the game in my opinion for most people. Personally don't bother playing the multiplayer through this game and just load up Halo Reach instead.

So is Halo's HD re-release worth buying? I'd have to say it depends. If you never played a Halo game I say go buy Halo Reach and forget the others. If you never played Halo Combat Evolved but played the others then no unless you're desperate to find out how it began. If you already own the original version then don't bother unless HD makes everything better. If you love Halo Reach and want more maps, just wait for the anniversary DLC to come out. What I'm trying to say is that it's all up to you if you think buying a re-release of a mediocre but fun shooter is worth it. It's not a bad game but it's not the best choice when other, better games are available.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is just a lazy HD reskining of the Xbox classic that is selling itself on a 10th anniversary nostalgia trip. If it came bundled with Halo 2 as well then I'd give it a better score but they didn't. At least every PS3 HD remake is bundled with 2 or more games. I bought it originally because I thought I'd be fun to replay Halo and it still is but I feel ripped off for paying AU$60 for it.

Score 3/5

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