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Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary XBox 360 Review - -
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Reviewed by
James Wright
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary XBox 360 Review It's definitely for the Halo fan or for those that like well-made first person shooters with some great gaming mechanics and some amazing gaming environments that almost make this a new game.

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 8.5
Sound 9.0
Value 9.0
Distributor: Microsoft
Review Date:
Nov 2011
James Wright


Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary

For XBox gamers, the penultimate first person shooter series is Halo and Halo: Combat Evolved was the game that started it all. However for those gamers that have come late to the party, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition is a remastered version of the game with beautiful next-generation graphics but with the same story and gameplay that it made such as a worldwide hit.

It was probably the first game of its genre to put the story at the forefront and the campaign mode was filled with classic memorable moments that kept many on the edge of their seats. With that said, Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries have created an amazing update of one of a classic game and Impulse Gamer was lucky enough to check it out!

However before we get the crux of the gameplay, the first thing that you will notice are the amazing updated visuals. Revisiting this world again is a true experience and from a graphical perspective, it's quite a technological feat with high resolution texture details and gorgeous lighting. It's almost like playing the game again with the graphics as everything looks so lush and realistic as you interact with the title. Another clever option in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is the option to swap back to the "classic" view which gives the player a fun comparison of tradition meets next generation graphics.

In relation to story, XBox fan boys and girls may have experienced the birth of Halo many times, however seeing it with the remastered visuals is like reliving some surreal childhood memory again. With the humans discovering the "Halo" space station, things begin to fall apart when the Covenant attack. This is where we are introduced to one of the best gaming protagonists, Master Chef and Cortana, the female virtual entity who is connected to our hero via neural implants.

It's great to see the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana fleshed out again as they definitely make an awesome gaming couple... not in the romantic way of course. Without spoiling the story further, it's a classic space adventure of good versus evil with more aliens than what is generally healthy for you. Oh... there are also some Easter eggs or additional story segments thrown in as well!

So if you don't know by know, Halo is a first person shooter which gives the player access to a wide range of weaponry and vehicles to assist you to get the job done. In relation to gaming mechanics, the game is almost a mirror image of the original title with many of the mechanics remaining unchanged.

It has been tweaked and does feel a little more sturdy with the new 360 controller, even with the clichéd jumping. . Depending on your difficulty level, AI can give you a run for your money, especially the various species of the Covenant from grunts to elites. It's good to be back!

Apart from the single-player campaign mode, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary allows you to play co-op via split-screen (woohoo) or online, both quite sturdy modes. Nothing is more fun than completing the campaign mode with a friend as it makes the whole experience a considerably richer process.

Multiplayer has received a facelift as well with six updated multiplayer maps and a new fire fight map. Online play does allow for both competitive and cooperative matches but it should be noted that classic mode is not available during compeitive play.

Some players may notice that certain other multiplayer maps are missing but it's a small price to pay for the visual overhaul. Gamers playing Halo: Reach can however download the Anniversary Map Pack for 1200 Microsoft Points. It's also great that Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary contains both Forge and Theatre modes so not only can you replay matches but you can create your own maps and gaming environments.

Graphics and Audio

I love the new looks of the Covenant enemies which are almost on par with the new Halo games and unlike their rather dated looks from the original game, they appear more life-like and dangerous. Even the Flood look more nefarious and deadly. As mentioned earlier, the player can swap between remastered and classic modes whenever they want which is really fun to use. The contrast between classic and remastered is quite noticeable, although it looks eerie similar at the same time.

The attention to detail in the remastered mode really brings the world to life, especially on the XBox 360 console and the lighting and sky effects are to die for. Did I mention 3D? Yup, the game even supports 3D and really jumps out at you when you enable this feature. We tested this feature on our Samsung 3D TV and the game definitely takes a new lease of life.

Even audio has been updated and sounds phenomenal through a surround sound system with some extraordinary use of bass, especially when the battles commence. The soundtrack of Halo is quite iconic and really lends itself well to the storyline.

Final Level

Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries should be commended on this 10th anniversary release of Halo: Combat Evolved. It's definitely for the Halo fan or for those that like well-made first person shooters with some great gaming mechanics and some amazing gaming environments that almost make this a new game. The ability to swap between classic and remastered is a treat in itself and really makes you appreciate what the developers created with the original game.


Key Features
  • All new graphics and cinematics designed for the 360.
  • Play both updated and classic modes, including toggle to relive your original moment.
  • Relive the fun with co-op over Xbox LIVE.
  • Achievements to complete Halo Career and skulls for game variety.
  • 7 Nostalgic Maps using Reach multiplayer engine (6 Multiplayer +1 Firefight) included.
  • Enhanced Story - New story elements fill in the back-story.


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