Halo: Combat Evolved, developed by Bungie Studios (a subsidiary of Microsoft Game Studios), is a highly influential first-person shooter game. It revolutionized the FPS genre on consoles by introducing new gameplay, accessibility, and control features.
This landmark title was initially an Xbox console exclusive but later came to PC with a successful port that retained most of its original components. Originally intended as a PC RTS game, it ultimately became an FPS game that stood out for its SP and MP modes, smart design choices, engaging story, immersive world, and online interactions. Its key innovations included tight controls, sandbox-style combat, advanced AI, intuitive level design, innovative combat mechanics, and 4-player coop support.
The PC port removed split-screen support. Halo: Combat Evolved sold over 5 million copies in the US and was remastered for the modern Xbox One console. You can also play a remastered version of Halo: Combat Evolved if you own The Master Chief Collection.
Halo: Combat Evolved is a first-person shooter game that allows players to experience gameplay in a 3D environment from a first-person perspective. Players can move around and look in different directions. The game includes vehicles such as armored cars, tanks, alien hovercraft, and aircraft, many of which can be controlled by the player.
When using vehicles, the game switches to a third-person perspective for pilots and mounted gun operators, while passengers maintain a first-person view. The game’s heads-up display includes a motion tracker that detects moving allies, enemies, and vehicles in the player’s vicinity.
The player character is equipped with an energy shield that protects against weapon fire and impacts. The shield’s charge is represented by a blue bar on the heads-up display, and it automatically recharges if no damage is taken for a brief period. When the shield is fully depleted, the player becomes vulnerable and further damage reduces the character’s health. If the health meter reaches zero, the character dies and the game reloads from a saved checkpoint. Health can be replenished through health packs found throughout the levels.
The game’s weapons are of science fiction and have been praised for their unique purposes, making each useful in different situations. For example, plasma weapons need time to cool down if fired too quickly, but do not need to be reloaded, while conventional firearms do not overheat but require reloading and ammunition. Unlike many other FPS games, Halo players can only carry two weapons at a time, encouraging players to make tactical decisions when managing firearms.
Halo departs from traditional FPS conventions by allowing players to use grenades or melee-range blunt instruments while still holding a gun, rather than forcing players to holster their firearm first. Both types of grenades have different properties, the fragmentation grenade bounces and detonates quickly, while the plasma grenade adheres to targets before exploding.
The Enemies in Halo: CE
Halo: Combat Evolved immerses players in an epic battle against the Covenant, an alliance of terrifying alien species united by their fanatical religion. Players will face off against the fierce and deadly Elites, protected by energy shields similar to their own, the cowardly Grunts who cower and flee without a leader, the treacherous Jackals, originally space pirates, who wield a deadly combination of energy shield and handgun, and the monstrous Hunters, towering creatures made up of worm-like colonies, armored in thick plates and wielding a powerful assault cannon that fires explosive plasma rounds.
But the fight doesn’t stop there, as players will also have to contend with the Flood, a parasitic alien life form that comes in a variety of monstrous forms, and the Sentinels, powerful aerial robots created by an extinct race to protect their structures and eradicate the Flood. These Sentinels can hover, produce energy shield when under attack, and use powerful laser weapons, but be aware they are immune to Flood infections and will not hesitate to eliminate any obstacle on their path.
With the help of the UNSC Marines, players will have to use all their combat skills and tactical thinking to survive and uncover the secrets of the ancient ringworld and ultimately defeat the Covenant and put an end to the Flood threat.
Halo: CE Plot
In this science fiction game, players take on the role of Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier who fights for humanity and the United Nations Space Command against the hostile alien group known as the Covenant.
The story is set in the 26th century and begins with the discovery of a massive alien artifact, a ringworld with a livable atmosphere. Master Chief’s mission is to explore the ringworld and uncover its secrets and any ties it may have to the Covenant.
With that said, the game features a single-player campaign consisting of 10 missions, lasting approximately 10 hours.
Halo: CE Sales
Sales of Halo: Combat Evolved were not immediate upon release, but it had a strong performance over time and a high rate of sales in relation to Xbox consoles.
In the two months following its release, the game was sold with over 50% of Xbox console purchases. Within five months of its release, the game had sold one million units, a faster pace than any previous sixth-generation console game.
By July 2003, it had sold three million copies worldwide, and four million by January 2004. As of July 2006, the Xbox version had sold 4.2 million copies and earned $170 million in the United States alone. The PC version sold 670,000 copies and earned $22.2 million. It was ranked as the second highest-selling game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, or GameCube between January 2000 and July 2006 in the United States.