Feeds
80%
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Bark of the Covenant

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Switch it down

Just as The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition lets you switch between 'new' and 'old looks, so Halo Anniversary Edition allows you to flip between the new and original engines at any point in the game. Simply press the back button and a decade's worth of graphical advancements are undone in the blink of any eye.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Bay for blood

Obvious throughout, those advances are nonetheless most apparent in Halo's exteriors. Take the swamp in the level '343 Guilty Spark', for example. Switch to retro view and it's noticeably claustrophobic and lifeless. Muddily textured trees and mounds punctuate the barren gloom, while a static tree canopy barely protrudes through the surrounding fog.

A quick switch back to the Reach engine and the swamp is transformed into lush, verdant wetlands, where bioluminescent plants light the darkest corners with a panoply of colour and everywhere long grasses and tree branches sway in the breeze.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Cave of forgotten beams

Strikingly apparent outside, it's actually inside that benefits most from the overhaul. Most criticism levelled at the original centred on its repetitive interiors - nowhere more justifiably so than in 'The Library' and 'Silent Cartographer' levels.

In truth, the new engine does little more than paper over existing wallpaper, but it's transformative effect is nonetheless remarkable. Subtle shades of lighting break the monotonous architecture, while neon wall glyphs and additional floor markers disrupt the incessant déjà vu and minimise the backtracking that plagued Halo's most repetitive sections.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition

Damson in distress

Of course, a graphical overhaul counts for nothing if the gameplay doesn't stand the test of time. For the most part, it remains as peerless as ever. The evolving storyline - no mere pretext for absurd amounts of violence, no cardboard character cutscenes - continues to grip as a good sci-fi novel might.

And, despite years of innovation and advancement, no shooter has quite matched Halo's gunplay. Its narrow focus might seem rudimentary compared with the complex narratives, objectives and other ancillary distractions of modern shooters, but Halo was always unabashed in relying on scintillating sandbox combat alone.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Next page: Déjà vuvuzela

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.