- Page 1 Halo Review
- Page 2 Halo Review
As a first person shooter Halo is head and shoulders above almost anything else out there. There’s a real sense of urgency when you’re surrounded by enemies and you’re desperately trying to shoot your way through to safety. The environment is enhanced by the inclusion of marines to help you at various stages throughout the game. Although the AI is questionable at times, on the whole they’re pretty good at covering your back and taking out a few bad guys. It’s also comforting to hear ‘Nice shot’ from a nearby marine when you’ve taken out an enemy from 200 yards with a sniper rifle.
But it’s when the game switches to third-person mode that having a couple of marines with you really helps. Jump into a Warthog (a kind of all-terrain jeep) and a marine will jump in the back and man the machine gun. It’s an absolute riot driving through swathes of enemies while your gunner turns them into mincemeat.
The gameplay is broken up into missions which are the perfect length. You can sit down and play a single level of Halo and feel as if you’ve accomplished something without having had to spend hours doing so. Your progress is saved automatically as you progress through the game, so you’re stuck with the same save points as the Xbox. Unfortunately, you can’t choose to play each level you’ve finished in the PC version like you can with the Xbox.
I did however encounter a couple of problems with the graphics. Playing on my system at home which is running the latest ATi Catalyst drivers there was a bit of an issue using the sniper rifle. Pressing the flashlight button while you’re zoomed in using the sniper rifle should activate your night vision, but instead it turned the screen completely black. Not ideal for a night incursion. I encountered a similar problem playing Halo on a Dell review system. This time when I zoomed in using the pistol everything except a small round circle turned black.
I have to say that I’ve always considered the PC to be the only true platform to play first person shooters on. The kind of control you get from a keyboard and mouse configuration can’t be emulated with a console controller, or at least I always thought that. Having played Halo extensively on the PC and the Xbox, I think that the Xbox controller provides a better control method. I’m sure that there are droves of hardcore PC gamers out there right now who think that I’m mad, but trust me on this one, the twin analogue stick Xbox controller was made for this game.
But there’s one thing that knocks the Xbox into a cocked hat, and that’s the multiplayer option on the PC Halo. After spending the last few years playing Counter Strike it made a refreshing change playing Halo. Once you’ve played a Capture the Flag match you’ll be hooked. There’s nothing quite like climbing into a Warthog with two other members of your team and bursting into the enemy fortress and stealing their flag. Although it’s the getting back with it that’s the hard bit.
Halo may be a couple of years old now, and anyone who’s got an Xbox has probably played it to death already. That said, I just never tire of playing this game, and every time I start a campaign I can still feel the adrenaline pumping. If however you haven’t already played Halo on the Xbox, you’re in for the type of experience that PC gamers haven’t had since Half Life. The multiplayer aspect just puts icing on top of an already very tasty cake.
Halo is quite simply one of the greatest games ever made. I’ve been playing this game for two years and I’m still not bored of it. Halo is the definitive first person shooter on the PC, at least until Half Life 2 finally arrives.