Note: Backtrack articles only include our ‘fun level’ factor while playing an old game. It is not a review, and is meant to be similar to a person-to-person conversation. These articles may contain spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Halo: Combat Evolved is the game responsible for putting Xbox on the map in 2001. Without Halo, I’m unsure how successful Xbox would’ve been. Despite Halo making Xbox what it was, I never cared about Halo: CE. Graphics are OK, story is mediocre, and there’s only local multiplayer.
Halo: CE Anniversary gives the original a serious facelift. The best part about CE’s facelift, is you can quickly see how much better the newer version is. I’d spend time switching back and forth between the remastered version and original, standing still in certain environments looking at all of the differences. It is awesome to see how different an environment can be, but tone and feel are left unchanged. Halo CE’s facelift is definitely the best part about ‘Anniversary’.
I’ve played Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo Reach. However, I cannot point out specific parts of ANY campaign. For some reason, I do not remember any part of any Halo campaign’s story. All I know is there’s a ring named Halo and some aliens are attacking. Is there really anything else to know?
Most fans wanted CE’s original LAN-only multiplayer expanded to the online realm. Fan desires were left unanswered because 343 Industries threw in multiplayer from Halo: Reach, but with a map pack that included remastered CE maps. This is definitely the easy way out, but I didn’t mind. I had more fun in Reach’s multiplayer than any other Halo game. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy Halo 2’s multiplayer, there’s nothing like it, but that was a different time. Reach is an infinitely better game.
Kinect & 3D
343 added Kinect integration and 3D to Halo: CE Anniversary. Kinect voice commands make it easy to throw grenades, reload, switch between original and remastered, and much more. However, I’m so used to playing Halo with a controller that I often forgot to use voice commands. Using voice commands is a smidgen slower than actually pressing a button, but Halo: CE isn’t a very fast-paced game, so the slight delay isn’t a problem.
Playing Halo: CE in 3D is pretty cool, the HUD pops out, your gun looks like it is actually in your hands, and enemies feel more lifelike with the added depth, however visual quality definitely suffers. You’ll notice a lot more jaggies and lower quality textures. Although, it is easy to look past the visual shortcomings, and still enjoy Halo: CE’s stellar gameplay in full 3D!
If you’re a Halo fan, have an Xbox 360 and want to replay Halo CE, Anniversary is for you. Anniversary doesn’t have a high price tag making it easy to pick up on a whim. Even for someone like me who has ZERO clue about Halo’s story, Anniversary was a very enjoyable experience and I’m quite excited for Halo: The Master Chief Collection releasing soon on Xbox One.
Here’s a gallery of photos so you too can compare the original to remastered/anniversary edition.