When I think about where my love for games came from, I always come back to Halo. In 2001 the original Halo brought forward a new age of the FPS genre. Now 16 years later we have had games, spin offs, TV shows and enough media to last a lifetime. In this new type of article I’ll be looking at some of my favourite games and where the highest and lowest points were. I’ve asked all the other writers at Respawning as well as some friends if they have anything to remember about Halo. I’ll be looking at all the mainline games as well as a few spin-offs. Let’s get back into it the green space ranger suit as we look at where it all began.
Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
Halo: Combat Evolved was released on November 15th 2001, The game was developed by Bungie Studios, who now run the destiny series. For those who don’t know, the game was originally shown as a game for the Macintosh. Halo also had some RTS roots before settling on the FPS genre. In the end it would be the major launch title for Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox. Combat Evolved launched with critical success, making the figure of the Master Chief known across the world. I remember finding the game on my uncles Xbox when I was round at my grandmas house. I felt a sense of magic, being so young and to walk out onto the ring world was an unforgettable experience. Being young however I didn’t exactly progress for a few years and would drive around and drive marines off a cliff.
Combat Evolved released with 10 missions and some of the best local multiplayer still to this day. There was no Xbox Live at this point so everyone would play locally either through split-screen or system link. The Co-op experience is what made Combat Evolved so good to a lot of people. Games have the power to create a strong bond between friends as they recall the days they shot aliens for hours.
The fondest memories I have of Halo are from when I was 10 and I’d play co-op every time I went to a friend’s house. We’d spend hours running through Halo 1 and 2 – shooting the aliens, but mostly fucking ourselves up. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had. – Aditya
The story for its time was excellent and unique. Master Chief was suddenly woken up from cryo sleep to find a bunch of aliens boarding his ship. Players then found power in “the halo 1 pistol” tearing through elites and grunts left and right. Don’t even get me started on the music, Combat Evolved’s soundtrack sits as one of my favourites. To feel powerful and strong with the guitar riffs is an experience everyone needs to live. The music combined with the sights and mysteries of the alien ring world made the game a massive treat.
The vehicle combat was extraordinary for my childish brain, you’ll be moving around with cars, tanks and crazy alien ships. The way Combat Evolved combined land and air was so well done that the transitions between locations all felt like fun. Halo brought FPS’s into the 21st Century and was the framework for a lot more to come. If I had to score the game it would easily sit at: