Halo: Combat Evolved

Fight for humanity against an alien onslaught as you race to uncover the mysteries of Halo.

I was a first-person shooter gamer so the release of “Halo: Combat Evolved” caused me to go to Toys “R” Us and purchase the original Microsoft Xbox, that came with the game.

I had played my previous first-person shooters on the PC platform. My first to play through to the end was id Software’s “Doom” (1993). I loved 3D Realms’ “Duke Nukem 3D” (1996) and id Software’s “Quake” (1996).

Bungie had already started the development of Halo in 1997. It started as a real-time strategy game that morphed into a third-person shooter before becoming a first-person shooter. Bungie, having financial difficulties approached Microsoft. They were acquired and with the new Xbox console on the horizon, Halo became the launch title game. The game had originally been intended for Mac OS and Windows but they had to quickly start the port to the new console.

“Halo: Combat Evolved”, released November 15, 2001, is a first-person shooter where you play the main character Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 a SPARTAN-II (elite soldiers through mechanical and biological augmentation). You are on the Pillar of Autumn which crash lands on a large ringworld of unknown origin.

The ship’s artificial intelligence (AI), known as Cortana, has been entrusted to Master Chief. The main enemy in the game is the Covenant, composed of a variety of diverse species, united under the religious worship of the enigmatic Forerunners and their belief that Forerunner ringworlds known as Halos will provide a path to salvation.

One of the primary antagonists in the story is the Flood, a parasitic alien lifeform, which is pretty easily killed but comes in great numbers at times and can be annoying. There are many species within the Covenant like the Elites, Grunts, Jackals, Hunters, Prophets, and Brutes.

One concept introduced in “Halo: Combat Evolved”, is limiting the number of weapons players could carry to two, forcing them to carefully select their preferred armament.


01 M6D Personal Defense Weapon System (Pistol)
02 MA5B Individual Combat Weapon System (Assault rifle)
03 M90 Close Assault Weapon System (Shotgun)
04 M19 SSM Rocket Launcher
05 Sniper Rifle System 99C-S2 Antimatériel (Sniper rifle)
06 M7057/Defoliant Projector (Flamethrower)
07 Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol (Plasma pistol)
08 Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle (Plasma rifle)
09 Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher (Needler)
10 Fuel rod Gun
11 M9 High-Explosive Dual-Purpose Grenade (Fragmentation grenade)
12 Type-1 Antipersonnel Grenade (Plasma or “sticky” grenade)

From Strategywiki.org

The game features vehicles, ranging from armored 4×4s and tanks to alien hovercraft and aircraft, many of which can be controlled by the player. The game switches to a third-person perspective during vehicle use for pilots and mounted gun operators; passengers maintain a first-person view.

The game’s heads-up display includes a “motion tracker” that registers moving allies, moving or firing enemies, and vehicles, in a certain radius of the player. For 2001 the graphics were incredible and the controller was perfect for the game.

Campaign (Single Player)

01 The Pillar of Autumn – “Escape intact as Covenant forces board your ship.”
02 Halo – “Seek out surviving Marines and help them fight the Covenant.”
03 The Truth and Reconciliation – “Board a Covenant ship in an attempt to rescue Captain Keyes.”
04 The Silent Cartographer – “Search for the map room that will lead you to the secrets of Halo.”
05 Assault on the Control Room – “Defend the Control Room against wave after wave of Covenant troops.”
06 343 Guilty Spark – “Creep through a swamp to meet the only enemy the Covenant fear.”
07 The Library – “Fight your way through an ancient security facility in search of the Index.”
08 Two Betrayals – “Re-activate the weapon at the heart of Halo… and learn the truth.”
09 Keyes – “Stage a one-cyborg assault on a Covenant ship and bring back the Captain.”
10 The Maw – “Destroy Halo before Halo destroys all life in the galaxy.”

From halopedia.org

The audio and soundtrack are credited to Martin O’Donnell. He stated that he was trying to provide “a feeling of importance, weight, and sense of the ‘ancient’.”

He remarked that he “sat with the level designers and ‘spotted’ the level as though it was a movie, with the knowledge that the music would have to be malleable rather than static…

The level designer would tell me what he hoped a player would feel at certain points or after accomplishing certain tasks”. Halo Combat Evolved was critically acclaimed and I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars myself.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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