On November 15, 2011, 343 Industries released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. It consists of Halo 1’s campaign with a new graphical layer by Saber Interactive, with skulls and a set of animated terminals. CEA contains multiplayer components consisting of two-player online coop for the campaign and a map pack for Halo: Reach.

In addition to the graphical layer, Anniversary’s campaign includes rerecorded sound effects and live-orchestrated music. The game includes a feature to swap between new and original graphics in real time at the press of a button, and it is possible to swap between new and old music from the menu, though the game does not include the original gameplay sounds. Unlike previous console versions of Halo 1, Anniversary (which I will refer to in shorthand as CEA, while the original game will be CE) supports 16:9 widescreen.

This article focuses on the campaign, and contains spoilers.

Note: A few things I say in this review will seem objectively false if your familiarity with the original game lies with classic mode, Halo PC, or the 360 emulation of Halo 1. Unless I state otherwise, “Halo 1” or “CE” or “the original game” refers to the original game played on an original Xbox console.

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