Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Comparison, Review, and Analysis

January 20, 2012

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.

(Click on page numbers below)

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3 Responses to “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Comparison, Review, and Analysis”

  1. Ben said

    Well presented amigo!

    Some might say those differences are negligible, but I agree with you argument completely.

    Halo Combat Evolved had a charm and uniqueness to it that cannot be manipulated or re-created.

    I have some other views and opinions that I could express about CEA, but that’d be going way off topic.

    A 5/5 analysis, backed up with strong evidence.

  2. Ryan said

    Very precisely analysed!

    I agree on every count, while these discrepancies may be negligible to newcomers to H:CE, the overall tone and functionality is greatly affected.

    Very good review.

  3. Zerox said

    Being a fan interested in small details, I looked forward to seeing the new Flood and was dissapointed. They are slightly touched up models ported from Halo 3. The armour is totally different to the other Elites in game, especially considering aspects were changed between Halo 3 and Halo Reach (particularly considering the Elites you fight are slightly touched Reach models). The model has not really been changed, just some colouration. I suppose the whiteness is perhaps to show the paint has worn off? If so, it also removes a previous Flood problem from Halo 3, where even an infected red coloured Elite would mysteriously gain blue armoured legs as it became Flood.
    The same issue occurs with the marines, though is slightly less noticeable. Still frustrating though.
    I don’t mind (and personally quite like) the ported Reach models as the graphic level is rather similar, however, I think porting outdated Halo 3 models (graphically and canon wise) and not bothering to change them significantly strikes me as worryingly lazy, especially considering what this remake embodied for 343.

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