Lollipop Magazine is being rebuild at LollipopMagazine.com. Lollipop.com is no longer updated, but the archive content will remain until 2018 (more or less).
Check out our new site!
Halo | Combat Evolved Anniversary | review | game | Lollipop
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
(Microsoft for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
I'm a run 'n' gunner in first-person shooters. I'm way too antsy to crouch on a hill and be a sniper, and I'm too restless even to camp in the corner of a high-traffic part of a multiplayer map and try to score some points that way. It's murder on my kill/death ratio, but I've gotta run around the battlefield like a madman, looking for action wherever I can find it. The Halo series indulges this troublesome part of my gaming personality, and that's why it's my favorite shooter franchise, dating back to the 2001 original.
This 10th anniversary reworking of Halo: Combat Evolved does an excellent job of reminding everyone why pseudo-Tasmanian Devils like myself have such an affinity for Halo's incredible gameplay design, which is still in a class of its own a decade later. The feedback of the assault rifle, the crunch of finishing off your weakened enemies with a melee attack, the pistols and grenades that aren't Hail Mary last resorts but powerful and integral parts of a battle strategy. You're not a small part of a greater force in Halo, you are the force, the Master Chief that commands the combat zone and gives the player one of the best feelings of empowerment in all of gaming.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Halo: Combat Evolved's superlative gameplay is packaged with both some of the tightest, most rewarding multiplayer in the business (you can play classic maps from the disc and/or import them into Halo: Reach's constantly evolving multiplayer community) and one of the best shooter campaigns ever created (honestly, from the open environments to the music to the Flood, there are way too many highlights to fit between these parentheses) in Anniversary. It's an all-time classic, now to be experienced in beautifully textured HD glory. It's crazy to think that a 10-year-old game could be released during this cutthroat shooter season and hold its own, but it does, and I hope it creates a new generation of run 'n' gunners that I'll be butting helmets with online for years to come.