Published on June 7th, 2011 | by Ben Gray3
Thoughts: Halo Combat Evolved AnniversaryThoughts is a fortnightly segment from staff writer Ben. His segments reflect his own thoughts and don’t necessarily reflect the thoughts of all staff members or the site as a whole. Feel free to leave your own opinions and arguments in the comments. A remake of Halo Combat Evolved is what I’ve always wanted, more so than another franchise spin-off or extra instalment in the “trilogy”. I spent countless times on the original Xbox playing this game, and even invested in the PC version to spend even more hours in the custom edition standalone. The entire campaign is remastered in the Reach engine, and the visuals close to, but not exactly the visual quality set in Reach (this is going by the announcement trailer). The physics and character behaviours of the original game are in, so no-one should be expecting the AI to be revolutionary, or even just good at taking cover. One of the coolest features is the ability to switch between the new and classic graphics with just a touch of a button. As long as there’s no delay or lag when activated, it’ll go down very well. The game plans to launch at a budget price, luckily. How much would you pay for an overhaul of an old title? Multiplayer is included in the Combat Evolved remake, and many people are misinterpreting this information. What most have come to as a conclusion, is that the seven maps (only seven? I’ll get to that later) brought back from the game into the remake are just a map pack for Reach, and CEA is just campaign. There is more certainly a multiplayer component with these maps in Combat Evolved, and also you get a download voucher to bring these maps over to Reach. I think that’s pretty cool indeed.
Not too much has been said yet about the multiplayer although it’s uncertain whether the original weapons will be included in MP. It’s a no-brainer really; CEA is a remake, so why not make it that? I do not want to play multiplayer where the weapons and setup are completely different to that of the campaign. People complain about armour abilities enough as it is (it takes one look at the Bungie forums) so for the sake of the fans and the remake itself, 343 should exclude these and make an identical copy of the CE MP, with perhaps some perked-up lobbies and such. I think the most disappointing detail I’ve heard about Combat Evolved Anniversary is that only seven of the original maps will be included in the remake’s multiplayer. Now I’m pretty sure that I caught sight of Blood Gulch, Damnation and Hang ‘Em High in the trailer, but what about some of the maps that were exclusive to the PC version of Combat Evolved? Death Island, Infinity? These were some of the best Halo maps, and it would be a shame for them to miss out on the Anniversary Edition. What I don’t want, is three months down the line after the game’s release, for these maps to release a DLC. In fact, CEA doesn’t really need DLC at all. Everything that was Combat Evolved, should be included in this remake. Also, it would be a wise move at some point for CE Anniversary to make its way onto the PC. Halo 3, ODST and Reach never made it over, but considering the original was also a PC title, and there’s still a good fanbase playing the game today, 343 owe it to their fans to bring the remake across to PC. Preferably as a Steam game (never been keen on GFWL) and no doubt the popular standalone Custom Edition would see upgrades to be compatible to the possible PC version. Only time will tell. It’s great that Microsoft have another exclusive this year, especially a remake of one of my favourite games, but with Need for Speed: The Run and Assassin’s Creed Revelations releasing on the exact same day as Combat Evolved Anniversary, it has some stiff competition. We’ll be hearing more about the game at this year’s PAX in August, but for now, I hope 343 Industries include everything the original gave to gamers to make this the best remake it can be.