Ten years ago, I was reintroduced to the joys of first person shooter games by Halo: Combat Evolved. At the time, the game was revolutionary in its graphics, concept, and overall scope, but it sure looks rather dated compared to today’s offerings, like Halo: Reach.
Well, fans of the Halo franchise received some unexpected news today by way of the E3 expo. After ten years, Halo: Combat Evolved is being completely remastered. Though the game is receiving a complete visual refresh, the developers have promised that it will play and feel exactly the same as the original, and nostalgic gamers will be able to switch between the original and remastered graphics at the push of a button.
Oh yeah, there’s some news about Halo 4 too, but I’m obviously more excited about the remastered first game. Wouldn’t you be?
I must say, playing a Halo game is refreshing, and not just because of the level of detail, but mostly because Halo games are winnable no matter what difficulty you play on. There are three key points that define a Halo game for me:
- A shield that regenerates: Throughout the game, your health is supplemented by a shield that quickly regenerates. No matter how much fire you’re taking, you can always run for cover and wait a few seconds while your shield builds back up to full strength.
- Abundant checkpoints: Checkpoints are littered about everywhere, so you rarely have to worry about repeating the majority of the level if you die. And, most of the checkpoints appear to be location-based, so you can keep running back to the same location every few minutes to save your progress.
- Random enemy deployment: There is absolutely no pattern to enemy deployment when you rejoin the battle after dying. Sure, this can get frustrating as there’s no way to predict their movements, but most of the time you just get lucky. In the final level, I was having a terrible time knocking down four Brute spread across the map, and one had their equivalent of a rocket launcher. After I died three times, I awoke to find all four clumped in front of me, and took them out with a single grenade.
Because of these factors, Halo games have always stood as the pinnacle of “winnable” for me. As long as you have the time and willingness to try again, you will beat the game.