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Halo: Combat Evolved is a First Person Shooter science fiction video game, created by Bungie Studios, which was a subsidiary of Microsoft Game Studios at that time. It was released for the original Xbox game console on November 15, 2001, and is backwards compatible with the Xbox 360 by downloading a free code patch on Xbox Live. It was also released for PC and Mac and it is one of the most popular video games for the Xbox with eight million copies sold. Its sales are rivaled only by its sequels, Halo 2 and Halo 3. This game has been a Bungie Classic even though it was just released in 2001.

Halo: Combat Evolved has been made available as an Xbox Original game title for Xbox 360 since December 4th, 2007 for download on Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 Microsoft Points.

CampaignEdit

Halo's storyline is linear. There is a single ending in contrast to other first person shooters such as Deus Ex. It is presented to the player through an instruction manual, scripted events and conversations during the game, and a number of cut-scenes rendered using the game's graphics engine. This method of storyline delivery is common among modern video games. The Xbox version of Halo: Combat Evolved allows one player to play the campaign alone, as well as allow two players to play through the campaign in split screen. The PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved allows only one player to play through the campaign.

Halo Combat Evolved Campaign consists of 10 levels:

  1. The Pillar of Autumn
  2. Halo
  3. The Truth and Reconciliation
  4. The Silent Cartographer
  5. Assault on the Control Room
  6. 343 Guilty Spark
  7. The Library
  8. Two Betrayals
  9. Keyes
  10. The Maw

Short summaryEdit

Halo, like Bungie's previous releases such as the Marathon series, has an intricate plot.

The "Halo" in the title refers to an enormous artificial space habitat similar to a Culture Orbital discovered by the warship known as the Pillar of Autumn. The main character, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is aboard this ship at the time nearing its destruction. With the help of his fellow Marines and the ship's Artificial Intelligence, Cortana, the Master Chief discovers the secrets of Halo while also fighting off fleets of the Covenant. These aliens are arch-enemies of humanity who presumably wish to find Halo's secrets for themselves. Although an infectious parasite known as the Flood intervene...

In-game plotEdit

The first few levels of the game deal with an attempt to reach Halo's Control Center to uncover its purpose. It is soon discovered that the Covenant have accidentally released something from an ancient containment and research facility on the ring, the Flood. The flood is a parasitic race which gets its name from the way it devastates potential hosts with their sheer numbers. The Flood then sweeps across Halo to devastate Human and the Covenant forces positioned on it. The release of the Flood prompts 343 Guilty Spark, an eccentric Forerunner Artificial Intelligence who commands Halo's containment forces, the Sentinels, to try to activate Halo's defense system. This is a pulse weapon that, when fired, would wipe out all life in the galaxy suitable to be hosts for the Flood. Technically the Installation only has a maximum effective radius of 25,000 light years, but the pulse would trigger other installations as well. This would effectively destroy all life in the galaxy. This system is designed to stop the Flood from spreading through the universe if they escape confinement from Halo by starving the Flood of any life source large enough to sustain them. This is the only possible solution to the destructive parsite.

Naturally, this would wipe out Humanity as well as the Covenant, and so the final levels of the game revolve around the Chief's attempt to destroy Halo before it fires.

The game leaves the story open to further developments, with the revelation that there are several Halo ring worlds in the galaxy, due to Halo being numbered Installation 04 by 343 Guilty Spark, the Monitor of the Installation. It is revealed later in Halo 2 that there were seven Halos before Installation 04's destruction. The number Seven is Bungie's favourite number.

Backstory Edit

The events which transpire in Halo's gameplay must be understood in the context of its backstory, created by Bungie and elaborated in several novels written after the release of the game. Noteworthy is its use of the oft-used battle between monoculture radicalism and free culturalism. Also present, although less pronounced, is the likewise popular theme of blind religion (Covenant) versus free-thought secularism (UNSC). A summary of this back story is presented below.

Early Conflicts Edit

2160-2200: This is a period of brutal unrest in Human history in which Governments and Factions fight for control of Earth and its colonies.

As overpopulation and unrest mounted on Earth, a number of new political movements were formed including the left wing Koslovics led by Vladimir Koslov and the neo Jovian Frieden, which attacked the UN Colonial Advisors on the moon, and UN-sponsored military forces begin a pattern of massive buildups which culminated in the first Interplanetary and Rain Forest Wars of the Jovian Moons Campaign. After the successful Marine attack on Mars, recruitment drives and propaganda tactics strongly bolstered UNSC forces. They defeated the Koslovics and the Frieden on Earth and crush their remnants throughout the Solar System. Both factions were defeated in the face of massive, unified UN military.

The Human Colonization of the Orion Arm Edit

In the year 2291, the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) successfully developed humanity's first Slipspace drive, the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. For the first time in history, the rapid colonization of other worlds was made possible. By 2390, 210 worlds had been occupied by humans, and were being actively terraformed (Built) to suit man's needs. These worlds were to become known as the Inner Colonies. By 2490, the UNSC's fledgling interstellar empire had expanded to over 800 planets throughout the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. During this period, the planet Reach became the headquarters of the UNSC military, and was destined to become the most heavily fortified world under human control.

The Spartan-II Project Edit

Main article: SPARTAN-II Program

In 2517, several years before contact with the Covenant, the UNSC military embarked on a secret project to create a group of elite soldiers that would deal with occasional unrest in the Colonies. Codenamed SPARTANs, these genetically enhanced troops were trained from the age of six into a life of battle, and became a great asset against the Covenant. While humans suffered defeat after defeat in space, they could almost always prevail with the help of the SPARTANs in ground engagements. The main character of Halo's gameplay, the Master Chief, is a veteran SPARTAN of the SPARTAN II project after an unfortunate failure of the first SPARTAN program. All SPARTANS were given special armor designated MJOLNIR, which can increase their strength and speed. They were the only ones who could wear it as those without upgrades would not be able to withstand the reaction times of the armor and die.

The Fall of the Outer Colonies Edit

Main article: United Nations Space Command

Cole's fleet managed a victory at Harvest, but at a high cost - two thirds of his ships were destroyed. Despite significant tactical brilliance on the part of Human commanders, Covenant technology guaranteed a four to one kill/loss ratio in most battles. One by one, the Outer Colonies fell below the onslaught, and by 2535, virtually all had been destroyed.

The Battle of ReachEdit

Main article: Battle of Reach

By 2552, the Covenant had destroyed many of Humanity's Inner Colonies. In a move of desperation, UNSC orders a secret plan to capture a Covenant ship using a SPARTAN task force and find the coordinates of their home planet. All of the Spartans except three are chosen for this mission, and, led by the Master Chief, board a specially outfitted ship known as the Pillar of Autumn (under the command of Captain Jacob Keyes). This plan, however, is interrupted when the Covenant launch a surprise attack on the fortress world of Reach.

During this battle, Reach is overrun and the human fleet is obliterated. Worse still, the Master Chief thinks that all of the SPARTANs but himself are killed on the surface of the planet. The (supposedly) last remaining spartan, the Master Chief, escapes with the Pillar of Autumn. In accordance with the Cole Protocol, the Autumn makes a blind Slipspace jump, and emerges in the vicinity of an unexplored and remarkable world.

Arrival at Halo Edit

Main article: Alpha Halo

The Pillar of Autumn exits Slipspace to find a mysterious ring shaped space station orbiting a gas giant. The ring, quickly named "Halo", is obviously artificial and teeming with life. A Covenant fleet, however, is also present, and a subsequent battle heavily damages the Autumn. Captain Keyes initiates the Cole protocol 2 - all records of Earth's location are erased,the shipboard AI Cortana is given to the Master Chief to protect form the Covenant, and the Autumn is crash landed onto Halo. The ship's AI construct, Cortana, leaves the Autumn with John 117's in a Bumblebee escape pod which also crash lands on Halo.

Gameplay begins in earnest with the Master Chief's escape from the Autumn, and continues upon landing. The player will soon discover the origins and purpose of this world - and uncover a threat that forces even the Covenant into retreat.

Main CharactersEdit

  • Master Chief
  • Cortana
  • Captain Jacob Keyes
  • 343 Guilty Spark

Minor charactersEdit

  • Staff Sergeant Johnson
  • Foehammer / Echo 419
  • (First Class) Private Wallace A Jenkins
  • Private Manuel Mendoza
  • Sergeant Pete Stacker
  • (First Class) Private Chips Dubbo
  • (First Class) Private M Fitzgerald
  • Private Bisenti
  • Private Hosky
  • Sergeant Waller
  • Private Riley
  • Private Kappus
  • Corporal Lovik
  • Private O'Brien

Features Halo PC main menu. [edit] Summary

Halo's gameplay was characterized by several features which set it apart from less acclaimed first-person shooter games of its time.

   * Storyline Execution:' Halos gameplay and storyline are tightly interwoven, delivering in a convincing manner being consistent with the flow of the game.
   * Vehicular Incorporation: Halo includes the option for players to control multiple land and air based Vehicles. (In third-person view.) This Third-Person vantage brings a welcomed sense of immersion and enhances the specific points of gameplay, again setting Halo apart from contemporary First Person Shooters.
   * Weapons System:' Halos new weapons system was unique in two major respects. The first is allowing players to carry only two Weapons at a time. Thus forcing the player to make trade-offs as they progressed throughout the game. The second is a separate button for throwing Grenades.
   * Artificial Intelligence:' Halos AI was quite sophisticated for its era. With a brand new advanced AI system, actions performed by the AI such as panicking after the death of a superior, diving out of the way of an oncoming Vehicle, or taking cover from explosives and suppressive fire, helped Halo stand out from the rest of the first-person shooters being released at the time. 

Movement in Halo is similar to other first-person shooters (FPS), allowing the player to move forwards, backwards, and strafe left and right independently of their aim. On the Xbox, moving and aiming are normally separated between the two analogue sticks; and on the PC, between the mouse and the keyboard. Halo also allows the player to crouch and jump, although jumping from a high ledge will often result in death, or at least major fall damage. Damage from falling can be reduced or negated entirely with a well-timed crouch right as one lands. Additionally, if one crouches at the peak of his jump, he will be able to land on something slightly taller than if he were to jump without crouching. Also, if the player is jumping from a cliff, he can make sure he is touching the wall periodically while he is falling. This will count as if he is touching floor, and every time the player touches the wall, the damage counter goes to zero. [edit] Levels Of Difficulty

There are short summaries that describe the difficulties in Halo: Combat Evolved.

   * Easy: Your foes cower and fall before your unstoppable onslaught, yet final victory will leave you wanting more.
   * Normal: Hordes of aliens vie to destroy you, but nerves of steel and a quick trigger finger give you a solid chance to prevail.
   * Heroic: Your enemies are as numerous as they are ferocious; their attacks are devastating. Survival is not guaranteed.
   * Legendary: You face opponents who have never known defeat, who laugh in alien tongues at your efforts to survive. This is suicide. 

[edit] Enemies

The A.I. in Halo was superior to many other games at the time because the A.I. was sophisticated enough to attack other enemies in the vicinity, not just the Master Chief. If there is another faction in the area, the A.I. will engage it in the same way as they would fight the Master Chief.

Three factions of enemies are encountered on Halo:

   * The Covenant: The Covenant, whose Fleet of Particular Justice was led by the Supreme Commander, Thel Vadam (the Future Arbiter), are an alliance of different species. This includes the cowardly Grunts, the Jackals with their portable Energy Shields, the Elites, master tacticians with their body covering Energy Shields, and the huge, metal Hunters with remarkably strong armor composed of some unknown alloy. The Covenant troops mostly carry plasma weapons of various power. They also make extensive use of vehicles such as Ghosts, Wraiths, Shades, and Banshees.
   * The Flood: The parasitic Flood are encountered in 3 forms. The Infection Forms themselves, which usually die from a single shot or the Master Chief's energy shield. Exploding Carrier Forms, which cause major splash damage and release Infection Forms. Not forgetting the Combat Forms of former Humans or Elites whose nervous systems have been taken over by the parasite. Combat forms are the main and toughest of the three types. They often carry a Human or Covenant weapon.
   * Sentinels: These ancient robotic constructs are controlled by the Forerunner AI Monitor of Installation 04, 343 Guilty Spark. He is tasked with the defense of the ring against possible threats and to control the Flood infestations. Sentinels fire an orange coloured beam that can strip hostiles of their Energy Shields. This weapon is designed to burn the Flood and has proven effective against many other enemies. 

[edit] Allies

   * UNSC Marines: The Pillar of Autumn's complement of Marines assists the player often in the game. They are helpful, but on higher difficulties they are easily killed by enemies. They wield a variety of weapons. These include the Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, Needler, and Plasma Rifle. Marines armed with Assault Rifles will occasionally throw Fragmentation Grenades. The Marines will willingly ride in Scorpions and Warthogs with the player and use the Chaingun on the Warthog while the player is driving. Unfortunately they are incapable of actually driving either vehicle. The only vehicle that Marines can drive is the Ghost, which they pilot only briefly. They appear in every level until The Library. When Marines are near death they will go into a berserk state, attacking every visible enemy. 
   * UNSC Crewmen: The crewmen of the Pillar of Autumn appear briefly as allies in the game. They are armed with Pistols, but occasionally appear in combat unarmed. They have lower health than Marines and are prone to retreating and cowering in battle. They only appear in the levels Pillar of Autumn and Halo. One melee is often enough to kill them and their habit of cowering tend to make them an obstacle to their comrade. 
   * Sentinels: Part of Halo's defense system, the Forerunner Sentinels, led by the Monitor 343 Guilty Spark, are hovering robotic drones. They attack the Flood, Covenant, and eventually the Master Chief. Although possessing a powerful Beam Weapon, they are not particularly resistant to damage (Their shields are especially vulnerable to Covenant weaponry, especially overcharged Plasma Pistols and explosives.) They are seen as Normal and Shielded varients although both can be destroyed relatively easily. They help the player in the levels 343 Guilty Spark and The Library, but are enemies from the level Two Betrayals until the end of the game. Acting as a Fourth Faction that attacks the Flood, Covenant, and the player when encountered. 

[edit] Weapons

All usable weapons in Halo: Combat Evolved belong to either the Covenant or the UNSC. The player can carry two weapons and up to 8 grenades (Four Fragmentation Grenades and Four Plasma Grenades).

Covenant weapons are better suited for reducing shields and typically fire slower than human weapons. With the exception of the Needler, they do not require ammunition or reloading. Instead, each weapon comes with its own battery. Once the battery is depleted the weapon must be discarded. Covenant weapons can also overheat (except the Needler) if fired for too long, after which they must be given time to cool down before they can be used again. There are a total of five Covenant weapons in the Campaign, three of which are usable by the player: the Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle, and the Needler. The two weapons the player can't use are the Energy Sword (It disappears after you kill the Elite using it) and the Fuel Rod Gun. There are two additional weapons in the multiplayer mode of the PC version only, the Fuel Rod Gun and Flamethrower. A plasma based weapon with greater charge than the player's current one that is the same will appear as a swappable weapon. If the same weapon is lying with lesser charge, it is inswappable until your current charge depletes lower than it. Needlers automatically collect any ammunition from other needlers the player moves over. Needlers can also use some very rare individual packs of projectiles.

Human weapons, on the other hand, require ammunition and constant reloading. They are better suited for reducing health and do not overheat. However, on the Easy and Normal difficulty settings the difference is often negligible. There are five human weapons (not counting Fragmentation Grenades) usable in the Campaign and six in the Multiplayer of the Halo PC. [edit] UNSC Weapons

   * Pistol - The M6D is a powerful, accurate weapon that can be used up to 124 meters. It has good ammo capacity (12 rounds), a 2X zoom scope for semi-sniping, and it's bullets create a very small explosion on impact. The M6D Pistol is recoil operated and can be used to shoot either semi-automatic or automatic fire. If used correctly it can be the best back up weapon in the game, especially when you are sniping and don't have a Sniper Rifle. It can kill another player with three shots to the head and can dispatch a Hunter with one shot if you accurately hit their exposed flesh. It has been said to be one of the most effective weapons in the game, as it is fast, accurate, and deadly in the hands of a professional. In fact, the only level it does not appear in, "Truth and Reconciliation", is made difficult without this weapon, so the Sniper Rifle with more ammo capacity is used instead.
   * Assault Rifle - The MA5B Assault Rifle is an automatic gas operated rifle that fires 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds. It has low damage per hit, and low accuracy at medium to long ranges. This weapon is good for close and medium ranges. The player will start off with one in most levels. It is a decent all around weapon, with a fast melee and good maneuverability. It is one of the best weapons against infection forms, grunts, invisible Elites, and sometimes Hunters. An interesting note is that no matter what weapons you're wielding, all of the cutscenes in Halo: Combat Evolved have the Master Chief holding an Assault Rifle - even in Two Betrayals, where your starting weapons are the M90 Shotgun and the Plasma Pistol.
   * Shotgun - the M90 Shotgun is practically the best weapon for picking off Flood Combat Forms and Carrier Forms, killing them with one hit if you are close enough. It is highly effective against Elites also. The shotgun fires a burst of 15 pellets, causing enemies in close range to be completely decimated in less than a second. Medium range is not so effective, and long range is useless altogether. Its close range capabilities are unmatched and are what makes it so effective against the flood.
   * Sniper Rifle - The S2 variant of the Sniper Rifle features a night vision enhancement to the scope, which plays an essential part at the start of Truth and Reconciliation. Its devastating power and range make it a formidable part of your arsenal. It carries four bullets per magazine and can pick off most enemies instantly, depending on their rank and the difficulty the player is playing. The Flood are barely affected by this weapon, sometimes taking 12 sniper shots to kill one. Thus, it is not worth the ammunition, which is often hard to come by on levels featuring flood.
   * Rocket Launcher - The Rocket Launcher is a devastating piece of equipment when used correctly. The Rocket Launcher will kill anything with one direct hit except Hunters and higher-ranking Elites on Legendary difficulty. It is the player's best choice against vehicles and groups of infantry.
   * Fragmentation Grenade - The techinically named M9 HE-DP grenade, more commonly known as a Frag Grenade, will easily kill anything without a shield. Its bounciness gives it the edge in distance over the Plasma Grenade and it also packs a lot of force and splash damage. This means it is useful for Grenade Jumps.
   * Warthog Chaingun Turret - The LRV Light Anti Aircraft Turret is always equipped on the back of a Warthog, serving its purpose of eliminating enemies and vehicles quickly and effectively. Prolonged fire degrades accuracy.
   * Flamethrower - Usable only in multiplayer in Halo PC and the Custom Mapping Team level "343 Guilty Spark." It launches a stream of burning fuel over a relatively short distance, causing damage to enemies in front of the weapon and hurting them after they have been hit. It also has a very limited ability to set a surface on fire for a very short period of time. It fires from a unit mounted fuel tank that counts down from 100 to 0 units of fuel. 

[edit] Covenant Weapons

   * Energy Sword - A deadly weapon used by Zealot Elites and Field Master Elites. It can kill the player in one hit (although not on Easy difficulty where it takes three). It is advisable to dispatch the wielder quickly. The player cannot use the Energy Sword due to a built in fail safe.
   * Plasma Rifle - It is a common light weapon in the Covenant army, primarily wielded by Elites. The Plasma Rifle has a high rate of fire and deals out a moderate amount of damage. A Plasma Rifle with a shotgun makes a good combo, Plasma Rifle for medium range and shotgun for close range. On Legendary, the Plasma Rifle is the most effective mid to close range weapon, best paired with an M6D Shotgun.
   * Plasma Pistol - The Plasma Pistol, like the Plasma Rifle, is a directed energy weapon that fires bolts of superheated ionized gas otherwise known as plasma. Dumping energy into the firing mechanism will allow a build up of plasma that, when fired, will instantly and completely deplete shields regardless of strength. This overcharging makes it a valuable weapon in Multiplayer and against Elites, Jackals, and Sentinels in Campaign, usually when paired with an M6D Pistol.
   * Needler - The Needler fires semi-homing crystal shards that explode approximately ten seconds after being launched and ignore most forms of personal energy shielding. While one explosion produces fairly light damage, several crystals exploding in succession can multiply the damage to fatal amounts, and even more crystals in the same enemy will produce a large explosion. It is strange that sole ammunition for it that isn't in a Needler is esceedingly rare.
   * Fuel Rod Gun - The Fuel Rod Gun is used by the strongest and weakest of the Covenant species. It is carried on the shoulders of many Special Operation Grunts, and a modified version is directly attached on the right arm of Hunters. It has a limited battery when used by a player. In Campaign mode the gun explodes like a green Plasma Grenade when its Covenant wielder is killed. It is wieldable in Halo PC on most multiplayer maps.
   * Plasma Grenade - The Covenant Plasma Grenade is one of the most ingenious weapons in the game. Once activated, its outer layer converts to plasma, enabling it to fuse/stick to whatever it impacts (except for most walls and Hunter armor). It generates an electro-magnetic pulse that drains instantly any kind of shielding, no matter how strong they are, making it deadly even to enemies who survive the initial explosion. It is also handy for sticking enemies themselves, especially Grunts, who tend to run toward their comrades when panicking, as well as Elite Zealots.
   * Shade - A stationary gun turret manned in third-person like a vehicle. They consist of a stand and a floating 360 degree rotating turret-like seat with control systems to its gun. It has a strong anti-tank ability, but the Covenant use it mainly against infantry. It can be manned by Elites and Grunts, and is similar to the turret mounted on Spirit-class dropships. 

[edit] Vehicles The Halo: Combat Evolved Banshee, unlike Halo 2 models, has no Boost. Halo CE Scorpion Tank on one of Halo's most celebrated Multiplayer maps, Blood Gulch This image shows vehicle-on-vehicle combat a tactic that is repeated throughout the game.

The vehicles available to the player in this game are listed below:

   * Warthog - A UNSC Light Reconnaissance Vehicle. The Warthog sports a .50 Cal. M41-LAAG Ground To Air/Ground Gatling-type rotating automatic chaingun turret that can tear through armor and shields alike.
   * Warthog LAAV - A UNSC Light Anti-Armor Vehicle. The M12A1 is another variant of the Warthog with a triple barreled 102mm Rocket Launcher. It only shoots three rockets before reloading. Available only in Multiplayer on the PC version of Halo: Custom Edition.
   * Scorpion - A UNSC Main Battle Tank. It has a powerful cannon mounted on a turret, affixed to the rear of the chassis. It also features a machine gun aside the main cannon. It should be noted that both the main cannon and machine gun are inaccurate at medium to long range distances.
   * Ghost - A Covenant Reconnaissance and Rapid Attack Vehicle. Its twin Plasma Cannons complement its high speed and agility, allowing the user to blast enemies with the guns and run them into the ground. It is destructible in Campaign. It also has a feature that increases anti-gravity power in the front, causing the Ghost to nose up. This can be used to stabilize the Ghost after gliding over a cliff or hill, or to splatter opposition.
   * Banshee - A Covenant Aerial Assault Aircraft. Very maneuverable. Armed with two plasma cannons and a fuel rod cannon. The Banshee's armor is strongest in front and very weak on the sides and back. It is destructible in Campaign but is, like all vehicles, impervious to permanent destruction in Halo PC's multiplayer. Unlike Halo 2 and 3, this model has no boost, and fires slower, making it an earlier, less effective model. The Banshee is unavailable in Multiplayer in the Xbox version. It is probably the lightest vehicle as it can take less than a M6D clip before it blows. 

Several vehicles are not controllable by the player, like the UNSC Pelican Dropship, the Covenant Spirit dropship, and the Covenant Wraith Mortar Tank. The Wraith requires ballistic aiming, firing large Plasma Bombs in arcs towards its enemies. These bombs, if they score a direct hit, will often destroy vehicles or kill a Spartan if he/she is not equipped with an Overshield. Wraiths can be destroyed with explosive weapons such as the Scorpion's Main Cannon and the Rocket Launcher. Note: both the Pelican and Wraith can be controllable via modding; the Wraith can be fired by the player, and features the M41 Rocket Launcher's targeting reticule. The Pelican can be flown, and if any Marines are alive and nearby, they may decide to hop in the player's Pelican.

Also, it is very easy to splatter enemies in Halo: Combat Evolved because the game's physics cannot discern between a fast and slow-moving vehicle, thus making it so that a slight touch, even by accident, will kill it. This is especially frustrating on the level "The Silent Cartographer"'s LZ, as Marines tend to dive underneath the level's many Warthogs, and in multiplayer, since the player can easily be killed by unoccupied vehicles. [edit] Environments

Halo features a wide variety of environments including human and Covenant starships, ancient buildings on Halo itself, and expansive outdoor climates. The first level, Pillar of Autumn, is fought entirely on the human starship of the same name. The next level, Halo, takes place in a temperate highland climate with open-air Forerunner structures scattered about. This level also contains the famous "Blue Beam Towers". Truth and Reconciliation begins in a rocky desert, but the setting changes to the titular Covenant cruiser about one-third of the way through. The Silent Cartographer occurs on a tropical island, with substantial combat both outdoors and inside futuristic Forerunner installations. Assault on the Control Room takes place in a snowy, icy area of towering cliffs and underground tunnels as well as high-tech suspension bridges and oft-repeated Forerunner structures built into and through cliff walls.

343 Guilty Spark is a significant departure from these majestic environments, with combat in gloomy, exotic swamps and equally gloomy underground complexes that host the player's introduction to the Flood. The player is then teleported to the second of three entirely indoor levels, The Library, encountering repetitive, forbidding hallways and massive elevators. Master Chief returns to the snowy climate of Assault on the Control Room for Two Betrayals, visiting almost no new areas but, interestingly, traveling in the opposite direction. Keyes occurs in the same rocky deserts and the same Covenant ship from Truth and Reconciliation, albeit now heavily damaged, but this time the Flood are present in huge numbers. Finally, The Maw is set on the Pillar of Autumn with three major differences: the presence of the Flood, the heavy structural damage, and access to the Engineering section and service corridors of the ship, which were previously off-limits. In total, six of the ten levels feature a substantial amount of combat outdoors. edit Multiplayer

Up to four players can play together using the same-console split screen mode. It is also possible for up to 16 players to play together in one Halo game over a local area network, using Xbox and/or Xbox 360 consoles that have been connected through an Ethernet hub, or via Xbox Connect, which is a way of tunneling a connection via a PC. The game's seamless support for this type of play, and a few large maps that can accomodate up to 16 combatants, is a first for console games. Since the game was released before the launch of Xbox Live, mainstream online play was not available for this title. The Halo PC|PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved officially adds online play, also new vehicles (Banshee and Rocket Warthog), weapons (Fuel Rod Gun and Flamethrower) and maps (see list below) for multiplayer. The PC version of Halo: Combat Evolved does not support split screen multiplayer. [edit] Multiplayer Maps

Multiplayer maps in Halo: Combat Evolved:

   * Battle Creek
   * Sidewinder
   * Damnation
   * Rat Race
   * Prisoner
   * Hang 'Em High
   * Chill Out
   * Derelict
   * Boarding Action
   * Chiron TL 34
   * Blood Gulch
   * Wizard
   * Longest 

[edit] Exclusive Multiplayer Maps (PC/Mac)

   * Death Island
   * Danger Canyon
   * Infinity
   * Timberland
   * Ice Fields
   * Gephyrophobia 

[edit] Damage System

   * Health: The player in Halo has limited, non-regenerating health, which can be fully restored by picking up health-packs. This aspect of the game was changed in Halo 2. Running completely out of health will result in death, but having lower health does not impede player actions. A player's health can be reduced only if his shields have been depleted. If the player's health is at minimal levels they will faintly hear John 117's heartbeat. When the non-regenerative health idea was abandoned in Halo 2 the medic packs disappeared completely.
   * Shields: Master Chief's MJOLNIR Mk. V armor has a built-in shield, which protects all parts of his body from damage. The shield will decrease in strength every time it is hit by a weapon and will fail after taking too many hits. The amount of shield drain depends on the attacker's weapon but will quickly regenerate if it is not hit for a brief period of time. The shield represents a marked departure from most first-person shooters, in which one's health bar is basically augmented by picking up "armor". It is possible, in the single-player campaign at least, to have insufficient health points to survive the next section of game-play. Halo players, on the other hand, have a more-or-less permanent buffer of health at their disposal (assuming they manage to find time to regenerate the shield), making it less of a disaster to take hits in combat. 

[edit] Power Ups

There are three power ups available in Halo:

   * Health Pack: (White octagon with red cross) Fully restores the player's health.
   * Active Camouflage: Drastically reduces the player's visibility for approximately 45 seconds, making all but a faint outline of him transparent. This effect is reduced or void if the player is holding a skull (in multiplayer), hit by weapons fire, fires their weapon, or when time runs out.
   * Overshield: An enhanced, non-regenerating shield which is two times, (three times on enemies) the strength of the normal one. The overshield functions on top of the regular shield; when it is active, the normal shield does not take damage. In the single player game, the overshield is reduced only when the player is hit, while in the multiplayer game, it weakens gradually over time. One fully charged Plasma Pistol shot can take out the overshield and regular shield entirely. Additionally, while the over shield is charging, the player is completely invincible against almost every type of damage. The player can still be killed by assassination, however. 

edit Marketing Promotions and Release [edit] Demonstration

   Main article: Halo E3 2000 Trailer 

In 2000 at E3, Bungie showed off a trailer of the upcoming game to the public. This trailer featured Marines along with the Master Chief scouting out a Forerunner structure and the Covenant fighting them. During this trailer there was still no active AI so all the Covenant was actually controlled by Bungie. This trailer was before the conversion to the Xbox as an FPS. [edit] Viral Campaign

   Main article: Cortana Letters 

This section requires expansion.


[edit] Reception The box art for Halo: Combat Evolved on PC.

Halo was the main launch title for Xbox and is said to be the game that made the Xbox what it is today. It is widely renowned for saving the fledgling Xbox platform, as the Xbox lacked any titles to compete with Sony's PlayStation 2 or Nintendo's GameCube. Halo became an overnight success and managed to drive the platform from the brink of an early death. It went on to sell 8 million copies, in other words, 33% of all Xbox owners also owned Halo. It was also critically acclaimed. IGN gave the game a 9.7 out of 10 and stated it to be the best Xbox game of all time. X-Play gave it a perfect 5 out of 5. The game got a perfect ten from EGM, and was 2002 Game of the Year for IGN, EGM, OXM, and AIAS. It also got a 9.5 out of 10 from Game Informer, and an average meta-score of 97 out of 100, making it the most highly rated Xbox game of all time. It was also called the game that reinvented a genre. OXM rated Halo: CE Number 1 in a list of the 100 best games of recent memory, saying "The Xbox did not create Halo, Halo made the Xbox". [edit] Future developments

The next episode in the Halo story, Halo 2, was released on November 9, 2004. [2] Like the previous fan-beloved Marathon, Halo 2 has a return of old characters and new technology in attempt to further a complicated plot line, the object of which is to be deciphered by the end.


edit Halo: Original Soundtrack Cover Art

   Main article: Halo: Original Soundtrack 

Halo Original Soundtrack, composed and produced by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori for the video game Halo: Combat Evolved, is one CD comprising 26 tracks. Some editions include a bonus DVD with game trailers for Halo 2. Most of the music from Halo: Combat Evolved is present on the CD, although some songs are remixed and some tracks are intermixed with others in medley form. It was released in 2001.


edit Original Halo Team

Project Lead

   Jason Jones 

Lead Producer

   Hamilton Chu 

Executive Producer

   Alexander Seropia 

Producer

   Rick Ryan 

Programmers

   Chris Butcher 
   Bernie Freidin 
   Charlie Gough 
   Mat Noguchi 
   Matt Segur 

Art Director

   Marcus Lehto 

Assistant Art Lead

   Steve Abeyta 

Artists

   Eric Arroyo 
   Chris Barrett 
   Mark Bernal 
   David Dunn 
   Chris Hughes 
   Stephen Okasaki 
   Chris Lee 
   Robert McLees 
   Paul Russel 
   Shi Kai Wang 
   Michael Wu 
   Brian Schultz 

Lead Designer

   John Howard 

Designers

   Paul Bertone 
   Tyson Green 
   Jaime Griesemer 
   Dan Orzulak 

Additional Writing

   Brannon Boren 
   Matt Soell 
   Eric Trautmann 

Multiplayer Lead Programmer

   Michael Evans 

Multiplayer Programmers

   Adrian Perez 
   Stefan Sinclair 

Multiplayer Lead Designer

   Hardy LeBel 

Multiplayer Artists

   Chris Carney 
   David Dunn 
   Peter Marks 
   David Moore 
   Stephen Okasaki 

User Interface Lead

   Max Hoberman 

User Interface Designer

   David Candland 

User Interface Programmer

   Stefan Sinclair 

Cinematics Director

   Joseph Staten 


Cinematic Artists

   Steve Abeyta 
   Paul Clift 
   Adam Crockett 
   Lorraine McLees 
   Stephen Okasaki 
   Craig Mullins 
   Lee Wilson 

Audio Lead/Original Music

   Martin O'Donnell 

Additional Music

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