Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary


Key events

Digital FoundryDF Retro: Halo - the console shooter that changed everything

The history of Bungie's brilliant shooter, its tech re-assessed, plus the best way to play today.

Every so often a game comes along that changes everything. Games like Doom, Super Mario Brothers and Half-Life aren't just incredible games in their own right - they helped shape the gaming industry as a whole. Halo: Combat Evolved is one such title. As a game, Halo evolved and refined the first person shooter, making it work on a console like never before. As a product, it helped define the first generation Xbox and help Microsoft become the juggernaut of today and, as a project, it lifted its creator, Bungie, into the history books as one of the most revered developers of all time.

VideoVideo: Games with awful product tie-ins

And liberty and Red Bull for all.

I think it's fair to say that Bungie has had an interesting time of late. First, there came the controversy over the Taken King Collector's Edition making certain content unavailable to existing players without purchasing the game a second time. Then came a cross-promotion with Red Bull, asking players to purchase special promotional cans of the energy drink to access an extra mission in The Taken King expansion.

Video: Five Amazing Launch Titles

VideoVideo: Five Amazing Launch Titles

A celebration of great games past.

We've already taken a look at some of the less impressive games to debut alongside consoles past in our Five Terrible Launch Titles video. But of course, they weren't all terrible (in fact some of them weren't that bad at all, eh, vociferous Kameo fans?), so here's our guide to five of the best.

Plus, coming soon: Five Launch Titles You've Probably Forgotten About That Were Quite Good Actually, Come To Think Of It. We're just trying to remember what they are.

Read more

Microsoft: Xbox 360 exclusives need

Microsoft: Xbox 360 exclusives need "quality" not quantity

Bemoans Sony "selling old franchises with HD remakes".

Xbox 360-exclusive games need to have "quality and impact", Microsoft Studios exec Phil Spencer has insisted.

Creating Xbox 360-only games and IP is about more than the "number of releases in a year", Spencer continued, explaining Microsoft's strategy on securing exclusives for the platform.

"Creating core IP, as many first-and third-parties have seen over the years, isn't an easy thing," Spencer told GameInformer (via GamesIndustry.biz). "I went through the process of creating Gears with Epic and I know the sweat, time, and effort that went into it."

Read more

Halo ATLAS app out this week

343 offers real-time player data and map info.

Multiplayer data-tracking smartphone app Halo ATLAS goes on sale from 10th December, 343 Industries has announced.

12 Days of Christmas Xbox Giveaway!

IT'S ALL OVER! Winners have been/are being notified. Thanks to all who entered!

UPDATE: And we're done! Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to Microsoft for providing so many amazing prizes. We have notified 11 out of 12 winners as of Wednesday 22nd December and will be speaking to yesterday's victor this morning. Congratulations if you won and watch out for more massive giveaways on this scale in the future!

Saturday Soapbox: Past Remasters

FeatureSaturday Soapbox: Past Remasters

Are remakes preserving the classics of yesteryear or are they obliterating them?

Games have an incredibly complicated relationship with their past. This is an industry that's fixated with the future, but too often it's one that holds its history at arm's length.

We're embarrassed by what's gone before, it seems, sometimes going as far as to compartmentalize older games under the horribly banal banner of retro gaming, a tag that's as pointless as it's revealing of the disdain we hold for anything that's over five years old.

With indie gaming re-appropriating the aesthetic of the 80s and early 90s, there has at least been a bridge built between now and then; titles like Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV or Brian Provinciano's Retro City Rampage show that there weren't any retro games after all - they were, as they always have been, just games painted with fewer pixels.

Read more

Live action clip announces Halo Living Monument

Live action clip announces Halo Living Monument

User-generated site asks for fan images.

Microsoft has just launched Halo Living Monument - a user-generated site that ask users to upload pictures of their favourite Halo memories from the last 10 years to create an "interactive 3D mosaic".

You can upload your images now, rate other submissions and share them over Facebook and Twitter.

On top of that, there's a new live action trailer, as seen below, to offer a bit of context.

Read more

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Review

Revisiting past masters is a prickly business that video games are only just beginning to dabble in, with varying degrees of success. Do you go for preservation or reinvention? Either way, you've got to tread carefully, for you're stepping on the precious memories of those who hold the originals dear.

There have been, of late, Bluepoint Games' delicate remasters, restoring Ico and Shadow of the Colossus to glories they never knew and providing a more modern theatre for the bloody spectacle of God of War. There are the curios, repackaged and reskinned for audiences new; witness Treasure's brilliant revivals of Radiant Silvergun and Guardian Heroes, and Daytona USA's 13-years-overdue homecoming earlier this month.

Then there are the remakes, a trickier business still, the most recent and most successful being Grezzo's reworking of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. An elegantly handled return to Hyrule that managed to offer a drastic visual overhaul while staying faithful to the tone of the aging original, Grezzo's masterstroke was presenting the game as you remember it, handling those memories with care and massaging them onto a new console.

Read more

Halo Reach gets Anniversary map pack next week

1200 Points for seven multiplayer favourites.

Halo Reach owners not interested in next week's Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary release can still enjoy its revamped maps via a DLC add-on, Microsoft has announced.

343 defends Halo's Kinect features

Anniversary features are 'additive'.

343 Studios has defended Halo Anniversary's Kinect features, saying the new modes for the remake of the decade old FPS classic are 'additive' - and that they don't detract from the core game.

New Halo Anniversary maps announced

New Halo Anniversary maps announced

Timberland and Prisoner return.

Microsoft has just confirmed three new multiplayer maps for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

Timberland returns from Halo PC. Set in a forested valley with raging rivers, it supports eight to 16 players.

Halo: Combat Evolved's Prisoner map also features. Two to eight players will scrap it out in a multi-level facility, packed with tight corridors, bridges and ramps.

Read more

Halo Anniversary gets 3D support

"More than a simple remake."

Microsoft has confirmed stereoscopic 3D support for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, to "help that sense of immersion and really help this game feel more than a simple remake".

FeatureMicrosoft's Chris Lewis

Xbox 360, the competition, XBLA and the next-gen.

While Sony strutted its stuff at Gamescom through the power of a press conference, Microsoft walked a more modest path with a Play Day event, with hands-on opportunities of a raft of Xbox 360 exclusive games including Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Gears of War 3 and Forza 4.

FeatureBungie bids Halo farewell

Eric Osborne looks back at 10 years of Master Chief.

It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.

Digital FoundryDemo Analysis: Halo Anniversary

Is the remastered game sub-HD?

The recent release of new Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary footage allows us to get our first good look at how the game really looks and performs, and puts into focus just how much of a good job Saber and 343 Industries have done in visually revitalising the title that many see as the coming of age of first person shooters on console.

Halo Anniversary Kinect features "optional"

"Core gameplay experience" unaffected.

Whatever form they take, the mysterious Kinect features 343 Industries has planned for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will be optional, the studio has confirmed.

Original Xbox pads rebuilt for new Halo: CE

343 Industries brings back the Duke.

The team responsible for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is planning to modify a handful of original Xbox controllers to be 360-compatible so that a select few can experience the game exactly as it was back in 2001.

Halo: CE Anniversary to cost 34.99

Xbox remake gets budget price tag.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the forthcoming remake of the first game in Bungie's juggernaut FPS series, will have a RRP of 34.99 when it launches in the UK later this year.

Microsoft denies "milking" Halo

Remake "a project of passion not business".

There used to be breathing space between Halo games (Halo 1 2001, Halo 2 2004, Halo 3 2007), but in recent years Microsoft has been flinging the IP at us: Halo Wars 2009, Halo 3: ODST 2009 and Halo: Reach 2010.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary release date

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary release date

Remake coming this November.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is releasing on November 15 this year.

A poorly kept secret, the existence of the remake leaked this morning before being officially unveiled at Microsoft's E3 conference.

As expected, it's an HD remake of Bungie's 2001 original, and will feature full Xbox Live support for campaign co-op and competitive multiplayer.

Read more