Released on December 4, 2007 by Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by Bungie Studios, Gearbox Software
I picked up Halo Combat Evolved on... Read All Halo was the game that launched the XBox console into a gaming powerhouse. Bungies first person shooter is a classic and deserves a place in the halls of some of the best games of all time. Coming out originally on the XBox and more recently with the Halo Master Chief Collection on XBox One, Halo is still a fun game modern audiences will like. But what if you want to come back and play Halo today and don't have an original XBox or want to get an XBox One? In 2003 Bungie teamed up with Gearbox to launch Halo on PC and this version is completely playable and if you want to relive this classic sans an XBox, this version is where it's at.
I picked up Halo Combat Evolved on PC recently at Fry's Electronics for $20 and it came with a CD install disc, box, key and game manual. The installation was painless as you simply enter the key and the game installs quickly. The game comes all on one CD so it's not quite as long as Fallout 4 that has a hybrid DVD/Internet install process. After the game installs I recommend you install the latest Halo PC patch from 2014.
The 1.0.10 patch bumps the game version, strips out the CD play requirement, removes GameSpy and modernizes the game for Windows 7. After the game updated I maxed the video settings and reconfigured the default controls to something resembling a more modern shooter.
The games online multiplayer is still intact as I was able to browse Internet games and join a few. I wasn't the worst person playing which was odd as I expected the game to be rife with hackers and aimbots. The multiplayer felt just like I remember it and it's nice to see a few hundred people still having fun with it.
I never fully completed the original Halo as I really never owned it and only played it with friends a bit at a time. I've always liked the chill nature of the Halo story and the lush world is enjoyable to be in. The graphics are a bit dated now but after you are in the core gameplay itself is strong enough to keep you going. My only complaint about gameplay is that it's a bit one note. Go here, kill bad guys, go there and kill bad guys. The shooting is fun but so far into the game it's somewhat repetitive. The game only lets you save with checkpoints meaning that if you have only a few minutes to play here and there and you don't fully make it to a checkpoint you lose progress. This isn't a huge deal, but something I noticed as I stepped away a couple times.
There have been rumors flying for years that Microsoft would port Halo 3 and the like to modern PC's and bring the whole collection to Steam but so far this hasn't materialized. If you want to come back to Halo I'd suggest nabbing the box copies and playing those. Currently you can play Halo and Halo 2 on PC and whereas i'd love a modern port to Steam so far this is our best option to play outside the XBox ecosystem.