Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Xbox 360)
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft
Release: November 15, 2011
Price: $3

Score: 6/10

When Microsoft announced that they were re-releasing an updated version of the original Halo game, it was hard for Halo fans not to be excited. However, the game seems to be more of a cash-grab from Microsoft in a season when their flagship franchise is without a major iteration.


In short, Halo: CE Anniversary feels dated. Behind its updated graphics, it still plays like a 10-year-old game. Conversely, when playing with the original graphics settings turned on, you’re reminded of all the charm the game had.

But the novelty stops being interesting after the first few rounds, and you’ll end up just sticking to the newer graphics. Otherwise, why wouldn’t you just play the original game?


That’s not to say that Halo: CE Anniversary is a bad game. Once the action picks up in Truth and Reconciliation, Master Chief storms the beach in The Silent Cartographer and you’re reintroduced to the Flood and 343 Guilty Spark. From here, it’s easy to get sucked into the classic core mechanics that made up Halo: Combat Evolved.


The original multiplayer maps we've all come to love in Halo Reach make a return in this latest Halo iteration. These maps do a great job of allowing you the relive those Halo: Combat Evolved multiplayer moments, though it is a bit disappointing that the original multiplayer wasn’t included.

Microsoft claimed that it’s because they don’t want to fragment their Halo player-base, which makes sense, but it would’ve been awesome to play Halo CE Rockets over Xbox Live. The availability of these maps as standalone DLC for Reach further proves how unnecessary Anniversary is by itself.


Unlike playing Sonic Generations or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Halo CE Anniversary doesn’t leave you with a delight of nostalgia. Instead, you’re left wondering why you’re playing this instead of the much superior and more modern Halo: Reach.

In a season filled with so many phenomenal new titles, there really is no reason to go back to this classic. However, if you’ve never experienced the first chapter of the epic Halo saga, then Halo: CE Anniversary is definitely worth a playthrough. At least at some point.