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1995-2000
GamesFirst! Magazine

Preview:

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Due Fall 2001 for Xbox.

 

Screenshot-06-01.jpg (5267 bytes)Halo has been a highly anticipated title for the Xbox (and previously it was highly anticipated for the PC) with good reason. The first-person shooter is a great blend of standard FPS play plus vehicular combat, all couched in an epic storyline of human versus alien. What could be better than battling the "other"? I’ll tell you: Battling the "other" on a hovercraft.

Screenshot-03-01.jpg (5409 bytes)The premise of Halo is pretty basic: You’ve been sent to the ring-world, Halo, to discover the secrets of the evil Covenant and destroy them. Along the way you’ll infiltrate numerous alien bases and commandeer humand and alien vehicles and weapons of a wide variety. Weapons range from automatic pistols and needler guns to pulse rifles and rocket launchers. You can occupy either the gun or driver position on human all-terrain vehicles, or steal a Covenant flyer and pulse cannon the aliens with their own technology.

Screenshot-09-01.jpg (5681 bytes)The environments of Halo are vast and seamlessly integrated. You’ll be blasting aliens on a mountain meadow, commandeer a buggy and lay waste to baddies on the beach, then hop out and enter an alien fortress, all with no load times or delays. The seamless environs work well with the story, which is continuous and twisting. Bungie, the developers, promise us an engrossing plot that will appeal to hardcore sci-fi fans.

Screenshot-07-01.jpg (6437 bytes)Halo supports multiplayer in either splitscreen, cooperative, or LAN modes. In fact, two Xbox units can be connected via the crossover cable and eight players can deathmatch using the four-player splitscreen on each Xbox. Cooperative mode allows two players to experience the story together, working in tandem. This is a great attribute that really extends the life of the story mode.

Screenshot-04-01.jpg (6577 bytes)The visuals and graphics of Halo are truly impressive. The game features immersive special video effects and amazing audio. Dialogue is yelled at you in the heat of combat and there aren’t too many cinematic scenes where you do nothing. Everything about this game is geared to get you inside it. The controls are intuitive and easy to learn, although driving the vehicles is a little trickier. Still, I found them very easy to get used to and was blowing away aliens in no time.

Screenshot-15-01.jpg (6739 bytes)Overall, Halo was a lot of fun, and the demo I had at E3 made me only want more. Other gamers enjoyed the game, too, as it was consistently one of the most crowded areas of the whole show. Halo and Munch’s Oddysee form the two-pronged Xbox exclusive, must-have launch titles, and these are two very good reasons for owning the system. Halo is a launch title for the Xbox, so we’ll see it hit on November 8, 2001.

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Shawn Rider

 

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