Multimedia personal computer with a 733 MHz or higher processor. Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Service Pack 1, or Windows XP. 128 Megabytes (MB) of RAM. 1.3 GB of available hard disk space. 8? CD-ROM drive. 32 MB 3D hardware-transform-and-lighting-capable video display. Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device. Sound card and speakers or headphones. DirectX 9.0b (included on CD; see below for installation instructions). 56 Kbps modem or LAN for online network play. Broadband required to run a server.


At last the long awaited port of the king of the Xbox has arrived. Halo is a sci-fi FPS (First Person Shooter), set on an artificial world called Halo. Earth\'s colonies have been under attack from a religious confederacy of aliens called the Covenant. They have destroyed the colony Reach that is dangerously close to Earth. Thus the last surviving ship, Pillar of Autumn, makes a blind jump away from Earth to lure the Covenant away. When they arrive, they not only find the Covenant waiting for them, but Halo as well. As the Pillar of Autumn goes down in flames, the Master Chief, a genetically enhanced warrior, lands with a small army on Halo. The battle has begun...


Considering this game came out for the Xbox in 2000(about the same time as Deus Ex), the graphics are quite good, of course not up to par with games such as Unreal 2, but still good. The texture detail is very impressive. It has many lighting effects I haven\'t seen in other games yet. The problem is the frame rate. Even on my GeForce 4 Ti4200 it ran quite choppy, especially in indoor areas. I turned the resolution down and it ran much better, but with games like Unreal 2 which ran fine in higher resolutions, it seems kind of lame to have such system requirements.


The soundtrack is pretty cool. Mostly electronica/orchestrated music. In fact there\'s a soundtrack CD available I believe. The sounds are well done, everything from weapon reloads to wind howling to crickets to Covenant grunts screaming at each other makes the game very alive. The aliens and humans talk quite a bit, I was amused when a marine would shout \'Yea we showed them!\' after a firefight, or the grunts would run away screaming \'He\'s everywhere!\' >:)


Controversial. Some people find the levels very repetitive and multiplayer boring. Others can\'t get over how fun it is. I personally think that the single player could have used some work. Some areas were so similar I wondered if it was a bug that loaded the same map twice. Multiplayer however is great. You can\'t really find out how enjoyable it is to run over 2 members from the opposing team in a warthog while your gunner takes out two more. Then the guy riding shotgun throws a grenade behind the vehicle which explodes just in time for the ghost following you...ok I\'m getting carried away. The physics are incredible (especially for its time). There\'s rag-doll physics if I\'m not mistaken, and a rocket at someone will send them flying through the air (weeeeee....). When driving the warthog, you can see the players, wheels, axles, every part of the car jerking around at every turn.


Some swearing, no large amounts of it though. The gore is rather non-existent, just some pale decals on the ground. Of course there is plenty of violence(but you knew that). Overall, if you like first person shooters, buy this game. End of story.

Final Ratings

Appropriate B- Game Play A- Graphics B+ Interface A Sound A Stability A

Overall 90%


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