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Publisher
MacSoft
Genre
Action
Release Date
12/11/2003
Status
Available


Halo: Combat Evolved
October 3, 2003 | Jean-Luc Dinsdale
Pages:123Gallery


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Another vehicle to your disposal is the Covenant’s flying Banshee, which you can mount and traverse great distances with very quickly. At one point in the game, finding your way to one of these flying vehicles at the top of a ridge allows players to swoop down and decimate a force of covenant soldiers that you otherwise would have to face on foot twenty minutes later in the game.

Progress through the massive single player levels is seamless – rather than waiting for eons a la Star Trek Elite Force-style as each level loads, the single player maps are split up in smaller sub-sections that get loaded interactively as players make their way through the game. At the worst, players may notice a one second pause as the computer loads the next section of the level. The only time you’ll notice a lag of any sort will be between animatics or as the game loads an entirely new level, when a break in the action will be greatly appreciated.

Overall, Halo’s single-player experience will leave players extremely satisfied. And if I haven’t hit this nail on the head enough, the game’s high replayability factor will ensure that additional forays through the single player scenarios will differ every time.

Multiplayer
Once gamers start playing the first person shooter, they’ll notice that the biggest changes between the Xbox version and the PC/Mac versions of the first person shooter lie almost completely in the multiplayer experience.

The biggest change between the console and computer versions of the game is the loss of co-operative play. Arguably, one Halo’s strongest features in the Xbox is the multiplayer co-op mode, where up to four players could battle their way through levels in tandem. Sadly, due to the limits of today’s internet technology and its inherent lag issues, Halo will not be shipping with a co-operative multiplayer game; Gearbox has indicated that they might release co-op play as a downloadable patch released at a later date.

Luckily for players, Gearbox has completely re-tooled the game’s multiplayer options to make up for this deficiency. Out of the box, Halo will offer players the usual variety of Deathmatch-, Capture the flag-, and King Of The Hill-types of gameplay found in today’s online frag fests. The game’s multiplayer mode also includes additional weapons, and allows players to ride around in both Alien and Marine vehicles not normally accessible through the first person game.

Westlake Interactive has indicated that Mac Halo players will be able to play on and host multiplayer internet games. While Gearbox is including a rudimentary game server browsing system within the game, there has been no indication yet whether this will be the case for Mac users, or whether we’ll have to rely on third party solutions, like GameRanger.

By all indications, Halo: Combat Evolved promises to be one of the hottest titles to hit the Mac yet. Although it’s been a long time coming, if this game turns out to be anywhere as good as all the press attention it’s been garnering, Halo will have been worth the wait.



Halo: Combat Evolved
Developer: Bungie Studios
Publisher: MacSoft
Mac Version: Westlake Interactive
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