Halo: Combat Evolved PC

Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
Buy On
  1. 82
    When evaluated against the standards of the current PC shooter catalog, Halo seems to fall short in just a few key areas: repetitive levels, steep performance requirements and a lingering console balance.
  2. Surprisingly taxing even on very fast PCs with tons of RAM and the latest video cards. Halo for the PC also loses the original version's much-vaunted cooperative play mode. But in spite of all that, and in spite of the very high standards for first-person shooters on the PC, Halo is still an incredible action game. It's a true classic.
  3. The Xbox is all about high resolution graphics. The PC version outdoes the original with better graphics with hardly any loading time. The models are fairly good but the enormous amount of activity that occurs on-screen makes the graphics that much better.
  4. Just a fantastic console game that is late to the PC party. [Dec 2003, p.178]
  5. Cheat Code Central
    80
    Simply put, Halo doesn't seem to know what it needs to run smoothly. The original ran at a scant 480 X 640 resolution to suit your TV. Even with a monster video card in your PC, 512MB of RAM and a 2400+GHz going for it, higher resolutions will give you stutter, slowdown and sometimes blow you right out of the game.
  6. 95
    I've enjoyed playing Halo on the PC far more than I ever did on the Xbox, and the inclusion of Internet multiplayer with new levels and modes is a huge addition...When everything's clicking, it's the closest I've seen a shooter come to providing perfect combat
  7. I'm going to cheat, and simply provide a score for the multiplayer element of the game...and bearing in mind that this game probably won't run shockingly well without major tweaking, because it's one of the most demanding games in terms of system specs that we've ever seen.
  8. 80
    Crippling frame rate problems tarnish an otherwise engaging single-player experience. Ultimately, the addictive online multiplayer is the main attraction; without it, there’s not much to see here.
  9. There are still countless hours of fun to be had with Halo. If you couldn't stomach the control pad and the lack of online support (or Xbox itself) really turned you away from the Xbox version, then this Halo is sure to please.
  10. 80
    The only compelling reason for Halo fans to buy this version is for multiplayer, which is so much better than playing split-screen on your television. Otherwise, it's the same old space opera.
  11. The staggering system requirements are a point of concern, though, and I feel I can't give the title a universal stamp of approval without a word of caution. But if you've got the hardware, it's an electrifying experience you can't pass up.
  12. Halo is the first game I can ever recall wishing was shorter than it was. The final level is one of the great nail-biters in FPS-dom, but you’ve got to slog through some levels that are nothing short of unbelievable in their repetition to get to it.
  13. Edge Magazine
    90
    To have been worth the wait for PC gamers it would have needed to considerably improve on the Xbox original. Put simply, it doesn't. [Dec 2003, p.109]
  14. 80
    Even though it lacks the cooperative multiplayer feature, Halo: Combat Evolved retains the sharp graphics, heated action, and vehicle-based exploration that made the original such an awesome game.
  15. PC Gamer
    85
    It's the outdoor areas - roughly 25 percent of the game's 20-plus hours of playtime - that host the kind of epic confrontations that you'll tell your buddies about. [Holiday 2003, p.98]
  16. The big questions are if the game can hold up against the cheaters and what cool mods will be created once Gearbox released the development kit.
  17. Play Magazine
    100
    Watching the game run at 1600X1200 left me speechless. Textures are incredibly rich; the lighting is to die for... On the flipside, however, in order to really enjoy Halo, you need a hardcore gaming rig to see any kind of smooth framerate. [Nov 2003, p.95]
  18. The most impressive difference between the Xbox and PC versions is that you can play online with up to 15 other players and, with the increased resolution, sniping is much more accurate and fun.
  19. Halo for the PC is everything that PC gamers want in a first person shooter, but a bit of a failure to those Xbox gamers waiting for the multiplayer.
  20. Any downsides or real negatives? None, apart from the need for a powerful PC to possibly experience the game in even more quality. If goaded to pick up any concerns it would have been for slightly more variety in the layout of the levels, with a touch more ingenuity.
  21. Computer Games Magazine
    80
    It delivers an excellent single-player game with some caveats, and a blah multiplayer experience that lacks the best feature from the Xbox version. [Dec 2003, p.92]
  22. On a powerful rig, however, the PC version of Halo outdoes the Xbox’s visuals, though the differences are subtle. Simply put, it looks stunning at 1600x1200 with full effects on.
  23. A decent storyline, lots of NPC interaction, and graphics that you have to see to believe. Anyway, if you are even remotely a fan of FPS games, this is an absolute must have, and one hell of a ride.
  24. Even with all its minor and more significant shortcomings HALO is still one of the most enjoyable FPS games I've ever played. The single-player is immersive, well-told and at times simply brilliant. With a powerful enough rig, all PC shooter fans will definitely want to own this game.
  25. When it’s good, it’s exceptional, but when it’s bad it’s just OK. Witness the multiplayer, which, while it isn’t as social as Halo’s first incarnation, is brilliantly handled.
  26. The only compelling reason for Halo fans to buy this version is for multiplayer, which is so much better than playing split-screen on your television. Otherwise, it's the same old space opera. [Dec 2003, p.80]
  27. Halo PC is a fairly functional port of an excellent game. The lack of co-op and the sluggish frame rate are the big disappointments, but the solo campaign is a must-play for any respectable FPS fan.
  28. It doesn’t set any new standards, but it’s great fun in both the single- and multiplayer sides of the house.
  29. But being a console port of two year old dated game, the graphics aren't as pretty as they can be nowadays. Some of the textures look bleak, and the models would really be better off with a higher polygon count.
  30. With an incredible, engrossing campaign, Halo could stand on its own; fortunately, the addition of Internet multiplayer sweetened with two new vehicles, two new weapons, and six new maps makes the PC version even more worthwhile. Unfortunately, performance issues plague the game, preventing easy play through the game’s campaign due to poor framerates.
  31. A great, great game. The story's compelling, the music is outstanding, and the control is excellent.
  32. Does have one noticeable omission. In the Xbox title, gamers can choose to play the campaign mode alongside another player. This isn't an online option on the Windows version, which is disappointing because it would be fun to run through the story mode cooperatively with a friend.
  33. In terms of a port, this is pretty poor. A two year old game and what advancements do we get? A high PC requirement and a few new weapons. Hardly worth it if you’ve already played the Xbox original.
  34. The brightest point about all this, is that if Microsoft wants to spend the money, all of these problems can be patched away. A better chat interface is easy – even color-coding messages would help tremendously. Co-op is a long-term project but not impossible.
  35. I've played the game 7 times over alone on the Microsoft console and I still find the experience on the PC to be every bit as captivating as I remembered it to be.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 378 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 115
  2. Negative: 24 out of 115
  1. Nov 13, 2010
    10
    This review is the second part of a fairly long but helpful review, go to the Halo: Combat Evoleved (Xbox 2001) page to see the first half.This review is the second part of a fairly long but helpful review, go to the Halo: Combat Evoleved (Xbox 2001) page to see the first half.
    There are ten fairly long, open playable campaign (story-mode) levels in Halo: Combat Evolved and even more multiplayer (versus-mode) levels. You can play with one or two players in the campaign or up to sixteen players in multiplayer, which is great fun when youâ
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 29, 2010
    9
    Halo is truly the most innovative shooter since goldeneye. It set a new standard for the future FPS's to come. It is not only fun to play, butHalo is truly the most innovative shooter since goldeneye. It set a new standard for the future FPS's to come. It is not only fun to play, but the graphics are excellent. Although there is not multiplayer on the xbox version, if you get games on the PC you will have the best multiplayer fun in years. Full Review »
  3. May 18, 2014
    10
    This game had it all. It had balance, skill, and was revolutionary. It wasn't quite as good as quake, but it was a refreshing competitor toThis game had it all. It had balance, skill, and was revolutionary. It wasn't quite as good as quake, but it was a refreshing competitor to the best PC fps. For a console game it still remains the king to this day. No other halo, battlefield, or call of duty comes close to the competitive nature this game was built with. A true arena shooter. It's a shame Bungie strayed away from this formula as the series progressed. Full Review »