Publisher: Microsoft, Bungie Studios Rated: Mature Released Year: 2001
- PC ~ Disk Operating System
- Microsoft Xbox
- First-Person Shooter
During a time of war with a collective of alien races bent of humanity's destruction, an enhanced super soldier is revived to help tip the balance of power in favour of humanity. You are that soldier. You become the Master Chief.
The Pillar an Autumn; a refitted, but rather unremarkable vessel that is soon to become a crucial instrument in the turning point of an ever-losing battle between Humanity and an organization of different alien species called the Covenant. The Pillar of Autumn is directed towards a massive ring in space with an atmosphere. However, the Covenant followed the Pillar to the ring and forced the vessel onto the surface of the ring, turning the fight into a guerilla war. During which time, Humanity learns the ring is actually a massive weapon. Hoping to prevent the Covenant from seizing control over it, their most elite soldier, the Master Chief is tasked with protecting the vessel's Artificial Intelligence while fighting through the Covenant on a number of mission, eventually leading him to the controls. However, the mission sours when the realize the nature of the ring's weapon: It was designed to kill all sentient life within a rather enormous radius. To top it off, it does that so that another virulent parasitic species, the Flood, does not have a food source and will starve to death. Unfortunately for all the occupants of the ring, the Covenant accidentally release the Flood onto the ring and it begins devastating both sides during the battle. The ring's own AI wants to activate the ring to stop the flood, killing everyone in the process, so the Master Chief must destroy the ring, using their ship's engines to trigger overload and create a huge explosion to tear the ring apart.
A reasonably solid storyline without much in the way of plot holes (At least gaping, obvious ones). The story stays with your perspective, doing very little else, which is the game's strength, but also keeps things narrow and only to the point, without room to see any other perspectives.
Gameplay: 8 / 10
This game is a mostly hit, slightly miss game play. Controls help to keep the action tight. You almost always had something to fight, usually with enemies that will appear out of the blue, try to knock down your shields and leave you on the ground as yet another casualty in the fight.
You get to fight different kinds of enemies along the way, each with their own strengths and tactics. The game also comes with different difficulty levels which change how the enemies act, not just how tough they are and how useless your allies are.
You can also play multi-player matches. You can play it on a single console and you can link to other consoles and play far more extensive games.
Controls: 8 / 10
That control layout for the game is rather impressive and easy enough to get used to. Granted, if this is your first time playing a game like this, Easy mode would be the safe bet, if you hope to get through in one piece.
Music: 6 / 10
It's not that the music is bad. It's not. However, I found it... lacking for the most part and it felt a bit uninvolved with the game itself. It only really worked in a few places. Some scores were fitting and carried the story well. Other pieces felt a bit like pointless ambience.
Sound Effects: 9 / 10
The audio effect and voiceovers are quite a treat in this game! Not only is the regular voice acting good, but there are so many tidbits and odds and ends to help spruce things up. Marines saying stuff in the background, all the little cute-sy things the Grunts say.
Graphics: 7 / 10
Some wall textures and areas lacked a bit of detail, others places felt a bit boring and tired. Still, the enemies are done well enough (easy enough to figure out what is what), and weapons are easy to discern, so the important stuff works, at least.
Medium: Multiple difficulty levels and multi-player helped to keep this game a fan favourite for many years.