More often than not, when a game is in development for over three years it does not live up to the hype. Bungie's Halo is the exception. Not only does the game live up to the hype--it greatly exceeds it. This sci-fi first-person shooter--the Xbox's launch title, now ported to PC--is a near-perfect blend of gameplay, graphics and sound. The story revolves around the conflict between humans and an alien race known as the Covenant. The aliens have discovered a powerful artefact--on the ring-shaped planet called Halo--that will shift the balance of power and it's up to the player to stop them. In addition to several first-person shooter levels there are numerous opportunities to engage in vehicular combat. Both the enemy and ally artificial intelligence are extremely impressive. Enemies will use the terrain and layout to put you in tight spots. Allies will know when to cover and aid you. For instance, if you hop into a jeep an ally will know to jump in and man the turret on the back of it. Graphics are exquisitely detailed, but only move at 30 frames per second rather than 60. The sound effects and voice-acting are superb. The level design is among the best ever; most of the game is engaging and challenging without being frustrating. There's also high replay value thanks to the built-in single-player, cooperative and death-match modes. --Raymond M Padilla
- A group of alien races called the Covenant is wiping out human bases and colonies across the galaxy. You and a few fellow soldiers are all that's left of a devastated colony-world called Halo. Built for combat, trained for war, you'll do the only thing you can -- wage guerilla war on the Covenant and help other humans escape!
- Incredible graphics bring the alien world of Halo to life, as you explore it and unravel its many mysteries
- Control your Character during massive firefights as you eliminate as many Covenant soldiers as possible
- Use your tactics skills to command squads and eliminate the enemy as you engage in guerilla warfare, using whatever weapons you can find
- Incredible all-new multiplayer maps for up to 16 people, with brand new armaments you've never seen before