Halo: Combat Evolved free for PC

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  • Developer Bungie Studios
  • Version
  • License Demo
  • Language en

Halo: Combat Evolved is an iconic first-person shooter video game that transformed the FPS genre and won numerous awards. Featuring strong gameplay mechanics in a rich environment with many enemies and advanced AI, it stands as a classic you should definitely try.

Plot

The story takes place in a 26th-century science fiction setting where humans can now use faster-than-light travel (also called the slip-space) to colonize other planets. One of them, called the planet Reach, is an interstellar hub for scientific and military activities. The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) developed a top-secret program to create augmented super soldiers known as Spartans. However, over 20 years before the beginning of your story, a technologically advanced collective of alien races called the Covenant begins a religious war against humanity based on an affront to their gods. And in 2552, Covenant troops attacked Reach and destroyed the colony. Still, the starship Pillar of Autumn managed to escape the planet with the Spartan John-117 initiating a jump to slip-space. Your story begins as the Pillar of Autumn exits the slip-space and discovers a large ringworld structure of unknown origin.

Gameplay

  • Weapons: The weapon system is unique in two significant aspects: you can carry two weapons at a time, forcing you to make trade-offs as you progress, and there is a separate dedicated button to throw grenades. There are plenty of different sci-fi-inspired weapons, and the game has been praised for giving each weapon a specific practical purpose depending on the situation. You can use weapons both from the UNSC and Covenant, including the M231 machine gun, rocket launcher, M41 variations, flamethrower, shotgun, assault rifle, sniper rifle, but also alien energy cannon, plasma grenade, plasma pistol and riffle, and more.
  • Player damage system: The damage system is quite interesting and allows you to manage risks in a more advanced way depending on the scenario and constraints. The first one is a layer of protection which is the shielding system built with your armor that decreases in strength every time you are hit and will fail after taking too much damage. It will recover if you are not hit for a brief period of time though. The second one is your non-auto-regenerating health which will decrease if your shield has been depleted and can be recovered by picking up health packs.
  • Equipment: You can use various pieces of equipment and technology throughout the game that will spice up combats and bring tactics to the next level, like active camouflage (designed to conceal an object from visual detection by rapidly adapting to its surroundings), or overshield (Covenant technology that strengthens the user's energy shielding system).
© Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Enemies: You will face three different factions of enemies throughout your adventure. The Covenant is an alliance of different species whose Fleet of Particular Justice was led by the Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee. It includes the Unggoy (cowardly little creatures, basically considered as cannon fodder), the Sangheili (fine tacticians with body-covering energy shields), Kig-Yar (equipped with portable energy shields), and huge metal Hunters. The second faction is known as the Flood, which is encountered in 3 forms, including the infection form, the exploding carrier form, and the combat forms of former Humans or Sangheili whose nervous systems have been taken over by the parasite. The last faction is the Sentinels, which are ancient robotic constructs controlled by the Forerunner AI Monitor.
  • Vehicles: You will be able to control and fight using several types of vehicles, from armored 4x4s and tanks to alien hovercrafts and aircrafts. Used wisely or aggressively, they can be a game changer in combats and add another layer of fun and diversified gameplay.
  • AI: The Halo: Combat Evolved AI is pretty advanced and sophisticated as enemies will behave quite convincingly depending on the situation, like panicking when their superior die, taking cover from explosives and suppressive fire, diving out of the way of an oncoming vehicle, and more.
  • Environments: The game offers a wide and diversified variety of environments that genuinely bring immersion to the next level and will provide you with a deeper understanding of the whole lore. Among all the different environments, you will explore ancient buildings, expansive outdoor scenes, Covenant and human starships, and more.
© Halo: Combat Evolved

Graphics and sound

When released in 2001, it featured state-of-the-art graphics with advanced lighting, shadows, texture quality, and animation techniques. Moreover, the soundtrack was composed and produced by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori and offers superb tracks that match the whole atmosphere of the game. The entire mix provides an excellent and immersive experience, which is part of the game's success.

Duration and game modes

The game offers a decent main story, as it lasts about 10 hours. If you want to complete and explore all aspects of the game, you will likely spend around 23 hours.

Campaign

This is the solo story mode of the game consisting of ten levels in different environments. In addition, you can choose among 4 difficulty levels, including Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary.

  • Easy: Enemies are fewer in number, have poor accuracy, and are generally much weaker than in other difficulty levels.
  • Normal: This is the standard difficulty level. The Unggoy can use plasma grenades, and intermediate-rank enemies are more present.
  • Heroic: Enemies are more clever (for example, they tend to take cover more frequently when their shield vanishes), deal more damage, and high-rank enemies spawn more frequently.
  • Legendary: Enemies are numerous, intelligent, fast, precise, and resistant. Enemies of high rank appear regularly. Stay strong, soldier, as it's going to be very challenging.

Multiplayer

All the multiplayer game modes may be played either solo or as part of a team of up to 16 players depending on the mode.

  • Slayer: One of the most famous modes. Basically, the victory is determined by the number of enemies that you or your team take down. There are various sub-game modes where the number of frags to make and other rules vary.
  • Oddball: The goal is to find and keep the ownership of a skull to earn points over time.
  • King of the Hill: To win the game, you need to take and keep control over a specific part of the map (called the Hill) for a period of time.
  • Race: The goal is to be the first player or team to pass all the checkpoints marked on the map.
  • Capture the Flag: This is a team-only game mode where you must steal the opposing team's flag and bring it back to your base to score points and win the game.

What do the reviews say?

© Metacritic

Halo: Combat Evolved has received a Metacritic score of 83/100, has received numerous Game of the Year awards, and has been very well received by players.

"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." (Next Level Gaming)

Age rating

© PEGI

Halo: Combat Evolved has been rated PEGI 16.