Halo was one of the most advertised games in history, competing directly with the famed Duke Nukem Forever. Although it’s success is unquestionable, the fact that it launched only for Xbox deprived millions of gamers everywhere from playing “The best FPS ever made”, according to the critics that managed to take a look at Bungie’s new wonder title. This was in 2001. Two years have passed since then, and in the meantime, Microsoft finally headed the cries of the PC fans and appointed Gearbox (makers of Opposing Forces and Blue Shift add-ons for Half Life) to port Halo to the PC, in the hopes it will enjoy the same success.
After I played it, I have concluded that a better title would have been Halo: Paradox Evolved. That is because both its good and bad sides are in such a fragile balance that you cannot tell with 100% accuracy that the game sucks or if it is a masterpiece.
The storyline is 50% cliché, 50% original. It takes place in the future, where mankind, after beginning to explore the galaxy, stumbles upon (for the n-th time) a very dangerous alien race (actually an alliance of several), called The Covenant. Of course, the aliens are yet again determined to wipe out the human race for various reasons. In order to lure the Covenant armada away from Earth, the ship Pillar of Autumn makes a blind hyperspace jump and arrives in a solar system where it finds a mysterious ring world, which the Covenant call Halo. You eventually crash on the planet, and this is where the adventure begins (the Pillar of Autumn level serves as a tutorial). You play the Master Chief, a human super soldier, and your task will be to uncover the secrets of Halo and defeat the Covenant. At least, this is what you will think in the beginning, because Bungie has a couple of surprises in store for you, which make the storyline very engaging and will keep you guessing right until the very end of the game.