What we’ve been playing

Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we’ve found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: Halo, an adventure that can only be enjoyed once, and an adventure that can thankfully be enjoyed twice.

If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What we’ve been playing,
here’s our archive.

Look, you don’t need me to tell you that Halo: Combat Evolved is still a banger. But here I am anyway, because I went back to it for a piece about its setting earlier this week and of course I couldn’t stop. I went backwards, from The Silent Cartographer to The Truth and Reconciliation (the two best-named levels in any video game, this side of Super Mario World’s Cheese Bridge Area) and then jumped forwards to The Library. I slipped and slid from drifting Warthogs on the beach to popping Hunters with a pistol shot to the midriff; from blowing Grunts out of gun emplacements with that explosive sniper rifle to blasting through shiny mauve corridors with ruthless bursts of brilliant plasma; and finally to the worst but also best of the game, the panicked, heart-in-mouth, shotgun-powered backpedal through a featureless tomb in the face of a pulsating horde. And it was so, so smooth – once I had stopped throwing grenades instead of aiming down sights with the left trigger and come to terms with the fact Master Chief just can’t, or won’t, sprint. The clarity of it, the punch of the feedback, the simply incredible situational awareness from the audio and the motion sensor and the colour-coded lighting of the crossfire. The organic, elastic combat loops, unpredictable but also instinctive and reassuring. Later this year, we’ll celebrate this game’s 20th anniversary, but – played in crisp Classic form on modern hardware, thanks to the Master Chief Collection – it simply hasn’t aged. It’s still fantastically, brutally modern.

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  • This Post originally appeared on:
  • Eurogamer.net
  • Bad puns and video games since 1999.
  • Originally dated as:
  • 21 May 2021 10:56:00 +0100