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Ten years ago, Halo changed the way we play video games. Ten years ago, Halo introduced millions of fans to an incredible new universe and delivered billions of hours of entertainment. But that was ten years ago. This is now.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (also referred to as Halo: Anniversary, Halo: CE Anniversary or Halo: CEA) is a sci-fi first-person shooter video game set in the Halo Universe and is a graphical enhancement of 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved, featuring extra content, HD visual rendering, replaced HD audio and re-styled sound tracks. Halo: CEA was announced at Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference along with Halo 4. It received its "gold status" [Notes 2] on 10/19/11.
343 Industries, in collaboration with Saber Interactive, released Halo: CEA on November 15, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the original title's launch. The game features 7 multiplayer maps, including 6 remade competitive maps from Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo PC, and Halo 2, as well as a new Firefight map, bundled together as the Anniversary map pack DLC for Halo: Reach. The game also features support for Xbox Live multiplayer matchmaking, achievements, terminals, more easter eggs, and the ability to play Co-Op campaign over Xbox Live. The game utilizes 3D technology and the Kinect Sensor. The campaign runs on the Saber3d engine, whereas multiplayer is powered by a slightly modified Halo: Reach engine.
A further enhanced remaster was included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, with a faster framerate of 60fps and a higher resolution of 1080p. 3D and Kinect support was dropped, and the original 2001 multiplayer was added (replacing the Reach multiplayer). Like all games in the collection, Campaign Scoring was also implemented.
On March 3rd, 2020, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC, available on Xbox Game Pass for PC, Steam and the Microsoft Store.
- Main article: Battle of Installation 04
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary's campaign maintains the same story as Halo: Combat Evolved, with the addition of Xbox 360 achievements, in game terminals, skulls, and online Co-op. It also has a new feature: when the player presses the back button on the Xbox 360 controller, the game will switch from the updated graphics engine to the original, and vice-versa. For the story, see Halo: Combat Evolved. Anniversary also has subtitles available for in-game and combat dialogue.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary's levels consist of all the levels featured in Halo: Combat Evolved.
10 levels in total:
|The Pillar of Autumn||"Escape intact as Covenant forces board your ship."|
|Halo||"Seek out surviving Marines and help them fight the Covenant."|
|The Truth and Reconciliation||"Board a Covenant ship in an attempt to rescue Captain Keyes."|
|The Silent Cartographer||"Search for the map room that will lead you to the secrets of Halo."|
|Assault on the Control Room||"Defend the Control Room against wave after wave of Covenant troops."|
|343 Guilty Spark||"Creep through a swamp to meet the only enemy the Covenant fear."|
|The Library||"Fight your way through an ancient security facility in search of the Index."|
|Two Betrayals||"Re-activate the weapon at the heart of Halo... and learn the truth."|
|Keyes||"Stage a one-cyborg assault on a Covenant ship and bring back the Captain."|
|The Maw||"Destroy Halo before Halo destroys all life in the galaxy."|
Accompanying each level is a Terminal video, narrated by 343 Guilty Spark, depicting events that have, or are occurring on Halo. Some details in the terminal videos are said to be clues for Halo 4.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is the first Halo game to feature Kinect integration. With Kinect, players can use voice commands to throw grenades, reload, and analyze both animate and inanimate objects, then store the info on a database, called the Library. Kinect is not included on the disc, it is an automatic update on November 15. Additional features like the Library and Analyze Mode are inaccessible without Kinect.
Terminals are a new feature added to the game by 343 Industries. There are 10 terminals scattered across all the missions of the game, in which one terminal is present per level. Because the original game did not feature them, terminals can only be seen with the HD graphics on.
- Main article: Anniversary map pack
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary supports cooperative campaign and competitive multiplayer modes. The campaign mode uses a remastered version of the original Halo: Combat Evolved engine. The original multiplayer maps do not return for the remaster, and have been replaced with the Anniversary Map Pack, which uses the Halo: Reach engine. The multiplayer beta was released on October 4, 2011.
The game features seven multiplayer maps, utilizing the Halo: Reach engine. Six of these are updated and re-released competitive multiplayer maps from Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo PC, and Halo 2. Each map includes two variants, one classic variant (which takes the name of the map of which it was based on), and a second variant which is enhanced to utilize Reach's new sandbox and features. For example, Battle Canyon (the second variant of Battle Creek) includes additional indoor sections behind the bases, while Battle Creek has these sections blocked to retain the classic layout. In Damnation, the gaps between the bridge down by the waterfall is lacking, but in Penance, they are connected. These gaps are also forge-able.
The new maps don't just utilize the Halo: Reach engine, but were actually merged with the Halo: Reach server (similar to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST). The Anniversary Map Pack was released on Xbox Live Marketplace as DLC for Halo: Reach, so that those who do not own Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary could also play on them.
Multiplayer maps in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary include:
|Battle Canyon (Battle Creek Anniversary)|
|High Noon (Hang 'Em High Anniversary)|
|Penance (Damnation Anniversary)|
|Ridgeline (Timberland Anniversary)|
|Solitary (Prisoner Anniversary)|
|Breakneck (Headlong Anniversary)|
- Main article: Installation 04
This map is set at the cliff-side beam emitter encounter in one of the last three encounters of Halo: Combat Evolved's second level Halo. The map is vehicle-based, and unlike previous Firefight maps, it contains friendly ODSTs that help out the players in their fight against the Covenant. The Flood do not make their appearance in Firefight.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary matchmaking contains 4 different playlists; each has their own purpose. However, in August 2012, All of the anniversary playlists except Anniversary Classic and Anniversary Firefight were discontinued.
- Anniversary BTB
- Anniversary FFA
- Anniversary Firefight
- Anniversary Classic
- Anniversary Squad
343 Industries was utilizing the original Halo: Combat Evolved engine and Saber3d engine in campaign and the Halo: Reach engine in multiplayer to make the original Halo: Combat Evolved look and feel like a game created in 2011. They kept some of the audio and replaced other parts entirely with faithful "re-orchestrations" of the original recordings.
The campaign runs on the original engine, whereas multiplayer is powered by the Halo: Reach, engine which was worked on by Certain Affinity. 343 Industries graphically revamped the entire game and the level design in the campaign is more enhanced. This means that everything is more detailed and includes more assets to fill in the blank space that Halo: CE left behind. In addition, in 343's ViDoc on Halo: Anniversary, they confirmed that the player has the option to switch between old graphics and revamped graphics with the push of a button. That mode is called Classic Mode. However, the developers are not sacrificing the original feel of the gameplay. Halo: Anniversary is simply adding an additional layer of graphics on top of the original game ones, hence being able to switch between the old and revamped graphics, and thus keeping the original gameplay and physics of the game intact.
Halo: CE Anniversary retains some of the original audio from Halo: Combat Evolved, though it was remastered to sound clearer, allowing it to work seamlessly in 5.1 surround sound. Pyramind Studios were in charge of remastering, re-orchestrating and re-recording Martin O'Donnell's soundtrack, and Skywalker Orchestra recorded the orchestral pieces from the soundtrack at Skywalker Ranch. Halo: Anniversary features both the original and remastered soundtracks, giving players the choice of which soundtrack they wish to hear during the campaign. This will have to be selected from the main menu and cannot be changed during gameplay in the same way as classic graphics mode can.
- Main article: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Original Soundtrack
The Halo: Anniversary soundtrack includes 39 tracks on 2 discs. Many of the song titles are derived from the song titles of the Combat Evolved soundtrack.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary E3 2011 Tribute trailer
The Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary trailer was announced at E3 2011, allowing the audience to stare in awe. Later, it was followed up with the teaser trailer for Halo 4.
Halo Anniversary Exclusive
A 343 Industries Video Documentary was released shortly after the unveiling of the Halo 4 Teaser, which contained some extra footage and additional information on Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Halo: Anniversary Exclusive Pre-Order Grunt Funeral Skull
This video showed viewers new footage of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and a new skull called the Grunt Funeral Skull, which makes Unggoy explode like a plasma grenade three seconds after death. This skull is available when the game is pre-ordered.
Halo: Anniversary Exclusive Pre-Order Master Chief Avatar Armor
If pre-ordered, you will receive a redeemable code to get the exclusive Master Chief avatar armor. The style of the armor is his original Mark V Mjolnir Armor as opposed to his current Mark VI Mjolnir Armor, there are two codes, one for a female avatar and one for a male avatar. They are both included on the code card.
Halo: Anniversary Exclusive Pre-Order Concept Art Booklet
In the United Kingdom when pre-ordered from GAME or Gamestation, you will receive a booklet called "Halo: The Art Of Building Worlds" that contains 'ground breaking' concept art 'sweeping landscapes from the "Halo" universe' and shows 'evolution of John-117'.
- 343i originally attempted to re-use Halo Reach's Mark V(B)'s Mark V configuration model to depict Master Chief rather than create a new model of the original Mark V Mjolnir Armor. This plan was eventually dropped, as it was unanimously decided that the model "just didn't look like Master Chief," and a new model of the Mark V armor was created.
- In the settings, the player has the option of using either the classic music or the re-mastered music. However, the game's redone sound effects cannot be replaced by the original game's sound effects.
- Despite the fact that Pillar of Autumn's crew are Marines, they wear UNSC Army Battle Dress Uniforms.
- All of the marines have Sergeant's chevrons on their chest, regardless of in-game rank.
- The Multiplayer portion of the game has Forge mode.
- In pre-release CEA videos and images, the MA37 Assault Rifle and M6G Pistol from Halo: Reach were used as placeholders.
- 343 Industries "revisited" the game’s cut scenes to improve the animation of characters and camera angles. Unfortunately, the transitions between cutscenes and gameplay are broken up by a noticeable loading stutter, unlike the smooth transitions of the original game.
- During the last Legendary cutscene, the remastered version features a Sangheili Zealot instead of a Stealth Sangheili, and Johnson touches the Sangheili's rear instead of the other way around.
- The new graphics were simply relayered over the originals, and the hitboxes did not change. The new graphics do not match the original graphical layouts 100%, which means that it is possible to shoot and throw grenades through the expanded corners in the walls of the Truth and Reconciliation, but enemies will be able to see you before you see them. Conversely, the rock corner before the first pair of hunters in The Silent Cartographer shrinks and you can spy on the Hunters before they see you.
- If you go over a Sniper Rifle in original graphics, the weapon swap prompt incorrectly displays the Halo 3 Sniper Rifle instead of the correct one.
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo: Reach are both featured in the Halo Origins Bundle.
- Some minor changes were made to the HUD, for example the addition of a small incline splitting the top line in the shield meter into two. These changes do not revert when switching to classic mode.
- ESRB - Halo Ratings
- PEGI - Rating
- Steam Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Halo.xbox.com - The Halo Bulletin: 10/19/11
- YouTube - E3 2011 Reveal Trailer for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- http://www.examiner.com/console-gaming-in-national/halo-ce-anniversary-kinect-functionality-detailed 'Halo: CE Anniversary' Kinect functionality detailed
- Gametrailers video interview
- Halo.xbox.com Halo bulletin headline
- HBO forums: "Map... never been seen on console before."
- Halo.xbox.com image gallery
- Halo at Gamescom Panel 2014