Page 9 - Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat EvolvedThose of you who haven't heard about HALO raise your hands please. You?! What do you mean you haven't heard about it?! Oh you're still gaming on a Dreamcast; daddy is a game reviewer, you say? And can't afford to buy you anything? Oh well, I guess we can let this one slide.
HALO was probably the biggest and certainly the most prominent launch title for Microsoft's Xbox console. You also probably know that Bungie actually originally intended to publish the game on the PC, but were kindly asked to change their minds, well... bought by MS and helped the birth of the Xbox. After two years of waiting, PC gamers can finally sink their teeth into the PC version of the game.
In Halo, you don the armor of the Master Chief; a war-hardened soldier that only comes out when the going gets really tough. The Earth is at war with a mysterious race called the Covenant and as the game opens, a Halcyon-class cruiser from Earth, the Pillar of Autumn, has dropped out of warp badly damaged. Worse yet, the Autumn is being pursued by a Covenant fleet. The Master Chief is given the mandate to get the ships main computer construct, Cortana, away from the cruiser as the captain crashes the battered Pillar of Autumn on a strange ring-shaped object (later to be known as Halo). You must get Cortana off of the Autumn and then keep yourself alive long enough figure out what secrets Halo hides.
The game's use of Pixel Shader 2.0 caused a lot of disbelief/disappointment for Nvidia GeForce FX owners.
Bungie decided to upgrade the engine in the PC version to support Pixel Shader 2.0 effects instead of the Pixel Shader 1.1 effects found on the Xbox version. This is noticeable in better shiny armor, water effects and better looking grass. To run Halo on the PC requires a pretty high end system.
As I said before, the game's use of Pixel Shader 2.0 causes a lot of disbelief for GeForce FX owners. Look at the numbers. FYI: we actually forced the Pixel Shader 2.0 codepath for this test run.