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Originally released in 2001, Halo (or, to use its full title, Halo: Combat Evolved) is the first title in what would go on to become one of the biggest franchises in gaming history. It is a first-person shooter set against a rich and textured science fiction backdrop, where human soldiers do battle against various aliens.
The game takes place in a universe where mankind has achieved faster-than-light travel and spread out to other planets, encountering hostile aliens in the process. The main character, a cyborg soldier known as Maser Chief, reaches the artificial, ring-shaped world of the title, and comes across many deadly hazards while trying to uncover its secrets.
Although the game is most closely associated with the Xbox (and its successors, Xbox 360 and Xbox One) it is also available for home computers, with versions designed for use on Windows and Mac.
The game includes both solo and multiplayer modes. The Xbox release includes a split-screen, two-player co-operative mode, although this was removed from the PC and Mac releases. However, all versions were released with an online multiplayer mode allowing for up to 16 players to take part.
The first game received two direct sequels, comprising what is known to fans as the Original Trilogy. This was followed by the Reclaimer Saga, consisting of two more games in the series. The series has also given rise to spin-offs, including real time strategy games, revised versions of earlier titles, and a prequel entitled Reach.
The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. This means that it is recommended for players aged 17 or above. Due to the level of graphic violence and gore involved, along with its often dark subject matter, it is not suitable for younger players.
The Custom Edition was released by Gearbox Software in 2004, and is available for Windows. It allows owners of the game's PC release to add custom maps and other modifications using the game's editing kit.
As it was released in 2001, and has long been superseded by subsequent titles in the series (including its own remake) it is unlikely that the game will receive any further updates.
Yes. There is a free app tying in with the game and its various sequels, which offers users free access to videos and news, along with a wide range of content from creators and fans alike pertaining to this popular series. The app is currently available for PC only.
Yes, it is possible to download a free demo with a heavily abridged version of the game. This includes a short taster of the solo mode, along with a multiplayer mode featuring a single map.