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Halo: Combat Evolved
It's finally here. After years of waiting, Halo has made it to the Mac. Despite being released four years later than first expected, it still offers the most incredible gaming experience on the Mac. However, to get the most out of Halo, you may need a new computer.
The minimum requirements are an 800MHz G4 with 256MB RAM, 1.4GB of disk space and a 32MB AGP graphics card. That's a fairly hefty minimum spec, but it works pretty well with that. However if you are lucky enough to have a G5 – pretty much any G5 – then it will blow you away.
A couple of months ago we previewed Halo while it was still in beta. The game play is excellent, the storyline interesting and seemingly endless and the graphics are out of this world. But the most exciting part, the online play, wasn't ready. Now the game is finished, and you won't be disappointed.
If you're a veteran of the Marathon series of games that Bungie released in the 1990s, you recognise the occasional tip of the hat to it in Halo. From the occasional sounds of soldier screaming “They're everywhere!” to the familiar weapons like the rocket launcher. The story line in Marathon was good – Halo is similar but much more extensive. It really helps you get involved with the game when you know why you're blasting the aliens, collectively known as the Covenant.
The multiplayer part of the game will make Halo an addictive part of your gaming life – though it does descend into a bit of a rocket-fest if you aren't careful. It's only natural that putting big guns in the hands of players will result in mayhem, so there is one feature I would like to see added: cooperative games against the computer. Playing a real team tends to veer away from stealth and thoughtful blasting, but a computer-based Covenant enemy would offer a more realistic assault that might even involve planning and strategy. Or perhaps I'm just getting old and my reaction times aren't as fast as the younger players. Either way, the multiplayer mode is great.
If you have a G5 it would be a crime not to show off its power with this game. If you have a decent G4 you'll still get a playable, addictive game – it just won't be as pretty. It's hard to explain the vastness of this game – but you'll definitely get your money's worth. If you like alien-blasting mayhem, your life will be complete.