The following is taken from Wikipedia.org.
Halo: Combat Evolved, or simply Halo, is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie Studios, and the first installment of the Halo trilogy. It was released on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is considered that platform's "killer application". With more than five million copies sold worldwide, Halo is second only to its sequel, Halo 2, in sales for the Xbox video game console.
The titular Halo is an enormous, ring-shaped artificial space habitat, and, according to Bungie Studios, has a diameter of ten thousand kilometers. Halo sits at a Lagrange point between a planet and its moon. Rotation provides the station's gravity. In the game, the player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cyborg "super-soldier" with battle armor. The Master Chief is accompanied by Cortana, an artificial intelligence who occupies the neural implant between the battle armor and the Master Chief's brain. Players battle various types of aliens on foot or in vehicles as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the Halo. The game has been called "easy to learn," and has been praised for its "engaging story".
Widely considered to be one of the best, and most influential,innovative first-person shooters of all time, Halo's acclaim rivals that of GoldenEye 007 and Half-Life. For example, Edge gave Halo a full score of ten out of ten, only the fourth such designation in the magazine's 12-year history. Nevertheless, Halo has its critics. The game was tenth on GameSpy's "Top 25 Most Overrated Games of All Time"; one reviewer stated that the game "recycl[ed] the same areas over and over until you were bored to tears."
The game's popularity has led to labels such as "Halo clone" and "Halo killer", applied to games either similar to, or anticipated to be better than, Halo. In addition, the game inspired and was used in the fan-created Red vs. Blue video series, which is credited as the "first big success" of machinima — the art of using real-time 3-D engines, often from computer and video games, to create animated films.
Halo was a revolutionary title heralded as one of the 100 best games of all time by many publications. Halo wasn't full of brand new innovative ideas. Its strength lay in how it took existing concepts, and either improved them, simplified them, or in some cases turned them on their head.
- A two-weapon limit forcing the players to utilize the weaponry at hand.
- A smaller number of total weapons in the game made each weapon unique and usable in different situations.
- Grenades mapped to the left trigger, instead of being forced to use them like a weapon. Sped up combat, and make for more dynamic battles with a greater emphasis on terrain.
- Vehicles in the game.
- Intelligent friendly and enemy A.I.
- Large open levels that conveyed a sense of scale instead of a small linear paths.
- Revolutionary shield system that replaced the conventional Health pack/ Body armor system used at the time in conventional FPS's.
Halo is also strongly remembered for it's effect on Console gaming.
- First hit console game to bring about the concept of "lan parties" and help equilize the gameplay gap between PC's and Consoles.
- First hit console title to use Vehicles, and place a strong emphasis on them in multiplayer
- Brought about the standard of modern Console FPS controls and showed the versatility of the modern controller.
- First time a console truly matched the PC equivalent in the FPS genre.
- The game has multiple references to Bungie's game: Marathon
- Originally, it was planned to call the game just Halo, not Halo: Combat evolved, but Microsoft added the "Combat evolved" to it because they thought no one would know what a Halo was.
- A remake of this game was made by 343 Industries, and was released on the 15th of November 2011, exactly 10 years after the original was released.