Format: PS3
Release: Out Now

When i was a kid, i saw the film Child’s Play. Which might account for some of the issues i have nowadays, but that’s beside the point. As an impressionable kid, to me, Child’s Play was like watching some sort of Satanic Black Mass complete with sacrifing of Virgins and Goat Headed man beasts feasting on the flesh of the innocent. What i’m trying t o say is, it terrified the balls out of me, and seemed like i was watching the televised account of the last days of Sodom & Gomorrah. Last week, i caught it on ITV4, and realized it had actually been a tongue in cheek black comedy that was frankly hilarious when you’re watching a Cop unloading a 357 Magnum into the skull of a 2 foot tall Doll wielding a scalpel.

If you didn’t get that oh-so-subtle hint that maybe nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be, you may want to stop reading now. But know this, everything i’m about to rip into Halo CE:A for, pains me to write as much as it does you to read.

You see, i too am a Halo fanboy. I have figurines, i have the Graphic Novel, i was one Achievement away from having every single one for Halo 3, i have collectors editions, t-shirts, and an intact Virginity. Halo is awesome. No 2 ways about it. It’s easily the best console FPS around, which, admittedly, isn’t saying much in a market long since past saturation point with Space Marines and gritty Brown Desert shooters™. But Halo carved a niche for itself by not forcing you down endless linear corridors, there’s hardly any OOH RAH MARINES shit in it (aside from Sgt Johnston, but he in himself is just a parody of Apone from Aliens) and at risk of being called a fuckin’ faggot game for faggots, it’s also got a vibrant palette of pinks, purples, greens and blues, with very little in the way of grit or sand.

My memory is a little hazy from the decades of alcohol and drug abuse, but in my mind, Halo CE was a technicolour romp through outer space, with incredible gameplay, amazing vehicle sections, a tightly scripted and well told story, and level design was

Yes, there was absolutely nothing bad in Halo CE at all, it was a solid 10/10 which noone could deny. I mean, Edge gave it a ten right? That must mean it’s better than having actual sex with a real life woman.

And then i played Halo Anniversary.

I’ll start with what’s good about this remake:

  • Graphics are nice
  • Redone Weapon sounds are good

Yeah so that’s that list out of the way, what’s bad about CE:A?
The fucking level design. OH GOD THE LEVEL DESIGN. Protip: If you don’t want to read someone cry-wanking about how abysmal the level repetition is in Halo, you may want to skip to the end of this review and look for the ‘thumbs down’ button.
It’s like Bungie designed one location and hit CTRL C CTRL V CTRL C CTRL V  until they had enough to call it a game a stick a price tag on it. I always wondered just why people rated the level “The Silent Cartographer” so highly, now i know, it’s because it’s the one fucking level in the game that isnt just a series of copy & pasted rooms with the odd bridge thrown in to interconnect them. The amount of re-use of locations in Halo is fucking Criminal. Let’s take a look at all the levels that get reused at some point  in the game:

The Pillar of Autumn gets reused as The Maw
Assault on the control room gets reused as Two Betrayals
Assault on the Control room gets reused as Assault on the Control Room OVER 9000 FUCKING TIMES
Truth and Reconciliation gets reused as Keyes
And The Library is one room repeated enough times to make you think youve come down with a dose of Alzheimers.

The mechanics are all in place, the gunplay is still fun which is a credit to  a game 10 years old, but that’s like trying to sell someone a burnt out Ford Fiesta and claim it’s still usable because its skeleton is still intact. There’s just no way to disguise the fact that playing the same levels over and over gets so tiring you almost wish your Xbox would get the RROD just for a change of pace. There are people who might defend levels like Assault on the control room, much like a hostage suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, by saying that the rooms arent actually all the same, they are in fact slightly different enough to warrant playing through each one several hundred times. And you know what, they’re absolutely right. 

Pictured below: 2 totally different rooms from Assault on the Room

I sincerely hope both of those pictures gave you a throbbing hard on, because you’ll be looking at them for close to the entire running time of Halo: CE Anniversary. It’s the videogame equivalent of a shitty relationship. And not the Dark Souls kind of abusive relationship, where Dark Souls is a Brazilian Nymphomaniac with extremely questionable morals who’ll let you put it in any hole you like, but occasionally makes fun of your Penis size and cheats on you.
Halo CE A is the kind of shitty relationship where you just want it to end, but you cant help but remember the good times now long since past. You’re stuck with a woman who was in her Prime when the fucking Vengaboys were topping the charts and Big Brother was a fantastic new TV show. You’re remembering that one time in 2001 when she looked amazing and gave you unbridled thrills, but now sits there funneling cakes in her snack hole, and won’t even bat an eyelid or offer to finish you off if you started tugging yourself off next to her in bed.

Im sorry Halo CE, it’s not me, it’s you. But you’re a super girl, i’ll call you sometime.