Surprise! With little warning, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary launched on PC today. This is the remake of Bungie's very first game in the first-person shooter series, the one which started Master Ian Chief's adventures on Xbox way back in 2001. I never played it but my god, the things I've heard about its powerful pistol... maybe I'll finally see for myself. It is only £7, after all. You can snook a look in the launch trailer below.
If it looks a little old for a remake, that'll be because Anniversary was first revamped for Xbox 360 in 2011. Microsoft say the PC release "looks and plays better than ever at 60 frames-per-second (or greater) with 4K UHD support, and players can fine-tune their experience with a vast array of options including variable framerate, native mouse/keyboard support and the ability to rebind controls, support for ultra-wide displays and different aspect rations, updated texture/shadow quality and more. Additionally, we're happy to introduce community-requested features such as the option to use 'classic' audio in multiplayer and improvements to Spartan customisation." And you can still toggle between the original Xbox look and the remade.
Ye olde Combat Evolved was actually released on PC, in a 2003 port from Gearbox Software. It was missing some features and had serious performance problems. And hasn't been sold for yonks. Now this is here!
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is out now for £7/€10/$10 on Steam and Microsoft's Store. It's also covered by Xbox Game Pass For PC subscription. Or comes with a big lump of more Halo in the Master Chief Collection if you buy that.
Microsoft are releasing games from the Master Chief Collection in the in-universe chronological order. That's why the first game from it was the fourth in the series, the prequel Halo: Reach. Josh Fortune will tell you Reach is the best Halo so it's just gravy from here. Following Microsoft's nice new policy of actually releasing games on PC, the new-new Halo Infinite is coming later this year. Weirdly, Microsoft still haven't committed to releasing Halo 5 on PC so we might have a gap?