Sunday, September 25, 2005

Halo: Combat Evolved (PC) Multiplayer

Last night I downloaded and decided to try out a little online multiplayer with Halo: Combat Evolved's Demo for the PC.

The PC version of Halo has always had some steep system requirements (for its day, release late 2003), so I decided to turn all the video and sound options to their lowest settings for the fastest online play.

Joining a game was simple enough, set up the filters you want and find a list of servers. Once you find one you like, click to join. Once playing, the controls, style, and feel are familiar enough since I've been playing Halo: Combat Evolved for close to a year, however the problem came into play with lag.

I chose a very good ping server, but there was so much lag with it. You're running and all of a sudden you frame jump ahead of yourself, or your target does. I've seen Warthogs fly because of lag, etc. Really weird, and it kind of killed a lot of the fun.

The PC/Mac version of Halo: Combat Evolved adds in a few extra multiplayer exclusives. There are 2 new weapons, the Flamethrower and the Fuel Rod Gun (featured in Halo 2 on the Xbox), as well as a new vehicle, the M 12A 1 Warthog LAAV. Instead of the usual 3 barreled machine gun, its turret is 102mm rocket launcher specifically designed for anti-armour purposes. It felt very much like a lesser version of Halo 2's Gauss Cannon Warthog. You can also use Banshees in multiplayer, something Xbox gamers can only do in Halo 2.

In this Demo multiplayer level, Banshees are available, as well as Plasma Pistols, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles (the main weapon everyone used), Frag Grenades, etc., and it supports up to 16 players. It has large open areas for vehicle battles (1 of each kind of Warthog and I believe 2 Banshees are on the map).

While this wasn't a lot of fun due to lag, it had a lot of potential. I've really enjoyed the splitscreen games of Halo 2 that I've played, mostly with Telly, so perhaps this is something I'd enjoy a lot online with Xbox Live. Halo: Combat Evolved isn't supported over Live, but Halo 2 is.

Something to look into.

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