Co-Op is still where it’s at with Halo and it instantly brought me back to a college weekend in which my roomate and I played through the game in co-op...twice. Two player Split-screen play is available with a horizontal split, and playing like this disables Kinect features. Two player online co-op has been added to the game, though, we found a few connection issues while playing. It seemed when the host player unlocked an achievement the game sometimes randomly disconnected the other player, and we also saw a few issues with lag. Oddly - the lag cleared up when one player switched into the “classic” graphic mode.
The great thing about Halo’s co-op is it’s not worried about breaking the story, having two people open doors or weighing players down with revivals. It’s simply two Master Chiefs blasting their way through the Covenant side by side. You crank up the difficulty, you hop in a Warthog, and you drive circles around dozens of grunts and jackels as your co-op partner mows them down with the gatling gun.
Beyond the campaign and co-op, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary comes with one FireFight map set on Halo itself, which supports four player co-op. It’s the exact same FireFight mode and customizations that were available in Halo Reach, but you aren’t required to own Reach to play it. Also included for Reach multiplayer are classic multiplayer versus maps from Halo 1, redone in the Halo Reach engine and playable online in a special play list. Damnation, Prisoner, Beaver Creek, Hang Em High (High Noon), Breakneck, and Timberland (Halo PC) are included and Damnation is still the finest multiplayer versus map out there for Halo. The maps are extremely well done and there’s a lot of attention to detail with very few tweaks to the actual layout.
The bottom line with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is this - if you are a Halo fan, the $40 price point is well worth it. There’s a ton of content here, the campaign is still one of the best of the series, and the addition of online co-op means you can relive the days of Halo with friends that have since moved away. Ten years might sound like a long time, but it won’t matter when you play Halo Anniversary - the game simply holds up.
The Co-Op Experience: Play through the campaign with a friend in split screen or online play. Play four player online co-op on one included firefight map.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.