Surprise! Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is Available Now for PC

Posted on March 3, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Games, PC gaming, Xbox with 8 Comments

After just two weeks of testing, Microsoft has released the remastered Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary on the PC as part of the Master Chief Collection.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a remastered version of the original Halo campaign, created in celebration of one of the most beloved franchises in gaming history,” a Microsoft representative told me. “The game 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.”

Microsoft announced its plans to bring all of the games in the Master Chief Collection to the PC about a year ago, and it delivered the first of those titles, Halo: Reach, in early December. As the second game in the series from a continuity perspective, the original Halo, now called Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, entered public testing just two weeks ago, in mid-February. We knew its development would be faster than that of Halo: Reach, but I’m pretty sure no one thought it would be that fast.

If you’re interested in playing on PC—and you should be, it’s a classic— Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary can be obtained in a variety of ways, including:

Buy the Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle. Available for $39.99 from both the Microsoft Store and Steam, the Halo: The Master Chief Collection provides all of the Master Chief-related Halo titles (plus Halo 3: ODST) into a single bundle, with each title being released over time.

Buy Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary standalone. The standalone version of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary can be purchased from the Microsoft Store or Steam for $9.99.

Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta). If you join Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta), you’ll get access to Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Surprise! Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is Available Now for PC”

  1. datameister

    I wonder if the speed of this release means they all will be using the same engine and many of the same textures.

    • Thretosix

      In reply to DataMeister:

      There is a toggle that is nearly instantaneous. It's not "next gen, or even current gen" quality. But it's night and day compared to the original release. Plays and feels just like it did many years ago.

  2. madthinus

    Apparently, very buggy.

  3. FullyLoaded

    Also available through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

  4. red77star

    Completed first game. Going to play this now. PC Beta XBOX Pass, whatever is called, is really good app. So far so good because Microsoft is not over complicating with. It has a good game delivery system and the only downside of it is that you cannot install games under the folder. Yes you can change a drive, would be nice if you could choose an actual folder on that drive. Other than that, I like it. And what I like about it is that MS is not forcing me to use features found inside the app. It should be a good example for them, they cannot force things on Windows users. More optional they make it more people will like it, they seem to forget that Windows users are particular that way.

  5. luthair

    Ironic that these support neither cross-play nor play anywhere.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Not sure about that. These games were all designed to run only on one platform originally for the most part. They're just porting the games. Making cross-play work would likely take a very long time, with no huge benefit. It's not like a new generation of gamers is going to start multiplayer Halo 2 up between PC and Xbox One.
      • Thretosix

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        The other mention was the Play Anywhere feature some games have Forza titles, Gears of War titles, mostly Microsoft published games. Buy it on PC, play it on both. This was a bit bothersome for me as well. Especially with Sony championing their ability to create first party titles that Microsoft desperately lacks. In regards to you response why would they even market and remake it then if the goal isn't to get people to play the game again?

  6. Stooks

    This is great and I will pick it up....using Bing points.

    This direction, bringing all of Microsoft games to the PC, is giving me NO reason to purchase a Xbox Series X when it comes out. My PC is already as powerful as the new Xbox Series X and if I can get any Xbox game for the PC?????