Halo: Combat Evolved is a 2001 military science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first game of the Halo franchise, it was released on November 15, 2001, as alaunch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is considered the platform's "killer app". More than five million copies were sold worldwide by November 2005. Microsoft released versions of the game for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X in 2003, and the surrounding storyline was adapted and elaborated into a series of novels, comic books, and live-action web series. The game was later released as a downloadable Xbox Original for the Xbox 360. A high-definition remake, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, was released for Xbox 360 on the 10th anniversary of the original game's launch, and was rereleased as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on November 11, 2014, for the Xbox One.
Halo is set in the twenty-sixth century, with the player assuming the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhancedsupersoldier. The player is accompanied by Cortana, an artificial intelligence who occupies the Master Chief's neural interface. Players battle various aliens as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the eponymous Halo, a ring-shapedartificial world. The game has been commended for elements such as its story, the variety of strategies players can employ, and its multiplayer mode; however, the repetitive nature of its level design was criticized by some reviewers.
Halo has been praised as one of the greatest video games of all time, and was ranked by IGN as the fourth-best first-person shooter ever made. The game's popularity has led to labels such as "Halo clone" and "Halo killer", applied respectively to games either similar to or anticipated to be better than it. In addition, the game inspired and was used in the fan-created Red vs. Blue video series, which is credited as the "first big success" of machinima (the technique of using real-time 3D engines, often from video games, to create animated films).
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