Halo: Combat Evolved didn’t always have a campaign, staff on the original game have revealed.
Issue 227 of Retro Gamer magazine features a massive 10-page spread on the original Halo, delving into little-known facts behind the original shooter. Stefan Sinclair, programmer on Halo’s multiplayer team, revealed that Combat Evolved began life as a strictly multiplayer-only game, and the only way the development team played the game was by connecting to a server.
“Halo had been developed for internet multiplayer even in its most primordial forms,” says Sinclair. When Sinclair began work on Halo in 1999, the development team was all-in on Halo as a multiplayer-only game, developing the shooter with an eye for it being pushed out as a launch title for the upcoming Xbox Live multiplayer service for the original Xbox.
It’s wild to think that Halo began life as a multiplayer-only game, and continued that way for a fair while. When we think of Halo: Combat Evolved now, it’s hard not to immediately be drawn to the likes of the Flood, landing on the Halo Ring for the very first time, or individual missions like The Silent Cartographer. All that, and so much more, never existed in the original vision of Halo at Microsoft.
There are plenty more details buried within the 10-page spread on Halo: Combat Evolved, including an interview with Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana, Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft, and many more veterans that helped launch one of the biggest game franchises of all time.
Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.