Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a first person sci-fi themed shooter, set on an alien ringworld. Locked in a race against an alien tribe known as the Covenant to discover the planet's secrets, it's up to you, playing as the Master Chief, to explore this strange alien planet, and figure out the secrets it holds - before the Covenant beat you to it.
If your child can play similar games, such as Call of Duty, or the more suitable Portal, they should have no trouble with this. Requiring a firm grasp of dual analogue controls, your child will need to be fairly dextrous with a controller, but there's nothing that makes Halo stand out from the rest in terms of difficulty. With a choice of four difficulty levels, it should be fairly easy to find a level your child will manage.
While it may be a first person shooter, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary doesn't strike you as being an overly gory game. Although you spend the majority of your time killing aliens, it's never really all that gory - the aliens don't bleed blood, instead giving off a green goo, and never really in copious quantities. Humans, however, do bleed, but not in a hyper-violent fashion. Around half way through the game, you'll come across an alien form known as the Flood - a parasite that infects humans and turns them into what are effectively zombies. When these approach, you can shoot off their heads and arms, but they'll keep coming until they've taken enough damage. Again, though, there's no blood from the Flood, making Halo one of the least violent shooters around.
With full support for split-screen co-op for two players, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary works best with two people playing together. With multi-person vehicles to drive, the game really comes into its own with two people working together, and never splits you up, meaning you'll always have someone there to watch your back. Should the one player die, all the other has to do is run to safety, in order for their partner to be able to respawn next to them. For those looking for a great parent and child game for a kid who's approaching their teens, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary would be a great choice - it'd just be nice if it supported four players. Then we could get the whole family involved.
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360