With E3 2011 well underway, Microsoft was sure not to let their diehard Halo fans down, with not just one but two announcements. 343 Industries and Saber Interactive have been hard at work at redesigning the original Halo: Combat Evolved for its November 15th re-release (which is also the 10-year anniversary), and thankfully it looks like they did it right.

Titled Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Saber Interactive and 343 Industries have upscaled the graphics to support 1080p and stereoscopic 3D, remastered sound and art, and multiplayer over Xbox Live. What’s more, the developers have done something unique and instead of rebuilding the standing graphics engine, they have just built on top of it, allowing players to turn on or off the new HD images and art at will.

Included in the multiplayer, six of the “most innovative maps in multiplayer history” have also been redone and redesigned (including the map “Desolation” from Halo 2), meaning that players feeling a little nostalgic for Blood Gulch will get a chance to revisit places from their fondest memories. The game itself won’t feature multiplayer of any kind (outside of co-op), but will instead connect players to the Halo: Reach servers, similar to what ODST did.

The game has been completely restructured, yet as of right now no word as been said about additional weapons, the inclusion of things like Armor Abilities, or the other tricks that Halo players have grown to love and adore. Will it create a rift between players — those that stick with the original series or those that prefer Halo: Reach — and if it does, how will 343 Industries handle that? Plus, with the Halo 4 announcement, it’s possible that more Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary news may surface.

We’ll Have to wait till November to find out if we will get a hint as to what Master Chief will have to face next. In the meantime, we can at least play through one of the biggest franchise openers ever, one more time.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will release November 15, 2011, exclusively for Xbox 360.

Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news and updates as E3 2011 continues through the week.

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