MacSoft has released an updated version of their Universal binary rewrite of Halo: Combat Evolved, the popular first person shooter originally developed by Bungie Studios. A
Halo 2.0.1 patch is available for download; please be advised you need the Halo Universal binary version in order to install this patch.
Halo tells the story of Master Chief, a human soldier in outer space who finds a ringworld to square off against an onslaught of The Convenant, a xenophobic alien civilization bent on humanity’s annihilation. The game was a source of frustration for Mac gamers for years as it was originally intended as a Mac and PC release but ended up as an Xbox exclusive after Bungie Software was acquired by Microsoft.
MacSoft was responsible for developing the Macintosh version of Halo, which shipped within a few weeks of its PC counterpart in late 2004. In August, 2006 MacSoft
published a Universal binary upgrade to Halo, offering it for a $5 upgrade fee for existing users. The new 2.0 release is a complete rewrite of the original game that runs natively on Intel-based Macs.
Although MacSoft emphasized that the new Universal binary release should only be used by Intel Macs, some PowerPC-based Mac owners bought it and downloaded it, then discovered the software actually slowed down performance on their systems. MacSoft has adjusted that problem; overall performance on PowerPC has been improved by up to 35 percent depending on the graphics configuration. What’s more, MacSoft has found some optimizations for Intel-based Macs as well — performance has improved up to 25 percent in the new update.
Cinematic full-screen effects run faster, and performance has been improved when “Lens Flare” is set to High or Extreme. Intermittent flashlight and vehicle headlight problems have been fixed for all configurations, and rendering has improved on Macs that use Intel integrated video. A hanging bug has also been fixed when editing the multiplayer game type.
Halo Universal binary is available for a $5 purchase and download. Users who bought the game after January, 2006 are
entitled to a free update.