Although it was only officially shown and announced at Microsofts initial press conference on Monday, Halo Anniversary is one of the biggest titles on my video game radar.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to check it out, and I can comfortably say that Halo is in safe and experienced hands at 343.

The gameplay started off with the island approach at the start of the “Silent Cartographer” level, and right from the start my mind was blown.

Halo is a game I grew up playing ten years ago, and as such it has a pretty special and important place in my gaming heart. Seeing the beautiful draw distances and waves rolling up the beach was something I never would’ve imagined for the game that pioneered console shooters.

As the Pelican lands and Chief exits via the rear ramp a rush of memories suddenly came back.

The Elites and Grunts strafing and avoiding the gunfire while bullets and plasma whipped up dust. It was, and still is amazing.

As we progressed along the beach, the executive producer of the game showed us a new feature that allows you to instantly switch between the old classic game and the new HD remake. As the water moved peacefully around a Warthog sitting in the tide, a single button was pushed and we were instantly looking at the old Halo from ten years ago.

It’s an extremely humbling thing to visually see just how far games have come through the times, and it’s an excellent addition to what was already an incredible game.

Terminals from Halo 3 are making a return, and its been promised that if you find them all in Anniversary, well, you’ll find out some of the story in Halo 4. On the topic of returning features, series fans will be happy to know that the original Magnum is returning to the series.

After we checked out the brief yet awesome campaign experience we were shown a multiplayer trailer. The multiplayer is running in the Halo: Reach engine and as such will be featuring armor abilities across the seven maps that will be available.

A representative from MLG also confirmed that they intend on supporting the game with MLG playlists like in the older games.

The overhauled soundtrack and visuals coupled with the timely gameplay an action make Halo Anniversary a must have for any serious fans of the series.

Halo Anniversary launches this November and at $39.99 it’s a damn steal.