On Monday, Microsoft proved that there is no bad time to be a Halo fan, during their press event. The announcement of a Halo television show and teased information regarding Halo 5 were some of the highlights of E3’s first day, but when it came to Halo news, the newly revealed Master Chief Collection was the star.
Billed as the definitive version of Halo through Halo 4, the Master Chief Collection is aimed for nostalgia-ridden gamers as well as newcomers to the series. In one small package, 343 Industries has crammed four full games and an overwhelming amount of additional content into The Master Chief Collection, making it one of the stars of this year’s E3.
It was no small task to get all four Master Chief titles into one package, 343 is quick to inform during their Master Chief Collection demo. Making all the games work in one comprehensive package under a smooth UI was difficult, but from what has been shown of the game, is pulled off perfectly.
The biggest draw of The Master Chief Collection is certainly the updated and overhauled edition of Halo 2. Similar to the well-received Halo: Anniversary Edition, the version of Halo 2 included in The MC Collection will be a complete overhaul to the original game.
In order to drive this point home, 343’s representatives fired up Cairo Station, instantly proving just how great Halo 2 now looks. This updated version of Halo 2 is running on the game’s original code, but with various tweaks and polishes that make character models and environments look almost brand new. The improvement is nothing short of staggering.
Those who like their nostalgia with rose-colored glasses will be pleased to know that The Master Chief Collection’s version of Halo 2 will allow players to swap between the classic visuals and 2014 update seamlessly.
Outside of the visual overhaul, Halo 2 will also feature the terminals from Halo: Anniversary. For those unaware, these terminals add extra lore and story details and the ones found in Halo 2 will feature the Arbiter and elements of Halo 5. These bonuses alone are enough to get any die-hard fan to dive back into the game.
From the outset, all of the levels from each Halo title will be unlocked, allowing series veterans to jump into their favorite missions with ease to relive the action time after time. Those who haven’t played the series before will be able to start from the beginning and move forward as they wish.
One of the most interesting and exciting elements of The Master Chief Collection is the inclusion of single-player playlists. These playlists allow for seamless movement across select levels from each title. For example, the Vehicle playlist throws players into each level where driving a vehicle is the main focus, while the Flooded playlist jumps only into stages that feature the Flood. This decision is one that is sure to get a lot of mileage out of gamers, as they will be able to play numerous stages based off of their moods and interests on a given day.
It wouldn’t be a Halo preview without discussing the multiplayer aspect of the game and The Master Chief Collection absolutely nails it in this department. The Master Chief Collection will ship with 100 different maps from the four Halo titles included, ensuring that the fragging never ends. Additionally, The Master Chief Collection will have custom multiplayer lobbies, allowing creativity and diversity for those who wish it.
The sheer amount of content that has been included in The Master Chief Collection is enough to warrant a purchase alone, but 343 Industries has further sweetened the deal for those who might still be on the fence. The Master Chief Collection will also include a beta for Halo 5’s multiplayer when the game ships on November 11, 2014, proving that some wishes do come true. Alongside the beta is the Halo: Nighfall series by Ridley Scott.
343 has outdone themselves with The Master Chief Collection. Brilliantly packaged and crafted in a way that fans of the series are sure to appreciate, there are few reasons not to pick up the collection when it is released.
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