Review by Julio Torres
Exclusively on Xbox One
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a revolutionary game bundle by 343 Industries made for all Halo fans as well as newly coming Halo players can only be explained to be amazing, when it works. Included in the Master Chief Collection are not only Halo’s 1-4 with both single player and multiplayer all running at 1080p 60fps but also exclusive access to the episodic series Produced by Ridley Scott; Halo Nightfall and the Halo 5: Guardians Beta coming at the end of this year.
With the ten-year anniversary of Halo 2’s launch near, most fans would be ecstatic to play each and every single campaign included in the Master Chief Collection from start to finish, and they should be! The game has so much for each and every Halo fan out there the game seems to have been made to include every favorite feature for each rendition of the game. Halo’s 1-4 campaign missions are definitely worth the playthrough especially if you are looking to see how much of an impact 60 frames per second can make on a game that has been in between 24 frames to 30 frames since its existence. It is an entirely new feel to the game that might actually take some time getting used to, in a good way. As you play each campaign you can feel the nostalgic awesomeness when punching a fleeing grunt in the back all while his grunt comrades yell at you for killing their friend. Seeing the gameplay through each campaign mission in a different resolution and frame rate and comparing what the game was 10 years ago is what I would consider a carbon footprint of Halo’s impact on the history of console arena shooters.
With everything this game has to offer, the main attraction for many Halo fan’s is the Halo 2 Anniversary remake, similar to what was done to Halo: Combat Evolved but this time adding in remastered campaign cut scenes in earth shattering CGI by Blur Studios. As you play through the story campaign of Halo 2 Anniversary the first thing players will notice is the additional graphic fidelity that the game has received, and if unsure what the game used to look like, the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary retro button is back. With just the press of the View button (what used to be the back button) on the controller, the player can switch back and forth from the original and remastered audio and graphics for Halo 2, instantaneously. 343 Industries has found a way to keep the game we love intact but also crank the game to meet modern industries expectations.
If you were not of a fan of the Halo story then maybe the multiplayer was what kept you with the franchise for so long. When possible, the game’s multiplayer is filled with action packed arena shooting that will keep you wanting more. The game gives the player the ability to jump into a playlist dedicated to one or more Halo games included in the bundle. This means that players could go from playing a game on Blood Gulch with Halo: CE's original engine to playing on Ragnarok with Halo 4's engine the next game.
Unfortunately, the multiplayer has suffered since its launch last week on November 11th. From long wait queues to hoping into a 5v5 match only to discover it's a 6v4 match, Halo fans have not been happy. Since then players were kind enough to create a comprehensive list of bugs and glitches the game encountered with the help of many players via the r/Halo subreddit. 343 Industries has been good about keeping its fans up to date with bug fixes and patch dates but still seem to fall short when Xbox Live had some unexpected delays for the patch. A week after launch the game seems to run multiplayer a bit better but is not entirely fixed. A game update dated to be released this past Wednesday to address both multiplayer and single player bugs has been delayed to roll out “later this week” and has gotten fans riled up. For a game having so much content, the game seems to have been pushed with little to no time for fixes and one wonders how the game got green lit.
Overall, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was 343 Industries first real step into the Xbox One console and unfortunately had a misstep in the process. The reworked campaign makes for an awesome play through of many hours with the amazing cinematic work done by Blur Studios for the Halo 2 remake although the campaign missions are still only half of what the collection includes. As the game continues with its problems one can only hope that the Halo players disappointed with this aspect of the game decide to hop back on to play once again when the game is fully fixed. For this reason The Halo Master Chief Collection gets a 4/5 Pews. Although being close to a rating of 3 Pews, the thought of all the work Blur Studios put into capturing each and every Halo character and keeping each cut scene true to the original game has got them hanging onto that 4th Pew.