Note: The Online servers only went up yesterday so a review of the online will be added at a later date, hopefully before the release date on Tuesday.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is truly the ultimate Halo fans dream come true. What about someone who has only played one or even none of the Halo games, would they enjoy this collection? Well that answer can be found in this review because I’ve only ever played Halo 4. I don’t know why I never tried the games out until Halo 4, but I loved that game, and I wanted more Halo. Fortunately for me, Microsoft announced a collection with Halo 1-4 all on on one disc.
First of all I just have to praise the amazing amount of content you are getting in this one game, trust me it is going to be a game that will keep very busy. You are getting four full Halo campaigns, with all of them being upgraded with 1080p and 60fps along with Halo 2 anniversary which could have easily been sold as a separate release like Halo: CE was on the Xbox 360 back in 2011.
Halo 2 Anniversary was highly requested from fans due to the positive reaction of the first Halo being remade with the anniversary format. Halo: CE Anniversary wasn’t just a quick quick port with a new shine added, it was built from the ground up with improved and recreated visuals to improve it to a standard we expected back then. Three years later, it was worth the wait as the Xbox One’s capabilities were used to their full potential to create the most visually impressive Halo game to date. Halo 2 looks like a brand new Xbox One title rather than an upgrade of a 10 year old game.
As a first time player of Halo: CE, I noticed some signs of a game not ageing too well. One mission in particular called “The Library” showed these signs more than any other mission in the first Halo game. During the mission I noticed the level design was extremely repetitive and felt like a copy and paste. Like the level design the enemy design was equally bad as you face waves and waves of the same enemy, and after a while it becomes boring. This isn’t to say all the missions are like, some actually hold up extremely well, and are really fun to play.
All four games run at 60 frames per second, which ran very smoothly most of the time, but I noticed some framerate drops when there was a large amount of enemies on the screen at one time. Visually Halo 2 will be the stand out of the 4 games with Halo 4 also looking much better compared to the 360 version released in 2012. If you are feeling nostalgic you have the option to turn the original graphics of Halo: CE and Halo 2 on. As I’ve never played Halo: CE or Halo 2 I thought I’d try one mission on each game with the classic graphics and the difference between the two games is unbelievable. If you really want to appreciate how far video game visuals have advanced then check Halo 2 on classic then remastered.
There is also a feature that has been added exclusively to the Master Chief Collection called mission playlists. Mission playlists are a mix of different missions with a theme added to them. There are mission playlists for each Halo game, and there is also a special cross game playlist. For example one of the Halo 2 playlists is called “Boss Fights” which has all three missions that had a boss fight in one playlist, and also a playlist of fan favorite missions. Some of the cross game playlists include all four final missions, epic battles, and all 45 missions on legendary mode in one huge playlists.
The Final Verdict
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is one of the best collection games I’ve ever played, and that is due to the actual hard work that has been put into making this excellent bundle of arguably Xbox’s biggest series of all time. I’ve never played Halo 1, 2 or 3 before, so this collection was the perfect reason to finally say I’ve played these great games, and I recommend any new Halo players reading this review to buy this game just for the crazy amount of Halo content you will be getting in one game. I was also extremely impressed with the visual upgrade of Halo 2’s campaign, which has set the level of quality you should expect from remakes on current gen consoles. Many wondered whether a masterpiece could be remastered, and in this case it can.
+Amount of content
+Great fan service…
+Along with being a great game to bring in new fans to catch up before Halo 5
+Halo 2 looks impressive
-Earlier Halo is showing its age
-Some campaign missions can be extremely boring