343 Industries’ Master Chief Collection: Nostalgia at it’s best

The Master Chief Collection that came out back in November was an impressive release with the new Xbox One. They went hand in hand. It included the campaigns for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, as well as online multiplayer and the episodic campaign Spartan Ops. Halo: CE and Halo 2 were both presented with their “anniversary” editions, which were designed as visual upgrades for both games.  Halo 3 and Halo 4 were released as they were made, but at 1080p resolution.  Who wouldn’t want to go back and play the Halo games with even better graphics than they had before? Halo 4 was beautiful in the first place, but now we’re just being spoiled. The fact that you can switch the textures and graphics back and forth for Halo: CE and Halo 2 shows you what an improvement the games endured. It was hard to not treat it as eye candy. I’d almost challenge Rooster Teeth to redo all of Red Vs. Blue with the improved graphics.

Halo 3, Master Chief and Cortana. Bungie Studios. 2007.
Halo 3, Master Chief and Cortana. Bungie Studios. 2007.

I managed to play through the Master Chief Collection’s four campaigns in cooperative mode with my boyfriend, and it was a blast discussing the story lines and the things that were done better and things that still needed work. Listen up, 343.

Overall, the remastered games were beautiful and nostalgic. I had forgotten all about the Flood the first time I had played through this, as I had forgotten about how much Cortana puts Chief in his place.   The updated graphics and quality made the games more immersive and gave the fandom a fresh look at their favorite series.

Old Halo 2 from 2004:

Halo 2. 2004. Bungie Studios.
Halo 2. 2004. Bungie Studios.

Anniversary Halo 2 (2014):

Halo 2 Anniversary. 2014. 343 Industries.
Halo 2 Anniversary. 2014. 343 Industries.

Something I did notice, while playing Halo 2 especially, is the glichy AI. I noticed several times that Covenant Elites and UNSC Marines were unsure of obstacles in front of them, such as cargo boxes and walls. They also wouldn’t turn and step around objects as they normally would, and there were more than a few times when we’d watch an NPC try to walk through a box and present themselves as an easy kill.  This is something I expected to be better.

Additionally, the Halo Channel and cutscenes do not work well. At the end of Halo 2’s ninth level, Regret, the cutscene kept freezing, and when we reset the game it never saved the checkpoint for the completion of the level.  We had to play through Regret about three times to get through the cutscene and move on to the next level, obviously a very problematic situation.

It also still seems that the matchmaking for online multiplayer, despite numerous patches to suggest the contrary, takes quite some time to pair you with other players. This is obviously not such a great feature, and it’s not uncommon for players to leave the game to do things while they wait to be able to start a match, meaning less playtime and a risk of someone not being at their controller when a game finally does load; waiting 5 minutes or longer to start a match that probably won’t last longer than 10 minutes it something that definitely should get the priority to be fixed.  Concerning gameplay, it also felt like certain actions (like throwing grenades or trying to melee with the sword) were not working properly and often took too long to throw or activate.  In fast-paced multiplayer games your weapons and abilities need to activate when you tell them to, otherwise you may find yourself throwing a grenade into a wall or getting gunned down when you are certain you were behind cover.

Multiplayer. Halo 3. 2007. Bungie Studios.
Multiplayer. Halo 3. 2007. Bungie Studios.

Replaying Halo: CE, Halo 2, and Halo 3 made me realize how much I’ve come to rely on sprinting in modern games.  Halo 4 was the first game in the series to introduce sprinting, allowing you to run faster and be more mobile.  Playing Halo 4 alongside the other three games made me realize how slow I felt as the Chief when I couldn’t move quickly.  It was a jarring experience, and one that made me personally wish that sprinting could somehow be incorporated into the other games.

If you play the Master Chief Collection for the campaign you should have a blast, provided that you are able to successfully finish levels. If you’re looking to play mostly online you’ll have to be patient with the load times and perhaps get used to compensating for action delays.

I’m not prepared to discuss Halo 5 as I did not play the beta when it became available.  However, the trailers are cool and seem well done, and I am interested to see what happens in the story. Who do you think is being truthful in the trailers below?

Master Chief, from Games HQ Media Youtube Channel.

or Spartan Locke, from Games HQ Media Youtube Channel

 

Written by Jenn Kilgallon

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About Jenn Kilgallon

I am a millennial professional seeking out good, healthy habits while still committing to my geek life. I am a proud life optimizer, and a spiritual person of many practices. I want to share that with you! "Always maintain the attitude of a student. If you think you've done learning, bitterness sets in, but if you have more to achieve every day, in any arena, that makes each morning's awakening full of potential and cheery portent."-Nick Offerman Geek. Writer. Artist. Genius. Tea Drinker.

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