A look at the latest remaster and release for the Microsoft Xbox One
Well its finally here, but was it worth the wait…………………..
In my opinion. Hell Yeah!
The fact that the Master Chief collection contains all four of the ‘Master Chief’ games (it excludes the games such as Reach and ODST) is enough of a selling point based on that one fact. You would indeed be purchasing a part of gaming history, and surely there is no better way, than to play the four games in succession, keeping the story fresh in your mind as you go from game to game.
Originally I was going to break down the games individually and give them their own scores based on graphics and gameplay etc. But the truth is, it all looks,sounds and feels really good (with maybe a couple of exceptions). I thought Halo 4 looked amazing on the 360 anyway, and transitioning onto the Xbox One is no exception, all the games have been given the 1080p treatment and are running at 60 frames per second along with remastered sound effects thanks to Skywalker sound.
Masterchief is looking better than ever and with his newly designed amour he looks a bad ass. You will also notice how much weight the super soldier has lost since his breakout appearance 13 years ago. But 343 industries deserve more praise than the new diet plan for the Master Chief.
343 industries have proved themselves in taking on a much beloved series, and it really shows in this package.
The original Halo was perhaps the biggest surprise for me in terms of ‘how good it looked’. I really didn’t expect much from the game that started it all on the first generation Xbox back in November of 2001. However it has been given a new lease of life and feels fresh and fluid.I tried to revisit Halo years ago on the Xbox 360, but the game felt slow and clunky, so It was a joy to be able to start this again on the Xbox One and if anything, it is better than I remember it.
The biggest improvement to this franchise is in Halo 2 and 343 industries have exceeded my expectations of what could be done to improve this game. They have indeed set a new benchmark in the remastering of games, and other developers should take note when re-releasing older games onto current gen systems. Everything appears to have had a complete overhaul and the regeneration in graphics really expands on the beauty of the environments and adds to the whole Sci-Fi ambience. One of the first things I did when opening this game was to see the multiplayer level Coagulation ( it was a favourite amongst my brothers and I) and it looks stunning. It feels like a whole new game but with that level of familiarity.
Halo 3 in my opinion is probably the weakest part of the package. It seems that this is where the least amount of effort has been put it in, I may be completely wrong about that statement but I just couldn’t see much evidence of it. Don’t misunderstand me, the game has been given an upgrade, it just doesn’t feel as much care and attention has gone into this as the other games.However I did feel it was the weaker part of the series when I bought it on 360 and I recall that the assault rifle and magnum needed to sound more punchy.They still feel weak and flat this time around. But then this is probably the only game that hasn’t been given an anniversary edition, or be it fully developed by 343 industries to be fair.
In terms of gameplay there isn’t much between the four games other than certain tweaks here and there, such as the dual wield system in Halo 2 and the addition of new weapons introduced throughout the games that adds a slightly different dynamic, but they all play with a level of similarity. I think what really stands out for me with this series is the difficulty settings. With four options to choose from, ranging from easy to legendary,the series really gives the player a game that they can invest in, not only in terms of money but personal satisfaction. I am currently working through the first game again on legendary, and boy is it a challenge. But this is a huge positive for the game series, I like a game that challenges me, that teaches me to use a needler instead of an assault rifle to take down a Sangheili Officer, This is a credit to the games AI. Enemy’s will seek cover if you have shot at them one too many times and they will certainly dive from a grenade.Its very rare that a game can frustrate yet compel me to keep playing, just so I can reach that next checkpoint and have a well deserved cup of brew.
But lets not forget the multiplayer aspect of the game and the Halo series does this really well. The search function is there for all games online and then you have your custom game function which allows you to choose which game,map,game mode, weapons, vehicles and other settings which will be a part of your multiplayer game and which will vary the playing style, giving you hours and hours of multiplayer fun. Ranging from a quake type deathmatch (slayer). To a run and survive mode, like Zombie (also known as infection) and when the time comes to varying the maps, why not build your own in the Forge mode.
But for me there is still no better way to experience multiplayer than through a co-op mode. There is something really satisfying about a game that allows you to partner up and experience the storyline of a game together and to share those really challenging parts only to give you something to talk about the day after, whether it be about how you saved each others butts or how you are going to tackle the next Covenant ambush. Halo excels in this mode and has been one of the primary reasons for buying almost every game in the series, and with a graphics upgrade its only better, fully immersing you into these beautiful alien worlds.
The package is also a host to other features such as the Halo Nightfall mini series, extra cut sequences that were previously hidden as easter eggs, and for the topping on the cake, there is the Halo 5 multiplayer beta, when it becomes available for download.
Overall I think it would be silly to turn your nose up at this package. 343 industries have really taken care of the fans and have done a great job at introducing the series to a new generation. Not only, with the vast amounts of content, but with the care and attention that has really gone into creating beautifully solid games, and hats off to Blur studio for creating some beautiful cinematic sequences for the Halo 2 anniversary.
9/10 You will not be leaving the house.