Review – Halo: Master Chief Collection Part 1(Campaigns)

Before you continue – know this. I have ONLY spent about an hours worth of time with the Multiplayer and therefore don’t feel it’s the right time to comment on it. The 15GB patch was supposed to be out earlier this week but was delayed and it wasn’t until yesterday that I had the opportunity to play with some member of the 343 team. AWESOME guys there.

My relationship with the Halo series has been going on longer than most people’s marriages. In the past 13yrs I’ve played everything in the franchise, I’ve read books and I was even there when the online gaming community was forever changed with the release of Halo 2 on Xbox Live! I still have a copy of every game(Except Anniversary edition) and every year when when spring cleaning comes around I think “this is the year I’m going to treat myself to a Halo gaming marathon” and here we are. I’ve done it thanks to Halo: Master Chief Collection.

Firing up the series – got me a little giddy. I was finally reliving the series from start to finish but with updated graphics and man have they ever outdone themselves. Halo Anniversary Edition, which I did NOT own was immediately apparent to me just all the work they had done. The sound was cleaner, lighting fresher and more dynamic. Want to see just how big a difference there is? There’s even a button that loads the original sound and video files which I found to be a little piece of genius. The Halo 3 and Halo 4 were noticeably cleaner looking but nowhere near the same jump as the previous 2. Needless to say from a graphical and sound point of view – they’ve done an amazing job though admittedly, I did notice some considerable framerate slowdown when fighting the flood making them pop in Halo 1. That may have been corrected in the latest patch but I haven’t gone back to it to check. The rest of the game is silky smoothe.

While playing through the MASSIVE collection , memories of college came flooding back to me. The wonder and excitement and remembering who I was playing certain levels with and where I was even during these moments was a piece of nostalgia bliss. HOWEVER, also with some of these memories came rushing back to me with some of the frustrations I had with the series. In the original title there’s no real direction ever given and I found myself wasting time and wandering around like a fool more than a few occasions just like I did 13yrs ago in the EXACT same places. I struggled with the flood, unable to find health packs (admittedly I had forgotten about them many times) JUST like I did so many years ago and the long slog through Halo 2’s ‘Gravemind’. When talking to the guys at 343 during our playthrough, I asked about that and they confirmed what I had already known and that was they wanted to keep the core gameplay exactly as it was released so many years ago.

Seeing the latest trend of rehashing/remastering games the last little while, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than Halo: Master Chief Collection. With over 100 MP maps 4 games that span well over 30+hrs of single player , Cooperative game play, Halo: Nightfall a VOD series, the various Halo videos that can be found throughout the games this is something that anyone will enjoy through the long months of winter ahead.

 

Feed Your Console gives Halo: Master Chief Collection a 9 out of 10

Pros:
Updated graphics and sound are amazing (check the button that switches)
120 MP maps will keep you glued to your couch
Replaying the series from start during the leadup to Halo Guardians is awesome. You may even see some new story tying directly into the VOD series and Guardians
Hour after hour this game will stay in your system for months to come

Cons:
Framerate issues during Halo 1 while fighting the flood
Navigating some levels in Halo 1 and 2 were frustrating today just as they were 13 and 10yrs ago.