Halo: The Master Chief Collection (or TMCC for short) brilliantly and fluidly encompasses all four award-winning games from the Halo franchise in a neat exclusive for the Xbox One. For anyone who hasn’t already been gripped by the Halo series, the campaign follows the ‘super soldier’ Spartan Master Chief and his fight along with humanity against not only the Covenant; an alien race, but also a zombie-like species called The Flood.
TMCC comes out 10 years after Halo 2 and, similar to Halo: Combat Evolved‘s 10 year anniversary, has been remastered from the original Xbox version. The graphics are incredible, looking immaculate on the Xbox One and the seamlessness of switching from original to remastered version adds to the game experience. The cutscenes have had the most work, resulting in motion picture quality. The risk of remaking a game is that the gameplay feels different to the original, but it’s definitely not the case here, with the same movement and vehicle mechanics as the game 10 years ago – just updated with much newer graphics.
The three other games haven’t been changed from their latest xbox 360 incarnations, but even just transferring them to the higher graphic output of the Xbox One shows a notable improvement and even shows up new features that the 360 just wasn’t capable of delivering. Halo 3 in theory should have the ‘worst’ graphics of the four games, as it was released 7 years ago, but it still looks brilliant on next-gen.
The main aim for the makers of TMCC was to provide an interface that included all four games, all with their own dedicated servers (so that they all kept their original game engines and mechanics) – which is no easy feat but once again they nailed it, the ease of switching between campaigns is seamless, with loading screens almost non-existent. Multiplayer is where this is shown in all its glory. For example you could be voting on three maps from three different games – all with different game types – and it would load up whichever game engine is needed, without any fuss. The Halo 2 multiplayer maps have also been updated, once again looking incredible.
If you think buying FOUR games on next-gen for less than £40 still isn’t enough, the extras included should be enough to whet that appetite even more. Halo Channel features all the bonus content you could ever want, with all terminals found in the campaigns saved to this separate app for your Xbox – handy when you want to watch through a sequence of terminals, which previously couldn’t be done on any of the previous games. Halo Nightfall is a live-action television series documenting the events between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, and once again is completely free with TMCC. Speaking of Halo 5, you also get access to the beta – with the full game coming out at the end of 2015.
The only real downside, and I’m sure it will only be a temporary thing, is the wait for a large proportion of multiplayer users before a game. Head of 343 industries Bonnie Ross has responded in an outline statement saying: “Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the delay and for the negative aspects of your experience to date, we’re doing everything in our power to resolve it as quickly as possible.” The issues centre around the time it takes for a matchmaking game to be set up – bringing a certain number of online players together for a game.
In conclusion, this collection gives you everything you could ask for, and a whole lot more. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Halo veteran or a new spartan the value for money is incredible – destined to keep you entertained for a long time!
What more could you ask for from a £40 game?