Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Games Uncategorized

Overview

Halo 2's classic multiplayer, remastered!
Halo 2’s classic multiplayer, remastered!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a sci-fi fantasy first-person shooter compilation developed by 343 (with assistance by Saber, Certain Affinity, Ruffian, United Front, and Bungie) and published by Microsoft for the Xbox One on November 11, 2014.

Along with an enhanced port of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, this compilation includes a similar “Anniversary” remaster of Halo 2, as well as enhanced ports of both Halo 3 and Halo 4. All games are linked together through a single game interface, allowing full matchmaking and custom lobby access across every game. It later received a port of Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach.

The game later received a port to the PC (with assistance by Splash Damage) on December 3, 2019. Unlike the XONE version, the PC version has all games available to purchase as piecemeal, with games released on a sequential basis.

Originally developed as a companion game to Halo 5: Guardians, the compilation features new prologue and epilogue cutscenes hinting at that game’s story. Owners of the compilation also received access to a multiplayer beta for Halo 5, as well as access to the Halo: Nightfall live-action series.

Games

A single game interface brings all games together.
A single game interface brings all games together.

The base Xbox One version of the game includes four games, with two additional games added as paid DLC post-release. The PC version of the game has all games sold piecemeal.

All games run on their original game engines (with the exception of the Campaign of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2) and are linked together in a unified game interface, allowing players to switch between each game seamlessly in the same player lobby and to have universal control schemes. Each game also has all Campaign levels unlocked from the start and features Campaign scoring (both Score and Time) with online leaderboards.

Optionally, players can choose to play arrangements of Campaign game levels based on particular themes as “playlists” (such as the final missions of each game, levels featuring the Warthog, or Halo 2 missions with the Arbiter playable).

For Multiplayer modes, the compilation uses special matchmaking that allows players to search for matches regardless of the game being played. This was later changed to allow multiple filtering options (including by games, by general gametype, and by player size). The game also has competitive multiplayer playlists that do not use filters, instead featuring a ranking system.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Included in the Xbox One version. Added to the PC version on March 3, 2020.

  • Game port handled by 343 Industries (in collaboration with Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity).
  • Updated Campaign mode, as well as the classic Multiplayer mode (playable on Xbox Live for the first time).
  • Includes all base maps from both the Xbox and PC versions of the original game.

In the Campaign mode, players can instantly switch between the original (“Classic”) and remastered (“Anniversary”) graphics and audio with the press of a button. Unlike the original version of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, there is no delay when switching.

Halo 2: Anniversary

Included in the Xbox One version. Added to the PC version on May 12, 2020.

  • Game port handled by 343 Industries (in collaboration with Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity).
  • Updated Campaign and “Anniversary” Multiplayer modes (both new to the series), as well as the classic Multiplayer mode. Forge and Theater modes only available for the “Anniversary” setting.
  • Includes all base and DLC maps from both the Xbox and PC versions of the original game (for classic Multiplayer only).

In the Campaign mode, players can instantly switch between the original (“Classic”) and remastered (“Anniversary”) graphics and audio with the press of a button. Due to technical issues with this feature, the Xbox One version of this mode is rendered at a lower 1328×1080 resolution. The cutscenes in the “Anniversary” version are pre-rendered CGI from Blur Studio.

The game’s “Anniversary” Multiplayer mode uses a separate game engine combining mechanics from the original Halo 2 and later games in the Halo series. It adds new pre-built gametypes (including Infection and Ricochet) and other new features (including a map-based loadout system and armor permutations). While classic Multiplayer maps cannot be played in this mode, the game includes three Forge maps (Awash, Nebula, and Skyward) seven remakes of classic maps and three new Forge maps:

  • Bloodline (remake of Coagulation)
  • Lockdown (remake of Lockout)
  • Remnant (remake of Relic) – Added on May 30, 2015
  • Shrine (remake of Sanctuary)
  • Stonetown (remake of Zanzibar)
  • Warlord (remake of Warlock)
  • Zenity (remake of Ascension)

Halo 3

Included in the Xbox One version. Added to the PC version on July 13, 2020.

  • Game port handled by Ruffian Games.
  • Campaign, Multiplayer, Forge, and Theater modes.
  • Includes all base and DLC maps from the original game.

Halo 4

Included in the Xbox One version. Added to the PC version on November 16, 2020.

  • Game port handled by Ruffian Games.
  • Campaign, Multiplayer, Forge, and Theater modes. Spartan Ops mode added on December 12, 2014.
  • Includes all base and DLC maps from the original game.

Halo 3: ODST

Added for the Xbox One version as paid DLC on May 30, 2015. Added to the PC version on September 21, 2020.

  • Campaign mode. Firefight mode added on September 21, 2020.

Due to numerous technical issues with online matchmaking at the compilation’s launch, Microsoft provided free codes to the Xbox One version of this DLC to all players who played the compilation prior to December 19, 2014.

Halo: Reach

Added for both Xbox One (as paid DLC) and PC versions on December 3, 2019.

  • Campaign, Multiplayer, Firefight, Forge, and Theater modes.
  • Includes all base and DLC maps from the original game.

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