I remember the first console I was finally able to purchase with my own money, and that was the PlayStation 2. While most of my friends were getting lost in Halo, I hunkered down with Grand Theft Auto III and Devil May Cry. And thus, I completely missed out on the first few games in the Halo series.
At E3 2014, Microsoft announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection– giving gamers the first opportunity, ever, to play the entire Master Chief saga, all on one disc. I was fortunate enough to have a moment with 343 Studio Head, Bonnie Ross, behind closed doors to check out the Halo Master Chief Collection.
For someone like me, who only got to play the earlier Halo’s when I was over at a friend’s house, the Halo: The Master Chief Collection hits me right in the feels; the opportunity to play through the Master Chief saga and catch up on all I missed…yeah, right in the feels man.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Bonnie Ross”]“Everyone can remember the first time they played a Halo game” [/blockquote]
Halo: The Master Chief Collection unifies the entire Master Chief saga on one disc, under one simple interface. Stop and think about that. Halo 1 through 4 all on a single disc, including Halo Nightfall and the Halo 5: Guardians Beta.
Players will have access to every single chapter in all 4 Halo games completely unlocked from the jump, and are free to pick and choose what single player missions they want to play. The multiplayer aspect of Halo: The Master Chief Collection is incredibly intriguing in that every single multiplayer map that ever shipped will be included, and will run on its original engine – so players on Halo 2 multiplayer will be playing on the original Halo 2 engine, and so on. When players elect to jump into multiplayer, the system will curate the maps and display a selection that players vote on; there will be indicators showing which game is tied to which map. All in all, this is a fantastic effort, and a great way of giving back to Halo fans.
To tie Halo: The Master Chief Collection with Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Nightfall will act as the bridge between Halo 4 and Halo 5, and utilizes the Xbox One’s multimedia platform to tell the back story of Agent Locke – our main character in Halo 5: Guardians.
Nightfall will be an episodic saga that’s currently in full production under the watchful eye of Ridley Scott and his production team. The series will be available directly on the Master Chief Collection disc; each week a notification will appear in the UI alerting you of the new episode. We expect more details about Nightfall to be revealed at Comic Con next month.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Bonnie Ross”]“This is an amazing journey for us, we want to make the entire Halo franchise accessible to new fans as well as old ones” B[/blockquote]
Frank O’Connor was brought in to tie the series together, seeing as how he is the director of the entire Halo franchise, it made sense to have his expertise on Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
When asked about the possible inclusion of Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST, Ross said they’re not ruling anything out, but it most likely will not be in the unified interface of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
“We were pushing the limits of the disc already with what we have now on the Master Chief Collection”
As we all know, Halo 2 will be turning 10 in November and Ross told us that it will be getting the “full anniversary treatment.” Retouched graphics, redone audio, and recaptured music will allow the players to experience one of the most iconic games in the series like never before. Upon demoing the Anniversary Edition I was completely blown away by how seamless the graphics swapping is. Unlike the original Halo anniversary edition that took a few seconds, swapping graphics between Halo 2 and the Halo 2 Anniversary Edition was instantaneous. At the press of a button the graphics are switched from the original to the remastered – and we’re not just talking upscaling, but completely redone models, lighting; the whole 9 yards.
Now, let’s talk about Halo 5: Guardians. This will be the first true next-gen Halo game, and the studio intends to use the Halo 5 story to tell Master Chief’s hero’s journey.
[blockquote=”pull-right” cite=”Bonnie Ross”]“We were very deliberate with the ending of Halo 4. It all has to be connected, and everything matters” [/blockquote]
Throughout Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and much like Halo fans are familiar with, Terminals will lay breadcrumbs towards Halo 5: Guardians.
I’m unabashedly and unequivocally excited for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and I hope that as video game fanatics, you are too! Knowing that this is not jut another reboot, but more of a rebirth, to introduce new fans and reintroduce old ones to Master Chief is amazing, and a true labor of love from 343 Studios. Using this to build up to our first next-gen Halo game, Halo 5 Guardians, is a very smart move, and one that’s sure to have an entirely new generation idolizing Master Chief yet again.