Halo: Master Chief Collection Review

What a week it has been. I purposely took a week off work to spend time with my buddy Master Chief. If you’re thinking “what’s the point of this review since it’s been out for a week?” then I’d like to remind you that I’m 50% of the way through the achievement list – which is farther than any previous reviewer had gotten. At this point, there’s only a handful of people ahead of me. Plus, I’ve 100%’ed every other Halo game thus-far, and surely that has to earn some street cred.

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A graphical comparison of cut-scenes.

A graphical comparison of cut-scenes.

While the Master Chief Collection packs 4 previously released campaigns into one; playing them back-to-back brings a fresh experience to an old favorite. Everything from Halo 1, 2 (PC), 3, and 4 is in there; including the glitches, grenade jumps, skulls, terminals, and even some added toys for everybody to hunt down in the touched up version dubbed “Halo 2 Anniversary”. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to save the planet from one world destroying halo-ring only to start the next fight without having to dig out a second disc. As a fan of both Halo games and HD collections; this couldn’t be up my alley any more.

Halo: CE was remastered 2 years ago and released on the 360. What an incredible release it was. While the actual campaign was just a re-textured glorious looking masterpiece, the cut-scenes were all completely redone. Since the HD treatment received such positive feedback from the die hard Spartans it was only natural that Halo 2 received the same treatment. With Halo 1 & 2 looking completely remastered there’s actually a dip in quality when you’re thrown into Halo 3 which threw me way off. While a few less pixels are obvious, I forgot how much I loved each and every campaign in their own way.

Playing through all 4 campaigns, it’s great to have such character evolvement in what is now only one game. From dual-wielding, to bubble shields, to sprinting;l Master Chief’s evolution becomes far more obvious. Playing these games back to back made me a little hesitant as far as controller schemes but the default scheme to all games worked seamlessly.

Who doesn't love taking out a scarab? Now you can do it in HD graphics each time.

Who doesn’t love taking out a scarab? Now you can do it in HD graphics each time.

So, what’s the down fall you ask? Well, besides how buggy the launch was; there are none. I was hit by every launch problem, and I’m still not complaining. First the game wouldn’t install, then achievements weren’t popping, then matchmaking wouldn’t work, but by now everything has received a patch so it’s not something you should worry about. Even when all of this was happening, I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t as giddy as a schoolgirl when Keyes first gave me an empty magnum.

Besides keeping all of the campaigns in tact, they’re also offering matchmaking on every Halo map including a playlist for each game. While this list is every changing, I can only hope we get Halo 3’s Swat & Team Snipers as soon as possible. For now slayer and CTF across all games is good enough for me. Especially since I just finished the “Master Chief Story” playlist, and have to start my LASO runthrough.

The only people this game wouldn’t appeal to is hardcore achievement hunters, and people who just don’t like to have any fun. Seriously though, these achievements are going to kill me. I’ve beaten LASO before so I wasn’t too sure. Then they added achievements to complete each campaign in less than 3 hours which is possibly impossible.