Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a high definition, 1080p/60fps, package containing remastered versions of the first four main Halo series games – Halo 1, 2, 3 & 4 – plus Halo 3: ODST.
This is an epic collection of games and includes some of the best games ever made. Seriously if you take the Metacritic average score of the four main games (Halo: CE 97/100, Halo 2 95/100, Halo 3 94/100 and Halo 4 87/100) you end up with an incredible 93.25/100. But this collection isn’t just a trip down memory lane either. It includes the remastered versions of Halo: Combat Evolved and the newly remastered Halo 2. More importantly than all that though it includes every multiplayer map and mode ever made from all versions of all games.
As I’ve never talked about the Halo series here before I figured I would included an extremely brief rundown of my thoughts on the games included here.
Halo: Combat Evolved
It’s funny that I remember renting Halo: CE from Blockbuster (remember them?) and after getting past the first level thinking that it was a fun game but nothing special… then I kept playing and was soon hooked. For a game in this genre the story was something special and really made you want to keep playing just to find out what happened next. The multiplayer was even better and my friends and I used to play it constantly.
While the game itself may not have aged as well as we remember it from back in 2001, it is still an excellent entry in the series and establishes so many gameplay staples that have since been used by almost every shooter out there. Truly the GoldenEye of the original Xbox generation.
I actually have mixed feelings about Halo 2. From a technical standpoint the game itself is so much bigger and better than Halo: CE was that it’s hard not to love it. It is also the first Halo game to have Xbox Live functionality and the online play was incredible.
The single player story is where it falls apart for me though. It’s not that it was a terrible campaign it’s just that it seemed rather unfocused and unfinished. Many parts of the campaign story were also not explained well enough from within the game itself requiring you to do additional reading online just to understand the whole context. Still an excellent entry in the series if only for the incredible multiplayer.
Halo 3 is probably my favourite all around Halo game. That doesn’t mean it has the best story or even the best multiplayer but it was so consistently good at everything that to me at least it is the best overall package.
This is also the first Halo game on the Xbox 360 which meant far better graphics, bigger levels and smoother gameplay that the series had seen up to that point.
For most people Halo 4 is the controversial entry in the series. With a new developer creating the game, a new chapter in the story and a big change to multiplayer there were a lot of things that people may not have liked. Personally however I really enjoyed this game and think it gets a pretty bad rap. Sure the story itself may not have been the best in the series but the campaign missions are certainly some of the most fun to play. Additionally while the multiplayer does depart from the previous entries I actually kind of liked it better.
Graphically this game is incredible and is certainly one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360.
Halo 3: ODST
While not technically part of the original package, Halo 3: ODST was released as a downloadable entry. In this game you don’t play as the Master Chief and instead play as a team of “Orbital Drop Shock Troopers”. All you really need to know about this game is that it is basically the entire cast of Firefly in a Halo game. How could you not like that?
Considering the amount of value packed into this collection I think it is a no-brainer to pick up. Especially these days when it is going for next to nothing. So go out, get it, and re-live your fondest Halo memories!