As for the other three titles in the series, the visuals are only slightly upgraded. Halo 4, which was released at the tail end of the Xbox 360’s lifespan, still looks great. Upscaled to 1080p, the visuals are even more splendid than they were before. Halo 3, despite being seven years old, holds up as well. Sure, it’s not as gorgeous as it was back in 2007, but the details and designs still shine after all these years.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, despite being a remake already, looks a little disappointing. I understand that it’s a remaster of a game from 2001, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about the very noticeable pop-up and the fact that I sometimes phased right through objects. I know I should probably just be happy with the fact that I can play the original Halo on my Xbox One, but in comparison to the other titles included here, the visual hiccups are very noticeable.
In my original draft of this review, I was going to comment on the noticeable framerate issues I encountered during parts of Halo 3 and Halo 4. However, earlier today, Microsoft released the 15 GB launch patch which helped remedy some of the issues I came across originally. There were still a couple of times during each of the campaigns that it seemed like it dipped below 60fps, but for the most part, the issues were ironed out. I do feel like this shouldn’t even have been a problem in the first place, though, considering the fact that these titles are from previous console generations. I understand it’s mostly due to the fact that they crammed four titles into one massive package, but it’s still troubling.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, I was unable to take the online multiplayer out for a spin. With that said, I did manage to sneak in some local Halo and Halo 2 multiplayer with a couple of friends, and it was definitely an enjoyable experience.
Switching between each game is handled right through the menu, so we were able to quickly alternate between the two with little downtime in-between. Based on the time I spent with it, I can say that the multiplayer is just as addicting as it was all those years ago. I never thought I would be excited to play Boarding Action again, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy my time with it.
Even if I didn’t get the chance to play online, I’m going to assume that it will be just as enjoyable as it was back on the Xbox/Xbox 360. I rarely had issues with the net code during my time with either game, so I’m assuming that won’t be a problem going forward. That being said, we will be updating this review in the coming days to reflect our full thoughts on the online multiplayer.
In addition to the full single-player and multiplayer features of all four titles, Halo: The Master Chief Collection also comes with a handful of extras. Chief (see what I did there) among these is the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians beta, which I’m very interested in checking out. There’s also the upcoming Halo Nightfall series, which has not been getting the greatest reviews, although I think it will be worth watching at least once. Also included is the popular Forge map creator from Halo 3, and the less popular Spartan Ops mode from Halo 4.
As a gift to longtime fans of the series, Halo: The Master Chief Collection feels like Christmas came early. It brings together the definitive versions of four of the best console shooters of the past two console generations in one simple and easy to use package. However, while fans of the franchise will no doubt flock to this compilation, I’m not sure how much appeal it will have for those who have never been turned on by the charms of Master Chief. Sure, it’s a great deal, but nothing besides the graphics have changed. With that said, though, if you consider yourself a fan of the genre at all, you owe it to yourself to at least check out this wonderful collection.
This review was based off the Xbox One exclusive, which was provided to us.
Despite some technical hiccups and a few nagging issues that were carried over from the original series, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an excellent and remarkably well put together compilation.