'Halo: The Master Chief Collection' Starts The Fight All Over Again

November 10, 2014

The Halo series is like nothing else in video games. Master Chief's adventures could, arguably, be looked at as the reason that Microsoft is still in the video game business. Over the course of four main series games, players have been taken on one of the most important interstellar journeys in the history of the medium, and that's just the single player campaign. Halo's multiplayer is legendary, and will always be looked at as a turning point for the genre. With Halo 5: Guardians on the horizon, and a new console on the market, Microsoft has found away to tide fans over until they can finish the fight in 2015. Halo: The Master Chief Collection brings together the first four core games in the franchise, updates them, and lets fans strap on their rose colored UNSC armor one last time before booting up Halo 5.

Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios

While Bungie may still be the name that is most associated with the Halo franchise, 343 Industries are the ones that are carrying the torch on The Master Chief Collection, as well as any other upcoming games. Bungie laid the groundwork with the first few games in the series, but since they left the main series a few years ago, 343 have come in, and made Halo truly shine. With a few other Halo games under their belts, including The Master Chief Collection's own Halo 4, 343 know a thing or two about the series, and have done it justice in this compilation.

The Master Chief Collection brings together four of the most important games ever released: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4. On a title-by-title basis, each game has received a graphical update for the Xbox One, slapping a fresh coat of paint on these classic games (if you'd like to compare you can do so at the touch of a button), and upping the speed that they run at to 60 frames per second. Beyond that, the games haven't been reworked much at all. There are a few slight tweaks here and there, but, overall, each of the games are going to play quite similarly to their original versions… that goes for both single player and multiplayer. If you burned the candle at both ends playing any of the Halo games competitively, The Master Chief Collection includes every map and mode that you remember.

While the games themselves have been left in tact, The Master Chief Collection takes it upon itself to offer the player some new features that are only available in this package. For example, every mission for every game is unlocked right out of the gate, and available for play as soon as you load up the game. You can even slice and dice your favorite missions by creating custom playlists across the different games. In addition to that, The Master Chief Collection gets you access to the Halo Nightfall series, as well as the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta when it's released at the end of the year. As a nice little gift to fans, the Collection also sets the record for the most Gamerscore ever contained in a single release, with 450 achievements totaling 4500 gamerscore in total across all of the games.

If you wanted to dust off your Xbox, Xbox 360, or PC copies of the original games you absolutely could, but there's so many more wires to untangle just to play some Halo. If you want everything conveniently in one place, The Master Chief Collection, and all the bells and whistles that come along with it, can only be found on the Xbox One.

Halo and Xbox go hand-in-hand. The first Halo game was the reason that most people jumped on the Xbox bandwagon back in 2001, and the subsequent games in the series have been equally important for Microsoft's consoles. The Master Chief Collection does a great job of pulling together all of the releases into one impressive package. The updates that come along in this compilation, from the graphics to the mission playlists, are a welcomed breath of fresh air that can offer up some incentive for longtime fans to go back and replay these great games. At the other end of the spectrum, if there's a chance that you somehow missed these games the first time around, now is the time to jump in and find out why Halo is one of the biggest video game franchises on the planet. If you own an Xbox One, there's really no excuse to pass up on this package, and not just because it's a great deal: having all four Halo games at your beck and call is simply a wise investment in one of the best video game series of all time.