For those of you that are dying for Halo 5 to come out, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a heavy helping of Halo to hold off Xbox One owners before they pass out. Halo: The Master Chief Collection packages the four Master Chief-centered Halo games, from the very first, Halo: Combat Evolved, to Halo 4. With E3 in the rear-view mirror, there has been even more details released for the highly anticipated game. RFMag sat with Microsoft at San Diego Comic Con to go over 343 Industries’ latest addition and preview aspects of the game as presented at E3 and some of the latest progressions since then.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is 343’s new unified Halo experience allowing you to jump into any aspect of the four “Master Chief” Halo’s at any time. (Sorry Reach and ODST fans.) Off the bat, all of the stages and content from these four Halo games are unlocked from the start. There is no need to traverse through campaigns to unlock your favorite stages. You simply boot up the game and jump in wherever you want. For your older Halo releases, you will have the option to play the game using its original graphics engine for that nostalgic effect. However, if you just want to enjoy the vintage gameplay while experiencing a more modern look, you can switch over instantly to the newer remastered graphics engine without having to reload the level. This is all thanks to the Xbone’s raw power.
To give even more to the campaign, there will now be 30 skulls to find and unlock in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Now, with more skulls than in any other Halo game, you can torture yourself more than ever before with the skull-adding difficulties. The infamous hidden story-adding terminals have also been included, this time using videos instead of blocks of texts to tell their prospective stories. Speaking of videos, 343 worked with Blur Studios to vastly overhaul the presentation of the cut scenes of the earlier titles such as Halo’s 1 and 2. The cinematics were recreated to look and sound more vivid. Imagine Sergeant Johnson with the level of expression and definition on his face just as you were presented with in Halo 4. Now he doesn’t just sound angry, he actually looks angry as well!
The multiplayer experience promises to be as unified as the campaign’s as you can jump into the multiplayer modes from any of the Halo games seamlessly. Once you choose your game mode (ie Slayer, Team Slayer, etc), map voting will occur. The map chosen will automatic load the Halo experience for the game the map originated from. There will also be playlists for online or local gameplay that will be geared around specific themes. Imagine playing a vehicle-only playlist that will throw you into all of the stages from the four games in where you mainly use vehicles to progress. At first, the source of the different playlists will be 343 themselves. However, they did hint that may change in the future. Player-inspired playlists? Maybe!
The target launch date for Halo: The Master Chief Collection is November 11, 2014. Attendees of San Diego Comic Con had their pictures taken while holding Halo replica weapons in front of a Halo 2 Anniversary backdrop in Xbox’s gaming lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Care for some more peaks of the game and the setup at San Diego Comic Con? Well, here you go!
† Main Halo screenshots provided by Microsoft Xbox Press Site