It goes without saying how important Halo and Master Chief both have become in the first person shooter. While Goldeneye for the Nintendo N64 was certainly the first AAA console first person shooter, Halo: Combat Evolved from the original Xbox proved to the gaming world that such games would run just as well on console as they can on the PC.

The first Halo game made a new franchise for Microsoft to use as a gaming foundation. Subsequent games defined their hardware; Halo 2 flexed the original Xbox power and even started up the Xbox Live service. Halo 3 assisted with the millions of Xbox 360 console sales. Halo 4 triumphantly became the console’s swan song as it was the last of great first-party games to be released on the Xbox 360.

Reliably, each of the Halo games have been good at worst, excellent at best. Playing the anniversary version of Halo: Combat Evolved on the 360 showed that a few tweaks can help the franchise stand the test of time. With that in mind, it’s easy to go into Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One and know that Halo 2 won’t look that bad. The company behind the new cinematics of Halo 2, Blur, did a superior job with the new CGI; not only that, but a quick tap of a button lets you compare its looks to the original.

Starting with the multiplayer, Halo: The Master Chief Collection reproduces the multiplayer aspect of each of the games. It makes it nice and familiar to go through while allowing you to watch how everything evolved across the four main games. With 100 maps to explore, it can take some time to get the exact game you are looking to experience. That said, there are plenty of options to select, though it can get very frustrating when you keep getting the same map, especially when it’s not one you enjoy.

At launch, The Master Chief Collection had several matchmaking and connection issues, although a patch and not playing during prime times should be able to remedy this issue well enough. When you can access a game, it’s a glorious experience.

As for the rest of the game, The Master Chief Collection has its own additions, including the forge and eventually access to the multiplayer beta for Halo 5. However, given how poorly the launch for this game has gone, it’s a coin toss whether the beta works right away.

Aside from these connectivity issues, The Master Chief Collection is clearly a love letter to a defining franchise — as long as you’re not looking to play online. It retains the same charm that made the game enjoyable in the past while upgrading the visuals and polishing past problems.


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