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HALO: The Master Chief collection

Old 06-09-14, 01:27 PM
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HALO: The Master Chief collection




E3 2014: HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION, HALO 5 BETA ANNOUNCED FOR XBOX ONE

The rumors of Halo 2 Anniversary weren't only true, they were better than true.

Master Chief will indeed return on Xbox One with a remastering of his epic 2004 sequel – arguably the most anticipated and beloved game in Xbox history – and he will hit Microsoft’s newest console with the original Halo 2 multiplayer completely intact.

But that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

Microsoft and 343 Industries will, in fact, release Halo: The Master Chief Collection on November 11 – nearly a decade to the day since Halo 2’s November 9, 2004 arrival – and it will include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4. All will run in 1080p and 60 frames per second and include their full multiplayer suites in their original forms, with the added bonus of running on dedicated servers. Oh, and it's also packing your ticket to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that begins in December 2014, as well as the digital film Halo: Nightfall, an episodic release that will premiere on November 11 and run in multiple weekly installments. This is a lot to take in, so let’s break it all down.

Spoiler:
The Front End
Key points:

All four Master Chief Halo games on one disc
Custom playlists that allow you to string together missions across multiple games
Halo 5 beta key included


All four games – developed as a collaboration between 343 Industries (user interface, online infrastructure, etc.), Saber Interactive (Halo 2 Anniversary campaign), and Certain Affinity (multiplayer) will ship on a single, $60 Blu-ray disc; the individual games will not be available as separate digital downloads. You’ll run a single master user interface, from which you can queue up anything you want. All campaign levels are unlocked from the get-go, and playlists created and curated by 343 will allow you to experience moments from across all four campaigns in a variety of ways. For example: want to play all the Warthog levels in every game? Jump into that playlist and you’ll be able to do just that.

Meanwhile, multiplayer matchmaking will offer the usual assortment of playlists you’ve come to expect from Halo games – Team Snipers, Rumble Pit, etc. – and let players vote on which map they want next. But what’s cool is that you may be presented with three choices that span three different games. Say, Halo: CE’s “Wizard,” Halo 2’s “Lockout,” and Halo 3’s “The Pit.” Whichever gets the most votes is the game that MCC will launch, after which you’ll be taken back to the multiplayer lobby with your friends. Finally, the Extras menu is home to the Nightfall digital feature as well as the launch pad for December’s Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta. It will run from December 27, 2014, and end on January 22.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary


Halo: CE Anniversary on Xbox 360 (2011).

Key points:

Play campaign in original 2001 graphics or updated 1080p visuals
Play original Halo: CE multiplayer online for the first time


While 343 was adamant that this isn’t a port, it certainly seems to have been built off of Saber’s 2011 Xbox 360 Anniversary game. I wasn’t shown Combat Evolved so I can’t say for sure one way or the other, but 343 claims that the non-Halo 2 parts of this compilation that aren’t getting a brand-new anniversary treatment are being gussied up beyond just a resolution and a framerate bump. So while you will be able to press the Back (er, View) button on the Xbox One gamepad to switch back and forth between the original Xbox 1 graphics and the 1080p Xbox One version, you shouldn’t expect a significant overhaul of the new visuals.

What you can expect, however – and this is huge news for fellow old-school Xbox gamers – is that Combat Evolved’s multiplayer will be playable, online, in its original form. No more Halo: Reach map packs or excuses about CE multiplayer not “feeling” right online because it never had net code to begin with (let’s leave Gearbox’s Halo PC port out of this). This will be the OG Halo 1 three-shot death pistol, the OG “Blood Gulch,” etc. I politely brought up with 343 Franchise Director Frank O’Connor, and he didn’t shy away when presented with his own previous comments. “It was [a] peer-to-peer [networking setup],” he said of the previous games. “[Master Chief Collection’s] dedicated servers fix that,” leaving 343 comfortable with replicating the offline System Link experience in an online environment. This is what many players wanted in the 2011 Anniversary game, and we’re finally getting it.


Halo 2 Anniversary


Here's what Halo 2 looks like with its Anniversary treatment. This screen is from the campaign's Cairo Station mission.

Key points:

Full Anniversary treatment, including terminals
New prologue and epilogue cutscenes that tie into Halo 5
All original multiplayer maps – including all DLC maps (23 total)
Most multiplayer tricks and glitches should still work
Also includes six “reimagined” Halo 2 maps running on a native Xbox One engine
The star of the Master Chief Collection – and the reason for its existence, really – is Halo 2, which is getting the same pretty-new-engine-running-simultaneously-on-top-of-the-old-one treatment on Xbox One that its predecessor got for its tenth birthday on Xbox 360 in 2011. Saber is again handling the remastering, which, to my delight, looks incredibly nice and crisp on Xbox One in the small slice of the “Cairo Station” mission I saw, while still looking and feeling like Halo 2. Hidden terminals are being added throughout the campaign that will cryptically hint at Halo 5, while instantly switching to the original 2004 engine with the View button reveals stark contrasts in all graphical aspects, most notably texture detail and lighting.

Renowned CG cutscene studio Blur is handling the do-over on all of the Halo 2 cutscenes, including a brand-new non-playable prologue and epilogue that will “contextualize the Chief’s journey in [Halo] 1-4, and also set up a bit of what to expect in Halo 5,” according to 343 Executive Producer of Publishing Dan Ayoub. I was shown a still image from Sergeant Johnson in the original Halo 2 side-by-side with how Spartan 117’s cigar-chomping CO looks in the new game, and the results are almost comically staggering. The new Sergeant looks borderline photorealistic, especially next to 2004’s dated, blocky batch of polygons.

Sadly, multiplayer was not demonstrated to me, but Halo 2 Anniversary will boast the complete collection of multiplayer maps – including all of the DLC battlegrounds. Furthermore, I asked and was assured that 343 is implementing a similar sort of leveling system as Halo 2, where you could actually lose rank if you lost enough matches. “We are in the process of constructing a leveling system,” Ayoub said. “You’ll be able to go down and work your way back up.” Also, similar to Combat Evolved Anniversary, the original code is intentionally being left intact, so exploits and glitches like super jumping and BXR should still be possible in Halo 2 Anniversary. Fortunately, thanks to dedicated servers, unplugging your cable modem (aka the “standby” cheat) will no longer work. Two-player online co-op is a new addition.

And yet there’s more: on top of the complete multiplayer complement, Halo 2 Anniversary will also sport six “reimagined” Halo 2 maps running on native Xbox One technology, each designed by Halo 2 multiplayer lead designer and current Certain Affinity boss Max Hoberman. Whether or not this is a test bed for Halo 5’s brand-new engine remains to be seen, but these will be alternate takes on half a dozen Halo 2 maps. I saw a screenshot of Ascension, though 343 wouldn’t yet say how it will differ from its 2004 form. To clarify, these will not replace their original Halo 2 incarnations; they exist in addition to them.


Halo 3 and Halo 4

Halo 4 gets a resolution and framerate bump, and we didn't get to see what, if anything, is being done to Halo 3 besides 1080p/60fps.

Key points:

No Anniversary-style engines for Halo 3 or Halo 4
Forge and Saved Films were neither confirmed nor denied

Little detail was given regarding Master Chief’s Xbox 360 outings, though they won’t be getting the Anniversary treatment. So no original graphics here, just the updated 1080p visuals. I was shown the same scene in Halo 4 side-by-side on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and aside from the crispness afforded by the higher resolution, I didn’t see a substantial difference. To be fair, though, Halo 4 is the most recent – and most stunning – Halo game.

Also of note, Forge and Saved Films from these two titles are still “being evaluated” for inclusion in Master Chief Collection, according to 343, with no additional comments provided. In my experience, this kind of response from a developer means you probably shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for them to appear.

What it All Means
Ayoub kept accidentally referring to Master Chief Collection by its codename: “Ace.” As it likely refers to “ace in the hole,” it’s a fitting moniker for what is arguably the most comprehensive piece of fan service the Xbox has ever seen. Need more evidence? This Collection packs a whopping 4,000 Achievement points, as they’ve been allotted 1,000 per game from Microsoft. Some of those will be exact replicas of their original Gamerscore-earners, but some will be new, too.

What about now-legendary extras, such as Halo 2’s infamous E3 2003 campaign demo mission that never made it into the final game? Might that be completed by 343 and included as bonus content with this release? O’Connor replied that this was in fact something 343 looked into early on, but found that the remaining code is “so broken that…if [Bungie’s Joe Staten, who was demoing the game at E3 that year] deviated a couple pixels in that Warthog run… it just breaks.” He added: “And the other part is that it’s demonstrating a bunch of stuff that isn’t actually in the game, like the way turrets work and the way dual wielding works. But it’s not completely out of the question for the future.”

So, will the massive list of content and features in Master Chief Collection be enough to stoke software sales, or even convince Xbox 360 gamers who haven’t yet upgraded to the new system to take the (now $399) plunge? That remains to be seen. As fan-pleasing as this package is, it is, at the end of the day, four old games. But where Microsoft sees this disc as a one-stop shop for new Xbox One owners to get up to speed for Halo 5, I see it as something else. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is for us old-school original Xbox gamers – the ones who always wanted to play Halo: CE multiplayer online and the ones who wish the Halo 2 servers had never been taken down. It's for us, and if the first two Halos in particular play as authentically as 343 claims – I won’t know for sure until I’m given the chance to put my own hands on it – then it’s going to make a lot of veteran Xbox gamers very, very happy.


http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/06/...d-for-xbox-one
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Old 06-09-14, 01:41 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Amazon says this is also on 360.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:44 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

I've only played the first Halo and wasn't particularly impressed, but i'm kind of interested in this just for the campaign and story which was one of the things that I did enjoy about the game.

Not sure that i'll buy an XBox One for it, but it's a nice addition as far as rounding out the game library.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:48 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

I'm in for this, even if I just play the campaigns and the beta. I just wish it was sooner than November.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:57 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Halo 3 and 4 will just be upgrades to 1080p/60 as the high definition assets already exist. Halo and Halo 2 are the ones that are getting "true" upgrades.

I guess I'll be taking the week of the 11th off.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:07 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Shit. I want it. What would be the point of the X1 version if the 360 gets it?
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Old 06-09-14, 02:21 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Day 1.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:26 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by MoviePage View Post
Day 1.
that would be awesome "A DAY ONE EDITION!"
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Old 06-09-14, 02:40 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

A good bundle with this and a console will get me into this new gen.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:01 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
A good bundle with this and a console will get me into this new gen.
Have they dropped the kinect thing now?
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Old 06-09-14, 03:06 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Yes, today is the first day you can buy the XO without Kinect for $399.
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Old 06-09-14, 06:46 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Not really a Halo fan but will buy this to support the idea and hope it leads to COD Collections (with multiplayer) and an Arkham trilogy.

Incredible they just didn't do the single player campaigns only.
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Old 06-09-14, 07:11 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

For future reference, The Master Chief Collection is exclusive to the Xbox One. This will not be on the 360.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:59 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by thelwig14 View Post
Not really a Halo fan but will buy this to support the idea and hope it leads to COD Collections (with multiplayer) and an Arkham trilogy.
Do you not have a 360 or PS3 to play those games? I don't get the love for endless remakes.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:19 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by Matthew Chmiel View Post
For future reference, The Master Chief Collection is exclusive to the Xbox One. This will not be on the 360.
Are you sure? Amazon had box art.
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Old 06-09-14, 09:58 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

finally a reason for me to pick up an xbox one
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Old 06-09-14, 10:00 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Are you sure? Amazon had box art.
Pretty sure, considering Halo 5 is Xbox One exclusive as well.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:44 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Are you sure? Amazon had box art.
They removed the listing now
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Old 06-10-14, 09:50 AM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Halo 2 with the guys on here was very fun. The same maps and engine might be kind of fun to play again.
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Old 06-10-14, 10:41 AM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
Halo 2 with the guys on here was very fun. The same maps and engine might be kind of fun to play again.
This.

Halo 2 multiplayer with DVDTalkers was a blast back then. Looking forward to playing it again.
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Old 06-10-14, 03:29 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Are you sure? Amazon had box art.
They said it was only on the One during the E3 conference.
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Old 06-10-14, 03:32 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Just watched the guys who are bringing out this game get interviewed on Twitch. They noted that all the chapters are unlocked form the get-go! You can play any chapter in any order and put together a "Playlist" of whatever chapters you want. Sounds cool!
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Old 06-10-14, 04:04 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Originally Posted by Matthew Chmiel View Post
For future reference, The Master Chief Collection is exclusive to the Xbox One. This will not be on the 360.
Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Are you sure? Amazon had box art.
Originally Posted by Music View Post
They said it was only on the One during the E3 conference.
Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Amazon had box art.
Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Amazon had box art.
Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
Amazon had box art.
Case closed.
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Old 06-10-14, 04:13 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Well, they did.
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Old 06-10-14, 04:18 PM
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Re: HALO: The Master Chief collection

Dagger?

Dagger!
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