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Halo The Master Chief Collection |OT| Halo Never Died, It Was Just Missing In Action

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Jul 20, 2012
New Braunfels, Texas

Halo. It holds a special place in all our hearts, whether you love it or not, odds are you’ve at least heard of the gaming epic that stars a space marine who doesn’t afraid of anything. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the ultimate fan service for those who would like to relive classic memories or forge new ones with friends both new and old. Launching from a single, gorgeous unified UI, the Master Chief Collection includes Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 all running at the stunning Xbox One fidelity. That’s over 45 campaign missions and over 100 multiplayer maps, including those previously exclusive to the PC versions of Halo CE and Halo 2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases on November 11th, 2014.

Released as Halo: Combat Evolved by Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios back on November 15th, 2001, Halo quickly became the sleeper hit that no one expected. Now, 13 years and a whopping 10 titles later, Halo is still a juggernaut in the gaming industry. Microsoft’s internal studio, 343 Industries now helms the franchise, their first game, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, promises to take Bungie’s original formula and blow it out of the water at a stunning 60 frames per second (FPS) and 1080p resolution. But, Halo CE is not the only game in this package, of course, the big ticket item, the one that has everyone’s panties in a wad: Halo 2. Yes, that’s right, Halo 2 is back.

Originally released on November 9th, 2004, Bungie worked tirelessly on what would become the foundation for Xbox Live and a benchmark for the online shooter genre. Logging an astounding 803,136,816 total games and almost 57,000 years in matchmade games alone (not including customs), it’s no surprise that when the doors to Halo 2’s online multiplayer component came to a screeching close on April 16th, 2010 it was one of the saddest days in gaming. But fear not, because the game that started it all is coming back online with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

The Master Chief Collection (or MCC) includes the original Halo: Combat Evolved multiplayer over Xbox Live for the first time ever including all of the Halo PC maps that launched with the PC port of the game. Also included is Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary’s campaign and the feature set it came with in 2011, all running at 60FPS and 1080p.

As I’ve said, the real deal here is Halo 2 Anniversary and what all it includes. Halo 2 Anniversary’s campaign is running at a gorgeous 60FPS and 1328x1080 resolution. What does that mean? Well, it’s the only campaign in the box that doesn’t run at full 1080p, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t run as possibly close as it can while loading two graphics engines, two sets of game sounds and music, all of which has been re-recorded or otherwise remastered for the game. On top of this, the campaign includes 30 Skulls, 13 Terminals, 8 Toys, and many many other Easter eggs for you to go look for. Now, I know what you really want to know more about is the multiplayer. With this amazing package you get Halo 2 multiplayer just as you remembered it all those years ago. Every map ever released including the Halo 2 Vista maps all running at the 60FPS/1080p you want. But, that’s not all. Built from the bones of the core Halo engine to feel like a modern take on a beloved classic is Halo 2 Anniversary Multiplayer. This a new engine with six maps coming from Halo 2, remastered and touched up to play like they’ve never been played before. With each of the maps comes a new feature, one such example being a massive bubble shield on the Ascension remake called Zenith. Each of these maps also has an “Anniversary” version as well for those of us who want to play on the remastered engine but want the maps to play how we remember them. These maps are as follows:

  • Bloodline, or Coagulation Anniversary
  • Lockdown, or Lockout Anniversary
  • Shrine, or Sanctuary Anniversary
  • Stonetown, or Zanzibar Anniversary
  • Warlord, or Warlock Anniversary
  • Zenith, or Ascension Anniversary

Halo 3 and Halo 4 will also be getting minor touch ups to say the least. Both games will be running at the 60FPS/1080p standard as found throughout the rest of the collection. But that’s not to say that neither of these games don’t benefit from this boost. Halo 4 already takes the cake, having been the most recent release thus far, it looks stunning, almost like it was made for the Xbox One all along. The real sleeper hit here is Halo 3. The Fog on Sierra-117, for example, seeps through the lush jungle leaves as the glow of covenant ships hum overhead. It all becomes what it couldn’t achieve as well as what it would’ve had you believe back in 2007 on the Xbox 360, but for the first time in a long time, it’s easy to get lost in its levels again. It’s almost like experiencing it for the first time and for many, it may be just that: the beginning. I look forward to playing these amazing games in all their glory with people, both veteran and n00b alike.

Included in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection box is access to Halo: Nightfall. A digital, episodically released film centered on series newcomer, Agent Jameson Locke. The series takes place between the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. An Office of Naval Intelligence unit, led by Lieutenant Commander Jameson Locke, is deployed on the distant human Outer Colony of Sedra to investigate terrorist activity. Sedra is described as a backwater world, harboring a disdain for the Unified Earth Government and the UNSC. During their investigation, the unit is attacked by the terrorists and it is discovered that they are trying to use biological weapons that only affect humans. Locke's team is forced to work together with Sedran Colonial Guard commander Randall Aiken and his troops to track down the origin of the bioweapon. During their search, the unit is drawn to a perilous alien artifact: a partially functioning section of Installation 04, the Halo ringworld destroyed by the Master Chief in the first game. The Halo fragment has begun to orbit in close proximity to a red giant. When the fragment rotates in its orbit, its habitable side undergoes extreme heat that is unbearable for any human when the habitable side is facing the sun. The fragment's environment only experiences survivable temperatures during the sixteen hours when the habitable side is facing away from the sun, forcing the team to complete their mission within this timeframe. A grave threat present on the ancient construct soon turns the mission into a desperate fight for survival.

The first episode will air on November 11th, 2014 alongside the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection as it leads into the events of Halo 5: Guardians and ties the Halo 2 Anniversary terminals together.

Forge was introduced in 2007 with Halo 3 and instantly became one of the biggest things in Halo since online multiplayer. The Forge evolved from simple weapon and player spawns to crates and large cargo boxes to full on level creator in Halo Reach with Forge World. And again reintroduced with new tools and objects in Halo 4 and made better with the DLC map, Forge Island which was massively larger than Forge World. Now it’s being made bigger and better than it has ever been before. Launching with 3 skyboxes and with no terrain, Halo 2 Anniversary is getting its own Forge suite while Halo 3 and Halo 4’s will be making a return.

…Just, not all in one room. Let’s face it, if you had to share a single Multiplayer hopper together with 8 million other gamers, no one would really be able to agree on any one game mode. Not to worry, friend, there’s a lobby for you yet! The Day One Multiplayer Playlists follow:

Team Halo 2: Anniversary
Play a mix of Team Slayer and objective game types on re-mastered maps. 4v4.

Halo 2: Anniversary Rumble
Challenge seven other opponents on re-mastered maps. This is your fight and yours alone. 8-player Free-For-All.

Team Halo 2: Anniversary Social
Play with a team in unranked Team Slayer and objective game types on re-mastered maps. 5v5.

Team Slayer
Eliminate the enemy team across four Halo games: Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 2: Anniversary. Nothing but Team Slayer, 24/7. 4v4.

Big Team Battle
Battle it out in 16-player warfare with vehicles across Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary. 8v8.

Halo: Combat Evolved
The game that started it all. Play a mix of Slayer and objective game types in Halo: Combat Evolved for the first time on Xbox Live. 4v4.

Halo 2 Classic
It’s back! A mix of the most popular Team Slayer and objective game types from the original Halo 2. 4v4.

Halo 3
A selection of fan-favorite Team Slayer and objective game types from Halo 3. 4v4.

Halo 4
A mix of Team Slayer and objective game types from Halo 4, on a selection of small to medium-sized maps. 5v5.

Team Hardcore
A collection of tournament-approved game types from Halo 2 and Halo 3. The Battle Rifle is your primary weapon. 4v4.

Halo eSports
The official Halo eSports playlist. 4v4.

SWAT (Rotational)*
Aim for the head! A collection of SWAT game types on our favorite maps from Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary. Players have no shields and are equipped with rifles. 4v4.

*Rotational gametype means that the gametype will not be permanent but that it does have a chance in being selected to stick around based on population with the community. Things like Team Doubles, Infection, etc. will be rotational unless they’re loved by the community.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection has 402 achievements. No, you didn’t read that wrong, it really is four-hundred-two achievements. That heavy of a number can lead to a few problems, such as excessive achievement hunting and hand-controller fatigue. Be careful out there while getting all 4000G.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection has it all. The return of the king that was Halo 2 online, Halo CE over Xbox Live for the first time, and the cool new digital series Halo: Nightfall, but what really completes the package is the inclusion of the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. Starting December 29th, 2014 and running until January 18th, 2015 you’ll get to go hands-on with the future of Halo’s Multiplayer. In 3 classic 4v4 modes on 7 maps (one of which is confirmed to be a remake of Halo 2’s Midship), 11 sandbox weapons, and 7 armor sets to customize your Spartan in. As well, for the first time ever with a Halo Beta, some of the things you unlock in the Beta will carry over to the finished game in the Fall of 2015. Doing away entirely with Armor Abilities and introducing Spartan Abilities, the Beta will be crucial in making sure that the future of Halo is molded by the fans who crave it so badly.

As I said before, Halo wouldn’t possibly be what it is today if it weren’t for its awesome community. So, I’ve taken the time to compile a list of awesome community sites that have become very popular in recent years.
Red vs Blue
Beyond Entertainment
Halo Waypoint Forums
Reclaimer Radio
Forward Unto Dawn

On top of the other awesome communities out there on the internet, we here on NeoGAF aren’t too bad ourselves. Many of us, in fact, like to play with one another so I've compiled a list of a ton of GAFers who will be playing the MCC.

One Last Thing
A couple of things have changed in the last couple of days, so I need to update just a bit. The first thing that needs to be said is that Halo CE will not have a dedicated playlist at launch, there are currently too many bugs/issues and 343 wants it to be in top shape before letting us get our boots on the ground. Fear not, as Halo CE will appear in other playlists, just not one of its own.
On top of this, the amazing ranking system that the team at 343 has built will only launch in the Team Halo 2: Anniversary playlist and will slowly be implemented into others after launch. The guys over there just want to make sure that everything works fine and that it’s fair and fun.
Another cool thing that was announced post the creation of the OT was an announcement of an additional 50 achievements. Have fun with all of that, guys.

Thanks For All The Fish
Thank you to VisceralBowl for the design of the OT and the images/banners, Granadier who lovingly organized all the gamertags above, and thank you to those who helped with proof reading and minor editing.
But most of all, thank you to the Halo community and HaloGAF especially, you guys rock.

See you on the battlefield.

Hip Hop

Jan 14, 2013
We'll be picking it up along with GTA V!.


Never played them much back in the 360 days but that 60fps will sure put me back in.

And I skipped Halo 2, so that's new to me.


Apr 29, 2013
WOOO! my most hyped release of the fall, cannot wait for H2 over Live again. I'm locked and pre-loaded, 9pm pacific tomorrow right? Hell of an OT, hats off!


Oct 22, 2013
Hope you guys have an wonderful time with this collection! I'll buy it when I get the Xbox One :D

Really great OT Mix!

Coin Return

Loose Slot
Jun 6, 2004
Beautiful OT!

So hyped for tomorrow night. Once they flip that switch for the digital version I'll be up until sunrise.


Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.
Mar 19, 2014
Toronto, CA
Been playing Halo 2A all day, love it so much. Its hard to find multiplayer matches right now but tomorrow will be glorious.


Jul 21, 2010
ut ohhhh but what was new again??? lmao

edit: well at least you fixed that quickly.

edit: actually you still need to fix it, you have the same info listed twice for "what was once old". YOU FOOL


Jul 23, 2013
Fuuuck. That's one amazing OT!

Greatest collection of games gamers have ever seen. I'm hyped.


Is currently on Stage 1: Denial regarding the service game future
Oct 21, 2013
It's beautiful Mix.

seriously outdid yourselves. VisceralBowl, Mix, fan-fucking-tastic.
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