Halo has been one of the defining first person shooters in video gaming, as well as one of the most popular and enduring series in any genre (interactive or otherwise). As such, it makes a lot of sense to remaster the core entries in the franchise with a fresh look (but not feel) and a revamped game engine that delivers a consistent 1080p and 60 frames per second experience to mark the Chief’s debut on the Xbox One. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has promised the classic Halo experiences with a huge graphical facelift and new cross media integration: at PAX Prime 2014, the former is available for hands-on verification of 343 Industries’ efforts to make it so. The demo stations featured a classic Slayer death match round of 4 on 4 with the same deliberate pace, grenade physics and sustained firing patterns from
The graphics have immediately noticeably sharper lines, richer colour palettes and smoother panning than any previous game in the franchise to date. There is a palpable sense of shifting visual sensibilities as the art design adds additional granularity to small details (such as the iron sights on guns) and increased subtlety in the disparate light sources look and feel very fresh even by modern standards. Your combatant still retains the floating jump style, inertia influenced movement style from the past and authentically feels like the Master Chief. It’s hard to adjust from the blistering speed of more modern first person shooters such as Titanfall, but retaining the original look and feel is definitely the right call for authenticity and maximum gamer satisfaction (especially after Halo 2 and the original Xbox Live were deprecated and taken offline a few years ago).
343 has stated that their goal is to faithfully reproduce each game in the transition to current generation hardware, including bugs and other minutiae unique to each entry in the series. My time with the game matches up with my memories from years ago, and the planned surrounding features such as the Halo Channel and the new miniseries Halo: Nightfall look like solid foundation pieces to bridge the gap between consoles to current generation hardware and the 2015 arrival of Halo 5.