Monday, 24 November 2014

Halo: the MasterChief Collection: XBox One Review

Halo: The MasterChief Collection: XBox One Review

Released by 343 Industries
Platform: XBox One

I've a confession to make.

Being a long time PlayStationer, I've never ever touched a HALO game. I'm aware that in some quarters, this is close to sacrilege, but I feel honesty is the best policy.

Having got my hands on the mighty remastered version (somewhere in the region of 50GB all up), I can safely say I've really quite enjoyed the majority of my time with the MasterChief and all he entails.

Collecting together all four of the games ahead of the launch of HALO 5: Guardians next year, this remastered package is quite the exercise in dutiful enjoyment. It's pretty much dutifully ported over from its early iterations on the XBox 360 too, with the gameplay and quality improved for the next gen console.

In the first game, Combat Evolved Anniversary, you can flick back and forth between the original game graphics and the new too, so that if you're a purist, you can relive the old days. Or if you're like me, you can appreciate the work and way the next gen console's changed things. One superb example of this is on ground near a waterfall; the original version is a relatively static sheet of water pouring out of the side of a mountain. In the new version the droplets are clear, the steam gathers from the cascading water and the effect is astounding.

But you don't play Halo for the graphics, it's for the playability and its first person shooter mentality, which are all pretty much in tact here with combat being relatively easy to engage in. Even better is the chance for you to drop in and out of the games, or play them cumulatively as one long engaging narrative - it's great to have a compendium to drop in and out of and to indulge as and when you want.

Not so great though - and the game's been out for a little while is the multiplayer which has been blighted with connectivity issues since launch, which have rendered the matchmaking side of the game somewhat of a major chore and at worst, a non-functioning option. A patch has been dropped this week to try and satiate these server issues which 343 Industries have been unable to deal with at their side, but as yet, that patch isn't fully in my hands so I have to go with a jury out on this - for now.

All in all, though, The Halo: MasterChief collection is the kind of nostalgic game blast which really serves to remind you why some games are classics. Having been so taken with Destiny this year, I can see the comparisons with Halo - and now having been spending time with the game, I can appreciate it for what it's worth; an influential shooter that shaped the console and defined a gaming generation.


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