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The Halo Hype Train

CHOO-CHOO! All aboard the Halo hype train! In a few short weeks (13 days exactly as of this post) Halo fans are getting a massive collection that we've been wanting for quite some time. It's no secret that I'm a massive Halo fan. I have all the novels, read all the backstory lore, have all the comics, multiple special Halo artworks, and enough Halo toys to probably open my own store, so to say I'm a Halo fan is an understatement. I don't usually buy into hype, but when it's for one of my favorite games ever, it's hard not to.

So what is Halo: The Master Chief Collection? Essentially it's every quintessential Halo game that features Master Chief as the protagonist; so this includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. You may notice that Reach and ODST aren't included in this this, but that's because you didn't play him in those, hence The Master Chief Collection title. And yes, you read that right, 4 games on one disc. FOUR GAMES ON ONE DISC (or one very large download if you purchase digitally)!

Halo Collection Menus

"So what?" you ask. You've already played these games before, right? Well yes, but there's been a lot of work done to make this collection appealing to even the most hardcore Halo vets. While I don't normally buy into the whole 1080P / 60FPS argument that goes around with games these days, it's worth noting that all four games have been bumped up to these benchmarks including dedicated servers (no more host standby cheating!) and will make it feel new, even if you've played though each game multiple times.

So why should you be hyped for The Master Chief Collection? Here are the main reasons I am counting down the days until launch:

Halo: Anniversary was a big deal to Halo fans. It was a remake of Halo: Combat Evolved, but a lot of heart went into making it something special for the 10 year anniversary of Halo. The main feature was that it was running two graphic engines at the same time, so that at any time, you could press a button and switch between classic and improved graphics whenever you wanted. Also, they added online multiplayer for Halo maps, which was a big deal since Xbox Live wasn't even created when Halo was released and we all played at LAN parties back in the day to get our Halo fix. With The Master Chief Collection we get the same great classic, but with even more improvements.

Halo Vista

The issue some purists had with the multiplayer from Anniversary was that it was done in Reach's engine, so it felt different and wasn't an exact 1:1 replica of the same game we played a decade ago. In this new collection, this has been remedied, and even maps that Anniversary didn't include make its way back. Two of my favorites: Boarding Action and Sidewinder (where the ice actually is slippery again!) are included, among a ton of others.

Speaking of multiplayer, The Master Chief Collection boasts more than 100 multiplayer maps (including PC exclusives) across all four games, authentic to their original states. There is even a bonus for Halo 2 multiplayer fans, as a handful of the most popular maps have been rebuilt from the ground up as well. Speaking of Halo 2, this game is essentially the shining jewel in this collection. Much like how Anniversary improved the classic, Halo 2 is getting the same treatment here as well, but taken to a whole new level since the collection is now on Xbox One.

Halo Master Chief Multiplayer

Much like how Halo: CE Anniversary allowed you to switch between classic and new graphics, Halo 2 has this as well, but since it was created for Xbox One, the graphic improvements go way beyond what I expected. Not only are the graphics improved, but sound has been completely redone as well. I know I'll be finding myself simply switching between the modes, admiring the drastic changes, in some of my favorite levels. Terminals have been switched up so even if you've memorized them previously, there will be new stuff for you to find, and you'll even uncover clues about Halo 5's story if you're persistent enough. Oh, and all of the cutscenes have been completely remade from scratch and rival cinematics to other modern games that are releasing today. You can even switch between the old and new graphics mid-cutscene if you want to see the difference.

Halo 2 Arbiter Update

The new Master Menu allows you to quickly and easily play any or all of the games in any order you wish. No need to complete Halo to unlock Halo 2 and so on. Going a step further, there's also going to be Playlists that can be customized for campaign or multiplayer experiences based on what you want to play.

Want to play all of Chief's missions in sequential order without gaps in between?
There's a playlist for that.

Want to just play the Arbiter missions?
There's a playlist for that.

Want to just play the Warthog driving missions?
There's a playlist for that.

Want to play all four games start to finish on Legendary with every skull on?
There's a playlist for that.

As you can see, it's super simple now to play however or whatever you want across all four games, without pause should you decide.

Also included is the new Halo Channel (think Waypoint but to a whole new level) and the launch of a new live action series, Halo: Nightfall, which will give more background information and backstory to Agent Locke, a pivotal character in the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians next year.

Need one more reason to be hyped about November 11th? The Master Chief collection also comes with the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that will start on December 29th this year. You'll even unlock exclusive gear if you join the beta that will transfer over to the full game.

Halo 5 Beta

If four classic games on one disc doesn't get you hyped for Halo, two of which have been remastered, all of which are running at 1080P 60FPS, then you simply aren't a Halo fan. If you've never played Halo before or all of them, this is the collection you'll want to jump in with. Go preorder now and I'll see you online November 11th at midnight.