Halo The Master Chief Collection review: Halo 2 is the star of the show - but it all delivers spectacularly

Each encounter feels different from the last, and every map looks sublime

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The Independent Tech

One day we will see all our favourite games re-mastered. We’ll be playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on a system so powerful, Tommy Vercetti’s presence will be felt in the room. But what Bungie (and several other developers) have achieved in bringing the Halo Master Chief Collection to in-demand fans on the Xbox One, will take some beating in terms of pleasing the market.

Ever since Halo 2 had adolescents struggling to leave their television for school, the franchise has been crying out for a game to reignite the fading, yet passionate community. As well as the 2004 edition, Halo 3, 4 and Combat Evolved can be played on Master Chief, all in the same playing engine as originally released with. It is this common theme that will have you reminiscing about the past, while also appreciating the superb graphics that accompany your new game.

Halo 2 is the star of the show with the beautiful new cut scenes breathing new life into the plot, while toggling between the original and old school versions should keep everybody happy. Of course, there is only so much a 1080p system can do with background layouts that are a decade old.

After becoming addicted to Advanced Warfare, nailing a completely different style (albeit a familiar one) of first-person shooter was always going to be tough, but Sabre Interactive brought back that fun factor straight away with Halo 2, and that’s only talking about the campaign.

Each one-on-one encounter feels different from the last, while vehicles dotted around the map bring forward a whole new tactical way of playing. Forge Support even lets you jump in and modify some of your favourite maps (though it may not keep you away from the Gravemind).  After enjoying the campaign so much, this game was the first I tried online and I was not to be disappointed there, either, with every map looking sublime and the PvP as enthralling, yet frustrating, as I ever imagined it.

 

Halo 2 might be the only game that feels completely “new” on Master Chief, but that is not to say the others don’t have their perks. On Halo 4, in particular, the graphics look incredible. Perhaps the one title worked upon with a look into the future when made, this game suits the Xbox One. The only disappointment is that Spartan Ops is yet to launch, but that, coupled with the first look at Halo 5 in late 2014/early 2015 gives fans something to look forward to.

The Halo Master Chief Collection has been sold as an anniversary, and delivers spectacularly. Flexibility to wonder around your favourite missions whatever the stage you are at the game, even the ability to change some of those iconic maps in Halo 2. Combat Evolved will seem familiar after its 2011 release while Halo 3 flatters to deceive at times, but the full package is well worth the investment. Just don’t blame us when your glued to your screen all over again, hooked on the thrill that is Halo. No pressure for the next one…

£49.99; Xbox One

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