Halo: The Master Chief Collection Reviews

AuthorReview
Skycaptin5
671,314 (426,760)
Skycaptin5
TA Score for this game: 15,070
Posted on 11 November 14 at 06:36, Edited on 06 December 18 at 06:49
This review has 59 positive votes and 41 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
*Matchmaking is working well now with quick matches, some issues may still persist for some, leaving this as a monument to 343's sins. Review done prior to issues and launch*

Overview
I'm sure at this point you're more than well aware of The Master Chief Collection and what exactly it contains. If not I'm going to go over it as I have to anyways. With this collection you will be getting the four primary Halo games that star the Master Chief and they're all shining quite better than they ever have before. On top of that you also get access to the entire library of multiplayer maps that count to well over a hundred with some Anniversary maps from Halo 2 that have been shined up as well. Finally you get access to the future Halo 5: Guardians Beta happening in December 2014 and Halo: Nightfall which is an episodic movie shown over time on the Halo Channel. I was a tad disappointed I wasn't able to check that all out early, though I'll cover it once it has all released. This will also be the most in-depth review I have ever done as I've never encountered so many titles on one particular collection and of course since it's Halo, a true love of mine. So for this purpose it will be broken down by game to go over changes of editions and then the usual columns below towards that final score at the bottom which you could skip right to I suppose. Should also mention that the games have all moved towards a cross-game control scheme that keeps it relatively simple with only minor changes between the games.

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Halo: Combat Evolved (Anniversary)
The mysterious title that started it all back in the good old year of 2001 when I was but a young lad then playing at a friend's house. We were luckily given a tenth anniversary edition back a few years ago which revamped the graphics along with adding terminals and skulls to the gameplay. There were also achievements for the first time and some Kinect add-ins that didn't make it into this package as they were very awkward/delayed. Combat Evolved looks even better with the higher resolution and frames while keeping that iconic look. Switching between the graphics of new and old is instant now compared to being delayed in the past. I can't say it looks insanely upgraded, but these additions to make it perform much better. The better movement systems are also back which I mean the added lights to paths in order to make movement through the world more guided. All the charm of the original is still there at core, though the new controller makes the gameplay feel much better with areas definitely using the rumble to the full advantage. To recap on the story, the Pillar of Autumn is being chased from Reach with them running into a ring world called Halo. The Master Chief along with Cortana take the battle to the surface where they discover the history of this strange place while running into a deadly secret held deep below its surface. An epic story with mystery and some of the best FPS gameplay of all time.

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Halo 2 (Anniversary)
This is the big one or well the focus of this pack since Halo 2 has finally hit it's ten year anniversary. It's so hard for me to believe that it has been ten years already and I'm shocked. Getting the full anniversary treatment the entire graphics have been overhauled to make it look like a fresh title of today while preserving the game we fell in love with so long ago. Additionally cutscenes have been completely redone by Blur which should be given a budget to make us a feature length film already, because damn. Those cutscenes are so lifelike to the point I'd say they should be standard for games and even movies from which I have never seen that quality before. Everything gameplay wise feels the exact same though the quality of the new textures definitely makes a huge difference. You can switch between the graphics instantly and the original holds up very nicely as well as the newer graphics. Cortana also looks a tad weird in the new version game textures compared to the original except in the cutscenes where she looks the best she ever has. Gameplay feels great and exactly like it did back in the day although the new Xbox One controller makes everything feel much more alive with the rumble along with scheme options. Terminals have been added with some more back story and lore filling, along with achievements for doing basically every easter egg. Not a bunch has changed at the core, but it's much better looking with expanded vistas and texture details across many of the locales. Recap story wise for Halo 2, we have the Master Chief collecting awards for the destruction of Halo and the covenant attack Earth. Split side to that we have the now disgraced covenant leader dubbed the Arbiter going on suicide missions for the prophets. It's a two perspective epic having everything meet together towards the end as the elites in midst of a civil war learn the rings true purpose.

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Halo 3
Now we move onto my absolute most favorite campaign of the Chief Collection as I definitely spent so many hours playing this when I was younger. There really isn't much done to Halo 3 except for much better texture showing, better foliage and quite enhanced lighting. The lighting looks great on so many of the levels and definitely brings more life to all of the levels. Particle effects in the air and landscape shine much better than before with Floodgate being a great example with the ash fitting in much better. The updated resolution and 60fps which is frame rate greatly improve the fluidity of the levels along with the many explosions/interactions going on in each of the levels. I will say this does feel the least touched up of them all as I suppose some areas and textures could have used revamps. I hope there's a small update in the future for the anniversary of Halo 3, but this will work absolutely fine for years. Skulls and other small easter eggs return as well in this one along with those terminals that we all love. This campaign is truly epic and I'll spend many more hours playing through these levels so many times over. To recap the Halo 3 story, we were left with an intense cliff-hanger in Halo 2 and at Earth everything is falling apart. Worst off the Chief doesn't have Cortana as she was left behind and the Chief fights across many landscapes in this epic conclusion to the trilogy, woops. Throw some prophets, a bunch of wild flood forms and the now friendly elites for one hell of a battle.

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Halo 4
You would expect me to say that Halo 4 would have little changes, but you can clearly see that this was meant to be a next generation title that was ported to the Xbox 360. The fine particles, lighting and general world feels much more alive while looking like a brand new game release. The 60FPS is just crazy with explosions, and movement too fluid. It looks just great and of course all the other smaller items like easter eggs return in this one. I can't say anything else is different as it's all together and ready to go like you played just a few years previous. Cutscenes also look much better with the higher frame rate if that wasn't clear in the graphics area as they're run in-engine. For recap on story with Halo 4 the Chief is an aging spartan, Cortana isn't looking fantastic and the Forerunners have returned in the form of the Didact (war leader) on this shield world called Requiem. The Chief awakens from slumber in Halo 3 and does everything he can to stop the Didact with the later gained help of the largest ship the UNSC has ever commissioned, The Infinity.

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Matchmaking
Bringing a ranking system that many of you know along with social playlists, hoppers and other selections this will let you play exactly what you want. I'm more than sure these servers will be packed with people for a long time with a vast number of players. Personally I will spend much of my time playing Halo 3 as that's my favorite though each game is evenly represented. I noticed in Halo: CE specifically they added a weird pistol headshot hit marker sound which is ever so annoying, but I'm sure that'll be patched out right away. Another great addition to throw in there is the Gungoose with Gungoose CTF being the most amazing mode and being slightly like the old racing modes, but capture the flag mongeese carnage! Aside from that everything runs smoothly with the dedicated servers to make sure everyone keeps equal and fluid. Armour customizing has also been removed from selection to a number of pre-sets though it really isn't too much of a big deal, there are also many great new customizing options for your online profile.

Custom Games
Easily the bread of the community for Halo, custom games are well designed and have so many damn options for us. There were many glitchy issues around the setup for this and they still didn't make it possible for us to split teams up by host. Additionally some issues getting everything going, but I hope these will get fixed up. Yet again there are so many things to switch up with more game modes, though strangely some games are lacking selections with new ones. I'm more than excited to see hoppers make their way to customs in terms of modes, excited to see how it evolves over time. So many more memories will be had and custom matches played!

Anniversary Maps
Six maps have been given the full Anniversary treatment with this package from Halo 2. The remakes are of Lockout; Coagulation, Warlock, Zanzibar, Ascension and Sanctuary. Each have new small changes and amazing scenery. It's nice to see them all done, but at this point they're just more redone maps. Some events can also be triggered within these like having a waterfall come down on Sanctuary (Shrine) or Lockout (Lockdown) having ice shower onto the map. Aside from these maps there are also some Forge levels based off of the Halo 2 maps with some updated items on these though I'll talk about that in the section below.

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Forge
This brings back the original forge options for Halo 3 and Halo 4 with no changes to those. The only big changes have been with the Halo 2: Anniversary maps that bring us an empty canvas with beautiful sky boxes. We also have been given some scripting options, a few secret items in terms of vehicles and finally some natural items. I was somehow too happy to see some foliage involved as that could make things seem less plastic like. Snapping and magnets are back as well, with great precision in making sure everything is even. Though these changes are small, it powers the much better forgers to create some crazy future potential maps. File sharing returns as well and Forge is the best area to mention it in as you can make things available for download and such as always.

Gameplay
Every Halo game feels the exact same as when you played and loved it upon release. They have all been updated to 1080p except for Halo 2 Anniversary which runs just slightly under it. All the games also have a smooth 60fps which helps the play feel much more fluid and every player can appreciate that. The universal controller scheme which I've mentioned previously works well across all the games with only minor adjustments. There are some issues in remembering certain things that differ, but it's much more aligned now. Everything run smoothes across the menus and in-game with only some minor party issues. Aside from picking and choosing your campaign missions you can also pick a cross-playlist. This is a mix-up of many levels across games or within in order to give a quicker run through though I preferred picking whatever I wanted. The selection of changing options in matches is well done, though at times in custom games it was more difficult than needed to select things. Graphics perform well across all titles with better resolution and no hick ups that I noticed.

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The Conclusion
The Master Chief Collection is the greatest compilation in gaming history. For the price you literally cannot find a better package anywhere and this is a major title for the Xbox. Packing in over a decade of memories and all the prime Halo games (sorry Reach) into one package amongst other things, it's ridiculous. In the total package you get Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary; Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo Nightfall (movie) and the Halo 5: Guardians Beta in December (2014). These games have always been the flagship titles on all Xbox consoles and putting them all together in one package is madness. The amount of studios working on this is also crazy with each of them bringing a different aspect to the table. There's so many hours of gameplay and things to do which will have me hooked for a many years even past the Halo 5 release. I love all of these games so much and there's many like me that will enjoy the experience as much as I have. Growing up on these titles I can't suggest this package more, especially if you have never played any before as you can get into for the next games release. Multiplayer is also amazing with so much content put together and a Forge system that will keep us playing for a many years into the future. The ultimate collection of Halo is its own reason to buy and Xbox with more content packed together than any other one in history.

Honestly it's 4 Halo games, so there's no reason not to buy it!

Review of Mine from Gamerheadquarters.com
Gave Halo: The Master Chief Collection a 10/10
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Yazite
338,311 (174,220)
Yazite
TA Score for this game: 20,142
Posted on 13 May 15 at 20:03, Edited on 16 June 15 at 20:27
This review has 16 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection

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I'm going to try and be as fair as possible, taking into account the various problems the game has had/still has and because I'm a huge fan. Just to note, I have over 400 hours on the game, and have unlocked every achievement, so I think it is fair to say I've spent a lot of time playing this.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) is a collection of four past Halo games (soon to be 5) compacted onto one disc. These are: Halo CE Anniversary/Classic, Halo 2 Anniversary/Classic, Halo 3 and Halo 4. These include the campaigns and the multiplayer of each individual game. Also included in the mix are forge and theatre for Halo 2A, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Spartan Ops from Halo 4 was also recently added.


General overview

The amount of content in the game is incredible. It is obvious that this was a first for the console market. I'm sure that many people were rather surprised when the game was announced. It is clear that four fantastic Halo games on one disc would make most gamers purchase the Xbox One, as I did. Some of the additional features announced for the game were it running 1080p at 60 frames per second, the dedicated servers and the 4000G achievement list. We'd never seen the games run at that capacity before, we've never had dedicated servers for Halo before, and we'd certainly never seen a game with that much gamerscore! We were also promised access to the Halo 5 beta, and the live action series "Halo Nightfall". These were some bold promises. The question is, did they get it right?

Campaign

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The best part of each game; The Campaigns. All four campaigns, spread out into 45 missions, are available to play in MCC. This was one of the most unique selling points of the collection prior to release. As previously mentioned, we had not seen a collection like this before.
The Chief is back, and better than ever. With the campaigns running at 60fps, the experience is even more beautiful, smooth and awe-inspiring than it was back in the day. Halo 2 Anniversary is the leading element of The Master Chief Collection. As with Halo CE's Anniversary treatment, Halo 2 Anniversary runs two engines at once, meaning you can instantly switch between the old and new graphics without having to wait. Halo 2's campaign is simply marvellous to play in the gorgeous new graphics. I couldn't help but stare off into the beautiful distance on multiple occasions throughout the campaign. Speaking of beauty, I think its time to mention Halo 2 anniversary's new and improved cut-scenes. Everyone saw the teaser cut-scene at E3 and was instantly blown away. Those iconic and memorable cut-scenes that everyone loves and remember from the Classic Halo 2 have been upgraded dramatically to give extra immersion to Halo 2's fantastic story. Blur Studios certainly did a brilliant job with the cut-scenes, but if you'd prefer to watch the classic cut-scenes, then you can easily do that at the click of a button and relive the nostalgia. If you were part of the speedrunning community back in the day, fear not, as 343i have included speed-running achievements for not just Halo 2, but for all of the campaigns, as a tribute to veteran speed-runners and also to spark greater interest in speed-running as a whole. Furthermore, 343i have remade some of the sounds effects for various weapons and have also remade some of the classic and iconic soundtracks to as a fitting tribute to Halo 2. The new sound effects and music are astonishing. Kudos to 343i for doing such a great job with them.

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As for the other campaigns, there isn't much I can say. Halo CEA, 3 and 4 are still fantastic as ever, and the only real difference is that they now run at 60 frames per second. However, Halo 3 seems to be the odd one out. Halo CE and 2 have already received their treatment. Halo 4 was only released in 2012. It still looks astounding seeing as it's 343's most recent game. Many people were aware that it pushed the Xbox 360 to its absolute limits. As Halo 3 is my personal favourite out of the four, I am a little dissapointed that it has received the least treatment out of the four. Sure, its got a nice resolution upgrade, but I just feel like it was a little left out and that 343 could have done more to honour it. After all, Halo 3 was the game that really took off the Halo franchise.

Now we get into the nitty gritty. I personally spent a lot of my time in campaign playing online with a friend. Therefore, I can safely say that I have had my fair share of enraging experiences. As many of you know, The Master Chief Collection shipped with a number of bugs and frustrating glitches. Some of these major problems were related to connectivity and general stability of playing missions online. Sometimes I was kicked out of the mission, while my connection was perfectly stable. On other occasions I was sometimes kicked out of the mission loading screen. Thankfully, many of these problems have (hopefully) been fixed and you can now (hopefully) play campaign online without having to worry about it. For those of us who had to suffer through these problems throughout the first few weeks of launch, it most certainly left a scar that, for many, will never heal. There was a point that I got so sick of the problems that I questioned my status as a Halo fan, and even thought about selling my Xbox One. I'm sure that if you're reading this now, thinking about whether to buy the game, that you need not worry about these past issues.

Whether it's blasting through The Silent Cartographer, rooftop running on Outskirts, mowing down flood on Cortana or wreaking havoc on Midnight, you will have a ton of fun playing through these campaigns again, just as I did. Not to mention the campaign related achievements provide you with hours upon hours of hunting easter eggs or collectibles, slaughtering grunts, or even completing a Legendary campaign in under 3 hours if you're up for the challenge. It has never been a better time to play the stories that we've come to love and cherish over the years again!


Multiplayer

Now, where do I begin?

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From the start, Halo: The Master Chief Collection's matchmaking system was extremely rocky. Many people experienced very long search times, user interface problems, and general party issues. I am happy to say now that the vast majority of these issues have been fixed, and now, you don't need to worry about running into the serious issues that the day one players did. Be that as it may, the severe problems that a lot of people encountered, led to many people being put off by the collection, leading to new and veteran players leaving the series for good. Hopefully 343i can understand their mistakes and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Matchmaking currently has a decent amount of playlists to choose from. A few of them are ranked, and the rest are unranked/social playlists. This is excellent, as it gives a great balance between the competitive and casual players. I'm sure 343i plan to introduce more ranked playlists in the future to give the competitive players a wider variety to choose from, rather than 3 ranked playlists compared to 7 social/unranked playlists. Multiplayer Halo is better than its ever been. The fact that each Halo game can be played online on one disc, means that each person who has a particular favourite out of the four can easily jump into that particular online game and find a match. I reiterate that this is a first for the industry. In the past, as a new Halo game came out, many people simply put down the predecessor and jumped straight into the new one, leaving the old one to collect dust. This can be seen with the transition from Halo 2 to Halo 3. Now, whether you're a Halo CE veteran, a Halo 2 expert, a Halo 3 pro or a Halo 4 fanatic, you can all live under one communal roof, that is; Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

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As for any additional features to matchmaking...well... I can't think of many. A few that I had in mind was a population counter and maybe even weekly, or fortnightly weekend playlists, like we had during the Halo 3 days. These were double exp playlists for Halo 3 that lasted from Friday till Monday. I remember having a blast playing Grifball and Fiesta on some of these weekends and they bring back some of the best memories. As for the population counter, its unlikely now, but I still think it would be a great feature.

Custom Games

Custom games have been a vital element of Halo throughout the past 14 years. Without them, the community that was built surrounding them would most certainly not be as large as it is. There are over 100 maps to play in custom games! Some of the best maps from the past are all available to play at the click of a button. In addition to this, 343i have introduced 6 anniversary maps. These are based on 6 classic Halo 2 maps that have received an amazing upgrade to fit the them of Halo 2 Anniversary. These include: Bloodline (Coagulation), Lockdown (Lockout), Shrine (Sanctuary), Stonetown (Zanzibar), Warlord (Warlock) and Zenith (Ascension). These new maps can also be altered in Forge. In Halo 2 Anniversary, there has also been an addition of many new weapons and vehicles. Some of these include the classic Assault Rifle, the Suppressed SMG, and the highly anticipated Gungoose. Yes, that's a mongoose with a gun on it. If Halo CE is more your thing, then you can effortlessly jump into a game of CTF on Blood Gulch with your friends. If you'd prefer to play a bit of Ricochet on Pitfall, then you can easily set up a game of that in less than a minute. There is so much to do in custom games. The impact it has had on the Halo community is self-evident. Now is a better time than any to set up a custom games lobby and play into the small hours.

Forge

Introduced with Halo 3, forge has been an influential part in creating some of the most best maps and game types that we all know and love. Halo 2 Anniversary has received a very special Forge treatment. In addition to the ordinary rules of Forge, Halo 2A now allows editors to place terrain as objects, the ability to script objects, and enhanced precision controls. This provides map makers with the upgraded tools they need to make their dream map come to life. Forge is, of course, available in Halo 3 and 4, but unfortunately not in Halo CE. I have however encountered a problem with Halo 3 forge. There is no options to add starting spawns to a respawn point. This means that when players enter a custom made Halo 3 map, they will spawn in random places, rather than the intended starting spawn. This essentially voids all possibilities for infection games in Halo 3. I do hope 343i will look into this in the future, as infection in Halo 3 is one of my most favourites things to play.

Extras

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection has an excellent amount of additional features to look over. One of the major ones is Theatre. This well known feature allows you to watch and record past gameplays that are stored as temporary game files. Want to post an Overkill, Extermination you just got? You can easily do that with Theatre. Unfortunately, you cannot do this with Halo CE. Another great aspect of Theatre is that you can adjust the camera angle to your liking. This means that you don't have to watch it in first person mode. You can go into third person, or even freely move the camera wherever you wish.

Some of the smaller features found in the extras menu are more to do with customisation, stat tracking and settings. The "Player ID" and "Customization" tabs allow the player to modify their armour sets, emblem and colours, and their loadouts for Halo 4. The "Career" and "Leaderboard" tabs show your current stats relating to; best time for each mission, overall playtime, friends leaderboard and global leaderboard. This allows the player to compare their best times with their friends, or even with the person at the top of the global leaderboard. The file share is also back, allowing you to share your favourite clips, maps and game modes to the world. This has been a key feature for sharing throughout the past Halo games, and I'm glad that it has been executed well. It is easy to access and simple to use. Finally, we have the "Settings" tab. This feature allows you to change your button layout, movement sensitivity and other minor controller options. One of the great things added here, is that you can set your button layout or sensitivity as "universal" meaning it will operate as that option over all the Halo games. This is a handy feature, as it avoids the need to go through each individual game and select your desired options. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has some great additional features to tinkle with. They provide the user with a variety of customization options, a social hub for competing with friends, and easy to handle settings to enhance the excellent experience of Halo.

Conclusion

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is one of the greatest things the industry has ever produced. Four classic games, complete with campaign and multiplayer, all on one disc. Who would have thought it possible ten years ago? As Halo 2 Anniversary is the central part of MCC, it is clearly given the magnificent tribute that it deserves. 343i should be proud that they have done so well honouring such an influential and widely loved game. Every detail, from the soundtrack to the sound effects, has been perfectly done. The game also has a great user interface, which provides ease of use to the player. If you're a new or veteran player, this is most certainly a must have collection of four incredible games. However, its not all sunshine and roses. As a result of the horrific problems at launch, many fans and new players turned away from the game and from the series itself. They felt betrayed and heartbroken at such a devastating execution of a game launch. I'm sure 343i were devastated too, as they claimed that they were not aware that such problems could occur. They did vow to fix it, and they have kept that vow. The game is much more stable and playable now. So much more than it was at launch. Now, you can quickly jump into a campaign mission, or a matchmaking game without having to worry about any problems. However, it is still inexcusable that the game wasn't like it is today, on launch. On this note, it has been a great disappointment that this pure devastation has left a huge hole in the Halo community that may never be refilled.

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Halo Combat Evolved

This game launched the sage. Here no real novelty, it is for me, for a few details, the HD version of Xbox 360.

The game is equal on the graphic and sound levels. As well as handling ability, alas…



Halo 2

At last. The game that everyone was waiting for, and in HD. The quality of the trailers is simply bluffing.

You can change the trailers to see the difference (thing that is impossible on Halo CEA). Still, the game is great, you can see the accomplished work and the difference in 10 years.

Even the weapons’ sounds (and many others) have been improved and are more realistic.

Novelties like the terminals and the toys are to be noticed. And the skulls are back.


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Halo 3 ODST

Linked to the matchmaking issues, Halo 3 ODST was offered.

So, indeed, the game uses 1080p at 60fps, but visually there is no real change. The game seems insipid like on 360



Halo 3

Halo 3 like Halo 4 doesn’t have real differences between the versions 360 and One.

It is always pleasant, indeed, to redo this opus however, an improvement on the graphic and sound levels would have been more than welcome.



Halo 4

The most recent title before this compilation. Here there is no change for me so there is no interest into giving my opinion onto a game released 2 years before.


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Spartan OPS

The entirety of Spartan OPS from Halo 4. 10 chapters composed of 5 missions each.

The Legendary of Spartan OPS seems harder than the Legendary in campaign.

Fun in coop, rapidly boring in solo.



Forge

The mode Forge is still present for all of the multiplayers maps of Halo 3 and 4 as well as for the remastered maps of Halo 2.

It is an infinite number of hours for any addict to map modification.



Multiplayer

Several game modes. Some temporary others don’t, which leads inevitably to losses of game modes that some could appreciate.

Most game modes are ranked.

More than 100 multiplayers maps and the pleasure to “finally” play to multi of Halo CE.

The maps of Halo 2 anniversary are well done.


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To conclude, Halo the Master Chief Collection is a game to own.

Despite the fact that I don’t talk about all the opus but the second, but the one in question was a Halo 2 Anniversary.

The other opuses are practically a copy/paste of one another, therefore to talk about the past games, just go and see their review.

Suitable for nostalgic people as well as new players. Indeed, owning almost all the Halos on only one disc at such a price is a must have.

There are lots of easter-eggs in the game that are fun to find (and also to complete the achievements)

Talking about achievements, it is a good compilation to make, although the LASO or the speedrun can block some.

And for those who want to finish the game at more than 100%, there are some possibilities to complete all the playlists (60) and also each level of mission and of Spartan OPS in solo and Legendary coop.

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