I’m not reluctant to admit that I’m a fan of the Halo games. Not enough to write fan fiction featuring the franchise’s main hero, Master Chief, but enough that I’m excited about The Master Chief Collection, which will be coming to the Xbox One on November 11.
It makes up for the fact that there won’t be a new Halo game until next year; Halo 5: Guardians is dated for fall 2015.
The Master Chief Collection includes all four games featuring the protagonist, including a version of Halo 2 remastered for its 10th anniversary, all on one disc:
Halo 2 Anniversary is being built on the original game’s engine, so dual-wielding is still a part of the experience, and the original multiplayer mode is intact.
Each of the four games arrives unlocked, so players can step into any level of any game and play at any difficulty level. Also included are playlists, both curated and user-defined, which mix and match levels from any of the four games into one experience.
An example, mentioned by senior producer Dennis Reese during a briefing for journalists at E3 on Tuesday (June 10), was the final stage from each game, presented one after the other.
That’s not all that comes in the package, either. Frank O’Connor, the franchise director for 343 Industries, the division of Microsoft Game Studios that coordinates all things Halo, said that included in the collection will be the Halo 5 beta, which will run from December 27 for three weeks.
Also included is Halo: Nightfall, a live-action series of video shorts produced by Ridley Scott, and described by O’Connor as “the spiritual successor” to Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, which was secretly shot in the Lower Mainland in the spring of 2012.
Nightfall, which is soon moving production to Iceland, according to O’Connor, will bridge Halo 4 and Halo 5 by introducing and telling the story of new character, Agent Locke.
The Master Chief Collection will be priced at $69.99. For four games and a television series, that’s good value. Especially being able to play them seamlessly on the Xbox One. I wonder how long it would take to start at the beginning, and play all the way through to the end.