This is the second time I’ve started writing this review, not because the last piece I had was awful or anything. I just felt as though it didn’t highlight enough my love for the Halo series as a whole. Even though this review will focus mainly on the Master Chief Collection, it will also focus on how the Halo series has influenced my life as well. So here we go, here is my take on Halo MCC, 4 years later.
I can remember the first time I ever heard the name “Halo”, it was on the very first game console I ever owned, a original Xbox. My family bought it for all of us to play and it came with a few games, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a PGA Tour game, and of course Halo. But as Halo was rated M at the time my Mum put it away somewhere so I couldn’t play it. But the front cover of that game always fascinated me, a man in a green suit of armour stood with his rifle aimed toward the screen with a mysterious alien world behind him. In fact I thought that the man in green armour was called Halo, and it wasn’t until many years later that I found out his real name, The Master Chief. It wouldn’t be in 2007 that I actually had the chance to play my first Halo game, that being the newly released Halo 3, and I had an absolute blast playing through the campaign with a friend. But the real game that made me hooked was Halo Reach, funnily enough Bungie’s last ever Halo game. I played more hours on that game then I could count. From there I played through the rest of the games multiple times leading up to the release of Halo 4. But then, on November 11th 2014 The Master Chief Collection was released, and it would change the Halo franchise forever.
To those of you that don’t know, Halo MCC is a collection of the first 4 Halo games in the series, with Halo 3: ODST thrown in later. Meaning that Halo MCC has a whopping 5 games as well as classic multiplayer with all the maps included. It was a Halo fans dream come true….. or so we thought. Halo MCC’s launch was rough to say the least, players progress was being wiped, achievements weren’t popping when they should have, and it was almost impossible to find a multiplayer match at all. Looking back on it now it seemed to me that Halo MCC was a disaster, with the only positive things coming out of the game was Halo 2 remastered and those amazing cut scenes that Blur remade. But now, 4 years later I’ve found myself playing it again. My best mate and I played through all 5 games on Legendary, and have been trying to 100% the entire game for the last 2 years. To put it into perspective there are 600 Achievements total, and I have 502 of them, with a total of 314 hours of playtime. So no, I don’t think that Halo MCC is a bad game, in fact it does many things right, and most of the game-breaking bugs have even been fixed. The developers of MCC, 343 Industries, swore that this year they would continue to update MCC and even try and fix matchmaking problems.
This is a good thing on the developers part, they realised that MCC just wasn’t living up to the vision of what it should of been, furthermore Halo 5 released in 2015, and that also had it’s own problems. But was it too late? Even now when I jump on to play a multiplayer match it still takes a good 5-10 minutes to find a match on a slayer playlist, and good luck getting a match on Big Team Battle or anything else, most of them are still dead. But when you do find a match the game runs amazingly, and it feels like you’ve been transported back in time to 2007, playing Halo 3 as you’re shouting profanities over your headset at another player on your team who killed you for the sniper-rifle. It’s a real nostalgia trip. But that nostalgia wears off very quickly, and after awhile you need to step out of the shoes of the Master Chief and go play something else. Halo MCC has been through hell, and to see people still playing it today makes me a very happy fan of the series.
Nevertheless, in my eyes Halo the Master Chief Collection was a celebration of everything that is Halo, as well as a celebration of a extremely loyal community of fans. It’s also an example of how hard it is to release a game to a community that has high expectations, let alone for 4 of the most loved games of all time. At the end of the day Halo MCC is a brilliant game in 2018, and I would recommend it to anyone that loves Sci-Fi and First Person Shooters, in fact it’s actually now on Xbox Gamepass so anyone can try it out!
And that’s it for my look back at Halo MCC, I’m going to be trying something a little different in 2019, and I can’t wait to get started. See you next time!