Halo has a special place in many people’s hearts. It literally sparked a generation of gamers and played a pivotal role in the direction AAA titles have gone since the early 2000’s. So when 343 announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection, needless to say it was a big deal. MCC would take all of the core Halo titles, minus Halo: Reach, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo Wars, and bundle them up in one sexy new next gen release. This collection included the Halo: Combat Evolved re-release from 2011, and an all new Halo 2 Anniversary complete with next gen graphics and new story elements that ties Halo 2 to the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. Oh, and on top of all that, you still get Halo 3, Halo 4, and guaranteed access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta in late December. With all of these elements how could you go wrong? Well, some how, some way, the brass over at 343 Industries found a way.
Let me just start by saying that Halo have never looked better. All came have been remastered to run at 60 fps. For some of the later games, this isn’t a big deal, but for Halo and Halo 2 it looks incredible. The re-masted cut scenes for Halo 2 Anniversary are breath taking, not to mention the re texturing in campaign mode. Wow, 343 really has a knack for taking what Bungie accomplished and polishing it up real nice. That’s not necessarily a shot at 343, Halo 4 also looks great, but lets be honest…343 has re released two Bungie games and released one original title. So, until they show me some more original content, they will continue to be the butt of some jokes.But I digress, what I am trying to say, is that the MCC is gorgeous. There is no denying that and it happens to be MCC’s biggest strength.
Unfortunately for 343, this is where the MCC fails on a catastrophic scale. The online multiplayer, which is the backbone of the Halo community is so broken I would go so far as to state at the time of this writing it is unplayable. In the year 2014 this is an unforgivable sin. It’s hard to empathize with 343 since they never ran any major scale beta testing. Beta testing for online heavy AAA titles is pretty much common practice at this point. Fucking this up, and still, almost a week after release not having made any, and I mean any progress towards a functional mutilplayer system is again, unforgivable. Now that I got that out of the way, lets talk about the other major issues plaguing MCC. The campaigns, gorgeous as they are, are also riddled with bugs. Achievements not unlocking, game freezes, and other in game unlockables not unlocking are just a few of the issues I have had in less than a week of play. During the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign I got pulled out of a mission three quarters of the way through and thrown into the beginning of the following mission. Again, if this happened once I wouldn’t think too much of it, but I had to replay two different missions on both Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 Anniversary due to this glitch. And the best part was, I have to go back and play them again due to in game items and achievements not unlocking. Unfucking forgivable.
There is a ton of content here, so looking at the back of the box, yeah, for $60 this is an incredible value. But that value comes at a cost. This may be the most frustrating game I have played in a very long time. If I am going to play $60 fo four games I already own I expect them to work. Bottom line. This is an unfinished product that is being marketed as the everything you have ever wanted as a Halo fan. I can’t in good conscious recommend a purchase untill 343 gets there shit together and fixes MCC. It is strange however how nonchalant 343 is being in regards to all of MCC issues. Bottom line, 343 dropped the ball as hard as you possibly could with the release of MCC. Don’t believe IGN and other sites that are giving this game glowing reviews. I reviewed this game based on what I played, not based on what I could have played. I just feel bad for Bungie, having to witness their hard work over the past decade being paraded around like this. Final note, Halo 5 better be fucking good, because if the release goes as poorly as MCC, that shit will be unforgivable.