‘Halo’ sound, design improved


Photo from WebWallpapers on Flickr

By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection” brought the entirety of the primary “Halo” saga into the new console generation with a fair number of upgrades that really exemplify what the Xbox One is capable of.

While several years ago 343 Studios upgraded the first game in the franchise for an anniversary edition, “The Master Chief Collection” gives “Halo 2” an anniversary treatment. From upgraded sounds and music to the beautifully animated cut scenes from Blur Studios, the included “Halo 2 Anniversary” shows just how much fun the game really was 10 years ago when it was released.

The gameplay feels just as it did before but is much more visually stunning. The improved graphics can be toggled on or off at the press of a button, and I found myself clicking just to go back and relive my earlier “Halo” experiences in all their polygon glory.

All the games within the collection, which are “Halos 1-4,” have been upgraded to 1080p resolution, and run at a solid 60fps. It’s a stunning sight to go back and play through the old and nostalgic experiences in such a fantastic graphical showcase.

The sound upgrades to both the soundtrack and the effects can only be described as “stellar”. The remastered score brings new life to some famous and popular tracks like the always emotional “Unforgotten” theme and adds an intensity and weight that the earlier rendition lacked at times. The gun and impact sounds are crunchier; each bullet fired feels ten times more powerful than it did years ago.

While I haven’t spent much time in multiplayer mode due to 343 Studios’ decision to require a day-one update that includes most of the multiplayer data, that amount I have played is gritty and fun, just like “Halo” has always been. Each game within the collection has its original multiplayer intact, complete with “Halo: Combat Evolved’s” completely overpowered, magical zoom pistol. Going back and playing on these old maps with old friends is going to be a huge part of the game, and that alone is worth the asking price.

If you own an Xbox One, there is no reason not to buy this game.