MCC: Halo Review – The Old is Still Good

When Halo had originally released, it completely changed the playing field for most first person shooters. It was beautiful, the controls felt tight and the AI was outstanding. It won the hearts of millions and its influence can still be seen to this day. We even had the chance to relive the series through the eyes of 343 with the release of the Master Chief collection back in 2014.

With the visual upgrades to rival some of the best games out, it was invigorating to play a game that I had spent hundreds of hours in when it had first released in 2001. Being able to switch between the original and remade visuals was an excellent add-on. I can’t count how many times I switched back and forth in amazement as some of the darkest rooms became vivid and colorful. Most notably, the flood became even more terrifying as they ran towards you in terrifying droves of detailed viscera and twisted joints. While unintentional, the older graphics did make it much easier for me to find weapons and ammo since it would be lying in the middle of nowhere, whereas it would be buried in the fauna of the updated visuals.

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Just as the visuals received an upgrade, a few small segments of the narrative received a few changes. Ultimately, it didn’t change too much, but it was easy to notice when some of the characters would used terminology only heard of in the current trilogy. Even if it was a simple reference to the Forerunners, it added a little cohesiveness between the multiple titles. Especially, for those who may be just now starting the series. For the explorers and those seeking context, terminals have been throughout the game. I was unable to find all of them, but they usually contained about a minute of storyline that connected between each other.

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Co-operation is still extremely fun and helps reinforce how much of a powerhouse the Halo series was when it it had first began. Flying over a hill in a warthog while my partner rips through Covenant forces or even attempting a strategic approach never became dull. I do remember legendary difficulty seeming much easier though. Although, I’m not sure if this was because of the co-op or the simple notion that more current games are becoming much more difficult. It’s a bit nitpicky, but reloading became painful. It seemed like it took exponentially longer than most shooters this decade, and would usually end in my death if I were caught out in the open when my clip ran dry.

The levels were still beautiful and the overall design still held up really well. Contrary to popular belief, I may be only one of the few to say the library was and still, very much, is my favorite level in the entire series. I’ve sank dozens of hours into this level alone when it originally released, so it was really great to see the dark hallways given detail. To no surprise, I still did get lost once or twice, as the flood constantly kept me on my toes. But as always, the shotgun helped me move on.

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As a long time fan of the Halo series, I can say with confidence that 343 did an astounding job revitalizing this title. It didn’t need much, but simply doing a huge visual overhaul was justice in itself. Whether you’ve ever been on the fence, or a simple long time fan unsure of what your getting, you can rest assured. The Halo series is in good hands.

5/5

Camron Willey

Just finishing school with a bachelors degree in Game Design, I now spend my time working between Cynosure, and my personal projects. Being a full-time military member, I try to pass the time behind the keyboard or controller. If it involves design or deep narrative, I will be there day one. You can check out my blog and smaller past times on CamronwilleyDesign.com!

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