‘Halo’ makes the move to Xbox One

By Austin Miller

The “Halo” franchise has been the crown jewel for Xbox since “Halo: Combat Evolved” was released in 2001. Since then, players have gone on four adventures with the greatest Marine of the future, Master Chief.

With the success and popularity of Master Chief’s saga, Microsoft has bundled all four games together, and updated them for Xbox One as “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.”

“Halo 2” celebrated its 10th birthday on Nov. 9 and as a present, it was given a complete restoration. 343 Industries, the game’s developer, did the same thing with “Combat Evolved” in 2011. The anniversary treatment is not just a graphical upgrade to showcase Microsoft’s newest console. Each level and multiplayer map has re-mastered sound design, lighting, object textures, and yes—better graphics.

Advertisement

Those who played the “Halo 2” when it came out in 2004 will be delighted to know the game plays even better in 2014. And, gamers who never played it will seem like they are playing a brand new “Halo.” The awesome story and game design are only improved.

This is the version Bungie, the original creators, had in mind in 2004, but lacked the technology to create.

“Halo 3” was caught in no-mans-land with this bundle. The game isn’t old enough to require a makeover, but isn’t new enough to have incredible graphics. It is the only game that dates itself, unless you play the original settings in the first two.

The highly underrated “Halo 4” looks even better than it did in 2012, which is hard to believe.

The campaigns of these games are some of the best of any shooter franchise, and they still hold up.

But before the release of this game, many people—like myself—were excited about the multiplayer side. Every map ever made, more than 100 in total, would be available. And the nostalgia of “Halo 1” and “Halo 2” multiplayer modes bring back fond memories of playing these games for hours with friends.

Unfortunately, the online matchmaking has been broken since the game launched on Nov. 11. Getting into a game means a wait of more than five minutes, but usually, players have to retreat from their search because no opponents are found. This is a continuous cycle that lasts way too long.

Advertisement

If someone is lucky enough to find a game online, the lobbies are divided into uneven teams, even if there is an even amount of players. Then, games can end unexpectedly and players are forced to search for that needle in a haystack: one playable game.

343 has been working night and day to fix the game’s problems. It reduced the amount of playlists, making it easier for the population to find games. It has also promised a content update to fix the game on one’s own Xbox.

The issues with the launch of this title continue a wave of recent games being released too soon with glowing errors.

“Destiny,” “Battlefield 4” and “Sim City” were all released within the last year, accompanied by tons of hype. But they were also accompanied by the cries of furious gamers, who paid good money for a working game, only to receive glitch-ridden products.

This trend is infuriating. Publishers feel they can just slap a release date on a game, be able to at least have something resembling a full game on a disc, then hope they can patch the game in the following days.

That is like going to a restaurant and ordering chicken noodle soup and the waiter not giving you a spoon, then saying “we won’t have any spoons until next week.” Now I’ve got this tasty bowl of soup just teasing me. If I knew I could not eat the soup, I would not have bought it.

Even though the online functionality is limited, each individual and overarching story are worth the time of any gamer. If anyone wanted to purchase a Xbox One and find what it’s all about, this is the game to do it. Hopefully, the multiplayer modes are restored as soon as possible to give the full package “Halo” fans are eager for. There is five star potential delivered in a three star package.

Stars: 3 out of 5

Advertisement