Halo 5 might not be coming to the Xbox One until 2015, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any Halo on Microsoft’s newest console this year. The company announced this today Halo: The Master Chief Collection contains remastered versions of the first four numbered ones Halo games and all their DLC on one disc this holiday season.
During an earlier press briefing, the Halo developers at 343 Industries explained that The Master Chief Collection would connect the first four Halo games (excl Reach or ODST, which were referred to as “side stories”) along with a new prologue and epilogue. The remastered versions also include in-game information terminals that explain the backstory of the Halo universe. There are six new multiplayer maps Halo 2.
Each game has, of course, been given a makeover for the Xbox One, to run at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Like in the 2011 Xbox 360 remake Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversarythe new Master Chief Collection lets players switch instantly between the original graphics and the new Xbox One powered engine to see how things have changed, with even less transition lag this time around. The jump from the original Xbox titles in standard definition to a full 1080p presentation in the new collection was particularly noticeable in an early demo. In addition, the soundtracks for the first two Halo games are replaced with completely new orchestrations for The Master Chief Collection.
Aside from those additions and changes, the gameplay will be practically identical to the games as originally released. In fact, the team says it tries to represent the “exact, word-for-word experience” of playing Halo on older hardware, down to little physics quirks and exploits like “super jumps” that make each game feel unique (although major glitches are coded into the original games). This extends to multiplayer mode, where players can choose which game engine and feature set they prefer to play in for each map.
Every mission and difficulty in it Master Chief Collection will be unlocked from the start. A new user interface allows players to quickly jump between these missions or choose from curated playlists or specific mission types, such as any warthog mission. Players may be able to create their own playlists in the future, but that won’t be a feature at launch, the developers said.
Purchase Master Chief Collection gives players access to the Halo 5: Champions multiplayer beta, scheduled for release in December. The game also includes full access to Halo: nightfallan original video series created in collaboration with Alien director Ridley Scott. New episodes of that series will be available every week, and taken together it will be “longer than a feature film”. This effort is separate from the Steven Spielberg helmed Halo TV show, which continues to launch in Fall 2015.
Halo: Head Chief collection will be released on November 11, the tenth anniversary of Halo 2‘s release.