The release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the PC platform is just around the corner, with the first title in the bundle – Halo: Reach – arriving on December 3rd, next Tuesday. Halo franchise had a major influence on the gaming industry and gaming culture altogether: kickstarting the Xbox platform, introducing revolutionary gameplay mechanics and proving that it’s possible to play FPS games on consoles even without mouse and keyboard.
Aside from various spin-offs, the first two mainline Halo games exist on PC, however, PC gamers never got the chance to “finish the fight” as the conclusion of the original Halo trilogy never released on the platform. This is about to change with Halo: MCC PC release. All classic Halo games created by Bungie will release on Steam and Microsoft Store, along with Halo 4 which was developed by 343 Industries. For years, such an event was simply inconceivable but now it‘s actually happening! For this occasion, here‘s a quick look at the games included in the collection!
The first in the collection is Halo: Reach, the last Halo game made by Bungie before the studio’s contract with Microsoft ended and they went off to create the Destiny franchise. Halo: Reach first released on Xbox 360 back in 2010 and even though it was the last Halo game created by Bungie, chronologically it’s the first, as Halo: Reach is a prequel to the series. Halo: MCC PC release, for this reason, has got Halo: Reach arriving on PC first. So, the newcomers can easily start with this one.
When Halo: The Master Chief Collection first released on Xbox One in 2014 it didn‘t have Halo: Reach included. Only Halo games featuring the main protagonist of the series – Master Chief (also known as John – 117) – were included. Meanwhile, Halo: Reach tells a story about a different cast of heroes, therefore the prequel to Bungie‘s original Halo trilogy was excluded. With Halo: MCC PC release – this has changed.
Halo: Reach tells a tragic story about Noble Team – an elite squad of genetically modified supersoldiers known as Spartans. You play as a custom-made Spartan designated as Noble Six. The game is set in 2552. Noble Team is deployed on a strategically important human colony on planet Reach during a massive alien invasion. Right from the get-go, the player understands that Reach can‘t be saved. Sacrifices made by Noble Team are not in vain, however, and just because humanity has lost a battle, doesn‘t mean it will lose the war.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Halo: CE was available on PC ever since 2003 but with Halo: MCC PC release gamers of the platform will be introduced to the Anniversary edition of Combat Evolved, which first released on Xbox 360 back in 2011. This version of Halo: CE is most notable for modern graphical upgrades and the ability to seamlessly shift between Classic and Anniversary graphics mid-gameplay.
Halo: Combat Evolved was the very first Halo game ever and everything that the franchise is known for has started here. It revolutionized console gaming, uplifted the original Xbox and popularized the health regeneration mechanic featured in countless other games across the industry. The arrival of Halo: MCC PC will once again revitalize this legendary installment.
Chronologically, the game starts right after the Halo: Reach end credits, with the only surviving human ship from planet Reach – the Pillar of Autumn – making a blind slipspace jump and ending up near a mysterious ring-like megastructure orbiting in space. It‘s up to the Spartan protagonist Master Chief, his AI companion Cortana and other human survivors like Sgt. Johnson and Captain Keys to discover the origin and purpose of this ring-world, which is overrun by the sworn enemies of humanity – the religious alien alliance known as the Covenant.
Halo 2: Anniversary
Just like the first installment in the series, Halo 2 was released on PC before, back in 2006. Halo: MCC PC will once again include remastered graphics, therefore the experience will feel completely fresh. After the phenomenal success of its predecessor, the original release of Halo 2 back in 2004 was highly anticipated. During the development of the sequel, Bungie expanded upon various aspects of the game that were left out in the making of Combat Evolved.
Halo 2 introduced new features like the ability to hijack vehicles and destroy them, gun dual-wielding, use of lightsaber-like energy swords, playing as an alien Covenant Elite both in single-player and multiplayer modes as well as the use active of camouflage (invisibility) which allows you to feel just like the bounty hunter from the 1987 Predator film – Elites too were originally inspired by this iconic character.
Halo: MCC PC release will see the definitive version of Halo 2 as it will directly continue the story of Master Chief, which began in Halo: Combat Evolved. After the events of the first game Master Chief, Cortana and Sgt. Johnson find themselves fighting the invading Covenant forces on Earth lead by the Prophet of Regret. The single-player campaign branches of as the player makes progress, shifting between the story of Master Chief, the crew of In Amber Clad and a playable Covenant Elite named the Arbiter. (who‘s voiced by Keith David)
For the first time ever, the third installment of the original Halo trilogy will finally reach PC gamers with the upcoming Halo: MCC PC release. Master Chief promised to finish the fight more than 15 years ago and even though he kept true to his word on the Xbox 360, he has yet to deliver the end result on PC. Cortana memorably said: „don‘t make a girl a promise, if you know you can‘t keep it“ but it seems Master Chief doesn‘t make empty promises to the ladies after all, as the epic conclusion to the Halo trilogy should finally reach us sometime in 2020.
Just like its predecessors, Halo 3 continued upon setting new milestones through kickstarting the Xbox 360 console and continuing a massive competitive multiplayer culture on Xbox Live, which was started with Halo 2. Halo: MCC PC should also include the same graphical updates that were featured in the 2017 release of Halo 3 for the Xbox One, though they were not as radical as the remasters of Halo: CE and Halo 2. Nonetheless, the third game in the trilogy still holds up pretty well graphics-wise.
Halo 3 saw the epic conclusion to the Human-Covenant war in its single-player campaign. Without giving too many spoilers, the definitive conflict was resolved through humans and Covenant facing a common enemy introduced in previous Halo games and uncovering the secrets behind Installation 00 a. k. a. The Ark. Just like before, the campaign had four difficulty options with the hardest one – Legendary – featuring a slightly different ending.
Halo 3: ODST
Halo: MCC PC release will also include the expansion to the third installment in the franchise – Halo 3: ODST with the acronym standing for Orbital Drop Shock Troopers – a human special forces unit trained for deployment from space. They were first introduced as side characters in Halo 2 and in this spin-off Halo fans got to play as a non-Spartan character for the first time ever!
The story of Halo 3: ODST takes place during the events of Halo 2. This title of Halo: MCC PC collection will feature a unit of ODSTs as they are dropped on to the city of New Mombasa, Kenya during the Covenant invasion of Earth. Just before they land, Prophet of Regret‘s Assault Carrier jumps into slipspace right above the city causing a massive explosion leaving the ODSTs scattered.
You‘ll play as a Rookie, an ODST who‘ll try to find his way through the Covenant infested streets of New Mombasa. The game has a strong shift in tone compared to other games featured in Halo: MCC PC. The game follows a noir-like detective story taking place in the urban setting as Rookie follows the clues and tries to learn the fate of his team. You won‘t be an invincible Spartan supersoldier protected by recharging energy shields anymore. Rookie is alone, vulnerable and these feelings give Halo 3: ODST a unique identity that separates it from the rest of the series.
The fourth installment in the franchise was the first FPS Halo game not developed by Bungie. Regardless of that, Halo: MCC PC will include Halo 4 as the brand belongs to Microsoft. Created by 343 Industries, Halo 4 continues the story of the classic Master Chief and Cortana duo with the game being set 4 years after the events of Halo 3.
This time around, the game had a very strong focus on the characters of Chief and Cortana. In previous installments, Chief and Cortana both had funny and iconic one-liners, but they never moved to pass one-dimensional brawn and brain roles that were intentionally left shallow to help the players imagine themselves as Master Chief easier or justify Cortana’s role as omniscient level guide.
The fourth installment in the series is the most character-driven game in Halo: MCC PC with Master Chief‘s and Cortana relationship being explored and developed in the midst of Cortana‘s approach to her AI age limit that threatens her with insanity. On top of that, they have a new world called the Requiem to explore and a new enemy to face. This new threat is a forerunner named Didact, a member of an alien race that created the Halo installations.
Finish the fight!
Halo franchise exists in various mediums with video games being just one of them. It‘s a science-fiction epic that sits there in an honorable position alongside such iconic space opera series like Star Wars or Mass Effect. Halo: MCC PC will finally allow the players to enjoy all Bungie‘s Halo games in addition to Halo 4. Bungie‘s last game in the series – Halo: Reach – will release first and contain more than 6 million maps that were created by the users through Forge map editor. If you happen to be one of the Xbox One owners you can purchase Halo: The Master Chief Collection on the Eneba store, along with Halo: Reach, Halo 5: Guardians and an RTS game set in the same universe – Halo Wars 2 – which is also available on PC! The rest of us will have to wait for the Halo: MCC PC version to finally complete the epic sci-fi journey that started years ago. This PC release might signify a new era in the life of the Halo franchise and competitive multiplayer gaming altogether, so stay tuned and get set to finish the fight!