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Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Best served with a side order of Heroic or Legendary


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10 minutes ago, Nick R said:

 

Cortana is the Halo 3 level that's set in the bowels of a Flood-infested High Charity.

 

Gravemind is the Halo 2 level that's set on a Floodless High Charity, with the bit where you rescue the marines and the room where the nu-metal track plays.

 

Fortunately Reach doesn't have any levels like either of them. :wub:

 

Yes, you're right. Cortana is the level I was thinking of. Shudder.

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Man... I love this game - but I also really fucking HATE IT!

 

The co-op is an absolute cluster fuck. Why the fuck do co-op save not work? I have now lost 4 hours of progress playing through with my son (his first time) only for the game to not to save any of it?!?!?! What the actual FUCK!

 

It renders it completely unplayable as a co-op experience. You would think with all the money MS continue to pump into this title - they would sort out something as basic as fucking saving. Can't see us going back - which is a real shame as we were having a lot of fun until we realised all out progress had gone. :angry::angry::angry:

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35 minutes ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

Man... I love this game - but I also really fucking HATE IT!

 

The co-op is an absolute cluster fuck. Why the fuck do co-op save not work? I have now lost 4 hours of progress playing through with my son (his first time) only for the game to not to save any of it?!?!?! What the actual FUCK!

 

It renders it completely unplayable as a co-op experience. You would think with all the money MS continue to pump into this title - they would sort out something as basic as fucking saving. Can't see us going back - which is a real shame as we were having a lot of fun until we realised all out progress had gone. :angry::angry::angry:

I can’t say I’ve ever had any problems with co-op on it, but which game are you playing out of interest? Can’t you just start whichever level you got up to at the closest checkpoint to where you quit out?

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7 minutes ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

It doesn't save checkpoints for me. At all.

 

And so far its true of Halo: CE and Halo 3:ODST. Why cant saves just work like the solo game?

No idea. I’ve been through all of them with a mate and we never had a problems. Very weird.

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I've had it dump out of a co-op session with an "active accounts changed" message when a controller was turned back on after leaving it paused for a while and about 2 hours progress lost. 

 

The OG xbox versions of Halo 1+2 were flaky with saving progress in co-op and I get the feeling those problems have carried over to this version with a whole load of extra issues piled on top.

 

 

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I don’t think any of the Halo games have ever saved checkpoint progress in co-op, have they? That’s just how they work. It records if you’ve completed the level, but not your progress within it. 

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Hmm, maybe K’s right. It’s been a while since we went through them all.

 

Saying that, we did another run of ODST recently, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we tried to finish a level before quitting out.

 

Either way, there aren’t any levels that take 4 hours to complete, so you shouldn’t really have to redo much to get back to where you were.

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In MCC, does solo progress carry over to co-op, and does co-op mode have rally points? If so, maybe you could zip through the level that didn't save properly alone on Easy, and complete it in order to unlock all the rally points, and then go back to Co-op with your son and begin the level from the closest rally point to where you left off?

 

That might only work for 3 and ODST though; apparently CE and 2 don't have rally points.

 

I found this Halo Waypoint post that explains how the game treats solo and co-op progress:

 

https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/forums/84ad72a8b51847978545f685f651fc15/topics/co-op/c20b224d-ec94-4501-8e8b-ba24232b4bed/posts?page=1#post4

 

Quote

You can only save your progress in the entire campaign by level if you’re playing co-op. So you cannot save a checkpoint in co-op.

 

When you play solo, you can save checkpoints. If you then play in co-op and make progress, your solo sa e will not be wiped.

 

If you’d like, here is a situational. Player A starts the Halo 2 campaign solo. He/she plays and finishes Cairo Station and then moves on to Outskirts. But, Player A only makes it to about the halfway mark in the level and saves the checkpoint there.

 

A friend, Player B, comes over to A’s house. A and B decide to play through Outskirts in co-op. They complete the level and move on to Metropolis.

 

However, Player B has to leave halfway through. So, Outskirts will be shown as complete for both players, but there will be no save file for Metropolis since it was done in co-op.

 

Once Player B leaves, Player A decides to go back and finish both levels solo. A will be able to pick up right where he/she left off before B came over, ie., halfway through Outskirts. But, neither player will be able to start in the middle of Metropolis since there is no save file for it.

 

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17 minutes ago, Kryptonian said:

There used to be an issue with save and quit not working properly I think but they fixed it as far as I remember?

 

Well, maybe not based on the above...

 

Saving in cross-game playlists was knackered for a loooong time, making the Life Story achievement (play the whole story from start to finish) near-impossible ... but yeah, they fixed it a year or so ago when they committed to improving the overall quality of the product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was updated earlier this week. They've added an FOV slider to the console versions, letting you have a field of view from anywhere between 70 and 120 degrees. Finally, you can play Halo as it was intended to be played - with a mad fisheye FOV that makes you feel like you're wearing your gran's specs, and makes everything look as though its very far away.

 

They've also added a new map to Halo 3! It's one of the maps they used for the ill-fated Halo Online, which was developed by Saber Interactive, who did Halo Anniversary. From my very brief go, it looks very much like it was developed by the Halo Anniversary people, as its pretty garish and not that nice to look at, especially compared with the remastered Halo 2 maps. But still, a new map for Halo 3 is pretty good going.

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On 15/02/2021 at 13:22, simms said:

I’ve finished my Legendary Halo CErun at the week end.  Onto Halo 2 next.  I think the general consensus is to play Halo 2 on Heroic.?  I have vague ptsd type flashbacks of unfair sniping Jackals in Halo 2.

 

Halo 2 on Heroic done.  Seemed to drag on a bit at the end.  I actually enjoyed fighting the Brutes more than I thought I would since my playthrough years ago on Xbox, a weapon stripped Brute charging at me on all fours was terrifying and great.  Dual wielding is a master stroke of the series I think and gives you lots of options, more vehicular action appreciated, energy sword was my close up weapon of choice and on more than one occasion I actually took out small platoon of energy weapon equipped Covenant with the sword as my only option which was so satisfying.  Looking forward to Halo 3 now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yay, I completed Reach on Heroic! I'd not played it before, but I found this a good difficulty for a first play through. Pretty hard, but perseverance sees you through. Terrific fun, I really enjoyed playing this!

It's also the first time I've cleared an entire Halo game on anything above Normal. I'm glad to discover I've not got worse at games as I approach 40. :unsure:

 

I think I'll try Halo 1 next! :D

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I started working my way through this recently (thanks again secret Santa!) 

 

Halo 1  - Still an absolute stone cold classic, I will never get bored of it.

 

Halo 2 - Christ what a slog. I nearly stopped a couple of times but the second half actually grew on me and I began to enjoy it a bit more. Still, not going back there again. First time I've replayed it since the original release so did help clear up some of the why's and what have you's I vividly remember (or rather don't) having from the first time around.

 

Halo 3 up next and should be a lot of fun.

 

Playing through on heroic bar first half of Halo on Legendary. It's a nicer balance at this point in time for me.

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It's been a while since I paid any attention to the Halo storyline, but the ending of Reach and the beginning of Halo don't really line up, do they? The opening scenes of Halo strongly imply that the Master Chief and Cortana already knew each other, that Cortana has always been the built-in AI of the Pillar of Autumn, and that the Covenant getting their hands on her would only be bad because of her knowledge of Earth operations, etc., not because she's specifically special. But the ending of Reach makes Cortana out to be a special AI, the custodian of an ancient artifact, and she's taken to the Pillar of Autumn just before it launches, so how would she know the Chief?

 

R-r-r-r-r-r-ret-con!!!

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Some thoughts on Halo 1 Anniversary so far:

Graphically, you have a choice of barren or garish. I'm missing Reach's browns already.
Level design has taken a step down - what's up with all the identical tunnels in the Pillar of Autumn?
Minor disappointment when you realise the AI characters can't drive the warthogs. That's the trouble with playing the series this way around.

 

Combat (on Heroic) so far feels a little bit easier than Reach, helped in no small part by the increased grenade capacity, with plenty of spares. Elites can still be tough but I'm not dying as often and they're going down far easier. I almost feel I could knock it up to Legendary, but I know I'll get my arse whooped later on, so Heroic will do.

 

Quite enjoyed the open-ness of the second level, though it did drag on a bit. The pistol is epic, of course. No power-ups to worry about, everything is simpler. Some fun combat encounters, ducking and dodging around rocks, using the structures, picking off the leaders, watching the grunts scatter. I'd forgotten there were bloody banshees right at the start, blimey!

Something about the game (even in its enhanced graphical form) still feels a little dated / feature-deprived, but the core combat systems are just as elegant, emergent and fun as ever. Looking forward to playing more and refreshing my memory.

 

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On 29/04/2021 at 01:11, Sprite Machine said:

Combat (on Heroic) so far feels a little bit easier than Reach

Spoke too soon. :D Truth and Reconciliation is VERY hard. Loads of areas where you're totally surrounded, multiple Hunters, invisible Elites with insta-kill swords, Grunts and Jackals with needlers. And the second half of this level is all boring indentical purple corridors. I honestly don't remember Halo being this repetitive. :unsure:

And to cap it off, after rescuing Keyes, I think I'm now stuck at a particular checkpoint just before a load more enemies come rushing in from all around. Keyes must have a sliver of health left or something because he takes one hit and goes down, and it seems to be utterly impossible to do anything about it because I can't control him. I don't want to restart the level, it's taken me two hours to get this far! This is a sucky turn of events, I must say.

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On 30/04/2021 at 01:13, Sprite Machine said:

I think I'm now stuck at a particular checkpoint just before a load more enemies come rushing in from all around. Keyes must have a sliver of health left or something because he takes one hit and goes down, and it seems to be utterly impossible to do anything about it because I can't control him.


Managed to get through this more by luck than judgement. Ran back through the empty corridor, got Keyes and the soldiers to follow me, then spammed grenades at the other doors as they opened. Thankfully, there's just a tiny bit left after that and you're at the end of the level. Phew! Escort missions are a nasty '90s holdover that Halo could have really done without, but it's done now.

 

Silent Cartographer is next and it's an outstanding level. Just the right amount of open-ended combat, beach warfare, outdoor vehicles and interior gunfights. A little bit of repetitive level design but nothing much. The opening to this level, viewed from the open door of the ship and straight out onto the beach, was incredible back in the day. It doesn't have the same impact now but it's a great way to kick things off.

 

Assault on the Control Room has some of my favourite and most memorable sections, with vehicles and large scale battles in the snow. The crossing of the upper bridge took me about an hour because I wanted to steal the Banshee (which I did) but I kept getting blown up. I didn't realise I could have skipped the last part of the level if I'd opened the big door at the top right away - I still went the long way round and it took me nearly two and a half hours over all. This is an absolute monster of a level! There's some decent opportunities for stealth along the way, knocking out sleeping Grunts and sneaking up behind Elites. This level also has the most infamously repetitive level design - rooms that are so samey they had to put arrows on the floor so you don't get lost. And it just seems to go on and on, man!

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And so we come to 343 Guilty Spark, just past the mid-way point of the game where it suddenly turns into a horror. The slow reveal of the Flood is masterfully done, and fighting them requires all new tactics, because these fuckers have no sense of self-preservation whatsoever, running towards you, coming in from all sides. Careful management of the big zombie ones is necessary, while the smaller swarms can be danced around and picked off at the end (or smacked with your gun butt). Once again this is a level with repetitive layouts, but that's nothing compared to the Library.

 

Goodness me, this goes on a bit doesn't it? The last time I played the Library, it was about twenty years ago and in co-op mode, where it was at least bearable. In terms of layout, it's pretty much two rooms on repeat, with wave after wave of horrible enemies jumping in from the vents. It's nothing like fighting the Covenant, there's no intelligence at work, and all your previous tactics are forced to change into ammo management, crowd control and physical spacing. It becomes Doom for one level, and although the shotgun is a magnificent thing indeed, this level is pretty tedious and samey.

 

Three levels left!

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So, Two Betrayals is just Assault on the Control Room but backwards. There's mandatory Banshee flight in this one as you have to reach the upper rooms along the cliff walls, which is fun. The best part of this level is the scale of the action and how the Covenant and Flood battle against each other. But aside from that, the level design is so repetitive again.

 

Keyes goes badly. 40 minutes into the level, I get stuck in an infinite death loop. I guess a checkpoint saved a split second before something blew me up, so I'm stuck dying and loading and dying and loading on an infinte loop. Gotta say, I think Halo 1 might be showing its age here. :(

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23 hours ago, Sprite Machine said:

And so we come to 343 Guilty Spark, just past the mid-way point of the game where it suddenly turns into a horror. The slow reveal of the Flood is masterfully done, and fighting them requires all new tactics, because these fuckers have no sense of self-preservation whatsoever, running towards you, coming in from all sides. Careful management of the big zombie ones is necessary, while the smaller swarms can be danced around and picked off at the end (or smacked with your gun butt). Once again this is a level with repetitive layouts, but that's nothing compared to the Library.

 

Here is a compilation of streamers who've never played Halo playing through 343 Guilty Spark for the first time. Yeah, they're playing up their Annoying Terrified Streamer Reactions for the camera (especially once the Flood swarm finally attacks), and I'm not sure I completely believe they were all that unaware of the Flood's existence in advance. But it shows that the build-up to the Flood reveal still works pretty well for first-time players:

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Sprite Machine said:

Keyes goes badly. 40 minutes into the level, I get stuck in an infinite death loop. I guess a checkpoint saved a split second before something blew me up, so I'm stuck dying and loading and dying and loading on an infinte loop. Gotta say, I think Halo 1 might be showing its age here. :(

 

From Halo 2 onwards they added a feature where if the game detects you're in a loop of dying within a few seconds of reloading, it'll take you back two checkpoints in order to escape.

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And that's Halo done on Heroic. :D

 

Those last two levels are insane for the amount of explosions and physics and stuff. What's kind of amazing is that the underlying game originally ran on a measely 733MHz processor. Decades later, it's still got that special something that other games struggle to achieve on massively more powerful hardware - that combination of tactical gunplay, emergent combat and unpredictable physics. There is little more satisfying than throwing a sticky grenade fifty feet across a room and setting off a chain reaction that takes out several enemies and gun placements at once. The game makes you use everything at your disposal, which is why it works so well at the higher levels.

 

I think some of the later Halo games tried to replicate that core Halo experience, while ditching the stuff that let it down - namely, the repetitive level design, haphazard checkpointing and so on. For that reason, I feel Halo Reach is the better, less dated, game out of these two I've played recently. I absolutely loved playing Reach, but Halo 1 frustrated me a few times too many. The newer graphics take some of the edge off the repetitive level design, but these are a bit visually messy and a different style entirely.

 

Right, a little break, and then let's see if my ancient PC will run Halo 2... :blah:

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