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


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3 hours ago, JPL said:

CE

 

3

Reach

ODST

2

 

 

 

4

5

 

The definitive list, I think you’ll find.

 

I'd put ODST above Reach but otherwise agree. I've been through them all recently and had forgotten most of ODST, there are some really incredible levels and fights, great vehicle sections as well.

 

Old news but I've really enjoyed reading this between Halo sessions: https://www.vice.com/en/article/xwqjg3/the-complete-untold-history-of-halo-an-oral-history

 

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For me:

 

Reach

ODST

CE

4

3

5

2

 

Although CE still has the series' highest high points the second half just isn't as much fun as the first and the obviously cobbled together, unfinished feeling levels like the Library. I don't hate the flood but they work better in theory than they do to actually play against.

 

ODST and Reach are the most consistently entertaining. ODST has the hub city which is fantastic. Reach has the Elites back, although they suffer from not having those exaggerated animations from CE.

 

3 has no Elites and the Brute AI doesn't have that extra layer of refinement that came later with ODST.

 

4 was the big surprise in my recent replays. Non stop action, great pacing, grand scale. The Promethean Knights are... really good? I still don't understand the hate, more varied behaviour than the Brutes, great toe to toe close combat that recalls the Elites in CE.

 

5 is a mess, but has two incredible levels in the Elite homeworld and the non linear snowy one towards the end. On the subject of non linear levels why is this multiple objectives, free roaming level design only used twice in the entire franchise!? (three times if you count the ODST hub). It beggars belief.

 

2 is a mess with some great moments, but suffers from making the player incredibly fragile compared to the equivalent difficulty levels in the other games. It flattens the possibilities available to the player in petty much every encounter and discourages risk taking and leaps of improvisation.

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On 15/05/2021 at 17:51, JPL said:

CE

 

3

Reach

ODST

2

 

 

 

4

5

 

The definitive list, I think you’ll find.

Swap Reach and 3 around and that list unassailable.

 

@Stanley 2 was always way down in the bottom of my personal Halo list. But I played it again in snazzy form in the MCC and enjoyed it a lot more. I think the enhanced graphics and r esolution probably improved the clarity of where I was supposed to be going, and rock solid performance was also a very welcome bonus. Still horribly off balance on Legendary though but Heroic was hell of fun.

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17 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Yeah I’m about half way on Heroic in 2, it’s still great. I mean even bad Halo is still Halo. 

Correction: even bad Bungie Halo js still Halo. Even if I see 2 as the worst of the Bungie entries, it's still a lot of fun because it has that secret sauce that 343i still hasn't managed to find with 4 and 5.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Correction: even bad Bungie Halo js still Halo. Even if I see 2 as the worst of the Bungie entries, it's still a lot of fun because it has that secret sauce that 343i still hasn't managed to find with 4 and 5.

Yep, although they come close a few times.

 

Some more Reach this evening, man the start of Tip of The Spear, it’s all out war! And that’s straight after Nightfall which is also an early highlight. 
 

Every fight you win feels earned, tactics work as you flank and out manoeuvre the enemy using covering fire, bombardment, deception, sniping, it’s all there and for me the best example of an FPS to date.

 

Also those Bungie skies are magnificent aren’t they, and even more sumptuous in 4K HDR. 
 

Reach is to Halo CE what Empire is to Star Wars. 

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Reach for me. Only thing I dislike is how quickly dropped weapons disappear(which I read has to do with multiplayer balance) if I dont look at them - and often even if I do - which meant I had to restart the final level at the very end. Out of weapons, couldnt go back and checkpoint was in the same area.

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57 minutes ago, Erik said:

Reach for me. Only thing I dislike is how quickly dropped weapons disappear(which I read has to do with multiplayer balance) if I dont look at them - and often even if I do - which meant I had to restart the final level at the very end. Out of weapons, couldnt go back and checkpoint was in the same area.

 

I don't remember ever having that problem with Reach on the 360, but it was a very noticeable and annoying issue with Halo 4.

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I can’t say I’ve noticed it in Reach but that’s not to say it doesn’t exist - but in Halo 4 it’s quite aggressive and I believe that’s due to memory management and constraints, Halo 4 was doing some crazy voodoo shit on the 360 so something had to give.

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On 16/05/2021 at 16:14, matt0 said:

4 was the big surprise in my recent replays. Non stop action, great pacing, grand scale. The Promethean Knights are... really good? I still don't understand the hate, more varied behaviour than the Brutes, great toe to toe close combat that recalls the Elites in CE.

 

Have to say that 4 has been a real surprise for me as well, and on revisiting it again (first time since launch) it's significantly better than I remember.

 

The thing with the Knights is that they're not so bad on their own (teleporting can be annoying, mind) it's the recharging flying droids that are a pain to target and kill. Apart from that though I'd say 4 is a series highlight and definitely the one I'd go back and play again first. Who knew.

 

Small piece on CE by Eurogamer today from their Currently Playing feature:

 

"Look, you don't need me to tell you that Halo: Combat Evolved is still a banger. But here I am anyway, because I went back to it for a piece about its setting earlier this week and of course I couldn't stop. I went backwards, from The Silent Cartographer to The Truth and Reconciliation (the two best-named levels in any video game, this side of Super Mario World's Cheese Bridge Area) and then jumped forwards to The Library.

 

I slipped and slid from drifting Warthogs on the beach to popping Hunters with a pistol shot to the midriff; from blowing Grunts out of gun emplacements with that explosive sniper rifle to blasting through shiny mauve corridors with ruthless bursts of brilliant plasma; and finally to the worst but also best of the game, the panicked, heart-in-mouth, shotgun-powered backpedal through a featureless tomb in the face of a pulsating horde. And it was so, so smooth - once I had stopped throwing grenades instead of aiming down sights with the left trigger and come to terms with the fact Master Chief just can't, or won't, sprint. The clarity of it, the punch of the feedback, the simply incredible situational awareness from the audio and the motion sensor and the colour-coded lighting of the crossfire. The organic, elastic combat loops, unpredictable but also instinctive and reassuring.

 

Later this year, we'll celebrate this game's 20th anniversary, but - played in crisp Classic form on modern hardware, thanks to the Master Chief Collection - it simply hasn't aged. It's still fantastically, brutally modern."

 

Yes to all of that. It's still just impossibly brilliant and makes almost all other games look pathetic.

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I finished Reach, the bleakest video game ever made and all the better for it - there’s just such a beautiful symmetry to how it ends and with it being Bungie’s last Halo - the tone is very Rogue One, which obviously came out after Reach, and I can’t help thinking maybe it was influenced by it. 
 

Half way through Halo 4 now, it’s really good but after Reach there’s a clear difference to how Bungie made Halo and how 343 do, but I’m enjoying anyhow. 

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20 minutes ago, Stanley said:

I finished Reach, the bleakest video game ever made and all the better for it - there’s just such a beautiful symmetry to how it ends and with it being Bungie’s last Halo - the tone is very Rogue One, which obviously came out after Reach, and I can’t help thinking maybe it was influenced by it. 
 

Half way through Halo 4 now, it’s really good but after Reach there’s a clear difference to how Bungie made Halo and how 343 do, but I’m enjoying anyhow. 

 

It was the Composer level that floored me. It's almost like a best of Halo, the pace of it is heartpounding. There's a firefight in a massive open hangar that's just beautifully designed. Great flow and setups from one encounter to the next - the area that it chucks you in with a couple of Hunters and a shotgun was particularly spicy. Talking shotguns, the one in 4 reminded me of the Doom 3 shotty. So heavy and satisfying to use.

 

I think 2 and 4 have been the hardest after completing them all on Heroic - at a push I probably died more on 2 but definitely had my arse handed to me multiple times by 4.

 

Really wish I could get properly  into Destiny but it lacks everything that makes Halo so amazing for me.

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My Xbox One kept tripping out so I’ve bought a Series X just for Halo.  Even after all these years, I just can’t be without a place to play it regularly. I have so much personal sentimentally tied up in the Bungie Halos and they still play brilliantly. :wub:

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57 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

 

It was the Composer level that floored me. It's almost like a best of Halo, the pace of it is heartpounding. There's a firefight in a massive open hangar that's just beautifully designed. Great flow and setups from one encounter to the next - the area that it chucks you in with a couple of Hunters and a shotgun was particularly spicy. Talking shotguns, the one in 4 reminded me of the Doom 3 shotty. So heavy and satisfying to use.

 

I think 2 and 4 have been the hardest after completing them all on Heroic - at a push I probably died more on 2 but definitely had my arse handed to me multiple times by 4.

 

Really wish I could get properly  into Destiny but it lacks everything that makes Halo so amazing for me.

Yes some amazing encounters, no Flood either! 

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47 minutes ago, Epcotman said:

My Xbox One kept tripping out so I’ve bought a Series X just for Halo.  Even after all these years, I just can’t be without a place to play it regularly. I have so much personal sentimentally tied up in the Bungie Halos and they still play brilliantly. :wub:

Wait until you play them on Series X, you are in for a treat 😊

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On 18/11/2020 at 14:48, K said:

It hasn't been fixed and (IMO) is unlikely to be fixed any time soon. I think 343 mentioned that they were looking into this in one of their development updates, but it's not on the list of projected changes and updates to the game. That said, I think the issues are pretty minor - it feels like nobody really noticed until fairly recently, and it escaped the notice of, say, Digital Foundry in their deep dive into the different versions of Halo.


Looks like most of these graphics issues are being fixed at last (currently in the latest preview build).
 

 

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Good news! Although to be honest, it's hard to tell the difference between some of those before and after shots. The big changes like the sky and doorways in AotCR and the jackal shields are very obvious, the rest are fairly obscure. But good to know they're correcting them anyway.

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Sorry, what am I supposed to be looking at here? I had a quick scan through the video, but I couldn’t see much, if any, improvement between the comparisons.

 

Why are they messing around with MCC for such tiny gains when Infinite needs finishing?

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It'll be different teams. Contrary to what some seem to think just throwing resource at a project isn't always the best idea. There will be a finite number of tasks that need  doing and only a certain number of people that can actually work on them at any one time.

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16 minutes ago, metallicfrodo said:

It'll be different teams. Contrary to what some seem to think just throwing resource at a project isn't always the best idea. There will be a finite number of tasks that need  doing and only a certain number of people that can actually work on them at any one time.

From looking at that video though, it seems pretty much pointless. I’ve played CE a million times and I can’t say I ever noticed it looking any different. They’d be better doing a new remaster to replace the anniversary edition.

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30 minutes ago, JPL said:

Sorry, what am I supposed to be looking at here? I had a quick scan through the video, but I couldn’t see much, if any, improvement between the comparisons.

 

Why are they messing around with MCC for such tiny gains when Infinite needs finishing?

 

Well, seen as I was part of the dev team that worked on MCC... 

 

The original Halo CE Anniversary for 360 version was based on the Gearbox PC port of Halo 1, it was missing lots of visual effects like the fog on AOTC and the shiny bump mapping. There's quite a lot of features missing in that version, and the DF retro video highlights a lot of them. 

 

All of this was carried over to the MCC version of the game, which basically has a resolution and frame-rate bump. It's been a personal bug-bearer of mine that the version of Halo 1 was based on the PC port and wasn't quite the same as the Xbox original, it looks like this is being fixed which - for me - is absolutely great. 

 

Why are they supporting this rather than Infinite? 343i have never directly been involved in the MCC, they've over-saw it in a production sense but it's been developed by quite a list of smaller studios. Saber Interactive where responsible for the Halo : CE portion of the game. 

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@Kevvy Metal Ah, that’s interesting to know. It’s mad how after playing the Anniversary edition and then MCC for so long, I’ve forgotten how it looked originally.

 

I still think their time would be better spent redoing the Anniversary graphics though. It’s a travesty in its current state, so I always go with the original. It’d be good to have a nice new lick of paint on it.

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Halo 4 is a remarkably attractive game, the whole thing looks fantastic in 4K HDR running at 60fps, but that forerunner architecture raises it to truly next-gen visual fidelity, it scales incredibly well. 
 

And then when you consider Halo Combat Evolved and Halo 4 are just one generation apart it’s even more impressive. 
 

And no, it doesn’t quite reach the giddy heights of Reach or Combat Evolved, but it does have some superb encounters that come really quite close. 

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7 minutes ago, the_debaser said:

Never played Reach before so started it last night. Did the first section where you have to kill a load of grunts and escape on a ship, but seems a bit like a first person Gears of War at the moment. Hopefully it improves. 

I’d say so, but then I wouldn’t really compare it to Gears either, maybe tonally, but that’s a cover shooter and Reach encourages aggressive game play and is infinitely more rewarding imo, no pun intended. 

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This is a better video than the one above for demonstrating the issues with the Halo 1’s original visuals in Halo MCC. A lot of the differences are still extremely subtle, but the video illustrates them more clearly. And the guy has a less annoying voice. 

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