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


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1 hour ago, Thor said:

Reach

3

1

The rest apart from 5 which I will never play because it's an atrocity.

 

 

 

2 and ODST were amazing! 4&5 we ok not the best games but the best 5 I enjoyed the overall story just hated the stop start feel to it I feel if you played MC's side first then the other Spartans side then it would have worked better in my opinion. 

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I'll play 5 if they fix the characters animating at half framerate after a certain distance. I could not get past that, a truly unforgivable design choice in an FPS. 

 

Is there a mod on PC perhaps that fixes this?

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1 minute ago, Thor said:

I'll play 5 if they fix the characters animating at half framerate after a certain distance. I could not get past that, a truly unforgivable design choice in an FPS. 

 

Is there a mod on PC perhaps that fixes this?

I don't think so, although I know what you mean, if the frame rate didn't drop they would just be out of phase (like they kind of just warp in and out of shot)

 

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23 minutes ago, Thor said:

I'll play 5 if they fix the characters animating at half framerate after a certain distance. I could not get past that, a truly unforgivable design choice in an FPS. 

 

Is there a mod on PC perhaps that fixes this?

They did what they had to do to get it running on the Xbox Wii, I mean Xbox One, at 60FPS. It was disappointing when they didn't bother fixing this when the One X arrived, but it looks downright ridiculous on a Series X. Yes, 343i is very busy with something else - but they're *always* too busy it seems. And they're one of the biggest studios around.

 

Not that I want to replay that campaign but still :lol:

 

 

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I never used to rate the campaign of 3, I thought it was quite anti-climatic as end to the (at that point) trilogy. Fully changed my tune since replaying it as part of the MCC, when I was blown away by just how ambitious it is in relation to pretty much every FPS we've had in the 10+ years since. There's a absurd number of AI interacting in pretty much every battle, including previously scripted and non-interactive elements such as enemy drop-ships and Scarabs which can now be engaged with and taken down by the player. As a campaign there's no fat on it at all, and unlike every other Halo game* each level offers a completely new setting.

 

When you also consider just how good the MP was, the addition of 4-player online co-op, and all the other bonus features such as the replay mode and Forge, that Edge 10 feels comprehensively earned in retrospect. What a package.

 

*besides 4

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12 minutes ago, K said:

The second level of Halo 3 has that setpiece in the vehicle bay, where you're in a long, thin corridor with lots of alcoves, and about twenty brutes are at the other end. Despite me thinking that the level is an aesthetic nightmare, that bit is possibly my favourite section in all the Halo games. It's the absolute distillation of that Halo feeling of having to think on your feet and improvise. Every time you play it, you have to think of a new way of doing it.

Or you can just hang back at the door you enter from so it doesn’t close, so you can keep popping back in to pick up BR ammo to take them all out from a safe distance. Once they’re all down, the hammer Brute will come for you, so you can take him out in relative safety.

 

Maybe not in the spirit of what you’re saying, but I’ve played them so many times, I’m always looking for new ways to take advantage of the situation. Or maybe it just shows how flexible the gameplay is.

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I’ve started playing through CE again in what must the the first time in well over 10 years and it’s nuts how muscle memory just takes over. I’ve forgotten the layouts of the levels but I don’t think I’ll ever lose the basic mechanics now. It’s such a joy to play still. My only gripe, which isn’t really one on reflection, is that the updated graphics are so gaudy and awful. I think I didn’t really gel with the later ones as it’s all so over designed with a horrible palette. I completely understand why when they could they added more and more, but there’s a real beauty to the stripped back economy of the concrete that’s absolutely everywhere in the original visuals. I still find the coldness and scale amazing. There’s that massive hanger like space quite soon after the first massive battlefield when you land on the halo that’s got nothing in really, but I just love that starkness and size. It’s so well realised. Really glad you can play as it was intended as I can’t see any reason not to. 

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This is quite cool. Lee Wilson, who did the storyboards for Halo 1 & 2, has stuck a huge number of scans of them online:

 

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/68xkw5

 

There are a lot of them, and in the off-chance that you're interested in what the original ending to Halo 2 was, there's a fair bit of it up there. Not all of it - the storyboards don't include dialogue or anything that happens in-game, they're not in order, and there are multiple versions of scenes due to Bungie reworking the story during development. As you might imagine, it's not dissimilar to what happens in Halo 3, with some significant differences - the Covenant are defeated, but the Flood aren't, and there's a post-credits scene with the Gravemind and Cortana much like the one in Halo 2. 

 

Some things I found interesting:

  • The Arbiter levels on the gas mine originally took place in the ruins of the Halo from the first game, and there are some scenes from that version of the game, with the Arbiter fighting the heretic leader in the control room.
  • The twist that the series was originally building towards, that the Forerunners were humans, is referenced at the end by the Arbiter and 343 Guilty Spark finding a human skeleton in a sarcophagus at the centre of the Ark (which is on Earth in this version).
  • The scenes on the African savannah seem insanely ambitious, with thousands of Brutes and armies of human soldiers.
  • Delta Halo originally took place in and around the lagoon of a vast atoll.
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I'm still enjoying my Legendary Halo CE run.  I'm making steady progress but hit a few brick walls along the way.  I'm up to the silent Cartographer level, one of the best levels in a game ever.  There's been loads of skirmishes where I've taken down a battalions of covenant with a couple of health bars and a slither of my shield left, and I'd take a breather with my heart beating and shaking hands.  I'd view the aftermath of bodies, weapons, bullet holes and grenade scorch marks and think how the fuck did I get through that.  Best gaming moments #

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It's pretty clear they originally wanted Halo 2 to be the end of the series - main antagonists gone, major characters sacrificed, mysteries revealed and closed out, etc. I think they mentioned that before in that big oral history article that was done at one point.

 

You'd think developers would welcome having a major success, but I always got the impression Bungie seemed to resent it a bit.

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1 hour ago, RubberJohnny said:

You'd think developers would welcome having a major success, but I always got the impression Bungie seemed to resent it a bit.

 

Success is one thing, but given that they were owned by Microsoft, success meant getting potentially locked into making iterations of the same game for 10 years.

 

I can see why a developer might resent that situation.

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2 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

It's pretty clear they originally wanted Halo 2 to be the end of the series - main antagonists gone, major characters sacrificed, mysteries revealed and closed out, etc. I think they mentioned that before in that big oral history article that was done at one point.

 

You'd think developers would welcome having a major success, but I always got the impression Bungie seemed to resent it a bit.


it’s hard to tell from the jumbled up storyboards, but it looks like they wanted to leave the Flood around at the end of Halo 2, so they had the option to revisit the series if they wanted (or if Microsoft made them do another sequel immediately afterwards, which seems more plausible). 

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I've just noticed that Lee Wilson has the storyboards for Halo 1 & 3 online as well:

 

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/OodZmJ

 

(along with boards from the Fifth Element and the Long Kiss Goodnight!).

 

The Halo ones are worth looking at, purely because of how elaborate they are compared to the final product. They seem insanely ambitious for a game from 2001 - probably unsurprising given that they someone from the film world to do them, but while they tell the same story as the finished game, they're much more complex than the final product.

 

Shame they didn't use them as the basis for the cutscenes in Halo: Anniversary - it would be great to see what Blur would have done with them.

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Just finished Halo 3 and it was brilliant - so, so much better than 2. I loved the return to CE's control room at the end. Between that and the warthog run it really felt like a farewell greatest hits tour at the end - wish they'd included one of CE's bridges as well. I'm going:

 

CE: 10

2: 5

3: 9

 

I think in some respects it was better than CE - certainly it had genuine epic scale, and it made it feel like you're part of a war, which CE didn't do in quite the same way. But for some reason I just prefer the simplicity and feel of the original. Unlikely analogy, but it's exactly how I feel about Monkey Island 1, which I much prefer to 2, despite the latter being a better game on just about every level.

 

Anyway, yeah, amazing. So glad I revisited these. Interestingly, I completed it on Heroic and the only level that I had any difficulty at all on was Cortana (which it has to be said was the game's low point for me, with those fucking irritating spiky shooting bastard flood things). So either 3 is much easier than CE, or I'm rediscovering my abilities in my old age.

 

So I'll do ODST and then Reach next. I can't remember what I thought of Halo 4, but it seems like neither that nor 5 are very highly thought of on here?

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47 minutes ago, Mr Do 71 said:

Cortana is one bastard of a level, especially on Legendary.

 

I absolutely despised it at first, but for my legendary run I went in with the view that I was an infestation exterminator, and nothing was to be left alive. It's quite a change of pace, which can be jarring, and I played it really slowly and methodically. And whilst it's still near the bottom of my list of levels, I now have an odd fondness for it. It's better than much of Halo 2, anyway.

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5 hours ago, Miner Willy said:

So I'll do ODST and then Reach next. I can't remember what I thought of Halo 4, but it seems like neither that nor 5 are very highly thought of on here?

 

Don't skip 4, it's great, but the campaign of 5 is only worth playing if you're curious. It has its moments but it's mostly just annoying. It's designed as a co-op game, and is slightly better played that way, but it's still not as fun as any of the others.

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5 hours ago, Mr Do 71 said:

Cortana is one bastard of a level, especially on Legendary.

I used to absolutely hate Cortana, until I realised that the plasma rifle cuts through the flood like a hot knife. The first few times I played it I kept trying to scavenge ammo for the ballistic weapons, which was a mistake. I think the shotgun is the only decent human weapon against them.

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I still hate that level, but I found that the Needler was the most effective weapon as it homes in slightly and if you get the critical number of hits required, the resulting explosion will wipe out most Flood enemy types. The only problem being that ammo is thin on the ground when playing Legendary, but the Needler was the only way that I could get through Cortana on Legendary solo (plus mopping up every single enemy in order to get all the checkpoints).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Decided to give the MCC a bash via gamepass, and started off with Halo CE: Anniversary. Is it just me, or is the remaster a bit, well, shit? The aesthetic is completely different, everything's bright and busy, there's almost no reason to use the torch now, and it all looks really flat. And what's with the cut scenes and weapon fire being locked to 30fps? When you get dropped off for Silent Cartographer it should be an epic moment, but the 30fps ruins it when the rest of the game is 120fps. I've also noticed performance dips at both 4k60 and 1440p120. Whut??? This is about on par with the Black Mesa remake of Half Life, but that was from a fucking mod team. 

 

I'd love to see what Bluepoint could have done with Halo.

 

Also, I'm not finding Halo as fun as I remember. In fact, I'm finding it rather dull. Aesthetics aside, the actual game you play doesn't appear to have aged as well as I'd hoped. :(

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Yes, @Thor turns those anniversary graphics OFF for Halo 1, but keep them on for Halo 2. 
 

Halo 1 is still my favourite game of all time and it’s hasn’t aged at all, it just builds slowly and needs to be played on Heroic or Legendary. 

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Thanks both, what were they thinking when they did Halo 1? It's got to be the most disrespectful, irreverant remaster I've seen. Sometimes it looks half-decent (the snowy areas), but overall it's way too different, like it was done by a Dev team who had no affinity for the game, and were just doing it for the money.

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