Out with the old, in with the new-old.
With its reveal at this past E3, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been hotly anticipated by fans of everyone’s favorite super solder. The hype for Halo 2’s revamp in particular has been building, due to the mega-sequel’s new coat of graphical paint. But underneath that glorious HD Remake shine is the same game that so many adored.
Microsoft allowed PAX attendees to get their hands on the upcoming remake via some classic 4 vs 4 Team Deathmatch on fan favorite map and series mainstay, Lockout. When the game starts up, immediately the game commands your attention with its beautiful updated visuals. The 1080p display compliments the realistically detailed guns, improved textures, and new light effects. New graphical details have been added as well, such as snow piles laying about the level, and some sort of eerie creatures have been added to the green wall pods scattered throughout the level. New mountain ranges have been added to the background, and the time of day has switched from it’s original early morning setting.
After your done admiring the beauty of the game however, is when you really start to notice just how much this game is in fact, Halo 2. In fact, I’m predicting a lot of gamers that didn’t experience Halo 2 upon it’s release will complain about the default speed of the game, even though it’s exactly as it’s always been. Ten years after it’s release, players have gotten used to the sprinting ability in their first-person shooters, and it’s hard to imagine them wanting to move slower. Even I initially found myself attempting to sprint, and I’ve played a lot of Halo 2 in my lifetime. However, once I got a few minutes into the game, I became completely in tune to the games original speed, and it suits the style of play well, especially with all the madness that was to occur.
The shotgun is still at the end of the long green hallway, enemies will snipe you across the map without hesitation, the Energy Sword is pined after for by nearly everybody in the match. Plasma grenades are still launched from across the map, and dual-welded weapons are abound. Pure chaos often occurs in the middle of the level, especially when all weapons are in use. Halo 2’s multiplayer is quite eventful, especially on this fan favorite map. A new addition worth noting however, is the appearance of the assault rifle, which was to some, curiously absent in the original Halo 2. It’ll be interesting to see how the assault rifle changes the dynamic of the gunplay.
If the games controls are any different, I certainly didn’t notice, as it controls almost as exactly one would remember it controlling. Face buttons for reloading and other actions, left and right stick for movement, and triggers for shooting and grenades. The switching grenades and flashlight button have both been moved to the original Xbox controllers admittedly oddly place black and white buttons, to the Xbox One’s more natural left and right bumpers. The game retains it’s silky smooth controllers, which will come in handy when firing off the trusty old sniper. Ya done good 343 Industires. Ya done good.
While I only got in one match (which my team sadly lost, thanks in part to my unimpressive 5 kills) it was easy to tell that this game is in fact the Halo 2 we all remember. And that’s a good thing. Welcome Back Halo 2. We missed you so.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is set for U.S. release on November 11, 2014.
Stayed tuned to MaxLevel for more on Halo and all the latest and greatest news from Pax Prime 2014!