The moment has finally arrived and I still can’t believe it. Halo Reach has been added to The Master Chief Collection. It was that final little slice of Halo that I was always hoping to have included and it’s in there now.
Not only that, but we also get the launch of the PC version as well. While that’s great and it’s been fun to play there, this is going to dive into the Xbox One X version. I might go over specifically PC at a later time as that’s also been grand. This enhanced version is of course providing a 4k resolution with HDR support and a blistering 60fps. It’s quite incredible whether you’re taking a final stand in the campaign with Noble team, fending off waves of the Covenant in Firefight or taking on others in the multiplayer.
I primarily play the online experience and it’s remarkable that they were able to bring back that original style while integrating it into the overall package. So much Halo, all in one place and it provides a lot of nostalgia.
I had actually forgotten about some variants, such as Dino Blasters or Headhunter. There are large well crafted Big Team Battle maps and many intimate smaller levels. This is all so iconic franchise wise, and the level of gritty combat is an excellent change-up.
The Infection is excellent, and the balance with the DMR is quite different for a unique combative experience when Reach maps come into rotation. I’ve been largely just focusing on Reach variants within the multiplayer, but I look forward to their standard rotation once I open it up again for options. Moving onwards, the entirety of the Firefight has returned and I hope this might lead to them trying to bring back the left behind ODST Firefight levels.
For now, there are tons of variations whether you’re wanting to matchmake or play in a private lobby. It’s nice to be back on the grind in the Gruntapocalypse or perhaps squaring off with waves of aggressive Covenant foes across levels that I’m well aware of having spent countless hours on them prior.
Finally, there’s the campaign. This absolutely shines here with gorgeous backdrops and stunning visual elements that didn’t shine through until today. The character models are remarkable, and the combat feels livelier than ever before with that higher frame rate. I was pleasantly surprised by the somber atmosphere, and the bleak outlook that’s presented in this. This is one beautiful addition to the overall package and it brings out some emotions hearing that majestic music once more.
I will note that some draw backs are present, it seems like this is similar to the rest of the titles in that regard. It looks fantastic, but still has some distance rendering issues that were present in the initial release and some pop-in grass/shadows wise in certain situations. I hope that they spend some time on this optimization wise in the future, now that it’s included in this overall package. It’s not a huge issue, but with the extra power present here I’d like to see that cleaned up for future proofing this collection.
On top of this all, is a rather interesting battle pass of sorts. You’re re-earning the equipment you had in the past and I found that somewhat unnecessary. I get that it adds an element of play value to this to keep people engaged but it’s also annoying and creating an atmosphere of people that are just rubber banding their controllers for XP. I think this looks fantastic, it’s incredible value that’s expanding what’s an already amazing collection of Halo history. I can’t wait to play this for years to come, and it looks fantastic enhanced. You can read our review of the core title below, or check out our hub for additional coverage below.
Read our Halo: MCC Review
View our Halo Hub