Halo: The Master Chief Collection is going to be a massive quadrilogy. And it’s coming with a massive day one patch as well, which feels like a slap in the face with a very large piece of digital content. Naturally, some people aren’t exactly happy about this. And 343 Industries is rather sorry about that.
The biggest issue here, is one of disc-swapping, as the game is meant to be played as an uninterrupted experience. “The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs,” 343 Industries boss Frank O’ Connor wrote on Neogaf.
Since the bulk of it is MP or MP related, the logic is sound. There will ALSO be a TU in there, but that in itself is a tiny fraction of the content.
The patch itself is mainly for the multiplayer of the game, which as you can imagine, forms a significant backbone for any Halo title. “For some folks it will be straight up annoying and I both apologize unreservedly for the irritance, and hope that the package and the way it works more than makes up for it”, O’ Connor explained. According to him, the game could have shipped on two discs, but this would have been impractical. Unlike those other Xbox 360 games where you could install off of a second disc and carry on playing with only one disc in the drive. But such games can’t possibly exist, right?
“Anything is feasible, it simply wasn’t practical for this product, this year in this timeline,” O’Connor said.
The Xbox One platform continues to improve and mature, arguably faster and more meaningfully than others and maybe next year two discs or some other method would have been the right approach, but this year it’s the option we have available that on balance, makes the most sense for this giant, ambitious project.
Do I understand the inconvenience and annoyance for some users? Of course. I’m not going to blow smoke or ignore it. I’ve been playing the whole enchilada for a week now and the ability to sample, jump from aspect to aspect, customize with skulls and playlists has been absolutely addictive and mesmerizing.
I think I would have enjoyed a box set with the same fidelity, but the way it all connects has for me at least, made it more than the sum of its parts.
On the one hand, I get what O’Connor is trying to say about making a seamless experience, but the other hand knows that gamers would really not mind at all about a second disc option that could easily be implemented. In other words, prepare to leave your console running for a few nights taking advantage of that extra bandwidth before you jump into multiplayer.
Last Updated: October 21, 2014