Preview: The Master Chief Collection and Halo Channel

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Halo as a series has been around for many years now; I attended a presentation at Gamescom where I got to see Halo: The Master Chief collection in action, as well as learn more about Halo Channel.

If you’re in the mood for a quick drinking game, be sure to take a shot each time I mention Halo!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

In case you didn’t know, the Master Chief Collection will have Halo 1 through to 4, as well as provide access to the Halo 5: Guardians beta. I myself have only played Halo 1, many years ago on PC. I quite enjoyed it, but never went on to get number two, or the third or fourth  because I never owned the Xbox. I’d imagine I am not alone. This collection gives newcomers the opportunity to experience the adventures of Master Chief, and fans the chance to own the definitive collection of the first four games

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Halo 1 and 2 are the most dated, so this collection gives them a nice overhaul. You can swap between the original and new visuals on the fly, which I’d probably do on any new area I entered just to see the changes that have been made. The graphics may not necessarily be ground breaking, but it is nice to see them bought up to a standard which most gamers take for granted these days. The sound has been given a good ol’ spit and polish too.

While they will look and sound better, the gameplay has been left untouched. The same can be said for the Halo 2 multiplayer, something which firmly plastered the series as a favourite in many households. It’s there, looking better than ever, but untouched in gameplay which I’m sure many fans will be happy to hear. A nice extra is that the cinematics are also being redone by Blur, and they will look quite spectacular judging by this snippet.

Halo 3 and 4 are not actually that old, having featured on the last generation of consoles. They will still receive some visual upgrades in the form of better shaders and lighting as well as various other enhancements. They also both run at 60 fps at 1080p. I saw Halo 3 very briefly, and let me tell you it looks all rather pretty in a buttery smooth kind of way.

It should be a great purchase for anybody who owns the Xbox One. There is a ton of content to enjoy just from a single player point of view. Throw in some multiplayer, and you’re looking at many hours of gameplay! Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be releasing on November the 14th.

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Halo Channel

The Halo Channel is, yes you guessed it, all about Halo. The goal behind it is to take the idea of traditional television and make it completely interactive. I was told more about what the channel would offer.

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Essentially, it’s just one really giant interactive wiki, which isn’t a bad thing at all. There is a ton of content and extras on everything you would ever want to know about the Halo universe. Learn about characters, weapons, locations, or you can choose to read up on some of the extensive lore the series has created. Interacting with the channel can also unlock exclusive rewards such as new content.

There will be a whole lot of Halo media such as Halo:Nightfall for example. I was happy to hear that Red Vs Blue would also be featured on the channel. Like traditional TV, there will be a schedule. However, you can choose to ignore it completely and watch only what interests you. If you have no idea what to pick from all that content, there is a featured tab which is home to all sorts of curated stuff. This would be perfect for somebody like me, as I really wouldn’t know where to start.

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One feature of the channel that appeals to me the most is the eSport side it offers. You can watch games live, or highlights or summaries of epic battles that have already taken place. The interface looks really nice, showing the match as well as relevant information such as the scoreboard for example.

I think as a concept it sounds really good. It’s perfect for not only noobs like me, but also those fans who want to keep up to date with all things Halo. I just hope that they will be able to keep the content coming, and make sure that it is fresh and interesting.

Last Updated: August 19, 2014

Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES! :D

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