Review: Halo: The Master Chief Collection (PC)


Video source: Nick930

Before Halo Infinite hits later this year, I thought it'd be fun to do a quick review of the single player bits of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC. 

Please appreciate I play on a fairly modest setup (a Lenovo Ideapad 330S-15ARR with a Ryzen 2500u and Vega 8 graphics, 8gb ram and 256gb SSD), so a PC with a dedicated GPU should do a lot better. Having said that, I've been impressed by the technical performance of the games and look forward to Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4

Halo: Reach

Video source: Jackfrags

I first played Halo: Reach last year when I downloaded it through a trial of Game Pass Ultimate. Loved it then, am still in love with it now. 

Set before Halo: Combat Evolved, you play as Noble Six, part of a team of Spartans called Noble Team. Set on the planet Reach, it tells the story of the early days of the Covenant invasion and leads neatly onto the first Halo game. 

The game is fun to play, with some great weapons and lots of action. I loved the camaraderie between the different Spartans and the banter you hear to and fro can be quite funny. The enhanced graphics help make the game look great and it's a good opening for the collection.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Video from TmarTn2

This is the og, the one 343 had to get right. And, you know what, they did. Halo: Combat Evolved looks like a great step up from the original 2001 release and plays wonderfully as ever.

I'm not going to go over the story as you probably know it a million times over by now, but it's still great to this day. The enhanced graphics help add an extra layer of polish and everything looks smooth. If I only have a couple of complaints, is that the alien blood looks a bit odd. There's something strange about it. Captain Keyes, too, looks different. Maybe that's the purist in me freaking out but I preferred the original look. 

You don't play Halo for the story, do you? 

The action remains as pure as ever and it's a blast to play. Everything feels satisfying to shoot and this is a game filled with unabashed joy. 

Halo 2

Video source: Nick930

Truth be told is that I wasn't a big fan of Halo 2 when it first came out all those years ago. There was something very odd about the graphics (it reminded me a little of the overdone CGI look on Doom 3) but I wanted to see what it was about. 

The story is pretty fun, albeit predictable. I liked the opening cut scene and thought this was done really well (it was almost Hollywood level). The  game's first level was great and I enjoyed the new SMG (fantastic weapon) - being out in space was brilliant, too. Earth was fun, too, but I wish the city you were dropped in was a little more populous. It felt a little too empty. 

Playing as the Arbiter was a refreshing change of pace and I liked the new set-up. Energy swords are cool as is his invisibility cloak. 

Graphics in this version look great. The enhanced graphics refine the original and it looks beautiful. Great job, 343. 

Halo 3

Video source: Jackfrags

Finally, let's talk about Halo 3. I loved the game on the 360 back when it first came out and it's awesome. 

The story itself is okay, with some decent cutscenes explaining things here and there. The variety of locations is good, too, and I enjoyed blasting around Africa and the other locations. 

It's the action that makes the game stand out for me. The opening jungle level, for example, reminds me a lot of the one from Halo: Combat Evolved and is full of waiting enemies, some harder ones to fight and a lot of mayhem. There are some awesome set pieces throughout the game - no matter if you're fighting the Flood or escaping a ship about to blow up. Halo 3 will always keep you on your toes. 

Concluding Thoughts: Great Value

Halo: The Master Chief Collection offers PC gamers a lot of value. You get access to six Halo games, including single player and multiplayer, with a lot of content available. The games run well on a variety of hardware, too, so even if you don't have a dedicated GPU, you should be able to play them. 

You can get it from Steam for $39.99/£30.99


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