As a launch title for the Xbox One, fans were able to get their hands on 343 Industries’ latest iteration of the series: Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which saw all the games ported over as one gigantic install, and a few updates worth of content. But one thing became apparently clear to the fans of the games: the bugs would never get fixed and the game would remain broken, restricting some users from online play due to networking issues, game crashes, or the inability to match make more than two years since the game’s release.
However, something odd has happened on the official Halo website known as Halo Waypoint. The team at 343 Industries has announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is back in development with upcoming patches, quality of life testing, and added features in order to allow fans to enjoy the game(s) more than they have in previous years. The team has even outlined what they are doing and what their plans are in order to enhance the game across the board.
They’ve even gone into the possibility of bringing in new features such as the highly requested Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST Firefight and the following as listed below.
- Custom Game Browser
- Additional/expanded Spartan customization
- UI / Menu refresh
- New XP / Ranking / Progression system
- File share / File Browser
- Add Halo 4 missing content
- “Party Up” system
While it would be nice to have many of these features, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the game isn’t just a problematic title. It’s one that’s been everything including problems since it launched. Even now, the team is hard at work updating the overall game itself, improving upon missing features, broken features, and a quality of life that the game has been deserving of since its launch on Nov. 11, 2014, a little over three years ago.Since the last major update on in 2015, Halo: The Master Chief Collection seemed like it would be void of receiving any future content updates, fixes, or improvements to its quality of life. While the team has announced they are working hard to bring some much-needed updates to the game, it brings around a bigger problem one that many Halo fans might just be asking as well: Why did Halo: The Master Chief Collection feel rushed?
The answer isn’t quite that simple. To some, it may very well be a rushed title, but to others, it wasn’t. The answer is a mixed bag of tricks when said and done. The team at 343 Industries wasn’t just trying to bring all the Halo games they could together in a single release. Rather, they were hard at work trying to bring all four games that initially launched with it into a single package, which is exactly what all the hype was about.
For myself, the hype, the excitement surrounding Halo: The Master Chief Collection couldn’t have been any higher than it had already been. After all, there was a reason I jumped in, purchased a Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition Xbox One, the Master Chief themed controller that came with it and even a physical copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection to go side-by-side with previous titles.But it became apparently clear after my time with the previous titles, with Halo: The Master Chief Collection that 343 Industries has a large problem on their hands. The one-and-done single-disc set was broken, not just broken, but unplayable in many ways. Matchmaking wouldn’t work, the games would often crash or underperform, network errors would pop up left and right. Even character customization was limited and uninspired compared to the titles
For those who were a day one adopter was left with a $60 USD paperweight on their hand, one that would barely play, even after a nice set of updates and attempted bug fixes. To put it briefly, the launch of this collection was a disaster, it remains a disaster even years after its release and only two-to-three major title updates to attempt to repair the problems the game had.
However, it does seem because of this very element that Halo: The Master Chief Collection could have very well been an extremely rushed title. One pushed out in time for the launch of the Xbox One’s launch in order to win fans over and potentially drive console sales for those who have had yet to migrate over from the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 consoles.In order to meet such a deadline, the idea of one such game being rushed isn’t impossible nor is it entirely improbable. But what if it wasn’t rushed and is merely a victim of troubled development due to the teams push to make all the games played in a single atmosphere? The chances here are even more likely. It’s not that Halo: The Master Chief Collection was a bad idea at all, but rather, it became a victim of Microsoft’s ever-growing ambitions to provide us with some of the best experiences possible.
Unfortunately, even now, even with a road map, 343 Industries’ endeavors with the Xbox 360 releases of Halo titles is problematic, bugged, and quite possibly a victim of rushed development. While we can never be for certain, we can only hope that all the problems with this game can be fixed over time and can certainly allow those fans who prefer the old over the new a chance to enjoy their games without their game(s) feeling like a thorn in their side.
Even now, Reddit, Neogaf and Halo Waypoint users have compiled a list of fixes, workarounds, and bugs the game still has and ways to get around them, even if it means completely reinstalling your game, avoiding party chats, or even avoiding playing the game when Microsoft’s servers are showing any signs of trouble. Hopefully, with the upcoming updates, we won’t see that be a problem much longer and we can even see an overall improved experience later on.
If the updates work as intended, you can expect a review of The Master Chief Collection from us here at Blast Away the Game Review.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.