Published on May 22nd, 2014 | by Chris Scott0
3FT: Most Desired Features of Halo’s Master Chief Collection
Microsoft has confirmed Halo 5 for 2015 on the XBOX One. As a Halo fan, that wait is unbearably long. Yet, a glimmer of hope was dropped in the official announcement of Halo 5 that something Halo-related was coming this year. What that Halo experience is, no one really knows, but strong rumors are swirling that it will be a collection of the four Halo games that featured series star Master Chief. While most seem to agree that it will feature the four numbered Halo games and their respective single player campaigns, speculation on what this collection may or may not be in regards to multiplayer are all over the map. Here are the three things I think need to be part of this collection for it to work.
Variable Rules Sets
There are some fans out there expecting the four unique multiplayer experiences to be pulled over individually as part of each game. While I can’t deny that the concept sounds awesome, especially if we could get an online enabled version of Halo: Combat Evolved on consoles, it is crazy to think that it is going to happen. Most likely is that 343 Industries is going to consolidate the four multiplayer experiences into one, something that acts as a showcase piece for what they plan to do with Halo 5. Showcasing plans for Halo 5 is a super-smart idea, but this collection is a celebration of the Halo series and it needs to be treated as such. I think the best way to do this is with specific rulesets designed around the differences in the core Halo games.
Fans of Halo: Combat Evolved pistol heavy gameplay could play with the Halo: CE ruleset, dual-wielding fans on the Halo 2 or 3 sets, loadout fans on the Halo 4 set, and for something new a special Collection ruleset with some of 343’s ideas for Halo 5 multiplayer. Allow each of these rulesets to be accessed in custom matches but coax them out of their comfort zone by linking the new progression system to the default Collection ruleset but also offering an official playlist with randomized rulesets. It may seem complicated but in the end Halo fans just want options and giving them the options tied to a stick in front of them is the best way to push them towards Halo 5.
Since I’ve resigned myself to the notion that we won’t get four individual multiplayer experiences, the offering in the Collection needs to feature a robust list of classic Halo maps from the series. Two to three small to medium sized maps and one to two large sized maps from each game should be featured. While Halo: Reach does not seem to be part of this collection, not including maps from that game would, at least in my mind, be a huge misstep. If 343 can bring a fully featured, large map count game to fans on the XBOX One, it will spark a ton of goodwill going forward.
In recent years Halo’s multiplayer offerings have extended beyond the competitive realm. Campaign co-op, Firefight, and Spartan Ops were all huge for those that wanted something other than the traditional Halo multiplayer experience. The collection needs to embrace this and feature all three: Four player campaign co-op for all four games, a revamped Firefight mode with a handful of classic ODST and Reach maps, and season one of Halo 4’s Spartan Ops, as well as an all new season that will normatively drive into Halo 5.
It may be asking a lot, but if Microsoft, 343, and their various development partners can deliver this, the Master Chief collection could set the new high water mark for re-mastered collections, as well as put the fanbase on strong footing leading into Halo 5 next year. Oh, and it all needs to come in a nice package for USD $60.