HALO: The Master Chief Collection

The much-awaited and much-loved FPS (first-person shooter) game- Halo:The Master Chief Collection for PC is finally here. The makers have planned to release six games over a period, starting from this December and extending to 2020. Xbox Game Studios have released the first game in this collection – Halo: Reach on 3rd December 2019. The game is available on Microsoft Stores and Steam, and with the Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription. The game is designed to run on Windows 10 PCs. Developers Bungie Studio had developed the original Halo: Reach in collaboration with Microsoft Game Studios in 2010. 343 Industries have developed a re-mastered version of the original for PC.

Halo: Reach serves as a prequel to the first game in the Halo franchise, namely, Halo: Combat Evolved. The other five games to be released in sequence after Halo: Reach are - Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,Halo 2: Anniversary,Halo 3,Halo 3: ODST, andHalo 4.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC has had an impressive start on its release. It soon climbed on top of the charts on Steam. The Halo: Reach console version won many awards, including the Shooter Game of the Year for 2010. Critics, as well as, players had given tremendous positive feedback for the game. Hence, the anticipation and the nostalgia for the PC version, even though, a re-mastered one, is understandable. It brings back beautiful memories for a generation of video game players who grew up on its console version. 

The main plot is the battle between the UNSC team comprising of human super-soldiers called Spartans, against the alien enemy forces called the Covenant. The Covenant attack their human-inhabited planet called Reach. It’s a futuristic science-fiction story based in the 26th century. The word ‘Halo’ comes from the ring-shaped halo created by the ancient beings called Forerunners to get rid of their parasitic enemy called Flood. The story is presented through the experiences of the Master Chief John -117, a soldier in the Spartan army, and his AI partner- Cortana. It evolves and takes the player through different challenges in the various sequels, with additional features and better graphics.

Features of Halo: Reach on PC:

In the PC version of Halo: Reach, too, the player plays Noble Six from the Noble Team of the Spartans army. The spectacular 4K resolution provides impressive clarity to the various maps. New options like the mouse and keyboard also allow for greater control over movement and reaction. The UI interface looks clean and well-organized. The game can be played solo or in a multi-player mode like Firefight. The split-screen option is not available for multi-player mode in PC for now. It might come as part of future enhancements. 

Halo: Reach has many missions from which one can choose the mission to play. For each mission, the players have access to an array of modifiers called skulls. These skulls come with their unique powers. The player can choose from a variety of game modes and game types or maps to choose from. This variety serves as a big draw, especially for multi-player FPS games like Halo: Reach. The two main game modes- Campaign and Firefight run smoothly on PC. 

The PC version employs a different Progression Model, where the experience points gained by players can be used to unlock certain specific customization options. However, the system decides these customization options for the player. Some customizations like, selection of the armor, body type, color palette, player id, are open to players from the start. The game boasts of unlimited FPS (frames per second) as well.

Modding is allowed for players to some extent, with more official mod support expected in the future. Also, the original Forge and Theatre game modes are expected to be included in the future. The Forge mode allows the player editing capabilities over maps, weapons, among other things. In the Theatre mode, players can re-live their past saved games, and screenshots, and clips.

The Master Chief Collection for PC is here to stay

Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PCs seems to aim to re-kindle the impact of the original series for a newer and wider audience. The Halo franchise lovers are more than willing to make this mission possible, as is evident on its release day this December. The official Xbox website, itself, claims that for both long-time fans and first-timers, ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the definitive Halo gaming experience.’ For now, it seems to be poised to do just that.