updated 03:03 pm EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
Four games in one interface with Halo 2 receiving the full 'anniversary' treatment
During the Microsoft media briefing at E3, 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross took to the stage to outline some details on the upcoming Halo: Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. The collection will be coming to consumers in time for the holidays, hitting the shelves on November 11. As was previously announced, the collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4.
Ross indicated that the company wants to contextualize the importance of the lore of Master Chief leading up to the events in Halo 5: Guardians. Scenes relaying some of the history played out as another Spartan watched on. The events were kicked off with a new version of a Halo 2 cut scene, voiced by the Arbiter.
David Ayoub came on stage to talk about some of the things that Microsoft was doing with the collection, including having all four games under the same interface. It was also said that everything in the game would be unlocked from the beginning, allowing gamers to start were they want rather than going in order.
Halo 2 would be getting the full anniversary treatment that Halo: Combat Evolved did in 2011, though the game would still allow players to switch between new and old engines. A multiplayer demo on a Halo 2 map showed some of the new perks of the switching to the newer graphics, including bloom effects from Halo 4. Ayoub also said that Halo 2 would ship with the multiplayer capabilities exactly as they were in the original game. Multiplayer in Halo 2 was an achievement for its time, leaving many fans happy with the news.
Details were light on any changes from Halo 3 and Halo 4, but it seems that they will be shipped without many modifications. However, the games are said to retain their original engines that will be switched over to the newer engines when sections of either game are played.
Technical specs will see all four games running at 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. Multiplayer games will be run over dedicated servers as well. Players will see every multiplayer map accessible from the four games, resulting in over 100 maps to be played on custom playlists.
The bundle will also come with another perk, as it will include the Ridley Scott-produced and Sergio Mimic-Gezzan-directed Halo: Nightfall digital series. The characters introduced in the series are said to play a role in Halo 5: Guardians when it is released in 2015. The Halo 5 multiplayer beta will also come in the collection, but will start sometime during the holiday season this year.
Pricing for the title will be full retail for an Xbox One game at $60.