During the reveal for Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Studios promised a second Halo announcement that would get fans excited for later this year. That announcement is the previously-rumored Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which will allow Halo fans to re-live every step of Master Chief's journey by collecting Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 on a single disc. Players can begin re-living Master Chief's journey on Xbox One on November 11, the 10th anniversary of Halo 2's original release on the first Xbox.
All of the games contained in the Master Chief Collection are upgraded to run at 1080p, 60fps. All of the missions from all four campaigns will be unlocked right from the start to allow fans the chance to re-live whatever chapters they wish. All difficulties and skulls will be unlocked and can be set at the start of each session. And each of the four games will feature four player co-op.
343 is also showing some reverence for the Master Chief games by organizing playlists from across the series that fall under certain categories. For example, anyone looking to play through all of the series' Warthog missions can do so by selecting the corresponding playlist. All of the playlists can be played in co-op by sending out friend invites.
As for multiplayer, all of the modes and maps from each of the four numbered Halo games are included and intact. In fact, players will often find maps from across the series up for vote. For example, sessions will often go from Capture The Flag in a Combat Evolved map to Oddball in a Halo 3 map. It's the most stacked collection of Halo multiplayer maps to date, with all maps running on their native game's engine. All of the weapons on that map, likewise, will have the stats of their original game. So your Needler may be slightly less powerful on a Halo 3 map than it is on a Halo: Combat Evolved map.
Also, the release date falling on the Halo 2 anniversary date is not a coincidence, since Halo 2 will receive the anniversary collection treatment in this compilation. Just as with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2 will feature modernized visuals and cinematics, the latter of which are completely re-done by Blur. Of course, fans of the vintage look can switch between the modern and original visuals at the press of a button with no loading times.
343 is also looking to include some additional fiction to Halo 2 in the form of some new cinematics that look to flesh out Master Chief's story even further. In fact, some of Halo 2's new cinematics will hint at events that will unfold in the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians.
While little is known about the story aspect of Halo 5: Guardians, the Master Chief Collection will offer fans the first chance to try out the Halo 5 multiplayer beta. The beta is featured as one of the collection's extras, though 343 is not ready to divulge how long this beta period will last.
The other major extra included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the Ridley Scott-produced Halo series. While the story will follow a separate Spartan protagonist, 343 notes that the story will eventually have repercussions for Master Chief and his pending journey in Halo 5. 343 says that more information on the Halo digital series will be revealed at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
When discussing Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 343 equated it to the idea of binge-watching a show on Netflix. They hope that Halo fans can catch up with the game's story and be up-to-speed in time for Halo 5: Guardians, which is set to arrive in Fall 2015.