After months of testing, remastering, and all the other work that goes into updating a last gen game to make it run beautifully on a new system; 343 Industries has released Halo 3: ODST on the Master Chief Collection. Given out to thousands of gamers who played the giant Halo collection between its launch and January free, ODST is 343i’s way of compensating gamers for the collections botched launch. It’s also meant to smooth over all the problems that persisted in the MCC for 6 months after it release. 343i has put out monthly updates for the collection trying to turn it into what they originally promised.
Taking four games from two different console generations and making them work in concert on an all new console was bold challenge to take on. It was one that required work from multiple studios to produce even in the broken state that it released in, launched long before it was ready. If the MCC had been held back and had not shot for a holiday release date it;s hard to say what the result could have been. Frankly it’s a question we will never know the answer to, what we can ask is if ODST makes up for 6 months of waiting for 343i to fix the MCC.
I played through the updated version of ODST just as soon as it finished downloading, eager to see it fared in its jump to the Xbox One. I looked at all the achievements (an impressive list without a doubt), scanned through the playlists it was offering, and finally noticed that Firefight hadn’t come along for the ride. Right out of the gate Firefight, a signature feature of ODST, missing made it feel off. Months of waiting had me hungry for everything the game had to offer, reliving the Halo glory days.
A campaign playlist was next on my list, wanting to see if those updated graphics were even up to snuff and if they game worked at all. It’s hard to escape the gnawing fear of a whole new pile of glitches appearing from the mist and ruining the gameplay experience. Instead what I found was an unbelievably nostalgic trip through a game that looked and played better than ever before. ODST didn’t present a single bug during my entire playthrough, in fact my worst experience with it was the constant sound of achievements unlocking.
After watching the epilogue and being reminded of so many story threads from Halo’s extended universe I had to admit ODST was an amazing apology for the MCC’s issues. The Master Chief Collection now offers five separate games with six separate sets of playlists, including a few that allow gamers to play the entire Halo series end to end. It’s an experience that no other series can offer and a lofty goal no one would have though possible before now.
Adding a fifth game for completely free with a full list of achievements and playlists definitely feels like a worthy apology from 343i. Naturally there will be gamers who disagree and believe that releasing the collection fully functional would have been the only way for 343i to avoid fan outrage; but without a time machine ODST feels like the best option they had to make amends. The Master Chief Collection will probably never be perfect but its trying to get as close to perfect as possible.