From the Astro booth to the console freeplay area, Halo is everywhere here at PAX Australia. Especially at the Xbox booth, where Halo: The Master Chief Collection is drawing quite a huge crowd for its Halo 2 anniversary multiplayer. Ashton and I got a chance to play a few games of the remastered multiplayer, with Zenith (Ascension), Lockdown (Lockout) and Shrine (Sanctuary) being the only maps playable.
First off, the game looks amazing! 343 and Certain Affinity have done an exceptional job in remastering the maps, giving each its own unique atmosphere. The maps are very detailed from the structures and environment, to the majestic skyboxes, showcasing Halo’s art-direction and creating the feeling of awe and wonder.
Halo 2’s multiplayer has been one of the best in the franchise, introducing new gameplay mechanics like dual-wielding and vehicle hijacking, and overall being a very balanced experience. To see this classic arena style multiplayer make a return, plus the visuals of Halo 4, possibly makes this one of the best multiplayer remasters ever. The game’s audio has also been remastered giving guns a more crisp and powerful sound, from the slices of the Energy sword to the menacing Sniper rifle shot.
From the matches I played at PAX, the gameplay is stable and smooth. A few things to note about this build of Halo 2 Anniversary is the weapon sets at the beginning of the match and the kill cams. Of course you’ll be able to toggle these on and off in the options, but its interesting to see the new additions to the Halo 2 sandbox, objects and modes that weren’t in the original Halo 2. All in all, the remastered gameplay is insane fun, especially with a party of players. For those who aren’t that keen on this specific multiplayer experience, should remember that the original multiplayer for Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 will be available in the collection as well.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection will release on November 11th, exclusive to the Xbox One. Stay tuned for our review of the game next week.