RAFAEL RIOS | ASST. A&E EDITOR
Nov. 13, 2014
Traveling through space, fighting hordes of “Covenant” alien enemies, and saving all of humanity has never looked so sleek as these new revamped versions of one of the most iconic first person shooter game franchise ever created.
Developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Studios the “Halo” franchise made its debut in 2001 with the release of “Halo: Combat Evolved” on the original Xbox console. The military style science fiction game which brought first person shooter gaming to a new age.
“Halo” is the journey of the Spartan 117 or Master Chief, the last of his kind. A military warrior from the future with highly specialized training and an armored suit part of the UNSC(United Nations Space Command.)
Several years later came “Halo 2” the sequel released in 2004 which already had bigger changes in graphics to the game which at that time seemed much sleeker than the first, then came the “Halo 3” dropped in 2007 which completed the first trilogy. “Halo 3,” the last of the franchise developed by Bungie, was the first to be released for a newer console, Xbox 360.
The most recent of the additions is “Halo 4,” also released for the Xbox 360, but developed by 343 Industries created to take over and primarily focus on the future of the franchise rather than Bungie. Established by Microsoft Studios, 343 Industries began the Reclaimer Saga as the second storyline to follow the Covenant Trilogy (Halos 1-3.) Released in 2012 the newest of the installments has greatly progressed in graphics, and its potential as a franchise has been kept strong enough to have two more games to follow with the possibility of more after that.
With the core of the four main games came a prequel and a spin-off. Some of the games included were “Halo 3: ODST” which was a side story released in 2009 and “Halo: Reach” which was a prequel to the story that focus on a time where Spartans were still the primary source of strength in humanity and was released in 2010.
Then come the anniversaries which include “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” released in 2011 as the 10th anniversary for the first “Halo” installment which was a revamped version of the first game which allowed you to switch back and forth from its original graphics to a newer version to see the evolution first hand, and “Halo 2: Anniversary,” also released on its 10th anniversary.
With the evolution of technology and graphics, 343 Industries is set to release a significant collection of the franchise, “Halo: the Master Chief Collection” a game containing Halo’s 1-4 with “Halo 2: Anniversary” being the most anticipated to be played in the collection due its special anniversary treatment, with remastered high-resolution and it being the core of the collection. Halo’s 3 and 4 already running in high-definition get standard upgrades that are still noticeable on the Xbox One.
The whole collection has been completely revamped with 60 fps (frames per second) allowing the players to feel the fluidity and different feel to the game allowing players once again to switch back and fourth throughout the classic and new graphics to see how far we’ve come in technology and the creation of this artistic form.
The release of this game has not been as smooth as developers might have hoped for, with GameSpot posting an article in which a Microsoft spokesperson provided a statement regarding the issues. “We are aware of issues some players have experienced with matchmaking and we’re working around the clock, along the Xbox Live team to improve the situation.” It seems that an update was provided improving the problem and more were added to continue any further improvements that were needed.
“Halo: The Master Chief Collection” contains all separate servers for each individual game allowing you to play online in each game or revisit the story as Master Chief (Main character) and reunite with childhood memories. This recent release for the franchise becomes a teaser to allow us not to go mad in the wait for “Halo 5: Guardians.” Purchasing “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” allows gamers to test drive “Halo 5: Guardians” in the beta from Dec. 29 through Jan.18 2015, and the full game being released in late 2015 and will continue Master Chief’s journey that follows after the “Halo 4” storyline.