In the realm of video games, looks certainly aren’t everything. Even so, there’s no denying that the passage of time (and the endless march of technology) can make even recent games seem outdated before long. It was that fact that helped urge 343 Industries to oversee the release of Halo: Anniversary, a remastered take on the original Combat Evolved. But with Halo 2: Anniversary, the changes go much deeper than level textures and increased resolution.
To commemorate the ten year anniversary of the game that made Xbox Live a household name, the original multiplayer has returned in full force, with levels as visually impressive as the campaign itself. But to give Halo 2‘s campaign an extra boost, 343 turned to the minds at Blur Studio to create cutting edge cinematic cutscenes. And now, everyone can enjoy them online – without needing to play their way through the game in its entirety.
Beginning with a prologue linking the story and exploits of Master Chief in Halo 2: Anniversary with that of Halo 5: Guardians, every cutscene has been uploaded by YouTube user ‘The Halo Professor.’ The launch trailer for The Master Chief Collection gave a few glimpses at the cinematics, with an additional video showing just how far the new scenes have come from the original. But seeing the almost hour-long video of both Master Chief and the Arbiter may be enough to motivate players to take a more substantial stroll down memory lane.
Relying on the original voice recordings of Halo 2‘s cast, the team at Blur Studio (responsible for several of the most well-known cinematic game trailers) was forced to recruit new mocap performers, capable of mimicking the existing dialogue while acting out the corresponding action. Beyond the timing and performances, Blur was given free reign. And the video above shows just how much of their own talent they brought to the table.
That investment has paid off more than 343 likely planned, as the launch of The Master Chief Collection has led to some unforeseen problems (at the time of writing, we’re still unable to take part in multiplayer regularly). So the impressive visuals of Halo 2: Anniversary may help to at least soften the blow for those gamers who purchased the collection with multiplayer in mind… briefly.
Those hoping to one day see a Halo feature film that lives up to the scale and spectacle of the game series are also in luck, since the cutscenes feature action and locations simply not possible in live-action. That alone may not be enough reason to play through the campaign from start to finish, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the video’s lack of gameplay leaves some fans itching to jump back in the action.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available now for Xbox One.
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