For the last month or so 343 Industries has been slowly releasing details for their upcoming single-disc release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Granted, there had been rumors of the Collection‘s existence for a while, but now that we know it’s coming 343 wants fans to know any and everything about it.
As part of their Comic-Con 2014 panel, 343 Industries brought key studio and project figureheads, as well as Max Hoberman (original Halo 2 multiplayer designer) and a representative from Blur Studios, to give attendees an idea as to how The Collection will work. While we’ve already covered the basics regarding The Master Chief Collection in our eyes-on preview, the panel did feature two major reveals. Read on for full details.
First off, 343 revealed that the next Halo 2 map in line for the remaster treatment is Zanzibar, the coastal military facility with the giant windmill. On top of that, they showed off a few concept art pieces and one early in-engine image for attendees to enjoy.
As with Ascension and Coagulation — the two other maps confirmed for The Master Chief Collection — Zanzibar looks the part of a next-gen Halo map. But, of course, it still preserves the spirit of the original multiplayer arena.
In addition to the Zanzibar reveal, Blur Studios showcased how they are taking the original Halo 2 cut scenes and completely re-designing them for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. To give attendees a sense of what they are trying to do, they showed a cut scene as it originally appeared in Halo 2, then showed a rough mock-up, then motion capture and facial capture work, and then a final lighting and effects pass, which looked stunning. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though; after all this is the same studio that made many of Halo‘s excellent CG trailers and commercials.
Alongside the behind the scenes footage, the presentation also included a few looks at the whole of Halo 2‘s revamped cut scenes, which also look incredible. Of particular note was the design of Sergeant Johnson who looks as good as one would expect a CGI version of the character to look.
Overall, fans were more than receptive to The Master Chief Collection from a content perspective. All four games on a single disc, every piece of multiplayer content, and some new content as well — 343 is throwing the kitchen sink at fans and hoping they will get a lot of mileage out of the set. At least enough to tide them over before Halo 5: Guardians releases next year.
And yes, several fans asked about a PC release of The Collection, but 343 had nothing to announce. They didn’t completely rule out the idea, though, but rather strongly encouraged PC fans to voice their desire for a port.
Which map do you next want to be announced for The Master Chief Collection? Will you play through Halo 2 with original cut scenes or the Blur Studios?
Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases November 11, 2014.
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