Halo: The Master Chief Collection

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New Halo: The Master Chief Collection update lets you download and install the bits you want

A new update heading to Halo: The Master Chief Collection lets you download and install the bits of the game you want.

The Intelligent Install system lets you choose to download the components of the game you want and ditch the rest.

In the case of Xbox One shooter Halo: The Master Chief Collection, you can choose from campaign and multiplayer in each of the bundled games: Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4, as well as the campaign for Halo 3: ODST.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection gets big new patch later this summer

Halo: The Master Chief Collection gets big new patch later this summer

Intelligent Install! Xbox One X enhancements! More!

The long road to recovery continues for The Master Chief Collection - three-and-a-half years after the game came out.

In a post on Halo Waypoint, developer 343 Industries said the game's first official update since it announced the renewed effort to improve the state of the Master Chief Collection should come out later this summer.

343 also revealed the features it's prioritising for the first retail update:

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Digital FoundryDF Retro: Halo - the console shooter that changed everything

The history of Bungie's brilliant shooter, its tech re-assessed, plus the best way to play today.

Every so often a game comes along that changes everything. Games like Doom, Super Mario Brothers and Half-Life aren't just incredible games in their own right - they helped shape the gaming industry as a whole. Halo: Combat Evolved is one such title. As a game, Halo evolved and refined the first person shooter, making it work on a console like never before. As a product, it helped define the first generation Xbox and help Microsoft become the juggernaut of today and, as a project, it lifted its creator, Bungie, into the history books as one of the most revered developers of all time.

Digital FoundryTech Analysis: Halo 3: ODST on Xbox One

Digital Foundry checks out the latest remaster and revisits The Master Chief Collection.

It's been nearly seven months since the troubled launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. November 11th 2014 marks the day that Halo fans everywhere were left out in the cold when the game hobbled out of the gate with serious functionality problems. While a number of other high profile releases shipped with nasty bugs, The Master Chief Collection is perhaps the most infamous of all. This is Halo we're talking about, after all. It's the most important franchise in Microsoft's stable. As good as the campaigns are, it's the series' multiplayer action that has kept fans playing for more than a decade now. Unfortunately, while the single-player modes were generally excellent, The Master Chief Collection was simply not fit for purpose when it came to online multiplayer.

Halo 3: ODST Master Chief Collection release date spotted

Halo 3: ODST Master Chief Collection release date spotted

UPDATE: Users report access problems, Destiny Easter egg removed.

UPDATE 30/5/15 2.30pm Microsoft has now begun issuing free Halo 3: ODST download codes to early adopters of The Master Chief Collection, as a make-nice offer for that game's shonky launch.

However, those who have received codes have reported experiencing trouble installing the ODST expansion. Numerous users on Reddit and NeoGAF report downloads getting stuck at 99 per cent and the game requiring you to re-download the latest large patch.

But some folk have managed to get ODST working - as evidenced by the reports from those who went to go check if Bungie's subtle Destiny Easter egg was still present. Alas, 343 Industries has taken it out. See before and after shots below.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection problems force official tournament cancellation

Developer 343 Industries was forced to cancel one of its official Halo tournaments after Xbox One shooter Master Chief Collection ran into connectivity problems.

In a tweet issued from the official Halo account last night, 343 said it was looking into party joinability issues and as a result cancelled Cup #1 of Season 2 of the Halo Championship Series.

The HCS is the official Halo eSports league, and has been running for a number of months now in partnership with the ESL.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection gets new 1.6GB patch

Halo: The Master Chief Collection gets new 1.6GB patch

ODST campaign shown off, dated for May.

Microsoft has released yet another patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The update weighs in at 1600MB.

Top of the changes list posted to Halo Waypoint are a series of improvements to tackle quitting and betrayals.

Exiting a ranked match in progress now counts as a loss and will impact your rank appropriately.

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Long-awaited Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking patch out now

UPDATE: Eurogamer YouTube producer Ian Higton has downloaded the patch and played Halo: The Master Chief Collection's various playlists to see if it's improved matters.

His tests show reasonable matchmaking times and party stability, suggesting whatever 343 Industries has tweaked under the hood has had the desired effect.

Here's what he found, with times in minutes and seconds to a full lobby, then being in-game.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection's latest update detailed

Halo: The Master Chief Collection's latest update detailed

UPDATE: But now the next patch is being beta tested first.

UPDATE 22/1/15 11.05am: The next update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will enter into a public beta phase before being generally released.

Members of the Xbox One preview program will be messaged in the coming days with an opt-in prompt to download the forthcoming patch, developer 343 Industries has said.

The update will then be tested in an "at home" setting from this Friday, 23rd January through until Monday 26th January. Participants are warned they will need 1-2GB of hard drive space free.

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And here's another Halo: The Master Chief Collection patch

And here's another Halo: The Master Chief Collection patch

Halo 5: Guardians beta still on track for release later this month.

Microsoft has released another patch for Xbox One exclusive first-person shooter Halo: The Master Chief collection.

This one includes improvements for matchmaking, roster and parties.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection endured a torrid launch, with long matchmaking times preventing many from playing the game online.

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Halo 5: Guardians beta will weigh in at 10.27GB - report

Microsoft's Halo 5: Guardians beta will take up 10.27GB of space on your Xbox One hard drive, according to a leaked listing spotted by Reddit.

The install size was spotted via a game page for the beta that was briefly available on the Xbox One's games store.

It looks like the page was made visible in error - it lists yesterday's date as the beta's release.

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Halo: Master Chief Collection gets new 523MB patch

Halo: Master Chief Collection gets new 523MB patch

Finish the fight - after this download.

Microsoft has released another new patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, this time weighing in at 523MB.

The update contains the latest set of fixes from developer 343 Industries, including improvements for the game's beleaguered matchmaking.

While nowhere near as hefty as the game's 15GB day one content update, the patch is still another large download for Halo players.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update out today

The long-awaited matchmaking update for Xbox One first-person shooter Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches this evening, developer 343 has confirmed.

It will be available mid-late afternoon Pacific Time, 343 said on Halo Waypoint. Pacific is eight hours behind UK time so we're looking at a late evening release on these shores.

The patch addresses the matchmaking issues that have plagued the game since release, as well as user interface problems.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity launch beats Black Flag's in UK chart

Assassin's Creed: Unity launch beats Black Flag's in UK chart

Halo: The Master Chief Collection in at three.

Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Unity has entered the UK sales chart in second place.

Activision's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare held on to the top spot despite a 77 per cent fall in sales, according to official figures from Chart-Track. Unity missed out by 16,000 sales.

However, it seems Unity has done well. The PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game outsold the launch of last year's game, Assassin's Creed: 4: Black Flag, which originally debuted on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to a significantly higher install base.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection suffers launch day matchmaking issues

Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners are struggling to connect to the game's online matchmaking servers.

Users report waiting hours to connect, and in threads on Reddit and Halo Waypoint have reported only finding a couple of matches in up to six hours.

Eurogamer has this morning repeatedly tried and failed to get into a game - the loading screen states that no matches can currently be found.

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Digital FoundryWhat works - and what doesn't - in Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Digital Foundry's final assessment of 343 Industries' mammoth remastering effort.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is just hitting stores now and while we've already served up some in-depth impressions, it's fair to say that the sheer scale and scope of the project means that there's still a lot of specific detail we want to share with you about the game. Perhaps more than most other remaster projects we've played, The Master Chief Collection stands as an incredibly ambitious project, consisting of multiple game engines designed across multiple generations by many different teams. Bringing it all together into one solid package is clearly an undertaking of epic proportions - and while it's not (and probably never could be) the ultimate compilation that will please every fan, the bottom line is that the end result works very well.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection review

Halo: The Master Chief Collection review

Remembrance of rings past.

We remember in HD. That's the thing high-definition remakes are constantly having to compete against - the fact that, the way our minds would have it, past games that we love enough to conjure back into existence have always looked pin-sharp, beautifully lit, and on a par with their reconstructed, modernised selves. "Remembrance of things past," wrote Marcel Proust, "is not necessarily remembrance of things as they were."

While there's a good chance Proust wasn't talking specifically about Halo: The Master Chief Collection, he would (probably) have been fascinated by one feature of the game in particular: the extraordinary ability, in the Anniversary editions of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, to switch between the original and remastered visuals at the press of a button. It is an inexhaustible stream of misremembered revelation and disjointed expectations.

But let's back up and take an overview of what's here. The Master Chief Collection includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Each game runs at 1080p (except Halo 2 Anniversary Edition, which is capped at 1328x1080, probably to enable that Proustian switching) and 60 fps, a big jump for the original Xbox games and a meaningful, noticeable improvement for 360 titles Halo 3 and 4. Each game comes with its original multiplayer component, and Halo 2 gets a separate and additional Anniversary multiplayer mode featuring six maps remade with gorgeous textures and geometrical tinkering.

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Digital FoundryTech Analysis: Halo 2 Anniversary

Digital Foundry gets to grips with the Xbox 1 to Xbox One conversion.

Four major Halo remasters are included in The Master Chief Collection, but the Halo 2 Anniversary Edition is quite the package itself - a fitting tribute to a classic game celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Saber Interactive returns from Halo Anniversary duties to handle the re-mastered campaign, while Certain Affinity, formed by ex-Bungie employee Max Hoberman, is tasked with remaking six of the game's multiplayer maps. On top of that, Blur Studio has recreated key cut-scenes as high-end CG renders, while 343 Industries facilitates the whole project. So what we have here is one game featuring three engines and four developers - five if you factor in Bungie's work on the original game. What could have been a disjointed mismatch of elements is anything but: the results are remarkable and the package is a significant leap over what was achieved with the original Halo's Anniversary release on Xbox 360.

The Master Chief Collection comes out next week, and peppered within the remasters of the first four Halo games are little links to Halo 5: Guardians, because Microsoft doesn't seem to realise that retconning well-established fan favourites only leads to hate which leads to fear which leads to suffering or something like that. Anyway, Ian Higton grabbed a slice of one of the new inserts - and, of course, there be spoilers in this here YouTube video.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection's massive day one update shrinks to 15GB

There's good news on Halo: The Master Chief Collection's gargantuan day one download.

First off, it's smaller than expected. Developer 343 had said it would be 20GB, but it's now 15GB, we've verified. Still huge, mind, but a little less huge.

And it's available to download now, if you've pre-ordered the game digitally. So if you've enabled auto-download you can get the update going ahead of the Xbox One's release on 11th November.

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Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with Halo: The Master Chief Collection

UPDATE: New video and analysis added for each game in Microsoft's ambitious quad-title compilation.

UPDATE 5/11/14 17:15: Microsoft's Halo: The Master Chief Collection NDA has been adjusted, allowing us to show you more campaign video from each of the compilation's component games. We've got 60fps capture of each of the stages, and that includes a Halo 2 level that demonstrates the quality of the remaster.

Halo 2 Anniversary launch trailer shows off fancy pants new cinematics

Halo: The Master Chief Collection, out on Xbox One next month, includes Halo 2 Anniversary, a remastered version of the original Xbox first-person shooter.

As part of Halo 2's new lick of paint, Halo custodian 343 Industries drafted in video game cinematics specialist Blur Studios to create all new cutscenes for the game.

The launch trailer, below, shows clips from these cutscenes, and they look pretty impressive. Don't miss a look at the Gravemind in all its tentacley glory.

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Halo: Nightfall to debut on 10th November

Along with a first look at Halo 5: Guardians' multiplayer beta.

Halo: Nightfall, the Ridley Scott-produced live-action series about Bungie's popular sci-fi saga, will debut on Monday 10th November via Xbox Live, Xbox.com and Twitch.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection has 20GB day one patch to unlock multiplayer

Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up so much room on its 45GB Blu-ray disc that you'll need to download a 20GB day one patch.

Writing in a new blog post on Halo Waypoint, developer 343 Industries acknowledged the "large" download size but explained that it had not wanted to "cut corners" to try and cram everything onto a single disc.

In happier news, the game will now launch on 11th November in the UK - the same date as North America and three days earlier than planned. Only France, Belgium and Japan will now see the game launch later that week.

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Halo 2: Anniversary campaign isn't quite 1080p, Microsoft confirms

Halo 2: Anniversary campaign isn't quite 1080p, Microsoft confirms

Due to running original graphics engine and remastered engine simultaneously.

Halo 2: Anniversary's campaign does not output at a native 1080p resolution, Microsoft has confirmed.

Halo 2: Anniversary, part of upcoming Xbox One exclusive Halo: The Master Chief Collection, lets players switch between running the original Xbox graphics engine and the new Xbox One Anniversary graphics engine at the touch of a button - and as a result it outputs at a 1328x1080 resolution and 60 frames per second.

In an interview with IGN, 343 executive producer Dan Ayoub commented:

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Halo 5: Guardians beta runs three weeks from December 29th

Halo 5: Guardians beta runs three weeks from December 29th

Plus: Halo Channel and Halo 2 Sanctuary map remake announced.

At Microsoft's Gamescom briefing 343 Industries announced that the Halo 5: Guardians beta will run for three weeks this winter, from December 29th 2014 to January 18th 2015.

The beta - which you can get access to by buying November's Halo: The Master Chief Collection - will concentrate on 4v4 arena gameplay across seven maps and will run at 60 frames per second from dedicated servers. There will be three modes, 11 weapons and seven armour sets you can customise your Spartan with. There will be some unlocks in the beta that you'll be able to carry forward into Halo 5 Guardians itself.

There is also the fair start system, so all players start a match with the same loadout.

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Halo 2's Coagulation remastered for Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo 2's Coagulation remastered for Halo: The Master Chief Collection

UPDATE: Video walkthrough of Ascension shows changes, additions.

UPDATE: Courtesy of YouTube user woooshness we have a video walkthrough of the reimagined Ascension for Halo 2 Anniversary.

In the video, below, taken from the Rooster Teeth Expo over the weekend, we're shown Ascension, which has been made HD and 60 frames per second as part of Xbox One game Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

A number of changes have been made, including tweaks to the level design, a new weapon spawn and, most importantly of all, an energy shield for the middle of the map. There are three control panels placed around the map, which can be activated to turn on the energy shield, providing cover in the middle for their teammates.

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Halo to stay Xbox One exclusive - for now

Halo to stay Xbox One exclusive - for now

"We're listening to the PC fans..."

Halo was once on PC. Will it ever be again?

With Halo: The Master Chief Collection, due out later this year, and Halo 5: Guardians, due out in 2015, announced for Xbox One only, it seems PC players are being left out in the cold.

"Right now we are focused on Xbox One," Bonnie Ross, who runs Halo franchise overlord 343 Industries, told Eurogamer.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection is pure fan service

And, ahead of Halo 5, the kickstart the Halo community needs.

There aren't a huge number of people still playing Halo online. Franchise custodians 343 know this. And ahead of the launch of Halo 5: Guardians, potentially the biggest Xbox One exclusive yet, it's time to do something about it.