Following the completion of all of the Master Chief Collection’s (MCC) PC ports in 2020, Halo developer 343 Industries has opted to take a live service approach with the MCC moving into the future. The game has flourished under this new direction. It has become one of Microsoft’s greatest hits, but some players, such as PC Gamer’s Natalie Clayton, feel that 343 Industries’ decision to add live service elements to the game detracts from what makes it special in the first place. They argue that if the MCC is meant to stand tall as a time capsule for the Halo shooters of yesteryear, adding in colorful skins, armor suits from Halo Online, and new maps that were never in the original games intrudes on this vision.
I understand where these fans are coming from, but I don’t agree with their arguments. Here’s why I think the MCC’s status as a time capsule is still being preserved, and also how the live service model 343 Industries has chosen is benefitting not just the game itself, but also the entire Halo community.
Everything new is optional
Source: 343 Industries Skins such as this one can be toggled off in the MCC’s settings.
The new Halo 3 map from Halo Online, Waterfall, is also only available in Custom Games. This means that players don’t have to worry about it popping up in matchmaking if they’re not fans of the map. It’s possible that this is going to change according to 343 Industries, but considering the fact that the studio implemented a toggle for the cosmetics, I imagine they’ll probably make one for Waterfall and any other maps that get added to the game in the future, too.
Don’t overlook the benefits
Source: 343 Industries The Challenges system encourages players to play Halo in ways they may not have before, resulting in the games feeling more replayable.
A lot of these features wouldn’t exist if the developers at 343 didn’t continue to support the game beyond just porting all of the games to PC. Many of them (and those coming soon, such as the custom games browser) are only there because 343 Industries has chosen to commit to the MCC long term.
It makes the wait for Halo Infinite less painful
Source: Microsoft Halo Infinite may be months away, but the frequently-updated MCC gives Halo fans something to enjoy in the meantime.
It’s true that nothing will be able to completely make the sting of Halo Infinite’s delay go away, but 343 Industries devoting some resources to give Halo fans something to get excited about is nevertheless pretty cool. It’s something that the developers didn’t have to do, but the fact that they did shows that the studio is trying to make the wait for Halo Infinite as enjoyable as it can be. I believe that benefits the Halo community greatly.
What do you think? Do you agree that the live service elements of the MCC enhance and improve the quality of the game? Let me know.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available now for $40 on Xbox and PC. It’s easily one of the best Xbox One shooters available, so you should absolutely pick it up if you haven’t already.
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