The Horse You Rode In On (A Halo: The Master Chief Collection Story)

Brian AlbertHalo fans: You can cheat time.

Replaying classic games – and yes, Halo now counts – can be both a wonderful reminder and a disappointing eye-opener. Most of the great stuff is still great, but technical seams can worsen with age. With the new updates to Halo 1, 2, 3, and 4 in The Master Chief Collection (let’s shorten that to MCC), you get nostalgia with none of the side effects. You can have the Halo experience you had two consoles ago, without the wrinkles.

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Neonridr1411d ago

I still think they should have dropped the original engine from this game. It's a remastered game, so play the remastered version. Had they just done that, the game could have run at 1080p / 60fps. Instead, now they have to take a hit.

Sure it's nostalgic to include the original engine and give you the ability to swap on the fly, but 99% of people will be playing it on the newer, upgraded engine.

PockyKing1411d ago

Not really worried about the resolution as I'm sure most actual Halo fans aren't. I'm just ready to replay the campaigns and jump back into skill based multiplayer matches.

Eonjay1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

Could this be fixed by running one engine at a time? Its a little confusing because all other games are true 1080p in this collection. And from what I have seen the Halo 3 remaster looks more visually demanding. If the dual engine is the issue, perhaps they could make it so you can disable the engine swap if you want to play it in 1080p like the other titles.

Edit: Never mind. it seems like the original engine is necessary.

Septic1411d ago

Whilst I'm not that fussed, I don't get how Halo 2 is struggling to run @1080p but Halo 3 and Halo 4, both more visually intensive games made for the 360 (not OG Xbox) can run at 1080p?

Is it because of the visual switching option or what?

DeadlyOreo1411d ago

Not achieving full 1080p on such an old game is pretty poor.

Gh05t1411d ago


They are running two engines at the same time. Had they just opted for one engine that should have been no problem. They decided to run the remastered over the top of the original so that you can swap back and forth (On the fly). I think they should have just made it an option at the beginning of the game. Which engine would you like to use? Then the ability to change engines any time you load a save game. but they wanted to make it special... for some I guess.

Neonridr1411d ago

@Septic - it's because the game is essentially running twice. The new game on the new engine along with the old game on the old engine. With the flip of a button you can swap between the old Halo 2 and the newly remastered version. Because two games are being run simultaneously, the system's resources are being compromised..

DevilOgreFish1411d ago

"Not achieving full 1080p on such an old game is pretty poor."

It's not really an old game, halo 2 anniversary isn't out yet.

ProjectVulcan1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

Quite surprised.

Largely because Halo 2 is still only an original Xbox game. We're talking about it's original platform being a 13 year old console. Based on a single core 733mhz celeron originally released in about 1999 (it wasn't even that fast in 1999....) and a Geforce 3 with 64mb RAM.

You can run demanding games of that generation and age @ 1920 x 1080 comfortably on smart phones these days e.g San Andreas.

So I wouldn't expect such a big hit to performance. I mean even Xbox 360 managed dual engines for Halo Anniversary with impressive visual upgrades @ 1152 x 648. Xbox One should be 5 times faster than 360.

It must be them struggling to hit 60FPS. It was mentioned a couple weeks ago in the previews the campaign was closer to 30FPS than 60FPS and 343 said it'll ship at 60FPS. Clearly to keep that promise they have had to seriously cull the resolution.

dantesparda1411d ago

Its actually lower than 1600x900.

choujij1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

I'm actually kind of surprised they couldn't pull it off.

Maddens Raiders1411d ago

I'm just shocked by how many people are OK with the lot of XBO games running sub 1080p in two thousand and fourteen. To me, it's wholly unacceptable and boggles my mind.

BX811411d ago

Agreed. Halo has never been some graphical power house. Its all about the fun of the game. The game already looks beautiful. Not worried at all.

ABizzel11411d ago

To be honest I am a bit perplexed as to how this out of all games isn't running at 1080p on the XBO, considering it's a remaster of Xbox 360 quality games. Everything else is 1080p @ 60fps, so the dual engine response makes some sense, but one of those engines is an original Xbox game, and shouldn't be using 1/8 of the XBO's power.

1 CPU core and 1/8 of XBO's GPU should be more then enough to power through the original game in 1080p @ 60fps. Leaving 5 cores and over 1 TFLOP of performance left to plow through the remaster which should be enough for 1080p @ 60fps just like the rest of the games.

Some is off about this.

frostbite061411d ago

To be clear Halo 1,2,3, & 4 run at 1080p, 60 frames per second. Its 2A that runs at this crazy resolution, 60 fps.

People need to stop saying this game (implying the whole game) isnt running at 1080p. The trolls on this website are seriously starting to confuse people.

4Sh0w1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

I love this, 343 had a very ambitious vision for Halo fans and even for those who missed out on the Halo Universe and want to experience what Halo is all about= so they put priority on bringing that vision to X1:

"If it weren't running the OG engine it could in theory run at a higher resolution but that's not the intended nature of the project. It's designed to be a remake that lets you switch between the two instantaneously. Now you can feel one way or another about that, but that is indeed the intent."

-Lesser devs might have just opted to cut features, slap 1080p 60fps on it and call it a day but as a long time Halo fan who's played every Halo game for countless hours, I'm glad they chose to give Halo2 the authentic Halo Anniversary experience like the did with the original CE along with even higher quality upgrades than the CE Anniversary got. Yeah after a few playthroughs I'll be that guy going back 6 months from now looking nostalgically at the original game laughing about how the details look compared to the upgraded version.

1080p is great but I like devs pushing content as much as graphics like what Playground did with FH2 is a great example. I like 343's decision here, because I'm a realest and high ambitions on either console will be met sacrifices, given all the res talk it would have been easy for them to lose focus and cater to that mentality...its similar to how I appreciate Insomniac throwing everything and the kitchen sink into Sunset Overdrive at 900p rather than targeting 1080p and it looking slightly prettier, lacking the 8 player co-op, lacking largest open world they've ever done, lacking all their crazy ideas and weapons but hey who cares its 1080p with a dead city and overall its a boring game. Yeah but its 1080p like ALL games should be right?, pffft f-dat.

user3672721411d ago

60fps is more important and I suspect that having dual buffer to run 2 engines at the same is either 60fps and the current resolution or 30fps and full 1080p. If that is the case..glad they picked 60fps. Love how the haters are out in full force again pertaining to xb1 and resolution..😏

4Sh0w1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )


Lol, Ironically what they're doing with Halo2 A is alot harder both in terms of the dev talent and resources needed to make it work and the performance hit/horsepower it takes vs just doing 1080p without bothering with running 2 simultaneous engines for the seamless back n forth transition. As a longtime Halo fan I admire their focus on fan service over PR specs.

Antifan1410d ago

Xbox gamers are stuck in 720pland. They act like they're OK with it, but deep down, passed the fandom, they are really disappointed in the Bone. Why play these old games anyway that everyone has played a thousand times? Well, because the only exclusive xbox has this year was FH2. If all xbox will have is multiplats (inferior ones compared to the competition) then why buy the Bone in the first place? It seems those 5 million people who bought the Bone were MS loyalist from the beginning, and not really gamers who chooses the best platform with the best exclusives. The Xbox is not appealing to a broader audience other than xbox fanboys.

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 1410d ago
OpieWinston1411d ago

That'd be a bad plan since the original engine runs all the Halo 2 Classic MP maps.

If they dropped it, the nostalgic people who wanted to play Halo 2 Classic would be slapped pretty hard.

Especially since H2A currently only has six maps... You'd be dropping a lot of MP maps and it would miss lead people.

At the end does it really matter if the Halo 2 Campaign is in [email protected]?

The Classic MP and H2A is fine at [email protected]

Neonridr1411d ago

fair enough. I would have thought that all the maps would run on the new engine.

I can see the frustration then.

And no, the game will still look great, even at that resolution.

Volkama1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

He's talking about dropping the simultaneous engines, not removing it completely. At the moment you can switch between visuals instantly, because the game is basically rendering both versions into the frame buffer.

An option to choose the engine before going into the game, or switch it with a small delay (via the pause menu perhaps) would have been fine for most people.

Personally I do not plan to play in ye olde graphics mode myself, but I do not have a problem seeing them stick to their guns rather than buckle to the resolution pressure.

EDIT: OK going by his reply, he isn't talking about the simultaneous rendering :) Could have been though!

Ghost_Nappa1411d ago

shhhhhhh You aren't allowed to defile the holy 1080p on n4g /s

internationterrorist1411d ago

One would think that new next generation hardware . Would run a last gen game in 1080P 60fps. This is a first party game so there is no excuse. Looking more and more like 1080p 30 ffps on PS4 and x1 900p 30fps will be the standard for games this generation. 1080P 60fps PS4 X1 900p 60fps will be the exceptions the not the standard which is Very disappointing. Would have been nice if both consoles had more GPU power 2-3 teraflops. Most games should been 1080P 60fps this gen but that is doubtful.

shloobmm31411d ago

Its because the game is running two enginea at once. Not because they couldnt get it there. They want you to be abke to flip through the old graphics and new graphics on the fly which is why it takes a little bit of a hit. If not for that it wouldn't have been an issue.

aviator1891411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

It can run it easily, but the two engines running at the same time in the background is at fault.

If Halo 4 can run at full 1080p/60fps (which is probably one of the best looking x360 games and even rivals or bests some games on the new consoles), you'd know that x1's inability to run Halo 2 Anniversary at full 1080p wouldn't be due to the hardware power.

u got owned1411d ago


I think my IQ just dropped by reading your comments :/

The game is running two engines at once, that is the reason. BTW what does the PS4 has to do with this article. Go away with your fanboy rants.

Kingdomcome2471411d ago

Since every other game in the collection hits 1080p/60fps including the much more demanding Halo3/4 it stands to reason that it's due to the dual engines. I'm not an expert on these things, but simultaneously running two engines with the ability to instantly switch back and forth seems as though it could be somewhat demanding.

metalmatters1411d ago

@Aviator189 "even rivals or bests some games on the new consoles"

You lost me there, games like what? KZSF, Battlefield 4? Ghosts? Wolfstein?

internationterrorist1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

u got [email protected] shlobmm3 vikingland1 @

Yes two game engines powered by Da CLOUD, new SDK and pixie dust of DX12.

That's the stupided thing I have heard all day. Let make the game run in sub full HD. So people can see the game with old graphic. Why not just disable one of the game engines and make the game in full 1080P 60fps. You guy are gullible and will believe anything from Microsoft. X1 has a 3 year old entry level GPU that is why it will not be in 1080P 60fps.

LonDonE1411d ago

Agreed but what i hate is that they are not giving us the option to disable the on the fly engine swapping which is causing the halo 2 anniversary not to run in native full hd 1920 by 1080p!!

Why cant they have a option at the beginning to ask us how we want to go about it? i personally dont see anyone using his on the fly swapping more then once or twice for a few minutes if that! i will try it once just to see the improvements and then never use it again, so why cant we just have the option to disable the old engine? more options are always better!

Seriously i am so eager to go through all the master chief games at 1080p 60fps but this one annoyance is off putting.
I will say the game is pretty much native 1080p since its horizontal resolution is 1080p but its vertical resolution instead of being 1920 is only 1328 and then it up scales the rest of the way to 1920 which isn't much but still i would prefer to have the option of disabling the old engine for a smooth 60fps at full HD!
Why spoil it for a feature most will only use maybe once for a few minutes and then never use again?

Regardless i am foaming at the mouth to play through all the master chief games on my X1! already have it paid off in full, and pre ordered! just waiting for the launch day now, sigh :(

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1411d ago
christocolus1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

I really don't care if they leave the original engine in there.I'm just happy with what 343i has been able to accomplish with this collection so far. Ign was quoted in the article saying Halo 4 looks like it was originally developed for xbox one and the photo of halo2 in the article looks so crisp.its awesome.

Its so crazy cos as good as the halo mcc engine is, its still a reworked version of an older engine but Halo5 will be running on an all new engine built ground up for xbox one.imagine how good halo5 will look. Anyways Can't wait to get my hands on halo will definitly hold me till the almighty halo5 is released. Great work 343i.

VealParmHero1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

Yea as cool as it is, I agree. At the most, I will prob switch back now and then just for some good memories and a cool comparison. I almost feel like they would have been better off including the full Halo 2 original as a separate game all together lol.

turdburgler10801411d ago

If you already own a xbox one then by now you have stopped being bothered by these stupid resolution articles trying to get clicks. These articles are more or less funny because they make us appreciate the game more vs the graphics. You don't have to respond with some campy comment about how YOU can tell the difference because we just don't care anymore. I still like going to the assassin's creed unity comments and watching people (specifically PS4 owners) have meltdowns about 900p 30fps. It's pretty funny.

kryteris1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

pretty sure its a new engine, original assets, and updated ones. 2 modes.

AJBACK2FRAG1411d ago

I really didn't like the original.


I am sure that 99.9% of the people playing this game not not notice nor care if the game is 1328x1080 or 1920x1080. This is just more click bait to get people riled up.

Daz1411d ago

HaloCE campaign: 1080p/60
HaloCEA campaign: 1080p/60
Halo 2 campaign: 1080p/60
Halo 2A campaign: 1328x1080/60
Halo 3 campaign: 1080p/60
Halo 4 campaign: 1080p/60
Halo CE Multi: 1080p/60
Halo 2 Multi: 1080p/60
Halo 2A Multi: 1080p/60
Halo 3 Multi: 1080p/60
Halo 4 Multi: 1080p/60

Neonridr1411d ago

10 of these things belong together
10 of these things are kind of the same
1 of these things does not belong here...

Now it's time to play our game

Kribwalker1411d ago

I would rather hear it strait up like this then hear it after that it's 960x1080 like some other companies have done...

elsuperamigo1411d ago ShowReplies(1)
shloobmm31411d ago

I understand why they do it. On the Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary edition I was constantly switching back and forth and it was pretty cool to see the evolution like that. I think it's a neat feature and it being there with a slightly lower resolution will in no way negate the overall experience.

otherZinc1411d ago ShowReplies(1)
iNFAMOUZ11411d ago

uh no, dont drop the old engine, i want to remember my childhood kid

+ Show (13) more repliesLast reply 1410d ago
FsterThnFTL1411d ago

Halo 2 Anniversary is basically the Halo 2 (PC) version that was released in 2007 isn't it. Sure seems like it because that game was pretty badly optimized so I am guessing that is why Halo 2 Anniversary is having problems rendering at full 1080p.

Software_Lover1411d ago

Engine is the same, Game Assets are completely different.

Dread1411d ago (Edited 1411d ago )

Nope, good try but

its fully remastered with new graphics, CGI, music, sound effects, and story content to tie in the Halo 5 story ark. Also, you can switch between both versions on the fly with not wating time.

It also has all the Halo 2 DLC MP maps, including the computer exclusive maps, and best of all, six totally remastered maps from Halo 2 which look stunning.

not to mention the other three masterchief games with all the DLC MP maps.

not bad if you ask me.

VealParmHero1411d ago

It has to have a separate frame in the buffer at all times so that you can swap back and forth between old/new visuals. That is why running at 1080 is an issue. I don't think the game is really gonna look much diff anyways, not to say I wouldn't want 1080 if it was possible. Also, the rest of the collection runs at 1080/60. If Halo 4 will run at 1080/60, don't you think Halo 2 could have as well? Again, it is due to the ability of switching engines on the fly.

BallsEye1411d ago

Not sure if you read the article, but even halo 4(which looks miles better than h2 anniversary) runs at 1080p 60 fps in master chief collection.
h2 anniversary got decreased resolution because it's running 2 engines in the same time, with ability to switch in realtime with a press of a button.

Benchm4rk1411d ago

Seriously why dont people read the article. People here questioning why its not Full 1080p. It was clearly stated in the article.

"Due to running the original graphics engine and the Xbox One-ified Anniversary graphics engine simultaneously and t he original Halo 2 audio engine and remastered Anniversary audio engine simultaneously, Halo 2's campaign does run at 60fps but, resolution-wise, clocks in at 1328x1080. Here's an explanation from 343 executive producer Dan Ayoub: “During development we were really pleased with the way the engine and buffer allowed us to switch instantly between classic and Anniversary engines that are running simultaneously – however that, as you might expect, put a hit on resolution. The campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary looked fantastic at 720p with the level of detail and clarity it gave us, but like every other aspect of the game and tech, we wanted to push it further.  So in the last weeks of development, our teams were able to meet a stretch goal and the campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary now runs 60 fps at a crisp resolution of 1328x1080, which is a significant and meaningful boost in image quality we think fans are really going to appreciate. All of the other games across the entire package of The Master Chief Collection run 60 fps at 1920x1080 native.”

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1411d ago
n4gamingm1411d ago

I can live with that but I wished they gave us a option to just run one engine on campaign so we can get full 1080p.

Software_Lover1411d ago

I agree. They should just cut back on style and give people what they want.

aviator1891411d ago

I agree.
That would have appeased some of the 1080p folk.
But I'd definitely prefer having the ability to switch between old style and new style graphics on the fly over playing the game at 1080p without having the classic switch ability.

hello121411d ago

Its a nostalgia effect, the older Halo players will love its the reason why its there.

Kayant1411d ago

"Here's an explanation from 343 executive producer Dan Ayoub: “During development we were really pleased with the way the engine and buffer allowed us to switch instantly between classic and Anniversary engines that are running simultaneously – however that, as you might expect, put a hit on resolution. The campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary looked fantastic at 720p with the level of detail and clarity it gave us, but like every other aspect of the game and tech, we wanted to push it further. So in the last weeks of development, our teams were able to meet a stretch goal and the campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary now runs 60 fps at a crisp resolution of 1328x1080, which is a significant and meaningful boost in image quality we think fans are really going to appreciate. All of the other games across the entire package of The Master Chief Collection run 60 fps at 1920x1080 native.”

Sounds like a good trade off considering (60fps, two engines for instant switch,audio) but some people would probably would have liked the option of just running the one at 1080p without the instant switch stuff.

Software_Lover1411d ago

...... that sucks for those expecting/wanting it.

Not stopping my purchase.