E3 — or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, for those who aren’t into the whole brevity thing — is in full swing in Los Angeles this week, giving gamers a peek at what they’ve got to look forward to in the next year or so. The next installment of the Halo franchise was expected to put in some sort of appearance, but yesterday fans of Master Chief got a lovely surprise with the revelation that Halo 1 – 4 are being updated for Microsoft’s Xbox One next-gen console…and you’ll be able to get the lot of them for no more than it would cost to purchase a brand-new game. You can see the snazzy debut trailer for Halo: The Master Chief Collection above.
The Master Chief Collection will hit shelves on November 11. It will include Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a newly upgraded Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4, all packed on a single Blu-Ray and all running in 1080p and 60 frames per second. The set will also include all the unlocked DLC content and multiplayer modes that the original incarnations of the games included, but with new dedicated servers. You’ll also get a pass for the Halo 5: Guardians beta that will kick off in December 2014.
One intriguing feature is that the set will allow you to create “playlists,” where you can string together different sequences from the four games and play them in any order you like. Want a backwards Memento-style retelling of Master Chief’s adventures? There’s an app for that.
Last but not least, you’ll get Halo: Nightfall, the digital film directed by a chap named (checks notes) “Ridley Scott.” Yeah right, like that’s a real person’s name… This is the project that was first announced this past April. Since then there’s been inconsistent word as to exactly what form the project would be taking, but apparently it will be released episodically, presumably on Xbox Live, in the same vein as Halo: Forward Unto Dawn. I’m sure it will then get a Blu-ray release of the whole enchilada on down the line. Nightfall is not to be confused with the Steven Spielberg Halo series which is being developed for Xbox Live and possibly Showtime.
Nightfall will star Mike Colter (The Following) as “a surgically enhanced super soldier” named Marlowe. He is described as “a rising star in a futuristic army who is troubled by aspects of the military industrial complex he inhabits. Approaching combat situations with caution and logic, he inspires loyalty in his fellow Spartans.”
All in all, the Master Chief Collection should be quite a treat for Halo fans, or a perfect excuse to dive into the series if you never have before. And for only $60, that’s a deal on par with the Orange Box from a while back. (Okay, the Orange Box was still cooler because it introduced the world to Portal, but still…)