Back in 2014, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was one of the most ambitious gaming projects to date. It promised to bring the four Master Chief-centric Halo games to the Xbox One, complete with functioning online multiplayer for Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, at a native 1080p and 60hz. Between Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2/Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, and Halo 4 there are 103 multiplayer maps and 45 campaign missions. When Halo 3: ODST was added as an apology for the collections launch issues, the number of campaign missions increased to 57. If it weren’t for the various technical problems that still plague the game almost 4 years later it would have been one of the greatest experiences ever. With the advancements made to the Xbox One’s systems, 343 Industries is diving back into the game this year to completely overhaul it in the hopes of ridding it once and for all of every single problem that has plagued it since November 2014. In addition to this overall, every game in the collection will be receiving an Xbox One X overhaul resulting in native 4K resolution at 60hz and HDR. The games menu’s will also be receiving an overhaul to make them better, multiplayer maps will no longer be voted on in order to prevent players from picking Halo 3 every, single, time.
The game will now also have what 343 Industries is calling an “intelligent delivery system.” What this allowed you to do is go into the games options and choose what you want to have installed. Each game, except ODST, is split into a campaign half and a multiplayer half. By checking the individual boxes you can choose which parts of which games you wish to have installed and thus have access too for multiplayer playthroughs and of course multiplayer playlists. This will help players save space in the event that they don’t want Halo 4 installed, or if they don’t want to deal with Halo 3 players who won’t play anything else. However, the latest screenshot of the intelligent delivery menu may tell more than 343 Industries is prepared to reveal at this time.
As you can see in the image above, all 5 Halo games in the collection are present and account for. However, if you look closely at the bottom of the menu, you can see that the Halo 4 icon isn’t at the far right end of the screen. Instead, it’s barely past the center of the menu. While this could mean that the images are just closely grouped together and that there’s empty space on the other end, it could also mean that there’s something else there or at the very least that there may be something there in the future. The screenshot is careful to cut the image off at Halo 4 and show nothing past that. So what could be there? Well, Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2 are out of the question, as are Spartan Assault and Spartan Strike. Those games just don’t fit within the collection as the collection is made up of the FPS titles which players can transition seamlessly between. While Halo 5 isn’t necessarily out of the question, it’s size is larger than the entirety of the current Master Chief Collection and as a result would make the game over 200GB large if it were to be included. The intelligent delivery system could cut down on that, but odds are a lot of people would install the whole thing. It’s not a terrible idea, but also not likely. So what game does that leave?
In recent months, 343 Industries gathered feedback as to what fans would like to see added to the Master Chief Collection should the opportunity arise. Halo: Reach, Bungie’s last installment in the franchise a prequel to the entire saga that sets the stage for the events of Halo: Combat Evolved(I think the book does a far better job, but that’s a different conversation entirely.), tops the list. It’s the only Halo game that is not natively available on Xbox One, remaining as an Xbox 360 backwards compatible title running at 720p and 30hz. If Reach were to be added to the collection, it would add 11 campaign missions, raising the total to 68, and 25 multiplayer maps which makes the final tally 128.
And just for fun, if a theoretical Halo 3 Anniversary were to be real and come with a couple remastered multiplayer maps, lets assume 6 like Halo 2 Anniversary because Certain Affinity are a bunch of busy bees, then the total multiplayer maps would come out to 134. If 343 really wanted to make this the definitive one-stop-shop for Halo and merged Halo 5 into the collection... hang on let me do the math... 83 campaign missions and 168 multiplayer maps. These totals include blank Forge canvases and official maps made using Forge by the developers, but not Firefight maps or Warzone maps as Firefight may never be included in the collection while Warzone would also be up in the air. If I were to include Firefight maps into the count, from both ODST and Reach, the total would come out to 186 maps, and if I were to add Warzone onto that, the final total would be a whopping 198 maps, just two maps shy of 200. However, deduct the six theoretical Halo 3 Anniversary maps, and the total is 192.
Oh, but if we count Spartan-Ops, which are considered campaign missions, and of which there are a total of 50 missions spread across ten episodes, that would bring the total number of campaign missions up to 133. If it were added to the collection that is.