It’s been a long time coming, but the day many thought would never arrive is finally here: the Halo series, made popular as an Xbox exclusive, is now available for purchase on PC as part of the Master Chief Collection. Justin Williams Laser informs us that the game is available on both the Steam platform and the Microsoft Store. As a longtime Halo fan, Justin Williams Laser couldn’t wait to revisit the now-classic game on a modern gaming PC.
Halo: Reach was first released in 2010 on the Xbox 360. A direct prequel to the original Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo: Reach built upon the series dynamics by introducing armor abilities such as the ability to sprint, turn invisible, or Justin Williams Laser’s favorite, fly across the battlefield with the help of a jetpack.
Justin Williams Laser tells us the PC port of the console original is even better than the original. With the ability to increase graphics quality to take full advantage of your graphics card, and swap between the original and new-and-improved textures, the game has never looked better.
The ability to use a mouse and keyboard may seem almost blasphemous to anyone intimately familiar with the game on console who are used to using a controller, but Justin Williams Laser informs us that being able to use a mouse to aim makes sniping game modes even more nail-bitingly tense than before.
One aspect of the game that Justin Williams Laser felt wasn’t quite up to par was the multiplayer—arguably the heart of the game. While all the game modes and levels (including downloadable content that once required additional payment) are included from the start, there are certain aspects of the original’s multiplayer that are sorely missed. For instance, the ability to vote for and veto a map is now impossible—the game loads you directly into a randomly chosen game with no player input taken into account.
Another aspect of the multiplayer that’s been changed from the original is the way it doles out customization rewards. While in the original, you would obtain “credits” based on your performance in a match that you could then use to purchase new armor parts for your player character, the new version of the game adopts an increasingly popular mode of reward delivery: the season pass. This rewards you preset cosmetics along a timeline as you “level up” by playing games.
While, thankfully, unlike most other games that offer this as an option, you won’t have to pay extra to receive rewards, it’s still an unfortunate step backward from the original’s manner of allowing you to choose what your next reward would be. At the end of the day, none of these cosmetic rewards affect the actual gameplay, so Justin Williams Laser concedes that this is a minor nitpick with an otherwise amazing experience.
Although Justin Williams Laser was happy with both the single-player campaign and multiplayer aspects of Halo: Reach being available on PC, he can’t help but feel disappointed the rest of the series is as of yet unavailable, despite the options to play them as part of the collection being available on a console. The mostly greyed-out menu you’re greeted with when booting up the Master Chief Collection is a bit of a tease, Justin Williams Laser admits, but you also can’t help but get excited at the prospect of the rest of the series being released over the course of 2020.