Halo: The Master Chief Collection
In the best and most complimentary way, Halo: Master Chief Collection's Halo 2 multiplayer feels identical to the game I’ve already played.
It’s hard to discover any intricacies or small changes made the game with only one round of team deathmatch on Lockout with the Master Chief Collection, but as near as I can tell, the game is unchanged except for its visuals.
After starting up the game, I jumped into the menus to change my controls a bit. I am one of those weirdos who plays inverted, and a representative from Microsoft even scoffed jokingly at my request to change. To make things more complicated though, I also play with the boxer layout, where your melee and grenade buttons are switched. Thankfully, both options were changeable, and the button layout is even still called boxer, which means other weirdos like me shouldn’t have a problem changing their controls to the way they remember playing.
Muscle memory kicked in quickly even with the Xbox One controller. I immediately remembered every nook and cranny of Lockout, weapon locations, etc., and they were unchanged. I wasn’t the only one who remembered either, as the plasma sword was snapped up immediately.
I found my weapon of choice, the battle rifle, and quickly tried to find a vantage point while avoiding the middle area. My memory may have returned, but any skills I may have formerly had did not as I only obtained a staggering five kills over the course of the game. Part of the distraction though was me trying out duel-wielding combinations – a mechanic of Halo 2 that was dropped for subsequent releases. I kept getting killed as I tried to set up a plasma rifle and SMG combo.
Lockout’s visuals were the only thing that seemed truly different. It was always a snowy location, but now there are patches of snow visible on the ground here and there. There was also a strange creature in a glowing green tube in one of the rooms, which I don't recall. I was killed as I looked at it trying to ascertain what it was. For more images of Lockout, which was showcased this morning, head here.
At the end of the match, my team won even with my paltry five kills. I wrote recently how I was sad that I would never again get to play Halo 2 as the servers had been shut down in 2011, but after playing a single match at Halo 2 I am confident that my previous disappointment is now, thankfully, unfounded. I can’t wait to dive back in and revisit all those Halo 2 multiplayer maps I know so well getting kills (but probably mostly getting killed) along the way.