The “Halo 5: Guardians” announcement for 2015 on Friday gave credence to the rumors that “Halo 2: Anniversary” will be released this fall to the Xbox One. A new rumor this afternoon suggests that it could be something even bigger though with not just “Halo 2” but all the “Halo” titles starring Master Chief.
According to sources with Engadget, Microsoft will combine upgraded versions of “Halo 1 – 4” into “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” for the Xbox One. “Halo 3: ODST” and “Halo: Reach” will not be included in the package due to Master Chief not making a playable appearance.
If this rumor is true, it is definitely something that will have “Halo” fans pumped over just a “Halo 2: Anniversary” release. “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” already demonstrated the techniques that might be used by overlaying new HD textures over the existing game models while keeping the same engine and mechanics.
“Halo 2” and “Halo 3” would benefit from this the most as the former was released on the original Xbox in SD resolutions and the latter was stuff at a sub-720p resolution. The multiplayer mechanics should also stay relatively the same since “Halo 2 – 4” had their own online multiplayer whereas “Halo: Combat Evolved” did not and had to use the “Halo: Reach” engine for the “Anniversary” release.
Who would be developing the “Halo: Master Chief Collection” is up for question. Engadget correctly points out that Saber Interactive handled “Halo: CE Anniversary” and is thus, the most likely candidate for this release. Expect more details around Microsoft’s E3 media briefing on June 9 unless they are leaked first.
According to 343 Industries, “Halo 5: Guardians” is being built on a completely new engine and needs a full three year development cycle as a result. There’s also the mystery of who the Spartan is on the artwork released but it’s been confirmed that it is not Commander Palmer, Cortana or any other female from the “Halo” universe. It’s an all new character.