Halo 2 was never about to see much. But it certainly didn’t do many favors with the 2007 Vista port, with many of the visual bugs carried over to the Master Chief Collection. But with this week’s Season 8 update, Halo 2 is finally a somewhat good-looking game — though I’ll still play the anniversary remaster.
Like Halo: Combat Evolved before this, MCC had problems inheriting from the older PC port of Halo 2. And like the first game, 343 is finally ready to fix those issues in this week’s update. The above comparison video from YouTuber GeneralKidd runs through a number of visual issues, from the lack of cross-fade (and sometimes even outright shadows) in cutscenes to the more general “flat” look for the game’s colors and lighting.
It’s not only fixed visual issues, either. In one case, the remaster accidentally managed to overturn a Wraith tank, leaving it standing upside down with a helpless animal. Other YouTubers have noticed that the improvements aren’t just limited to Halo 2, either, with Halo 4’s cinematics getting some love as well.
Earlier this week, Season 8 could be the last seasonal update MCC has received yet. But despite the medieval weapons, it’s a good season to end. A new map redefines Halo 2 Arena Turf for Halo 3, and expands the custom game pool to include the first and third games. Sadly, Flood Firefight has been a little late, but ODST’s PvE mode is nonetheless enhanced with more customization options.
Most excitingly, Season 8 introduces a full suite of modding tools for Halo 2 and 3. The 343 can be done with MCC for the most part, but here’s hoping it paves the way for new maps, modes, and a richer view of custom. campaign for years to come.