Halo: Master Chief Collection PC pre-flight gameplay

Ahh s**t, here we go again
Slayer! Just hearing that announcement brings pleasure

Whether you own an Xbox or not, I think we can all agree that Halo was and still is the king of arena shooters. I spent countless hours grinding Halo 3′s ranked playlist until I made it to the highest rank. The only feeling better than winning multiplayer matches was clearing the campaign on Legendary difficulty. Since then I’ve upgraded from Xbox to PC and have felt something missing in my life. Sure we have Call of Duty, Fortnite, and other FPS titles, but nothing quite scratched the itch like Halo. When I heard the Master Chief Collection was coming to PC, I was beyond ecstatic. I didn’t want to play it, I needed to play it.

What is the Halo Test Flight

Reach, oh how I’ve missed you

After hearing about the move to PC I immediately searched how to play this early. That’s where I found the Halo Insider pre-flight signup. Randomly selected players are given the opportunity to play it early and give feedback. The preflight is an early access build built for the flight testers. Any bugs or frame drops will most likely be fixed on full release. As of now, we’ve only played Halo: Reach with certain game modes released on certain days. Only two story missions were available at the time of the article. If you want to know more about the test flight you can head to Halo Insider.

Is Halo multiplayer still awesome?

Fragging out… literally
I know the original saying but in Halo, I’ll take the knife in a gunfight

Slayer 2v2 was the game mode for today’s test flight. I loaded in ready to rock and roll, but of course, I had to take a minute to adjust my aim settings. Halo is a very accomplished arena shooter and the gunplay is unique. I’m happy to report not much has changed in this regard. Good aim is still king, but well-placed grenades will catapult you to success in gunfights. Power ammo spawns at the beginning of the match and once in the middle.

The first few minutes of a match are spent by rushing to power ammo or jumping into a gunfight immediately. I didn’t remember exactly where power ammo spawned, but after a few rockets to the face, I quickly learned. You start off with a DMR, and an assault rifle. While you can scope in with the DMR you’re almost always better off hip firing. Hip firing is a staple in Halo and something that takes a bit to get used to. If a player runs up close, switch to the assault rifle, spray, and toss grenades. If that doesn’t suffice, bashing their nose works wonders as well.

See what I mean about grenades.

Movement and gunplay

After a few days of grinding Call of Duty, I’ll admit it took me a bit to adjust to Halo’s movement and gunplay. While the movement in and of itself isn’t clunky, it’s quite slower than I’ve grown accustomed to. You can choose between different abilities and load-outs. In 2v2 mode, gun load-outs are the same, but the included abilities range from sprint, jetpack, and decoy.

Movement is everything—any time an enemy moves close by they ping on your radar. But it’s a two-way street. While you can see enemy movement, they can also see yours. That being said, after about ten matches, I felt like Ninja or Wish You Luck in the old Halo competitive days. The gunplay feels exactly the same and that’s a good thing. Half the time you don’t even need to aim down sights, and with good aim and recoil control you’ll easily outshoot an opponent. The maps in Halo have always been some of the most balanced, and easily maneuverable maps in arena shooters. You can’t really say the same about other FPS games.

Calm down MC Hammer

Halo: Reach campaign playthrough

Mind the explosions Noble-6
Dodge thi… oh you dodged it

I know, I know, the burning question on everyone’s mind Is the campaign good? Of course it’s good. Better graphics plus PC movement equals a great time. Fantastic campaigns have always been a staple in Halo. It’s what put them on the map and keeps gamers playing. The replayability of the campaign is insanely high. And beating it on Legendary is no easy task. Almost every enemy can, and will one-shot you. The only way to progress was to memorize enemy locations and figure out which routes to avoid.

I did encounter a few bugs in the story but nothing as bad as The Witcher 3. A few times a team member would randomly walk into a wall and then teleport to where he was originally headed. The enemy A.I. was cheeky as usual and did everything in their power to dodge my grenades. The cutscenes looked great and despite being a pre-build, I rarely had any FPS drops. If this is any indication on how Halo will perform on full release, I cannot wait.

Elites are kinda mean

Elite ambush
Were not locked in here with you, your locked in here with us-

Now I know your wondering, yes, I did die a few times. But they totally weren’t my fault, elites are crafty little aliens wielding overpowered swords. I will note the difficulty was on Heroic so don’t look down on me too much. The Reach campaign is probably one of my favorites out of the series. The synergy between your character, Noble-6, and the rest of Noble squad makes you feel part of the team. Unfortunately, Noble team might not feel the same way, as you can see by Jorge letting me get destroyed by an elite.

Nice overwatch Jorge

All jokes aside, this was the game I spent most of my youth on, and I spent 1,000s of hours playing it. Having Halo come to PC is awesome and I appreciate the team making it happen. When it releases, you can bet my first task will be clearing Legendary in the campaign. I’m looking forward to the full release and losing track of what day it is again.

Coty Billy
Coty likes to hit the gym a minimum of 6 days a week to get strong enough to carry his team in Rainbow Six Siege. He also loves Chipotle, rock climbing, and reworking wires to watch them make sparks.

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