In recent days, there’s been huge speculation that Halo 3 might finally be set to get a remaster – joining Halo: Anniversary Edition and Halo 2: Anniversary Edition in a remastered trilogy. Sadly 343 Studio’s have shot the rumors down, insisting that they are focused more than ever on getting Halo 6 out the door (Whenever we get to see that). I for one hope this turns out to be a false flag by the developer. Halo 3 is easily one of the best games on Xbox 360 – and more than deserves a second shot of life with a modern coat of paint.
For me, Halo 3 is the best overall package the series has ever delivered. While there’s an argument that the original Halo’s single player was a more refined beast, that doesn’t take away from the grand scale that Halo 3 played out on. Few videogames have made their worlds feel as enormous as Bungie managed with Halo 3 – which made the Covenant invaded Earth feel simply staggering.
This is helped by Bungie’s excellent attention to detail, which saw Halo 3 take advantage of the Xbox 360’s hardware like few other titles did up to that point. The end result the most gorgeous Halo game at the time and setting the bar for what high end shooters should look like (Mixing it up with a variety of colours, shock horror). To see this re-imagined on Xbox One would be a treat for gamers – a chance to re-visit the game with the benefit of modern graphics.
Certainly it would compliment the soundtrack in Halo 3, which still sits among the best of any game – iconic and moving in equal measures. Everything from swell of music during battles to the lobby music in multiplayer felt epic in scale, preparing you for battle. There’s very little wasted space within the package, something a lot of modern shooters could learn from.
It was also the point where the series corrected it’s biggest misstep – the poor single player of the second Halo outing. Where Halo 2 failed to create captivating levels for you to explore, Halo 3‘s campaign (Other than the atrocious Cortana, but we’ll overlook that) was a blast to get through. From Earth’s battlefields to the Ark and beyond – everything felt oh so much bigger than before – creating a sense of epic proportions that the series just didn’t experience up to that point. True these scales have gotten bigger since – but I always appreciated the aesthetic designs made in Halo 3 – and I don’t think 343 have fully recaptured this in their titles.
The fact you could also share the experience with three friends – competing on higher difficulties and working towards a common goal was a true high point for the series. Some might argue that it devalued the single player experience – but some of the best times in Halo 3 was fighting alongside friends. Given the games huge emphasis on multiplayer – it made sense for this to be in the title. Bungie littered the game with hidden collectables and items for curious players to sniff out.
Halo 3 multiplayer remains one of the most versatile packages ever put together for a multiplayer mode. It’s a dauntingly staggering huge mode that encompasses an enormous amount of content and modes. From Forge (Which felt complete and worthy of its own standalone experience) through to the immense selection of multiplayer modes and configurations on offer.
From the likes of ‘Pheasant Run’ to ‘Infection’, ‘Jenga’ to ‘Crash up Derby’ – it was always a good time just experimenting with friends and jumping online just to see what the community had created this time. The sheer number of laughs I enjoyed back in the day made the title an event you couldn’t miss out on. I feel that one of the Xbox One’s biggest issues right now is that it misses this kind of title – and thanks to the shambles that was the Masterchief Collection, many didn’t get the chance to experience this on the Xbox One properly.
Yes backwards compatibility is there (As is the MCC, which we’ll forget about) but that’s not the point here. Halo: Anniversary Edition and Halo 2: Anniversary Edition were great outings because they remained loyal to what gamers wanted to experience. The option to flip graphics on the fly is as impressive now as it was then. To see that in Halo 3, would be all the more impressive – and complete the trilogy of titles that that made the series so great in the first place. Maybe it’s the completionist in me, but not having a Halo 3 Remaster would be a slight disappointment.
I’m hopeful that 343 Studios are playing with us – that they know how well a remaster of the series most popular title would be. It makes sense – and allows them to recapture the series at its best. I’m not the biggest Halo fan in the world – but Halo 3 has a huge soft spot for me. It’s one of those few console shooters that transcended it’s base and became more. It was Halo at it’s peak, a series that was confident and brilliant in equal amounts. So good was it that it formed the basis for the two expansion games (ODST and Reach) – which themselves are fairly great. While the odds of these two getting remakes are slim – Halo 3 is an outright classic, and worthy of a modern touch up.