A deep space sky is laid out before me. Stars twinkle, almost blinding. AI Cortana’s voice welcomes me as I return on my journey. Available both as a standalone product and part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 3 is finally on PC. It’s a good thirteen years after originally releasing on Xbox 360, but better late than never right? I’m finally home, all over again.
Set as the thrilling conclusion to the original trilogy, Halo 3 went absolutely gangbusters when it released in 2007. It (like this 4K remastering), follows Master Chief, the cybernetically enhanced super-soldier’s adventures in an intergalactic war. The alien race known as the Covenant have launched their full scale assault on Earth and it is up to the soldier, with aids from the UNSC army and other friends along the way.
This story holds up quite well, if you recognise how outlandish and very video-gamey it can be. Whether it’s major character deaths or the bond between Master Chief and Cortana, there are definitely thrilling and moving moments in there. Having the higher resolution of 4K graphics definitely helps with these moments too. It’s just harder to find important moments in games as strong when they’re in far lower quality compared to the standard today. Sorry, but it would’ve been hard to feel anything today watching Johnson’s death in all its polygonal mess. Thankfully, I don’t have to!
That brings us to this aforementioned remastering. Along with a new quality resolution, players have at their disposal the ability to play at a locked 60 frames per second. As someone that never used to be a frame snob, but has recently joined the PC gaming space and sees the improvements that come with this, it excited me exponentially. Playing Halo 3 is as smooth as butter. There’s no easier way to put it. Aiming can now be whipped around so quickly and efficiently in a way that’ll make you feel like you’re seeing colour for the first time in a Halo game. Combine this with the muscle memory that comes from navigating familiar, iconic video game levels, and you’ll find yourself with a rhythm in gunplay pretty damn close to DOOM.