‘Halo: TMCC’ dismays fans with bugs

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Author: Will Westwater

I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection (TMCC)” was one of the games I anticipated most this holiday season, and now it is one of the most problematic games of the year. The promise of “Halo: Combat Evolved” (remastered), “Halo 2” (remastered), “Halo 3,” “Halo 4” and all the multiplayer maps on one disc for Xbox One is an incredible feat, but the technical problems with the game’s multiplayer suite continue to disappoint. “Halo: TMCC” is just another example in a growing list of games that are broken or flawed at launch.

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Updating devices and software has become a natural part of our technology-centered lives. Occasional updates are a good thing, as they improve software and eliminate bugs, but they should not be necessary to simply play the game. Day-one patches, or fixes to bugs discovered since the game was shipped, have become increasingly necessary to even start playing. The potential for games to be updated does not excuse the release of broken versions.

Not to sound like an old man, but the good old-fashioned Gameboy Advance never had these problems. I bought both the console and the game, and voila! I could play. Any bugs were handled before the game was released, and my Gameboy Advance SP still works to this day.

There are ways to ensure a game is ready for the masses before its release. Triple-A multiplayer games often use open beta tests to allow the masses to play the game and provide feedback. “Halo: TMCC” did not do so, although gamers would have gone nuts for a “Halo 2” (remastered) open beta. Bugs and server problems could have been addressed before gamers paid any money, and they would have been forgiven in a beta much more easily than in a finished product—a win-win situation.

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Delaying games, though certainly not something to celebrate, is also an option to prevent putting out a sub-par product. When Take-Two Interactive delayed “Evolve” until 2015, many gamers were disappointed. However, delays are not taken lightly by its creators; it was a decision they thought was best for the product. In this case, late is better than buggy.

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343 Industries has put a lot of love and care into the “Halo” franchise, and they will ultimately follow through on the promise they made to the fans. With enough updates, the multiplayer will work eventually. In the meantime, I will fill this unplanned delay with nostalgic trips through the beautiful, remastered—and functional—single-player “Halo” campaigns.

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