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Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary unexpectedly launches on Steam

You can pick between old and new graphics with the press of a button. (Image source: Xbox)
You can pick between old and new graphics with the press of a button. (Image source: Xbox)
Surprise! The first entry in the Halo franchise has been added to the Master Chief Collection on Steam. The PC release of the Anniversary edition features many PC centric options, including UHD resolutions and an unlocked frame rate. Owners of the full collection will receive the game for free, but the Xbox classic can also be purchased standalone for US$10.

In a surprise "available now" announcement, 343 and its partner Saber Interactive have added Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary to Steam and the Xbox Game Pass today. Halo: Combat Evolved has been available on PC for well over a decade, releasing not long after the game's initial debut on Xbox, but the updated Anniversary edition has only been available on consoles until now. Anniversary features remastered graphics, and the ability to toggle between original and updated styles on the fly. 

Shoppers are given the option of either purchasing the entire collection for US$40 or buying them individually for US$10 a pop (with the exception of ODST's campaign only release, which will be discounted to US$5). Alternatively, Xbox Game Pass subscribers get the games for free on the Windows Store as a part of their subscription.

The PC release of the Master Chief Collection introduces many PC only features, such as frame rates over 60 FPS, ultra-wide support, an adjustable FOV, and resolutions up to and beyond 4K (I successfully ran the game at 8K on a 2080 Ti with smooth performance).

Actually updating the game is unusual, as it requires a small game update on Steam, followed by a 6.5 GB download inside the game itself to access both the campaign and multiplayer. Owners of crammed SSDs will likely appreciate the flexibility of downloading only what they need.

343 plans to release all of the Halo games up to Halo 4 on Steam as a part of the MCC. Halo: Reach launched on Steam in December as the first game to be included in the Master Chief Collection. Continuing chronologically, Halo 2 Anniversary is the next anticipated addition to the MCC for PC gamers.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary unexpectedly launches on Steam
Jonathan Hayhurst, 2020-03- 4 (Update: 2020-03- 4)