Those who have kept up with the Halo series recently, know that the classic games have slowly been rolling out for PC over the last several months via an all-in-one package called the Master Chief Collection (MCC). Developer 343 Industries announced their decision last year to port the entire series to PC with added features such as high resolution rendering, mouse and keyboard support, uncapped frame rates, bug fixes, and the list goes on. Halo Reach debuted for PC last December, followed by Halo 1 in early March. Now Halo 2 is moving through a limited beta testing phase, which means the full launch should come soon.
Players who want to participate in the limited beta must sign up for the Halo Insider Program here. Here’s how it works: sign up and look for an email invitation. You will either be prompted to download the test build on Steam or the Windows Store.
Based on what we’ve seen from previous playtests, there should be no less than 50k invites sent out, and we can probably expect more this time around since they’ve already had betas for Reach and Halo CE. If you don’t get an invite within the week, don’t worry; it doesn’t mean you’ve missed out yet. The developer sends out invitations in waves and exponentially invites new players to stress-test their servers. The beta officially runs until the 27th, but 343 has demonstrated a consistent tendency of extending their playtests to run for 2-3 weeks at a time, which means there should still be plenty of time to play no matter when you receive an invite.
The playtest itself will include a generous mix of rotating multiplayer playlists, the first 5 missions of the campaign, custom game lobbies, and theater mode (for watching saved game recaps).
The anniversary edition of Halo 2 includes updated graphics, but also includes a convenient feature for toggling back to original graphics and sounds on the fly. The game runs at 60 fps on the original Xbox One, so smooth performance should be achievable on nearly any semi-modern gaming pc.
Halo: MCC PC is currently available on the Microsoft Store and Steam. The full game costs $40 USD and currently includes Halo Reach and Halo CE, but Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo ODST, and Halo 4 will continue to become available leading up to the release of the newest Halo title (known as Infinite) later this year. The games can also be purchased individually if desired, for $9.99 each.