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Halo: The Master Chief Collection is bringing the Flood to Firefight

A swarm of fungal flood "combat forms"
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Like it or not, 343 has shown no sign of slowing down updates for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Set to start this week, the next flight (test build) for the MCC adds a revamped arena and pits the grunts of Halo 3: ODST against the fungal undead Flood hordes.

Detailed in a Halo Waypoint post last Friday, the incoming test build brings in a pretty hefty list of new additions. Chief (hah) among them are better customisation updates for ODST's version of horde mode Firefight which, according to a teaser image, will let you pit Nathan Fillion's band of skydiving soldiers against the flood.

Fighting the flood

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

While it'd seem a natural fit, mainline Halo games haven't ever featured zombies in their Firefight survival modes. Modders have filled the gap with Call of Duty-inspired reworks of existing maps, but it's neat to finally see Halo jump on the zombie survival bandwagon at this late stage. 

The other headline addition is the arrival of new map Icebox. Like Edge and Waterfall before it, Icebox is being ported over from doomed spin-off Halo Online. Unlike those two, it may actually be fun to play on, considering it's a remake of Turf, a map exclusive to Halo 2's Vista-exclusive PC release.

While 343 has only teased a load screen, we do get a nice look at the map layout and frozen new aesthetic—the remake trading out Turf's dusty Mombasa streets for a Russian metropolis.

Load screen for Icebox

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Beyond those big additions, the Season 8 flight is also testing a slew of smaller, welcome changes. Having fixed the first game's visual bugs, Halo 1 will now let you use a HUD more faithful to the original design (upscaled to 4K resolutions). Halo 1 and 3 have been added to the custom game browser. With proper mod tools now out in the open, expect to dive into some truly wild maps and modes.

343 is also testing more granular body types and voices in Reach Firefight, and is adding broader accessibility options including colour blind support and more tweakable subtitles.

Assuming all goes to plan, these additions should hit the live game when Season 8 arrives sometime soon.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.