Over the past few months, 343's role with Halo: The Master Chief Collection has slowly moved from curator to creator—rolling weapon and vehicle skills into Bungie's original trilogy. Next week, the studio goes one step further by giving Halo 3 its first new armour pieces in well over a decade.
Arriving as a free update on January 27th, Season 5 of MCC arrives with a brand new unlock path, letting you unlock up to 80 new armour cosmetics for Halo 3 and Reach and skins spread across the entire collection.
Season 5 of MCC arrives for free in just one week! Featuring:🛡️ 80 pieces of armor to unlock across Halo 3 and Reach👥 Brand new weapon skins🤼 A fresh set of Seasonal Challenges with 4 unique rewards🎮 On Xbox One, Series X|S, and PC🔥 And more! All live on January 27th. pic.twitter.com/873FKJ23feJanuary 22, 2021
While we get a brief peek in the above tweet, the new permutations are viewable in their entirety over on the Halo wiki. That post explains that many of these were created for Halo: Online, a free-to-play PC rework of Halo 3's multiplayer that saw only a limited release in Russia, but was quickly cracked open to create the first PC port of Halo 3.
Visually, they appear as a bridge between the design sensibilities of Halo 3 and 4—and as such, I'm not sure they really do much for me. That said, purists can choose to disable new cosmetics with a "New Skins" toggle, displaying players wearing them as bog-standard Master Chief stand-ins. This also applies to the skin-tight "techsuit" underneath the armour, which is receiving 2 new permutations to fit in with the new visuals.
Reach, meanwhile, will get two new helmets and six new chest armour pieces, largely giving robot hands to ones that didn't have them before. Unlike Halo 3, you're stuck with these new cosmetics no matter what. Yes, even the "Mister Chief" faceplate.