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Halo's decades-old janky PC visuals are finally getting fixed

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection is finally fixing up a series of graphical hiccups that have been present in the first Halo since Gearbox Software's original PC port.

Bringing Bungie's FPS to PC all the way back in 2003, the Gearbox port of Halo has been the foundation for every version of Halo: Combat Evolved (opens in new tab) since—including the Anniversary Edition contained within the MCC. Unfortunately, this also means these versions inherited a number of visual flaws introduced in the port.

343 is now 'flighting' (testing) fixes to Halo PC to better mirror the original Xbox release. Missing bumpmaps have been re-introduced to dozens of textures, transparency issues have been patched up, energy shields once again change colour when shot, and the glaring absent fog on Assault on the Control Room has returned among many smaller changes.

Granted, none of these were game-breaking changes. But it was wild that Halo's PC ports have looked so much worse than the 2003 original (even if they ran at high-res resolutions and playable framerates). Fans have been waiting almost two decades for these problems to be resolved.

Season 7 of the Master Chief Collection also continues 343's trend of cramming new content into Halo 3's multiplayer (opens in new tab). Elites have been given new armour customisation (opens in new tab) options reflecting their chunkier look in Halo Reach onwards, while another map, Edge, is coming over from Halo Online. Let's hope it's better than Waterfall, eh?

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 a part-time game developer herself, 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 also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.