Halo 2 was never much of a looker. But it certainly wasn't done many favours with the 2007 Vista port, whose many visual bugs carried over into the Master Chief Collection. But with this week's Season 8 update, Halo 2 is finally a somewhat nicer looking game—though I'd still rather play the Anniversary remaster.
Like Halo: Combat Evolved (opens in new tab) before it, the MCC inherited legacy issues from Halo 2's prior PC port. And like the first game, 343 has finally gotten around to fixing those issues in this week's update. The above comparison video from YouTuber GeneralKidd runs through many of the visual issues, from the lack of cross-fades (and sometimes shadows altogether) in cutscenes to a more general "flat" look to the game's colours and lighting.
It's not only visual issues that have been corrected, either. In one case, the remaster managed to accidentally flip a Wraith tank, leaving it upside down with a helpless Brute standing on top of it. Other YouTubers have noticed that the corrections aren't just restricted to Halo 2, either, with Halo 4's cinematics also getting some love.
Dropping earlier this week, Season 8 may well be the last seasonal update the MCC ever gets (opens in new tab). But it's a good season to end on, garish medieval armours (opens in new tab) notwithstanding. A new map reimagines the Halo 2 arena Turf for Halo 3, and expands the custom game pool to include the first and third game. Sadly, Flood Firefight has been delayed a little longer, but ODST's PvE mode has nevertheless been beefed up with more customization options.
Most exciting of all, Season 8 introduces a full suite of modding tools for Halo 2 and 3. 343 might be done with the MCC for the most part, but here's hoping this paves the way for a thriving scene of new maps, modes and custom campaigns for years to come.