Halo: The Master Chief Collection is understandably huge. Four full Halo games are included on one disc, and aside from ODST and Reach, every core Halo game is present in the collection. The Master Chief Collection is all building towards next year's Halo 5, but there's one thing that the collection has over every other game in the franchise: achievements.
Back at e3 earlier this year, it was announced that The Master Chief Collection would ship with an absolutely ridiculous 402 achievements, for a total Gamerscore of 4000 points. No other game on Microsoft's machines have even come close to that. In fact, the average for a standard retail game is only 1000 points. Following the announcement, fans waited for months, wondering what the new achievements would be. Finally, the fans have their answer.
As part of IGN First, 343 Industries detailed the full achievement list for The Master Chief Collection. It's huge, everyone knew that, but one thing fans were worried about was that the developers would simply copy-and-paste the old achievements over to the new game. Thankfully, that's not the case; 343 Industries has gone back and tweaked every single game's list of achievements.
The Master Chief Collection's achievements are split into five basic categories: one for each individual title, and an 'Overall' section. The Overall achievements track progress across all games on the disc, and are typically challenges associated with a total number of kills or playlist completion. The game-specific achievements are obviously more focused, and are, for the most part, about completing campaign missions and playing that specific game's multiplayer modes. Halo 2, being the general focus of the collection, has the most achievements at a whopping 111, while Halo 4 is the lightest of the group at 51.
A surprising number of the collection's achievements have to do with the games' new leaderboard system. From what the list details, it seems that every single-player mission will have a set time to beat; once the level is completed under said time, the achievement is unlocked. 343 Industries has yet to go into too much detail on the leaderboards, and it remains to be seen if players will have any impact on the par time for each challenge.
Another nice touch is the collection's focus on easter eggs and hidden secrets within the games. Hidden musical cues, special NPC dialogue and a massive list of skulls have been included, and aside from the leaderboard challenges, hunting for these secrets may take up more of the list than anything else. 343 Industries has been adamant about how The Master Chief Collection is great for new fans of the franchise, but it's nice to see that the team has put in just as much for franchise veterans, too.
For the most part, it seems that The Master Chief Collection won't be too hard to complete. Of course, there are long-term achievements, such as completing playlists on the highest 'Legendary' difficulty, but otherwise, the list seems relatively tame. If anything, the sheer number of achievements will be the hardest challenge to overcome, but given the tenacity of Halo players, someone will likely complete the entire list on the day of release.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and all 402 achievements, is due out on Nov. 11.