Halo: The Master Chief Collection continues to expand and improve with new updates, including a substantial upgrade to the audio design of one game in the collection. Currently, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary supports only the updated audio for multiplayer, not the classic sounds. This has bugged some players, and 343 Industries has now confirmed it will add the classic Halo: CE sounds to multiplayer soon.
The option to hear the original Halo: CE sounds is available in the campaign on PC (which is currently in testing) and on Xbox, but only the updated audio for multiplayer is available.
“We are happy to announce that we are now putting the final polish on bringing the classic Halo: CE multiplayer sounds to the Halo: CE PC launch,” 343 said in a blog post. “Initial playtest feedback is that players are happy to have the original audio in place, which brings the overall Halo: CE multiplayer another step closer to the way we all remember it on the original Xbox.”
There will be a toggle option in the settings so players can choose if they want to hear original or updated sounds in multiplayer. This option is currently being tested in the game’s private beta tests, or “flights,” and it will be available at launch when Halo: CEA is ready for release on PC.
343 Industries is working with postproduction company Formosa Group (The Last of Us: Part II, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) on bringing back the original sounds for Halo: Combat Evolved. Formosa’s Paul Lipson said in the blog that bringing back the original audio has “required some deep-code work to make it happen.”
“The good news is we already have two identical sound sets for H:CEA, the original and the Anniversary updated content,” Lipson added. “The trick has been to have these two sound trees live side by side, and then create a user-selectable option that loads one or the other on-demand. This is more complicated than it sounds but it is something we are delivering.”
Microsoft is working with Formosa on more than Halo: CE. Formosa is also working on upgrades and improvements for every title in Halo: MCC–Halo: Reach, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4.
“It is a large coordinated effort from content experts, coders, producers, and franchise leads to make it happen,” Lipson said. “The code side requires a heavy focus as we advance the experiences to PC; we want fans to feel the same joy as the original release of the games and feel good about the optimization and fidelity gains available to us today. Fixing bugs is never easy, but we are confident on how things should sound and appreciate the feedback and insight from the community of Halo faithful.”
Lipson added that the team has “some exciting things” to announce in the near future.
In addition to the ongoing development of Halo: MCC, developer 343 Industries has a second internal team working on Halo Infinite. The game is a launch title for Xbox Series X, and it will also play on Xbox One and PC. It’s part of Game Pass, so all subscribers get it at no extra cost. Additionally, Microsoft’s new cross-buy program, Smart Delivery, allows people to buy Halo Infinite on a regular Xbox One and get it for Xbox Series X as well.
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