One of the big selling points of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was getting to play Halo 2: Anniversary Edition gloriously rebuilt for Xbox One. However, not everything is coming along quite smoothly. 343 Industries has revealed that Halo 2: Anniversary Edition’s campaign will not run at a native 1920×1080 resolution, but at 1328×1080 instead.
This downgrade has nothing to do with Xbox One not being capable of handling native 1080p, but due to the fact that the game is running two different engines. 343 Executive Producer Dan Ayoub revealed to IGN that Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is using the original graphics engine and the Xbox One-ified Anniversary graphics engine simultaneously and the original Halo 2 audio engine and remastered Anniversary audio engine simultaneously. This way, players can switch back and forth between the original and Anniversary graphics and audio. The trade-off is the slightly lower resolution.
“During development we were really pleased with the way the engine and buffer allowed us to switch instantly between classic and Anniversary engines that are running simultaneously – however that, as you might expect, put a hit on resolution. The campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary looked fantastic at 720p with the level of detail and clarity it gave us, but like every other aspect of the game and tech, we wanted to push it further. So in the last weeks of development, our teams were able to meet a stretch goal and the campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary now runs 60 fps at a crisp resolution of 1328×1080, which is a significant and meaningful boost in image quality we think fans are really going to appreciate. All of the other games across the entire package of The Master Chief Collection run 60 fps at 1920×1080 native.”
It isn’t all doom and gloom. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, Halo 3, and Halo 4 all run natively at 1080p, as does Halo 2: Anniversary Edition’s multiplayer. Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is sure to look amazing despite the lowered resolution when it launches as part of the Halo: Master Chief Collection on November 11.