An updated Halo 3: ODST will be added to the Xbox One-exclusive The Master Chief Collection as free downloadable content, compensation given to players for the game’s continuing problems since its November launch.
Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries, announced on Dec. 19 that a remastered Halo 3: ODST campaign will become part of The Master Chief Collection as a thank you to Halo players still dealing with the game’s disappointing release. The campaign will release in spring 2015 and is in development with the studio’s partners. ODST will be at 1080p resolution and 60 frames-per-second. The Firefight co-op mode from ODST won’t be added to The Master Chief Collection.
An exclusive in-game avatar and nameplate will unlock later this month for early adopters of The Collection. Players will also get one free month of Xbox Live Gold starting in the middle of January.
Anyone who played The Master Chief Collection between the game’s release on Nov. 11 and Dec. 19 will be eligible for all the free content. Users don’t need to have the game disc to confirm the bonuses. The in-game unlockables won’t be available to anyone who hasn’t played The Collection in that time-frame. 343 Industries didn’t confirm if Halo 3: ODST would be available to purchase for future players but said it might explore different options later on.
The Halo 2 Anniversary “Relic” multiplayer map will also be added to The Master Chief Collection through a free update for all players in spring 2015, regardless of when they accessed the game.
Halo 3: ODST first released in September 2009 for the Xbox 360.
The Master Chief Collection brings together Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (2001/2011), a remastered Halo 2 (2004) anniversary version, Halo 3 (2007) and Halo 4 (2012) with updated visuals up to 1080p. Every multiplayer map from those games is included in the Collection running on their original engines. Each Halo game in the package runs at 60 frames-per-second. The Collection has 450 Achievements for 4,500 Gamerscore.
The Master Chief Collection suffers from many ongoing technical problems present since its November release. Online matchmaking issues forced players to wait players up to several hours to connect to a single multiplayer session during launch week. Matchmaking is still a problem, with players unsuccessfully finding games, getting into full lobbies and facing lag during matches. Parts of the single-player across all the Halo games have bugs, glitches and even campaign progress not saving properly, all affecting gameplay quality.
Several patches have released that still haven’t resolved the game’s issues. This has led to many being frustrated with 343 Industries’ handling of the game’s development and the Halo franchise, which it completely took over from original developer Bungie in early 2012.
“This has been a humbling experience and highlighted how we as a studio can-and need–to do better for Xbox fans around the world,” Ross said in a statement. “We are so grateful to our fans who have stood by our side and we appreciate all of your patience as we worked through these issues.”
The Master Chief Collection retails for $59.99. All owners of the game will be able to participate in the Halo 5 multiplayer beta starting Dec. 29 through Jan. 18, 2015.
Watch The Master Chief Collection’s trailer: