Not Even the Master Chief Can Avoid Battle Pass Fever

Not Even the Master Chief Can Avoid Battle Pass Fever

When Halo: Reach comes to PC and The Master Chief Collection, it'll bring a familiar looking progression system with it.

Halo: Reach's slow and steady progress towards release on the PC, as the first entry in the platform's version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, continues onwards. In the most recent development update from 343 Industries, the studio provides an early look at how the addition of Reach will change the bundle's approach to cosmetic unlocks and—surprise, surprise—it looks quite similar to a battle pass.

Once Halo: Reach launches for the PC and in the Xbox One version of The Master Chief Collection, it'll layer on this familiar looking progression system. The first season of this new approach will include armor customization options for Spartans and Elites along with other cosmetic content that appeared in Halo: Reach's original Xbox 360 release. The UI preview screenshots suggest that these will be divided up into 100 tiers, each unlockable in sequence for one "season point" each. You'll earn season points through earning XP in matchmade multiplayer.

So far, so much like a battle pass. | 343 Industries

The piecemeal rollout of Halo titles for The Master Chief Collection on the PC means your progression climb will be a little different depending on your platform. To start, since only Reach is launching for the PC before any of the other titles in the collection, Reach's multiplayer (including the PVE Firefight mode) will be your only way of earning XP and season points. On the Xbox One, matchmaking on any game in The Master Chief Collection will count towards points for those Halo: Reach cosmetic unlocks.

In a previous Q&A concerning the new progression system, design director Max Szlagor clarified some other details about how its seasons work. 343 estimates it will take between 75-100 hours of gameplay to unlock all the items in the first season, and the addition of future seasons won't take away players' ability to unlock items from the first.

343's new status update also gives details on Reach's recommended PC specs and adds that Windows 10 store and Steam players will not be divided into separate matchmaking pools—crossplay with Xbox One, however, won't be supported at launch.

We'll see whether the Master Chief Collection's new seasons inch closer to other games' free-and-premium hybrid battle pass approaches. Destiny 2's doing battle passes now, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's ditching supply drops for them... and now a re-release of a nearly decade-old game will incorporate the approach.

With Reach currently in another PC testing "flight," it's unclear whether it will launch before the end of 2019 as originally promised. If it does, is it fair to call 2019 the year of the battle pass?

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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