Halo 3 Gets New Armor in the Master Chief Collection, But Many Aren’t Happy About It

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As 343 Industries took over the Halo franchise, there was a hubbub about how the Master Chief’s new Mjolnir armor was missing a codpiece (yes, really). By the time Halo 4 came out, many had grown used to 343’s new armor styling, but it’s definitely a departure from the Bungie art style that Halo Infinite is trying to move back to. As of today, though, the Master Chief Collection has some serious fashion-clashing going on in Halo 3.

At the time of writing, Halo 3 has started to trend on Twitter because of the latest update to the Master Chief Collection. Just as a previous season of content added new weapon and vehicle skins to Halo 3, today’s update brings new armors—specifically, ones that were previously seen in Halo Online, a Russian free-to-play PC offshoot that was built off of Halo 3.


Left, the Halo 3 default armor. Right, a new helmet with the new techsuit underneath. | Mathew Olson/USG, 343 Industries

The new additions are all Halo 4-style armors dropped into Bungie’s game over a revised base model, and you can judge how that looks for yourself. Mixing-and-matching is also possible, as classic Halo 3 armor pieces can be grafted onto Halo 4’s highly textured and sculpted “techsuits” that cover beneath the individual armor pieces.

The new weapon and vehicle skins in the Master Chief Collection can be toggled off completely, but that’s not the case for these new armor variants. On Reddit, 343 Senior Producer Michael Fahrny says the team is “100% looking into a toggle” for the new armor, but for the time being, Halo 3’s multiplayer matches are going to look a bit… different.

While on the one hand it’s fun to see designs from an obscure offshoot make their way into the Master Chief Collection, their presence does detract from the idea of preserving the Halo 3 experience as opposed to that of Halo Online. It’s also different from restoring cut Halo: Reach armor options that were designed to match the game’s aesthetic. A toggle could work if these armors really don’t change anything about player hit boxes or animations, but if this wealth of new additions (I count a dozen new helmets alone) does have a noticeable impact on balance, a toggle option might not be the right fit.

For more on the philosophy behind updating, adding to, and maintaining the Master Chief Collection, read our interview with Fahrny from earlier this year.

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