I'm slightly annoyed at how MS is handling BC Halo 1 & 2, even though the MCC is nice

Namely, the lack of BC support for the actual original Halo 1 and 2 on the Xbone and Series.

The MCC is nice, but:

  1. Halo 1 and 2 are STILL missing effects and other visuals. Halo 2 is still missing an entire real time lighting effect on every single cutscene.

You might be like “whatever, it’s just original Xbox”. but it really does make Halo 2 look more like the jump from Halo 1 that it was. For example, Arbiter standing next to a giant glowing armor closet:

There’s tons of cutscenes in Halo 2 that are broken like this. There’s a big image somewhere that I can’t find at the moment that shows how they’re all broken. Like how when Chief is in the bomb room all the mood lighting is gone, the elevator shaft is missing all the emergency red lights spinning, etc.

  1. Halo 4 is also missing lighting in certain cutscenes.
  1. Halo 3 is also broken in various subtle ways re: lighting.

“well, it runs at 60 or 120fps and is 4K” you say, and cool! but some of this missing stuff is … really a negative on the preservation side of things. Not enough that it’s unplayable, just, annoying. First world problems. And these lighting systems used hardware quirks on the original consoles they ran on, so it’s definitely going to take some work to restore them.

The thing that’s annoying is that the easy ‘fix’ (343 is working on fixing these issues, at least for H1) would be to also just let people play the original Halo 1 and 2 on the Xbone in the meantime. You’d get the original game PLUS it’d run in 4K… except 1 and 2 aren’t BC on the One, and it seems like it’s entirely arbitrary.

For comparison:

Xbox 360: you can play Halo 1 and 2 in BC. You can play Halo 1 Anniversary on 360.

Xbox One/Series: You can play Halo 1 Anniversary, Halo 3 (in 4K! which they added after the MCC’s release) in BC, ODST in BC Halo 4 in BC, and Reach in BC. They were all available digitally until the surprise delist late last year.

So if you want to play the original intact releases of <5 Halo, you need a minimum of two consoles no matter the configuration. You can play the 360 version of Halo 1 Anniversary on your One/Series but that’s also based off the PC port that MCC used so it has identical issues in the original graphics mode re:missing effects. They just need to whitelist Halo 1 and 2 for the emulator so people can play the OG releases if they want @ 4K.

And it’s not unheard of to release both the original in BC and a new edition. When Gears of War Ultimate Edition was released for the Xbox One, it ALSO included a license to the original 360 Gears of War 1, which ensured you had the choice to play the exact original release alongside the remaster. This is what the movie industry has done since DVD has been a thing, and with digital and BC it should be a thing on the game side. MS has done a really good job of pushing for and supporting BC, but this weirdness with Halo 1 and 2 could be fixed but seems to be held up by a random exec’s edict or something. I can’t think of a technical reason why.

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They are still working on BC games from the og and 360 consoles, just hope halo 1 and 2 are part of that list.

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The H1 and H2 (classic) shortcomings in the MCC are due to the bad pc ports from which the MCC versions come from. Halo CE pc was (mis)handled by Randy Pitchford and Halo 2 Vista was GFLW initiative at its worst, so no surprises. Anyway they have solved the 90% of the shortcomings and honestly Halo 2 Anniversary is so much better than the original (Halo 1 Anniversary less so), so no big deal in H2 case imo.

About H3 and H4 shorcomings honestly it’s the first time I see that, but, I mean, 99% of the game is so much better than the original, so, again, no big deal. The real shorcomings imo are only the ones in H:CE because the average remaster from 2011 didn’t really set the world on fire and “cover” the classic version problems.


Agree with you OP. They either need to fully fix the OG ports in MCC or add the original games to the BC list. Would be interesting to see Halo CE and Halo 2 at 16x the resolution.



They literally announced OG Xbox BC with Halo and Halo 2 as part of the announcement. Including showing of LAN play across generations.

This was also post MCC no less. Yet they’re still not there. Neither is Fable. Ridiculous.

I have to agree. Why Microsofts own titles are missing from BC is very strange. Fix this!

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Hopefully they add them to the BC program and fix the games in the MCC (which they stated they’re working on now).


Halo Ce will get fixed now

I would not pay too much attention to games listed in Xbox backward compatibility trailers. They even had Wolfenstein 2009 and Resi 4 prominently featured in their 2019 video, lol.

Agree that Halo, Halo 2, and Fable are unexcusable absences in the BC program. Even if updated versions exist, the option to play the originals should still be there. I don’t know why this isn’t a priority for Microsoft. :confused:

Because the backwards comp team hasnt been doing new releases since forever? Probably restarting at E3.

Agree, but it seems the BC team is working on other stuff right now (fps boost for example) hopefully it won’t take much longer until we have new games (and even more so that Halo 1 and 2 are part of it, and added to gamepass :P)

Maybe I dont follow this much but what is the problem with Halo CE remake graphics?

A lot of the lighting effects are gone - especially bloom based ones. For instance, when you look up in Attack on the Control Room, you just see the top of the canyon polygons instead of a bright sunny overhaze. The sun rays when looking through a tree are also gone, although they might have fixed that one recently? Jackal shields are weird. The sun is entirely in the wrong place in some levels.

Some of the issues are due to the original effects making use of quirks of the original Xbox’s GPU, and so have to be recreated. Some of them stem from the fact that Gearbox apparently used an older pre-release version of Halo 1 for the PC port, which is what Sabre based Anniversary off of. For example, Keyes is an older lower detail model than the actual Xbox release. Why Gearbox used an old build of Halo 1 and not the final retail release is a mystery to everyone.

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Yeah. MCC really should be the full Halo museum, so it just makes sense that the OG games should be an option. It’d also be great as you could use Series as Halo 1 lan boxes because at 4K splitscreen the resolution would be (well, 4:3 for halo 1) 1080p per quadrant.

It seems they’re not BC because… they’re just not. As far as we know the emulator work was already done.


I just want them to get Infinite out.

It would be awesome if Halo/Fable were the headliners of the next batch of original Xbox BC titles, assuming there ever is a next batch.

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i mean, separate teams and a mainline Halo wasn’t ever releasing outside of the Fall window

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I dont think / hope anybody on the backwards compatibility platfrom team is working on Infinite. Making your Halo 1 and 2 disc work on Series X should not need input from 343i.


You guys are correct of course :slight_smile: