Microsoft and its 343 Industries video game development studio have finally released the free Halo 3: ODST upgrade and additional map that they promised to users who suffered through Halo: The Master Chief Collection problems during the holidays.
343 Industries announced the free Halo 3: ODST add-on was rolling out to users in a blog post on its Halo Waypoint community blog over the weekend. Microsoft began sending out redeemable codes for the free Halo 3: ODST content on Saturday morning, shortly before that blog post went live.
Halo 3: ODST is being treated like any other piece of downloadable content on the Xbox One. That means users will need to download it from the Xbox Store as a feature upgrade for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Anyone who played Halo: The Master Chief Collection from release until December 18th should have received a downloadable code from Microsoft in their Xbox Live account over the weekend. When redeemed, that code unlocks the free Halo 3: ODST add-on.
It’s important that those with Halo: The Master Chief Collection take advantage of this deal as soon as possible. Xbox Live messages, which is where you can find the redeemable code, disappear after roughly two months. 343 Industries says that the messages containing the codes will disappear from Xbox Live on June 30th. Beginning in July, users will need to contact Microsoft Support if they’d like to get their free Halo 3: ODST download.
Free Halo 3: ODST is only part of the free upgrades being given out as an apology for a rather rocky launch filled with multiplayer problems and needed fixes. The title update that’s arrived on the same day as the add-on content includes a massive new Remnant map for use in Halo 2: Anniversary’s multiplayer mode. Again, everyone gets that piece of add-on content.
Halo 3: ODST was one of the first side games in Halo’s first trilogy of titles. It takes place during the events of Halo 3. You don’t automatically heal yourself using regenerative shields. You can’t wield two weapons at one time either. That’s because you’re not playing as series protagonist John 117. Instead, you’re The Rookie, the latest recruit to a team of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers or ODST for short. Your job isn’t to save the world. It’s to find a package and make it out of the devastated city of New Mombasa alive. Failure isn’t an option.
What Halo: The Master Chief Collection buyers are getting this week isn’t the complete Halo: ODST experience, just the campaign portion of the game. 343 Industries decided not to include the game’s Firefight challenge mode for some reason.
Halo Reach is now the only core Halo game not available on the Xbox One. The Master Chief Collection is a giant assortment of the games to feature John 117. It has high-definition remakes of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. Users can actually switch between the older graphics and updated graphics on the fly for an added bit of nostalgia. Halo 3 and Halo 4 don’t have new graphics engines, which is fine as they were already in high-definition. Besides the campaign, each of those games includes their multiplayer experience. Microsoft plans to release the fifth game in main Halo story later this year on Xbox One. It’ll be called Halo 5: Guardians.
Of course, Microsoft still sells Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In fact, it’s offering a new limited edition white Xbox One console along with a digital copy of the game. Users who don’t get a free code can purchase the Halo 3: ODST campaign for just $5 from the Xbox Store.