There’s no shortage of great new games to play, but something in the air has the ROG team revisiting their favorites from the past. We’re getting in touch with our inner space marine in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, seeking bloody vengeance in the Mojave Desert in Fallout: New Vegas, and getting ready to traverse the legendary Dark Portal to Outland in World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic. Keep checking back in every month as we discuss our favorites, new and old alike.
Lane Prescott - Content Team
For gamers of a certain age, Halo really means something special. It’s more than just the story of a giant space marine saving the world over and over or screen-peeking when playing multiplayer at your friend's house. Halo meant thousands of hours spent at the dawn of online multiplayer gaming on consoles. It's always had a special place in my heart.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an ambitious project that involves wrapping more than a decade’s worth of games from Halo: CE to Halo 4 together in a cohesive package. The complete single and multiplayer experience is ported, and it includes enhancements for the PC like ultrawide and high refresh rate support up to 240Hz. While none of these games were intended for use with a mouse and keyboard, the developers have made it feel natural. You don’t need to adjust settings between games, either. Simply set it globally and you’re good to go across the entire flight of games.
The real beauty of this game is the way that it just plain works. I turned the MCC back on after taking a year off, and multiple titles had been added in the meantime. I loaded Halo 2 and 3, then enabled matchmaking to use those two titles and Halo: CE. I was dropping Fiesta, Slayer, and SWAT across the three different games without leaving the same custom matchmaking queue. The flawless performance—no lag, matchmaking times, or hiccups—was an absolute joy, and it gave me the full nostalgic experience I was hoping for. My 14-year-old self reincarnated when I heard “DOUBLE KILL” again for the first time. After a “RUNNING RIOT,” I had to do a double-take and make sure I didn’t have any homework due on Monday.
It’s always a treat to revisit and enjoy legendary game. For some truly retro titles, the steps you need to take to get things running raise the barrier to entry. But The Master Chief Collection gives players a plug-and-play entry point to the Halo universe. After adjusting mouse sensitivity and a few graphics settings, I was off to the races. No matter what game got you into the franchise, it’s represented here. And if you have never had the privilege of playing one of these fantastic games, it’s never been easier to get started. I hope to see you in-game soon for some Grifball!
Brian May - Social Team
So you're probably wondering how I got here: bullet to the brain, left for dead, stripped of my inventory. The last thing I remember was my boss Benny, stunting a checkered suit, standing over me delivering his final punch line. Then, boom.
Even compared with the rest of the franchise, Fallout: New Vegas stands out to me for its storytelling. Every time I hear the classic Marty Robbins gunfighter ballad “Big Iron,” which is heavily featured in the in-game radio, I can’t resist loading up this title and trying a new playthrough with different skills and quest choices.
In my most recent playthrough, I awoke in Doc Mitchell’s house, patched up and resurrected, and focused obsessively on vengeance. I would kill Benny and the rest of his gang for backstabbing me in the outskirts of New Vegas. I pushed through Doc’s house and past the conflicts that attempted to draw me further into the Mojave Desert. While the game encourages exploration, I set my mind, or what was left of it, to locating my former boss.
I took what I needed from the gangs, legions, and armies fighting for the future of the Mojave Wasteland without getting too involved in their squabbles. New California Republic Rangers patrolling the Mojave helped me navigate my way through the remnants of the I-35 Highway toward the neon Sin City. The Legion located Benny for me at the Tops Casino on the Strip. By the time I entered the gates of New Vegas, I had the skills and arsenal I needed to take down my former employer.
I walked down the Strip and made a left at the large revolving doors. I had already memorized the route thanks to my handy Vault-Tec Pip-Boy. Using my high-level Speech traits, I was able to sneak my weapons past the gate guards. When Benny saw his victim enter the Tops Casino with a .38 revolver, he made one fatal slip: he tried to match the Ranger with the big iron on his hip. Quest Completed: Ring-a-Ding-Ding! Benny’s body fell to the floor as guards flooded into the card room.
Maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Time for a different approach. I quickly paused and reloaded my save before entering the Casino. OK, let's try this again. Check in weapons, go up the stairs, chat with Benny. This time, when Benny saw his victim enter the Tops Casino with a .38 revolver, he made one fatal slip: he accidently revealed his reason for shooting me. Quest Started: The House has Gone Bust!
Fallout: New Vegas allows you, Benny's lowly courier, to create a new future for the Mojave Wasteland. The story unfolds across countless decisions, and your main quest doesn't end even after you’ve gotten your justice. Fallout: New Vegas has reignited my passion for single-player adventure games. In the last three weeks, I've put over 35 hours into the main quest line, exploring all the unique locations and side missions. The Ultimate Edition of Fallout: New Vegas is 10% off on Gamesplanet right now, and I’ve already convinced my girlfriend to pick it up. If you’ve missed this entry before, sit back and get lost in Mojave.
Eric Born - Content Team
Some classics are easy to pick up and replay. Whenever I get an itch to re-experience Resident Evil 4 or Portal 2, all I have to do is load up the game and go. My favorite World of Warcraft memories have remained just out of reach, though. Sure, the zones, dungeons, and raids of the game’s early expansions have always been there, but the content of an MMO just isn’t the same once the player base moves on.
That’s why I was so excited for World of Warcraft Classic, and even more thrilled for World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic. I was a bit late to the Warcraft party back when it originally launched, so I had never actually attempted the classic raids. But by the time the Dark Portal opened and the alien world of Outland was fully explorable for the first time, my friends and I were ready to brave its dangers together.
My first raiding experiences were in Burning Crusade. I helped organize a guild, geared up my priest meticulously, and took my first cautious steps into the expansion’s first raid: the tower of Karazhan. Every moment of that experience is still etched into my mind. From the wild PVP battles at the summoning stone to the chess event, from the 10-person choreography required to beat the Shade of Medivh to the chaotic battle with Prince Malchezzar atop the tower, defeating Karazhan was an adventure I’ll never forget.
Burning Crusade Classic won’t take over my life the way that the original did, but I’m eager for the opportunity to experience it for the first time all over again. I’m ready for impromptu battles with Alliance players in the freshly repopulated Hellfire Peninsula. I know I’ll feel a smile spread across my face when I see the sanctuary city of Shattrath bustling and full of players once again. I’m eager to explore the jagged peaks of the Blade’s Edge Mountains, the broken, floating islands of the Netherstorm, and the demon-infested Shadowmoon Valley. And when my character is prepared, I’ll gather my friends for one last run through Karazhan.
Okay, maybe we’ll do it a few times. And we might as well try the other raids, once we have the gear. We never did manage to take down Illidan the first time around. After all these years, World of Warcraft is as engrossing and addictive as ever. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fresh character to level up to 60 before the Dark Portal re-opens in June.