Last night was my first true run with multiplayer in Halo MCC and so with only the original Xbox and 360 games as a frame of reference I dove in… only to find that the quality of experience here on Xbox One to be quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen in a game from the franchise.
I’m certainly not expecting the perfect game here. With my Internet speeds being at the low end of the spectrum (ADSL) I’ve grown accustomed to the occasional bouts of lag, but Halo has always handled itself well in that regard. Early games of Halo 2 in the years of the 360, hosted on the other side of the globe, held up surprisingly well.
However here I was put through constant rubber banding of my movements during a couple of matches; jumping me backwards and forwards through a map in such an unpredictable fashion that it made the game next to impossible to play. I’ve seen the occasional stutter in a game before but for a whole session, that was previously unheard of.
And yet, co-op seems to be serviceable and I had no troubles with it at all. My guess is that the co-op networking is based on legacy technology from the earlier games whilst the competitive multiplayer is an entirely new beast, one that the developers have yet to tame.
343 have made it clear that fixing this is a priority but I wonder if holding back on releasing that 15Gb day one patch (containing the multiplayer) would have been a good idea in hindsight. Better to have the campaign untainted while we wait for a working multiplayer game rather than tarnishing the whole experience at launch.