In the end, The Master Chief Collection brings a better version of the first Anniversary, a similar treatment for Halo 2 producing even more impressive results, and tweaked versions of Halo 3 and 4 for good measure. That's a no-brainer for both singleplayer and cooperative fans, but the weight of the multiplayer – re-capturing the gameplay and maps of Halo 2 to the finest detail – can't be underestimated.
Episode 4 packs enough subtlety and top-notch cinematic storytelling to convince players that the final chapter of Bigby's case will be more than worth the wait (if not a second playthrough).
MachineGames has accomplished their task of bringing some dignity back to the franchise, delivering a shooter that gets more right than many of its better-funded, blockbuster peers. Shooter fans may have had their doubts, but would be wise to play The New Order sooner rather than later.
Players attracted to the visuals and style may be alarmed to find the combat so frequent (and the writing uneven), but anyone even mildly interested in JRPG combat should give this game a look. Issues aside, it's a clear sign that even big-budget studios can stray from the beaten path with success. And there is no doubt many players will fall in love with its blend of whimsical storytelling, engaging combat, and an attention to detail that deserves particular appreciation.
The mystery is what drives The Wolf Among Us, with the many colorful characters, suspects, and witnesses encountered along the way heightening the overall experience and imbuing it with undeniable style. But with a two-month layoff, the connections to Episode 2 will seem more tenuous than the storytellers would likely wish. So whether that means players should hold off to play the game through in one extended setting, or simply replay past chapters and refresh their memory, it shows just how distinct The Wolf Among Us is from its zombie colleague.