This weekend, Microsoft has begun alerting early buyers of “Halo 3: The Master Chief Collection” that their free download of “Halo 3: ODST” is now available. The additional Halo game was handed out as a thank you to fans who suffered through the buggy initial release of “The Master Chief Collection.” But some have reported problems getting this new game too.
You may recall that Halo 3: The Master Chief Collection shipped in November 2014 as a launch title for the Xbox One. It included remastered versions of the original Halo games which featured the iconic Master Chief character, so Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 from the original Xbox plus Halo 3 and Halo 4, which originally shipped on Xbox 360.
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Halo 3: The Master Chief Collection was highly rated and some of the titles were lovingly brought forward to the Xbox One with higher resolution textures and improved music and sounds. But the title was also humongous and required an incredible multi-gigabyte download on launch day if you purchased it electronically (vs. on disc). So Microsoft offered these early buyers—people who bought the game that first holiday season—a number of free bonuses, including Xbox Live Gold time and some in-game additions.
Halo 3: ODST is quite likely the last of these bonuses. This game originally shipped in 2009 for the Xbox 360 and paralleled the story of Halo 3. But because it didn’t feature Master Chief, it wasn’t part of the original Collection.
It’s available now. According to the message I received from Xbox, the Halo 3: ODST campaign is now available using a provided code. To get this code, and the game, you must have purchased the Collection that original holiday season—that is, before December 19, 2014—and you must redeem the code by June 30, 2015.
If you didn’t buy the Collection early enough, you can still buy Halo 3: ODST for just $5. (You must already own Halo 3: The Master Chief Collection, however.
According to reports, however, some users are experiencing trouble downloading the game, shades of the original Collection release. So maybe this won’t be the final bonus.
Hopefully, the coming Gears of War Collection goes a bit smoother.