Halo Reach's Sound Is Buggered

halo master chief collection pc soundImage: Halo Master Chief Collection

So Halo - or at least Halo Reach - is finally on PC, and it's been a blast to play. But why is the sound so damn dull?

It's been the number one complaint from users since Halo: Reach's launch last week. Instead of guns having the oomph and impact they should have, gunfire and explosions sound distant. It's something you can hear for yourself in some ranked footage I captured a while ago, which should give some context to the complaints below.

The funny thing is, sound issues have been a problem in Halo: Master Chief Collection for a while. YouTuber Nighterlev put together a great comparison between Halo Reach's sound on the Xbox 360, and the sound of the guns from a Halo: MCC build in October.

Everything is completely off. The difference between the AR and DMR particularly in Halo MCC and the original 360 version is night and day. The Gravity Hammer just has no force behind it at all, and even the plasma weapons sound like they've been deliberately mixed to be quieter.

It's something that's come up in the recent Digital Foundry analysis as well. The backward compat version of Halo Reach, as played on a Xbox One X, has a much stronger audio mix. Guns are more present to the user, but on Halo: MCC, everything is just muffled. And this is a first-person shooter - if the guns don't sound good, the whole game feels off.

It's a known problem, as well. In the list of "top issues", audio problems are the first thing 343 Industries cited on the Halo Waypoint support site. "This is a known issue present at launch and the team is working to resolve this," 343 said.

"Unfortunately, it is not a quick fix and is one that will require quite a bit of work and time to resolve. The team is already working on it and will share an update when more progress and details are available."

It's nice to play Halo Reach at 60fps at 4K ... but like when Halo: MCC launched, the PC release needs a bit of work. It's nice to ALT-TAB in and out of games of Halo again, but the series deserves better than this.


Comments

    The sound is def borked on xbone mcc. The rest is amazing though.

    the muted sounds of the weapons is why i stopped playing it after i completed the campaign. my second issue with the audio is the lack of iconic halo theme. i never played reach when it came out originally, but there are times when its hints that its going to happen, but in the end it just blue balls you. its like watching the spinoff star wars movies and not having the iconic crawl and theme play at the start

      I remember at the time they said that the iconic theme is Master Chief's theme, and this game isn't about Master Chief.
      Despite that I think overall it's the better soundtrack. The menu music alone is so bloody good.

        Seconded, never played Reach (looking forward to playing it on PC soon though) but I had (slightly less than legal) copies of all the OSTs from friends and while no individual track is quite as good as the original theme, every single track is fantastic and somewhat distinct where in 1-3 there was a lot of repetition.

      Hey I played reach when it first came out, the music is exactly the same in this mcc version as in the original. The original reach doesn't have quite the halo ah-ah-ah-ahhhh-ahhh-ahhh theme because it isn't a mainline halo game focusing on master chief, just like halo 3: ODST. it was an artistic choice

    Playing it on PC. Sound is bad. It's also coming out in stereo, not 5.1, which feels weird to me.

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