It’s been a long time coming, but I know that Halo PC fans are rejoicing. Mods for Halo: The Master Chief Collection have existed from the start. But this was despite having no official mod support to work with. This makes it all the more impressive with what the modding community has been able to accomplish for the Halo games in the collection. One of my favorites has been a collection of sandbox-style mods from Seraphicy on Nexus Mods. And there are a host of other great mods on the Halo MCC Nexus Mods page that add a great deal to the games.
343 Industries released mod tools for Halo: Combat Evolved to the players for free in the latest Season 7 update this week. The Halo community is excited at what is perceived to be the beginning of a modding explosion. Kudos to 343 for being willing to provide these tools to the players and give them the power to create their own unique game experiences for the remastered game based on the first Halo. I’m not a mod creator myself (mainly a mod consumer), but I am curious to see if these tools are easy to use and something a newbie like myself can pick up.
The newly released mod tools are available as a standalone install on Steam. Even if you own the Halo MCC through Windows, you will still need a Steam account to access the tools. One interesting thing to note about the tools is that it contains a program referred to as “Standalone.” According to the update, Standalone “is basically a development build of the game [Halo: Combat Evolved] itself.” The tool package also includes zip files of the game’s level scripts, as well as files that as used in creating both campaign and multiplayer levels.
All of this reminds me of Halo Custom Edition. Based on the original Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC, Halo CE was the first time that modders had the chance to create custom experiences. Gearbox Software was responsible for releasing the tools to the gaming community at the time. The download included many of the same elements that 343 Industries recently made available. Halo CE allowed for the implementation of bots in multiplayer for the very first time.
The idea of bots in the remastered version of Halo: Combat Evolved is an exciting proposition. But with these new mod tools, it is very much a possibility in the near future. I am a fan of multiplayer bots and I’ve always felt the option to play with them has been the biggest thing lacking from the franchise over the years. The Firefight modes of Halo Reach and Halo 3 ODST are great, but it would be nice to utilize all the vehicles and set pieces that are included in the game’s multiplayer modes as a single player. What’s exciting is that it could be a reality very soon.
I appreciate that 343 Industries clearly stated that there may not be consistent updates for the mod tools. It is also good to know ahead of time that the mods may have to be updated with each official update. This is the case with the sandbox mods from Seraphicy, which become unplayable when an update occurs. That is something to keep in mind if you play to create your own mods.
It’s going to be exciting to see what custom content in the way of levels, campaigns, and other creations emerges as a result of this week’s mod tools release. It’s always a bonus for the modding community when the developers themselves give the players the green light and provide the tools to create mods. These creations can sustain the popularity of a game and also help provide it longevity. Happy Halo Gaming.