Halo 5’s Forge Sandbox Coming Free To Windows 10

Microsoft have not announced that Halo 5 is coming to PC. However, they have announced that the Xbox One shooter’s sandbox mode Forge is coming as a free standalone to PC via Windows 10, under the rubbish name Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition. It’s due “later this year”. As I understand it (and I may be wrong!), Forge is a bit like a simpler Garry’s Mod. Players can build levels collaboratively online, but also create and play fancier things like minigames. Good? Cool? This might also bring us closer to seeing proper Halo games on PC again.

So! Forge isn’t a from-scratch level editor, more a sandbox where players can drop objects and drag them around and combine them to build things, then fiddle with lighting and weather and all that. It also has a little logic to tweak, so creative folks can make minigames and things. Multiple players can join in at once to build and test (play!) creations, so we may not have Halo 5 but we will have a game where we can kinda play a bit of Halo 5. Only we’ll be allowed to use a mouse and keyboard (to build, at least, and presumably to play as well?). It’ll let folks save Forge creations for people on Xbox One to play too.

I am certainly in favour of big fun free sandboxes. Here, for an example, is an Xbone Forge minigame where one player controls a giant death robot and everyone else tries to destroy it:

This does also mean that Halo 5 is basically on PC now. Microsoft had teased that a PC release was kinda sorta a possibility maybe, and this certainly makes it seem a lot more likely. Though as the weird, cut-down, singleplayer-only version of Forza 6 shows, part of a game running on PC doesn’t mean we’ll get the full thing. It seems Microsoft are still testing the waters.

2004’s Halo 2 was the last proper Halo game released on PC (much later, in 2007), though Microsoft did chuck the unremarkable top-down shooter spin-off Spartan Assault our way in 2013.

This tweet from 343 Industries creative head Josh Holmes teases more Halo-y news to come, though it’s vague enough to be about anything and hey, I tease things on Twitter all the time yet no one calls me out when I fail to chug a pint of self-tapping screws.

Somewhat less exciting than death robots, but perhaps more practical, is a trailer giving a bit of an overview of Halo 5’s Forge on Xbox One:

From this site

10 Comments

  1. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Obligatory “Just port Halo 3 already,” etc.

    This is actually pretty great news; I had such a blast messing around in Forge World with friends back when Reach came out. Haven’t heard how 5’s forge compares (if I’m remembering right 4 didn’t ship with a nice big empty map to build on, which was kind of a let down), but I definitely wouldn’t mind checking it out!

    • gunny1993 says:

      Hi my name is microsoft, and I want YOU to use my shitty app program to buy your games, even thought it is objectively inferior; to help you make the choice to shoot yourself in the foot, I’m not going to port one of our most successful titles, I wont even give you the shit one no one wants, instead, i’ll give you forge ….

  2. Don Reba says:

    Is it MS Store-only?

  3. The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

    I really don’t like these stripped back walled garden level designer tools. It’s restrictive and a mockery of what makes proper modding support awesome.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      I know, what dicks they are for releasing simple, fun tools that anyone can understand and play with.

      • The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

        The things you can do with Forge or Snapmap are utter rubbish compared to the stuff that’s available for Fallout 4, The original Doom or Half Life. Instead of offering proper modding support these developers are creating walled gardens they control. But hey you can create a level based on existing assets, with restrictions based on memory to make sure the consoles don’t melt, and almost no possibility to add custom scripts or features beyond spawning locations for monsters.

  4. Junkenstein says:

    What exactly does this allow? Can you drop in a bunch of Halo enemies and have a firefight with the AI?

  5. Premium User Badge

    Marclev says:

    Can someone help me understand what the big deal is with Halo? From what I’ve seen, it’s hardly likely to set the world on fire compared to a good proper PC FPS.

    And I played the first one, and the “map design” seemed to eventually degenerate into linking reused chunks of map together to create a level and spamming enemies at you constantly in them making it kind of … well, cheap and crappy.

    Happy to accept I’m missing something and things improved in later games?

    • Aerothorn says:

      Future games were certainly more sophisticated in terms of map design and combat encounters, sure, but they were also just that: better iterations. The first Halo was the only one that really did anything new, and that more than anything made it special.

    • shadowmarth says:

      At the time the enemy AI was pretty solid. The way the enemies took cover and did things reasonably smartly was not at all common (and in a lot of ways still isn’t). The weapons had a really excellent variety (much like the Unreal Tournament and other classic PC shooters) that most shooters today have forgotten.

      Still, going from PC shooters to original Halo LAN parties was an extraordinary disappointment, if only due to how PAINFULLY SLUGGISH AND UNRESPONSIVE movement felt in contrast.