Halo 5’s Forge Coming To PC In September, And It’s Bringing 16-Player Custom Multiplayer With It

Halo 5 itself doesn’t seem to be coming to PC, but the developers have said they’d be bringing the sci-fi shooter’s sandbox editing mode, Forge, to Windows 10. Yesterday they announced the date: September 8. This mode will bring with it map editing and minigame-making using Halo’s bits and bobs, and has already been responsible for things like D-Days and mega beer pong on the Xbox Machine. But crucially, on the PC version, you will also be able to play 16-player custom multiplayer.

Forge has been re-worked a little for PC, says 343 Industries, the idea being that mouse and keyboard will make the level creation process much easier. You’ll be able to host and play matches, share your levels and weird game modes with other players (both on PC and Xbox One), and download and customise other people’s silly Rocket League knock-offs. What it doesn’t seem to have is any matchmaking system, like there is on the Xbox. But the developers are also releasing a Halo PC app which “lets you quickly and easily find, download, and launch Halo games available on Windows PCs”. Precisely how that works, we don’t know, but it is launching alongside Forge in September.

While tools like this grew out of the desire to give machinima makers more freedom when making silly videos set in the Halo universe, they have since come a long way. Now people are making whole game modes. Although I’ve yet to see the minigame which involves firing the Arbiter from Halo 2 into the sun.

It’s interesting to see something like this come to PC but also frustrating that the base games of the series remain absent. Although the custom matches of Forge are promising, it seems like this is more for the benefit of those who already fight their battles on Xbox Live – map-makers who can fiddle with the PC’s improved UI to create a beach head, then publish it to Xbox and stride back over to their telly for the real fight. Or do you think that’s a bit cynical of me?

Nonetheless, the Halo 5 campaign or matchmaking multiplayer is still nowhere to be seen (not to mention other games in the series – Halo 3, 4, Reach or ODST). While Sony are at least bringing their streaming service PS Now to PC, allowing us to play some excellent old PlayStation exclusives, Microsoft still won’t set their flagship series free from the shackles of their console box. And as someone with his fair share of dusty Killtacular medals, that is a damn shame. No wonder unofficial fan remakes are popping up.

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19 Comments

  1. TeeJay says:

    I remember waiting for 2 years for Halo to come to PC (never had a console) and being completely underwhealmed by it. I never really understood what all the fuss was about.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      If you set aside the hype, it was a good game for 2001. It did a lot of things great, though people tended to get hung up on the redundant level design. It also set the benchmark for future console shooters.

    • Jac says:

      As a console FPS Halo set the raised the bar set by Goldeneye. A big part of that was how good it felt with a controller. The aim assist was absolutely spot on and the levels for the time were absolutely huge and featured brilliant encounters.

      I’d imagine some of this magic was lost using mouse and keyboard, and when compared to PC FPS games at the time it was ported probably wouldn’t have seemed like such a revelation.

      They are still a fun time though, but again maybe it’s because they make using a controller actually enjoyable.

      If destiny was ever released on PC it would be pretty underwhelming on M&KB as again the magic is in how great it feels with a pad.

      • Cederic says:

        “The aim assist was absolutely spot on”

        Thus condemning the entire series to mockery. I’m old, I’m slow, I’m too lazy to learn complex game mechanics, but damnit I can still use a mouse to aim a weapon in a FPS and kill shit.

        The popularity of (non-lightgun) shooting games on consoles just continues to confuse me.

        • zxcasdqwecat says:

          Never owned a console nor pad and I played halo a single time but I can see what Jac says, halo has 4 different aim assists as a major popularity point among console stuff to keep the flow of the game with your electronic boomerang.
          Plus it borrows many other good things like a variety of enemies you don’t see around in the shooter realm since doom and quake to spice action up.

        • jtucker says:

          ” I’m old, I’m slow, I’m too lazy to learn complex game mechanics”
          Playing Halo on the Xbox the controller, The Duke and the S, just melted away. There was nothing to learn if you was used to m/kb with the left stick for kb wasd and the right stick for mouse look.
          Using weapons like the plasma pistol when charged up and the needler, both homing in on targets, made aiming easy.
          I was at the time, and still am, a PC gamer. First played Halo on PC (Sept. 2003 I think). Thought it was OK and because I had enjoyed Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on N64 with friends I decided to buy a Xbox with free Halo game. I thought the Xbox version was miles better than PC.
          I imagine using a m/kb will be handy for making Forge maps. But I’m two years off 50 and find nothing new these days interests me. Tend to stick with new mods for older games. My reflexes are worse now but I think muscle memory helps me in things like new mods for Quake etc!

    • Flatley says:

      For us, the fuss was playing with 16 people in a basement without needing tens of thousands of dollars of hardware and an IT specialist to set it up.

      Or just blasting through the campaign with 1 friend. Amazingly, very few games (console or PC) have been able to match the brilliance of the Halo series’ co-op campaigns.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    Hmm, I wonder how much this Halo 5 Utility for PC will cost. Heck, if they released it for free, and I’d have a go at it. Kind of my dream: a multiplayer game made entirely of custom game modes and levels.

    • Jac says:

      You just reminded me that ShootMania (from the TrackMania devs) was a thing that came out and I bought but never actually played.

      Seem to remember it being billed as something like that but not sure what’s become of it.

      • Thankmar says:

        Aah, Shootmania. I don’t play Multiplayer-Shooters at all, but I did buy that and liked it. Why it never took off to E-Sport-Fame I cannot imagine. It was really tight, and as far as I can see it (which, of course, isn’t that far with my experience) had a sky-high skill-ceiling.

        • zxcasdqwecat says:

          Because compared to any other fps arena, free ones included, shootmania has super poor gameplay.

    • Relik says:

      Well, it’s actually free

  3. Hobbes says:

    Once again, Microsoft make things abundantly clear :

    “You’re getting the scraps from the table, and that’s in exchange for you being “Serviced” by Windows 10, enjoy!”

    If it wasn’t for LTS being axed for Win 7 AND 8, I’d avoid Windows 10 wholesale.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    “Although I’ve yet to see the minigame which involves firing the Arbiter from Halo 2 into the sun.”

    Why would you ever want to do that to the most badass character in the game?

  5. Sharpe says:

    So let me get this straight; they’re releasing the multiplayer portion of halo 5 on PC but without any maps.

    Essentially it allows you to play Halo 5 multiplayer online, but you can only play maps that players themselves make and release?

    Doesn’t sound too bad to me, especially if this map editory thingy is relatively inexpensive.

  6. CMaster says:

    ” it seems like this is more for the benefit of those who already fight their battles on Xbox Live – map-makers who can fiddle with the PC’s improved UI to create a beach head, then publish it to Xbox and stride back over to their telly for the real fight. ”

    No, I think you’re completely right. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. There’e providing better tools to the Halo 5 community, to boost the lifetime and enjoyability of the game. This isn’t meant to be some kind of “Halo is coming to PC” grand feature. It’s just the xbox FPS equivalent of those mobile apps for MMOs.

  7. zulnam says:

    Aweso-

    *reads ‘Windows 10’*

    Oh, nevermind then.