Breathtaking Mod Brings Back to Life
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
For all self-respecting players of the PC vesrion, it was really all about the mod-savvy edition later released via download, Halo: Custom Edition.
Here we are, over eight years since the release of the PC version, and Halo: Anniversary blows us away with 343′s bold re-imagining of Halo: Combat Evolved.
But we’re not talking about Anniversary. We’re talking about CMT SPv3, a fresh mod for Custom Edition that not only brings it up to par with some of the more recent releases (3, ODST, Reach), but adds content from nearly all of the games in the franchise.
If there were ever justification needed to go back to Halo, simply take a gander at these gorgeous screenshots, and you’ll be convinced before we ever begin talking about it.
The primary goal is to revamp the visuals, models and HUD while maintaining the core Halo feel. And let me tell you: it’s absolutely breathtaking.
The textures, lighting and models are absolutely beautiful, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I began to play. The only level currently available is Truth and Reconciliation, as it’s a good showcase for much of what Halo is about.
A core facet of the mod is bringing the game to modern standards, from both a visual and gameplay standpoint.
Many weapons and features of other Halo titles have been added, such as the Battle Rifle, Covenant Carbine, and even ODST’s VISR mode. Remember how tapping the X button made the film noir-esque New Mombasa light up, highlighting enemies, friendlies and objectives?
The team behind SPv3 has brought this feature to the mod, and thanks to a drastic reworking of the level’s lighting, it’s nearly essential to the fierce firefights in the opening segments.
Each and every weapon has been reworked, with its accompanying crosshair, model, clipsize and HUD element brought into 2012.
An interesting (and somewhat irreverent) change is that of the Assault rifle; the Halo 3 model and clip size have been brought in, but the sound, crosshair and, to my knowledge, the power, remain that of what we know and love from the main game.
The only real things that disappointed me were that some of the sounds for weapons are low quality or oddly changed, and the animations for reloading can be somewhat choppy. Game breaking? In no way, shape or form!
I really could go on and on about CMT SPv3, but it really does need to be played to be experienced.
Many interesting little things can be adjusted by the player, most unique of which is the game speed. You can play in super slow motion, or I-didn’t-know-I-could-die-this-fast speed! They’re fun to play around with and show off the beauty of what the mod team has done.
Some other miscellaneous options range from tweaking what shows up in the VISR mode, adjusting the Battle Rifle behavior, and much more.
It’s a gorgeous game that, for the most part, does the franchise justice and will challenge even the newest of machines. My Sapphire Radeon HD 6970 was chugging along at some points, but it’s fairly well optimized.
Get it now!
You can find instructions on how to get CMT SPv3 here.
If you own Halo for PC, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be partaking in this ambitious re-imagining by the community, and for the community.
For those who want to jump into it, check the link above for a post from the mod team; I’ve put an “idiot’s guide” below to assist those who, like myself, found the post a tad bit confusing.
The process itself can be a bit daunting, so here’s a little quick run through.
- Ensure Custom Edition is updated to v1.09 (if not, get it!)
- Download and install OpenSauce to have the most options (note that you don’t have to do anything in OS, simply install it)
- Download the mod (get the .yelo version for the most options)
- Place the a50 map in Halo: Custom Edition > Maps (delete any a50 you may have)
- Make sure you can open the command console by adding ” -console” to the Custom Edition shortcut (it should look similar to this: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo Custom Edition\maps” -console)
- Open Custom Edition, type into the console “map_name a50″ (no quotes) and hit Enter
- You’re ready to go!