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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Halo 1’s biggest mod adds a Firefight mode and Master Chief Collection support

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I still have a DVD on a dusty spindle, somewhere, with a product key for Halo: Combat Evolved written on it in sharpie. In most ways Halo: The Master Chief Collection now offers the definitive Halo experience on PC for the original game and its sequels, but I know there’s always a chance I’ll feel the urge to go back to the ancient multiplayer of Halo: Custom Edition, a moddable expansion of the 2003 port that still has players to this day. Now there’s one less reason to keep that DVD: The latest version of SPV3, the biggest Halo singleplayer mod around, now supports the Master Chief Collection.

Halo SPV3, or Singleplayer Version 3, first debuted in 2017 as a total overhaul for the original Halo with new levels, weapons and enemies. In 2019 it gave the game a big 4K graphical update, but with the Master Chief Collection now so easily accessible through Steam, it’s hard to imagine many fans going through the effort to play Halo any other way. SPV3.3.0, released this weekend, solves that problem by supporting MCC and adding tons of new features, including a Firefight mode and ray traced reflections.

SPV3 is standalone, and can automatically scan your PC to see if you have Halo: Custom Edition or the MCC version installed via Steam. If so, it’ll install and you’ll be on your way. The developers note that they’re actively working on supporting the Game Pass version of MCC, but the Windows Store isn’t making it easy.

The video above from December shows off most of the big new features, including the ray traced reflections (it’s not global illumination, so don’t expect a complete overhaul to the lighting), more new weapons and vehicles, and Firefight mode. The downside of this implementation of Firefight, Halo’s wave-based PvE mode, is that there’s no co-op—the mod simply doesn’t support it. But it’s still an impressive addition for a mod, adding an entirely new mode to a 20-year-old game. 

Jump ahead to the 11:20 mark in the video to catch the Firefight section. You can download SPV3.3.0 on ModDB, and if you run into any issues, the developers suggest joining the SPV3 Discord server for an assist.

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