343 Industries is finally bringing back Halo to the PC – at least in some capacity. Halo 5 on the Xbox One is also getting its own updates as the ‘Anvil’s Legacy’ update adds several new features including two brand new maps to Halo 5: Guardians for the cost of – free.
Halo 5: Forge
The Forge mode is not something new – it has existed in Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One since it was released last year. The mode lets you forge your own levels and invite anyone from your friend’s list to play a few rounds in the ‘custom game’ mode. You can also share these levels with the rest of the community, which essentially gives Halo players thousands of levels to play on.
However, the PC crowd can be quite challenging to please. A PC gamer demands a lot of options that simply do not exist on a console. Halo 5: Forge on Windows 10 supports resolutions up to 4K, has an online multiplayer that lets you invite your friends – as long as they are also on the Windows 10 version – and even lets you change your keyboard control bindings. Even more things are coming soon, the Content Browser, a FoV slider, and unlocked frame rate are in the works.
This is a pleasant surprise after Microsoft decided to not publish any Halo releases on the PC platform since 2004 with Halo 2, but it only gets better. Halo 5: Forge on Windows 10 also comes with all of the original 15 pre-made Arena maps, essentially giving you much of the Halo 5 multiplayer for free. This also means you can host your own custom Arena matches as well and invite your friends for a game.
It’s not all dandy; there are quite a few issues still with the PC release. To name a few: there are quite a few people with mouse input latency issues, the frame-rate is capped to 60 at the moment, and there is no way to find a game since there is no server browser or matchmaking. Even the interface – while modified for PC – is still originally designed for consoles, and thus have massive thumbnails and large text.
Halo 5: Guardians – Anvil’s Legacy
While clearly Halo 5: Forge is the bigger release for today; Xbox One still gets its fair share of love from 343 Industries. Anvil’s Legacy adds two brand new maps and introduces the Content Browser – this Content Browser will also be later expanded to PC to allow both Xbox One and PC gamers to join custom matches in progress – pretty much like a server browser. Xbox players also get some new REQ content as well.
Overall – considering Halo 5: Forge is completely free – this is a great initiative from Microsoft to finally unify the Xbox and PC gaming ecosystems. While it has a few kinks here and there, updates are actively being worked upon.
The Content Browser’s arrival for Halo 5: Forge on Windows 10 would probably lead to a better experience on both platforms, as players would be able to join actual multiplayer matches. Until then, there is a Discord community where like-minded PC players seem to have gathered to organize a few matches themselves.
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