Halo is finally back on PC, to a degree bringing with it two popular community aspects of Halo with Forge and Custom Games. Oddly the custom games portion does not support cross-play with Xbox One and that's just completely disappointing. That aside it does come with the greatest version of Forge ever that runs beautifully on Windows 10 and custom games if you can field a group of Spartans there. It's not the worst thing in the world not having cross-play, but an opportunity to greatly build on Halo customs was truly ruined by this move. I always imagined back when playing Halo 3 and Halo Reach Forge that we'd eventually get it on PC for players there to create wonderful maps so for me this is a step-up from what I had dreamed of.
With Halo 5 Forge we're given the full set of authoring tools that can be found in the intricate mode available on Xbox One. It's completely on par so you can take maps you've created on console and play them there or take maps from PC to share them for Xbox. This will greatly improve on the quality of what are already amazing maps by just having a better suited place for their creation. You could clearly tell from the start with the changes to Forge that a mouse and keyboard would be more comforatble for building with that largely being true with this version. I personally use a mix of controller with keyboard as I'm just used to it after years, but the options are finally here for whatever you'd like to use. It runs perfectly well on the system with a well done PC UI and I feel that creators are going to be real comfortable working from this space. There's also a full tutorial type area for those new to Forging and it does a great yet simple job of effectively teaching players how to Forge.
Custom Games are also available as mentioned previously and it's easy to switch over from Forge to this area. It's great for testing out the maps for publishing or even just playing. The custom games support up to sixteen players online. It features all the maps from Halo 5: Guardians including many of the Forged ones and a file browser to download all the community created files. You can also play all the game modes present in Halo 5 along with the weapons just on PC, it's almost a tease of what magic a full Halo title there would be like.
The game runs perfectly fine and with even better quality than I would have imagined. I was able to run at the full available settings at 4K with smooth gameplay and it looked beautiful. You could tell that Halo was meant to be 4k with the world being so awesome to look at though some guns were a bit dull at the higher settings in comparison to others. It was actually quite impressive how optimized it was and this will hopefully be a great place to further build the Halo community. It of course features options for either the keyboard and mouse or the controller so whatever you're comfortable with it'll handle.
Halo 5: Forge is a great addition to Window 10 bringing with it some of the best parts of Halo. It's just quite a bit disappointing that they didn't add cross-play to help build the community and a shame. If you're main issue against cross-play is performance or people being better because of their PCs, its custom games and Forge so those modes are just for fun. That aside it's a powerful Forge engine allowing you to build amazing worlds with thousands of customization options, many canvases to build upon and the easy ability to export them to for other players on Windows 10 or Xbox One to enjoy. It should provide a comfortable place for creators to further build on their levels and with the continuously expandable Forge I hope this is forward ready.
Review Halo 5: Forge for Windows 10
Review Code Provided by Microsoft