We now know why video game developer 343 Industries hasn’t had much information about the Forge creation engine to share in the build-up to Halo 5: Guardians. In a new post the studio confirms what many suspected, the Halo 5 release date won’t include a Forge editor at all. Instead, users will have to wait months before creating their own custom maps.
343 Industries announced the devastating news for creators this week on its Halo blog. Since 2007, every game in the Halo franchise has arrived with a new campaign, multiplayer experience and The Forge. The Forge allows users at home to create different maps and scenarios using just their controller and creativity. 343 Industries says that users can expect Halo 5’s updated Forge to arrive this winter. More specifically, Halo 5: Guardians buyers can expect to get the Forge as a free update this coming December.
“The new Forge mode will release in December, just in time for the holiday break,” this week’s post on Halo Waypoint notes. The developer says that users can expect them to upgrade Forge at regular intervals. Updates for the feature will be free. That all makes sense, Forge has always been free, but this is the first time Microsoft has committed to delivering “new features” regularly.
No, loss of Forge at launch isn’t expected to tank sales on Halo 5 release day. Halo 5: Guardians is the first game in the series made specifically for the Xbox One. A huge media campaign across television and the internet almost guarantees that users will by the game in droves. Microsoft needs them to; Halo 5: Guardians is one of two high-profile games coming this holiday season exclusively for the Xbox One ecosystem. The other is Rise of The Tomb Raider, and it’ll be available on the Xbox One and the Xbox 360.
All Halo games are playable without ever diving in Forge, but all multiplayer users are affected by its presence. 343 Industries frequently takes modes and ideas that were created in Forge and creates playlists for the entire community. Griffball, a sort of Polo experience within the Halo universe relies on Forge.
To be fair, all of that extra development time is going to good use. There are tons of new features and improvements for creators to enjoy.
Halo 5’s Forge has object grouping so that users can manipulate a series of nearby set pieces without having to adjust each one by one. There’s an improved control scheme too. Again, Forge forces users to rely on their controller to interact with the decent set pieces and objects. New grids and rotation snaps let users manipulate objects quickly. Objects can be selected 64 at a time.
343 Industries says there’s more than 1600 different objects for Halo 5 players to create with. These include weapons, architecture and power-ups that can be placed anywhere in the Forge worlds. Users can change the properties of certain objects – like Gravity Lifts – to achieve different distances. Placement of each object is now covered by three different budgets. These budgets give the player an idea of how much system resources they’re using for their map and game mode. New Lighting objects and light fixtures are available in the new Forge. Users can edit the colors of different objects too.
Alpine Glacier and Spate will act as the three areas for users to create in. 343 Industries doesn’t say explicitly if it plans to add more areas, but it’s hard to imagine that’s not what it was referring to when it said it would treat Forge as a service to be updated on an on-going basis.
The Halo 5: Guardians release date is October 27th. Pre-orders are already available.