The work done by the Halo community continues to impress me with both their creativity and ability. With Halo 5: Guardians delivering an impressive amount of content over time in addition to the best online service that developer 343 Industries has built since taking over the franchise, and over the last week there’s been two great examples of that. The first of those is a reminder that players do not necessarily have to leave Halo for vehicular sports when Rocket League finally arrives on Xbox One the 17th of February.
The ability to make these more varied sports oriented game types has been around for every iteration of Forge dating all the way back to “Rocket Race” in Halo 3 and later again in the “Grifball” game type. That it can even exist in a shooter I think is incredibly cool and shows that custom maps and game types continue to be a hallmark of the games that few others have been able to compete with.
Then there is “Flapjack Frenzy”, which I had the chance to play in a regular session with the guys over at The Mojo Forums this weekend and though it is not necessarily the greatest game you are going to play, the sheer fact that it this kind of lunacy exists in Halo 5 deserves a massive amount of kudos and respect. I don’t think anyone who played it had a bad word to say about it at all.
Trying to figure out what tricks were used in turning a Banshee into a flying spatula or even having Warthogs become breakfast food is beyond my feeble comprehension but I loved how dedicated the creator was in building a realistic (if massive) frying pan and burner. For those who are curious, the video below briefly explains how it can be achieved in relation to another bit of Forge trickery… flyable X-Wings! At the end you also get to see what pieces were required to build one in a spectacular way.
If playing flapjacks wasn’t enough, we also played “Run for your Life!” which is one big, bad and nasty obstacle course that will challenge your movement skills and remind you again of why you die much more than your friends do when playing Warzone (or is that just me?). Having a huge boulder chase you down in the beginning like you’re in a Indiana Jones tribute is neat and just the tip of the iceberg on what other challenges you have to navigate through. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t able to get far enough see anything past the checkered path… I like to say that I’m still in training.
User generated content, mods, whatever you want to call them, are still not a regular feature for console games so those rare titles that make a community out of it are worth talking about. Minecraft may have exploded on The Xbox 360 but it is still very insular and almost entirely self contained; if you aren’t into the game you may not want to try anything it provides and sharing on the console side is mainly restricted to your own circle of friends.
The same could be said for Halo too but there are diverse modes in the game such as the hardcore “SWAT” that cater for more select (ie. skilled) groups in addition to players in the community who are willing to experiment with Forge by evoking different styles of game and keep players entertained in more creative ways. That there are a lot of players out there who are happy to dive in irrespective of the results in Forge is one thing that keeps me playing Halo and happy to have that Xbox Live subscription keep rolling over.
Big shout out to Weeg for introducing us all to these game types and maps (while also hosting) and to the rest of the guys at Mojo for continuing the good times with Halo.