It was a wild week for the quirky gang of pirates who cracked Halo Online, a broken, all-Russia remix of Halo 3 for PC. After launching a new version late last week Microsoft began to spread legal threats and DMCA news . The community, which was content with thousands of new fans, took the only logical path: they began to go crazy . Now everyone is upset and Reddit and Discord are on fire, but wait ̵
Yes, that's the way it is. Thanks to the work of the ElDewrito modding team, the game looks and feels like Halo 3, right down to the color of the rifle ammunition LED and the warm crescendo of a Gregorian chant in the main menu. As a PC player who did not have an Xbox or Halo game in a decade or more, the nostalgic wave crest above me was great. From the sound of Chatter Online, the community sees the same pinky things that I am. In 2007, Halo 3 was a hellish drug.
I jumped between a couple of dozen servers on Wednesday and saw the same news over and over again: "This brings me back to high school", "God, Life Back then it was easier." "I tied an onion to my belt "as it was fashionable." I suspect these servers are full of adults my age, and we all have a great old time until we go to pick up the kids from football practice.
Behind the scenes of Halo Online is definitely an authenticity fetish, a slavish dedication to rebuilding the Halo 3 experience exactly as it was, despite the context in which Halo Online now exists. This is good for nostalgia, but it does not always make a good game.
Here's an example: The weapon balance did not really change, but Halo was not designed for PC-connected mouse-and-keyboard setups. In Ye Olde Halo sniper rifles had generous reticles and fast reload speeds. Squishy ball detection and forgiving hitboxes helped master the challenge of pinpointing a joystick controller, an activity so abhorrent that it could indeed be a war crime. In Halo Online, anyone with a mouse can target sniper rifles with pixel-accurate accuracy. Sniper rifles are now hypereffective point-and-click death machines that block entire sections of a large outdoor map.
The same strict adherence to Halo 3 orthodoxy gives even fewer reasons to use submachine guns and spray and prayer weapons the humble Needler. It's easy to control the recoil at first hand, and there's absolutely no reason to choose a needleler instead of using a sniper rifle in narrow corridors.
Compensating for weapon damage or speed for this new reality would not work Impossible, but I doubt Halo Online is interested. I'm ready to stand up and defend Halo Online as a categorically good game, but there's no doubt that the hand of nostalgia weighs heavily on the entire project. I suspect there will be a direct connection between how much you loved Halo – and when and where in your life you were when you had the last time to play Halo for hours – and how much you Halo Online in here and Love Now
Despite his dedication to bring Halo 3 to life on the PC, there's a change in the ElDewrito Mod changes that make it close to the game that Halos hardcore fans always wanted – those fans for the lived three-shot kills, with Halo: Combat Evolved's gun on the PC, from the entire Blood Canyon. The same fans who insisted on fighting rifles start in each match in Halo 2 and Halo 3 because the assault rifle was boring and fired against the bullet floor of the BR. They wanted Halo's weapons to have a precision that Bungie's designers never fully demonstrated. With ElDewrito 0.6, the Battle Rifle is more accurate and deadly than ever. To complement this idealized, higher-level, weapons-sandbox-cursed version of Halo, Halo Online has brought a draw for so many old fans.
There is a lot of stuff here for a free (albeit definitely infringing) download. Well-known multiplayer maps such as Standoff, Last Resort (aka Zanzibar) and Valhalla are in strong rotation, as well as classic game modes such as Capture the Flag and Team Slayer. But the entire project is steeped in open source PC community excitement that populates servers with fan-like replicas of older maps and home-built modes such as Griffball . I was surprised to find a deep customization menu crowded with options for personalizing symbols, name badges, and armor sets.
There is a bewildering array of weapons – some of which come from later Halo games, like the DMR – and many of them can be dual-wieled. Poking someone in the back of the head with a rifle butt is still absurdly satisfying, and the crackling of the Alliance Energy Sword shakes any back near you.
Because Halo Online is peer-to-peer, it is likely to stay online as long as there is interest. And that will probably take years as long as halo veterans think this is the best way to play. The underlying files of Halo Online can not be distributed legally, but the open source ElDewrito mod remains freely downloadable outdoors.
Basically: This is not a knock-off bootleg version of Halo 3 It is a unpolished version of the Real Deal Halo 3, actually enhanced and enhanced in many ways, but definitely rough on the edges in its UI and some other areas. It's full of all the sci-fi maps, vehicles and weapons that fans remember from the days when the downloadable horse armor was still a scandal. These were better days, I tell you. Easier days. All headshots were snappy and the NPCs looked good. Your children do not know what you are missing.