Halo 5 On PC Will Eventually Be Great

Image: Kotaku

If you didn't know, Halo 5 quietly made its way to PC this week. It's available through the Windows 10 Store as the Halo 5: Forge bundle, which is free-to-play.

You don't get the campaign, of course, and there's a lot of bells and whistles that are still exclusive to the Xbox One. But the principle of it all is a fantastic deal for gamers, once people actually start playing.

What's available is pretty solid: full access to any Forge levels created on Xbox One or Windows 10, proper mouse and keyboard support, and the ability to host custom matches with up to 16 players.

Image: Kotaku

It's got just about everything you could want from the Forge level builder; in fact, it's got everything that Forge has on Xbox One.

The interface itself tailors quite well to the mouse and keyboard, with the ability to type in specific values for the coordinates of elements instead of using sliders, as you did on console.

There's already a bunch of maps and things for you to download and play, but where it really gets exciting — or will get exciting — is the multiplayer element.

Here's what that looks like right now.

Image: Kotaku

Developers from 343 Industries have confirmed through various forums and livestreams that a "custom game browser" will be added to both Halo 5 on console and the Halo 5: Forge bundle on PC. They've noted that it'll provide "similar" functionality to what people have come to expect from a server browser, which could mean any manner of things.

The effect is that it'll give users a place to convene when they want to do some Warthog burnouts en route to capturing the flag. And that's a massive move when you think about it. For all intents and purposes, it means that Halo 5 multiplayer is coming to PC and you won't have to spend a dime.

It won't be as easy as what a proper matchmaking service will allow, and our good fortune with geography means the actual number of modes you'll be able to consistently find opponents playing will probably be limited to the basics (like Slayer, CTF and so forth).

Right now, if you want a 16 player match of Halo 5 for free, you'll have to bring 15 friends and get everyone together in parties. But that'll be made a lot easier soon enough once the server browser-like functionality is added.

And once it is: Halo 5 multiplayer. On PC. For nothing.

That might be one of the best gifts this year. If you've installed the Windows 10 Anniversary update, you can pick up Halo 5: Forge on Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store.


    Just another crappy release...
    locked to 30fps in full screen window mode... Im expecting to see lots more of this behavior in the future

    Halo 5 quietly made its way to PC this week. It’s available through the Windows 10 Store as the Halo 5: Forge bundle, which is free-to-play.
    You don’t get the campaign, of course, and there’s a lot of bells and whistles that are still exclusive to the Xbox One.


    But... but the campaign is the only reason to play a Halo game. c.c

      I would normally agree with you, but the Warzone mode introduced in Halo 5 is absolutely superb. This will be where I spend most of my time (presuming it comes across to PC).

      And for the gamerscore whores amongst us, just note that doing the Forge tutorial is worth 75G... a good reason alone for grabbing the anniversary update (and the ridiculous 20GB footprint it needs on your OS drive in order to install... bloated, messy, 60GB eating piece of crap that Win10 is).

      Halo 5's campaign is the worst Halo campaign ever, bar none.

        Did you ever read any of the halo books or anything but the games? because i thought halo 5 was pretty great but i think its at least largely due to the fact that i have read/watched/played every halo thing there is and Halo 5 introduced a few of my favourite characters from the non game parts (spartan blue team that joins chief if you are wondering).

        Also i feel like halo 1 has the worst campaign, don't get me wrong i loved halo 1 and still do but thinking back, the story was a bit meh, it worked for the gameplay and it provided a great base to make all the stories that came after by introducing the basics of the flood, the forerunners and covenant but the story itself wasn't that great (definitely not bad in any way, i just mean worse than the other halos). Probably an unpopular opinion.

          I respectfully, yet firmly disagree with you.

          I Love Halo 5, I played the campaign twice on legendary and have sunk over 300 hours online.
          Halo 5's campaign is in fact disjointed (I could go on and on...). The story and character development just doesn't work. It's fun to play, however the story was a disappointment. I hope they fix the issues with Halo 6 and make it all Chief, all the time doing heroic shit like he's always been doing instead of just running after Cortana (that worked for Halo 4, though not Halo 5).
          I've also read the books and comics.

          Halo 1 remains as the quintessential Halo campaign and top 3 games ever made. Period. That game is just magic.

            Fair enough, i was talking with a guy on here the other day and he didnt like anything past halo reach, but i just like discussing halo with anyone and hearing their reasons for liking or disliking certain games. Maybe one day on here i'll find someone who likes the story of 4 and 5 as much as me haha, I'm not going to hold my breath though.

            Like i said i love halo 1 and its very important to halo as a franchise because it first introduces us to everything (obviously, being the first game and all it kind of has to), and definitely towards the top of my favourite games, but i know for me thats mostly nostalgia and the fact that it is the thing that got me into halo that makes me like it so much now. going back and playing it, to me it just isnt as fun as the others though obviously its kind of hard to compare them fairly because it was made on the original xbox 15 years ago, i guess i could say relative to things that were out at the time it is better than halo 5 relative to whats out now.

            That is an impressive amount of online, im only like 30-40 hours.

            What about halo 5s story doesn't work? not saying you are wrong just asking because while i didn't think it was all perfect or anything i just can't think of anything actively wrong with the story of the top of my head. Also characterisation wise what don't you like, i certainly found cortanas behaviour surprising/sudden but i think they will probably explain what happened to her in the domain in the next game, also the fact that everyone (especially Sarah Palmer) was all happy chummy with Catherine Halsey, after everything that happened in halo 4 spartan ops and the escalation comics seemed odd to me (though preferable to the opposite like in the kilo five trilogy where everyone thought she was worse than Hitler).

            I don't get what you mean about chasing after cortana in halo 4, they were together the whole time from what i remember. I personally hope they keep blue team in the story but get rid of Osiris, I don't even know why Osiris is in it at all, don't they remember a fair bunch of people got mad at halo 2 when they had a split story and at least thel vadam was cool and badass, Osiris isn't. Did they actually think anyone would give a shit about Osiris team? i don't dislike them but i don't care about them in the slightest either (except buck, hes cool).

              I love Halo 4 and 5, don't me wrong. It's just the story was a let down.

              SPOILERS AHEAD**

              The Chiefs placement in Halo 5 is just wrong. The whole time he's simply looking for Cortana, hoping he would get answers from her. In the end, he gets tricked and is placed in a cryptum and is saved by Locke (the new guy). Don't forget...this THE CHIEF. He's never wrong, he never fucks up, yet he was played a fool by his most trusted companion, who is back from the dead after a wonderful and emotional goodbye from Halo 4. It also doesn't help that 343 hyped a story that basically didn't exist as was initially indicated (the rivalry b/w Locke and Chief with conflicting views...simply didn't happen).

              Team Osiris weren't bad, however they just weren't great ( however I just don't like Tanaka). Buck was cool though. Halo 5 didn't need an additional 7 main character Spartans. It's simply too much for an 8 hour Halo campaign...I was expecting each Spartan to have their own moments in the spotlight, moments we would remember them for. However they were just....there. Blue Team did a better job than Osiris, however I wanted the fan service. I felt like the time I spent reading the books was kinda pointless as none of the themes of the books were really covered in Halo 5. I was vague about what I said about Halo 4...Chief wasn't chasing Cortana, however he did keep with her and tried to deliver her to a restored sanity. In Halo 5, that relationship is played on in a most disjointed way. Halo 4 was at times tear-educing. Halo 5 simply wasn't emotional or meaningful at all.

              I am being pretty critical here, but then again, this is Halo....the foundation that makes a Halo game Halo (Chief ripping it up with Cortana as the boss he is and saving humanity) simply isn't there. Chief is a puppet; a tool in Halo 5. That's something I seriously dislike about the game.

              All said and done, I still really like 343. They are very talented developers and know how to make a Halo game. I just wished they put more effort into the story and characters like they did with 4. 5 feels like a set up for 6, so I'm hoping the campaign is a return to form where Chief nails the covenant and forerunner once and for all...alone, without much assistance from Blue and no assistance from Osiris. If they did that, and expanded on the superb multiplayer of Halo 5, number 6 would be absolutely epic....especially on Scorpio.

                For the chief, cortana had just died and then all of a sudden it seems like she might still be alive of course hes going to try his hardest to find her, especially because he wouldn't want the UNSC to do it after what happened in halo 4 (cortanas rampancy). Also i would say the only person it makes sense for the chief to tricked by is cortana, one of the only people hes ever been close with. Though i suppose having one half of the story be 'looking for cortana' and the other half being 'looking for chief' (Osiris) perhaps wasn't the most thrilling of stories and i agree with you that it does feel a fair bit like it was setting up halo 6 and not being its own story.

                yeah what was the deal with all the advertising being like it was going to be chief vs Locke, when in the end Locke was basically just like 'hey chief you are really great and all but i have orders to bring you in because the UNSC doesn't want you dealing with cortana, please comply'. Thinking about it, its obviously to keep cortana a surprise, but still they played the Chief Vs Locke pretty hard.

                I agree with you Osiris weren't bad they just weren't good (haha tanaka was my least favourite too). I think they could work as maybe a side story in another game or a new version of spartan ops or something but i don't want them being the main character in halo 6, but im not going to get my hopes up because they have put too much into them to just chuck them out straight away (books/movie introducing each character, plus their spot in halo 5), and it would feel jarring just having them be gone in halo 6 even if i don't wan them, but who knows maybe they will. I disagree with you on blue team though, i hope they are kept but just done better and have those important moments like you said they should have had in halo 5 (which i agree on, seriously they did very little at all).

                Nah i don't think you are being too critical, you make a good point he was doing a lot less being a badass than usual. In halo 4 he was like screw your orders UNSC imma go kill me a forerunner and then proceeded to do exactly that, whereas in halo 5 he had the screw orders part but then very little actually doing stuff.

                Yeah 343 have been pretty good i think, not everything they do is perfect but it feels like they are trying really hard to make it as cool as they can, plus after like 8 games and 40 books, plus other stuff i cant imagine its easy to keep it all working well and staying interesting, but they seem to be largely doing a good job of it.

                I wouldn't get your hopes up about him nailing the covenant and forerunners once and for all, they changed this from the reclaimer trilogy to the reclaimer saga a while before halo 5 came out remember, i would say covenant maybe, forerunners definitely not if anything. I hope they keep blue team but like you said have chief/them kicking ass. Also honestly they could keep the multiplayer almost exactly the same, just updating graphics and i would be happy, just have all the stuff they have added throughout the last months in halo 5 there to begin with (infection etc). Yeah it should look pretty darn good on Scorpio, though im still holding out hope that it ill come out on PC, i have been playing some of the halo 5 forge that just cam out and holy moly does it look nice and my computer isn't even crazy powerful

                Hmm thinking about it more maybe i take back back what i said about halo 1 being the worst, id give it equally to halo 5 (though both are great just the others i like better).

                Thanks for the discussion its good fun and you bring up some good points. Don't feel like you have to reply, because i have typed a lot here and i would understand if you cant be bothered continuing to discuss but if you do want to i will too.

                Last edited 18/09/16 4:50 pm

            As a tragic Chief+Cortana shipper, Halo 4 stands out to me as the best story in the series. Primarily because there are just such... uncannily accurate beats from whoever wrote that particular 'Cortana's rampancy' story which indicate that they very obviously have had some intimate, personal experience with that unique scenario for how people react when they/a loved one is aware that their brain is failing, and that they will possibly(/probably) die from it - and potentially become a different person along the way. That dialogue was - tragically - some of the truest writing I've seen in ANY medium; not just games.

            I can't think of anything in books, movies, or games that has resonated as powerfully for me as Cortana trying to make Chief understand, "It won't be me." Alternating between trying to prepare herself, and him, for when she's gone, and wanting to believe whatever slim hope is on offer. His stubborn refusal to accept even the possibility that she will die. No matter how impossible a solution may be, no matter who says it, the possibility that he might lose her is so patently unacceptable that he refuses to give it any space for thought whatsoever. His faith in her salvation is not blind... it's just the only reality he can handle. I... know that headspace all too well. And the way their dialogue is written, I believe someone at 343 does, too.

            For all of that, there were definitely moments that I appreciated in 5. The references to John recklessly throwing himself into his work so he wouldn't have to grieve. To the point that it made others worry about him. The easy professionalism of Blue Team to the something-to-prove spunk of Osiris. These were great writing touches, conveyed well. I just hated what they did to Cortana. That... was not what I wanted for her. Or John. And yeah, I get where she was coming from, but she had to know that it wouldn't work. She had to. Her being the Big Bad was the only part that just didn't make sense.

            Last edited 20/09/16 4:09 pm

      Ya right. Halo is still king of MP. Id put destiny second. Why? Military sims are boring.

    Once reading Windows 10 store just stopped reading lol

    While I do share your concern about the release of these microsoft store games, the game isn't locked at 30 fps. you can choose between 30 and 60 fps.

    I have already played a fair bit of it. Its pretty great fun and i've had some pretty random but great custom games already. If you want to find people to play go to this site and you can usually find a game to join within a few minutes, there are also lots of people posting their gamer tags there so you can just add all of them and next time you want to play you can just look in your friends list for anyone in a custom game. https://discordapp.com/channels/218068636688973825/218068636688973825

    The game also looks a fair bit nicer on PC even though im only using an R9 380, overall it looks a bit better but the biggest thing is the anti aliasing (by which i mean the fact that the xbox had none and all lines were jaggy as hell)

    Also damn you kotaku, i was going to be productive today but now i have to go play some halo.

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