In the long-term this may be Infinite’s killer feature.
A video showing Halo Infinite’s upcoming Forge mode has leaked, been swiftly removed, and because this is the internet is now mirrored in multiple places. The embed above is working at the time of writing but, if it has suddenly disappeared, then Redmond’s lawyers have done their thing: Luckily, there are plenty more.
From the looks of things, Halo Infinite’s take on Forge mode is pretty spectacular. Forge is a mode that was first introduced in Halo 3 by Bungie, and intended to give the game a life beyond the maps and modes it shipped with. For Halo Infinite this is arguably more important than ever: This is a game that Microsoft intends to build as a platform, and frictionless user-generated content is a key ingredient in that.
For a console shooter especially, as Halo was at the time, Forge was a remarkably forward-thinking and full-featured innovation: Players could not only build maps and set rules, but do it in realtime with friends, instantly test any given configuration, and of course share these creations with the wider community. This is where stuff like Halo Kart and Grifball came from.
The videos show players placing objects from the game, from static walls to vehicles and player characters, some of which can be scaled within the open world. There’s the ability to add various effects and triggers, as well as a range of biomes (including a ‘snow’ biome, which has yet to feature in the game officially but has been known about for a while), as well as weather effects.
The one thing that isn’t shown is enemy AI, which is really one of the big questions here. Will this be the traditional multiplayer sandbox or will people be able to straight-up build their own Halo campaigns?
There are other leaked videos showing aspects of Halo Infinite’s Forge, though it’s unclear when exactly these versions of Forge date from. A prototype version of the mode could be found way back when the game was in beta, and obviously leaks don’t come with timestamps and official word on which build it is: So while this is Halo Infinite Forge without doubt, it’s unclear what stage it is at, and don’t be surprised if what’s eventually released turns out to have differences.
Oh, here’s a UNSC Sabre from Halo: Reach.
A few other things to note: Forge includes ‘classic’ designs for things like the vehicles, and an in-depth customisation menu that allows players to add decals and colour them. The time of day can be set, changing the whole lighting on whatever you’re building. The overall budget isn’t clear (how many objects can be placed at once), but there is a counter for it.
There are a lot of similarities to Halo 5’s Forge mode here, which is not exactly surprising. What is more curious is that Forge isn’t expected in Halo Infinite until later in 2022, but with this game Microsoft and 343 have shown they’re capable of dropping surprises. Forge is probably the single best shot Halo Infinite has at building a sizeable long-term community around the game so, from the perspective of both developers and players, it can’t come soon enough.