Halo Online's Eldewrito mod is proof fans want a Halo 3 Custom Edition
Microsoft needs to pay attention to Eldewrito and bring back the glorious teabagging days.
Fans of Halo on PC will likely remember a little old game called Halo: Custom Edition, which was a version of Halo: Combat Evolved for PC that was built from the ground up for mods, custom maps, and online gameplay. It was Halo's original version of Forge, but on a much more complex scale with a powerful mapmaker and game type editor. I remember spending hours upon hours inside Halo Custom Edition playing all types of mods and games and having nothing but fun.
Unfortunately, Halo Custom Edition was a one-time thing. There was no Custom Edition for Halo 2 on PC, and there hasn't really been a Halo game on PC since. Bungie ended up building Forge into Halo 3, which was an acceptable alternative to what Custom Edition was. Of course, Custom Edition was far more complex and powerful, but Forge offered enough for most people to still enjoy those custom maps and game types. The unfortunate thing here is, Halo 3 never made it to PC.
In fact, there hasn't been a main Halo game for PC since Halo 2. Halo 5's Forge Mode is now available on PC, but it's Halo 5. Many original Halo fans are not all that fond of what 343 Industries has done to Halo, and Halo 5 is definitely not classic Halo. Halo 3, or Halo: Reach, are considered by many to be the last classic Halo games with that original flair that Bungie does so well. It's a real shame that Halo 3 or Halo: Reach never made it to PC, and even more of a shame that we didn't get a Custom Edition either.
Microsoft did end up releasing a modern version of Halo for PC, called Halo Online, but it was limited to Russian markets and as such, wasn't available to most Halo fans. It was also this super weird hybrid combination of Halo 3 and Halo 4, meaning it has some of the Halo 3 charm, but some of the Halo 4 annoyances. But, as of late, a mode by the name of Eldewrito has been in the news for its attempt at bringing Halo Online back to life, in addition to turning Halo Online into a more refined Halo 3.
A mod for Halo Online
The mod has quickly gained a lot of traction, with it topping both Halo 5 and Halo: Master Chief Collection in streams on Twitch, and being played by over 13,000 players online. That may not sound like much, but it's a lot for a mod, and even more so for a game that's technically dead. As you can imagine, Microsoft is not happy about this, and has recently sent takedown requests to gamers in an attempt to stop them from playing Halo Online. Now, while Microsoft can't go after Eldewrito itself, it can go after Halo Online.
But none of that matters, because Eldewrito has already done its job: proven to the world that we want a classic Halo multiplayer experience on PC. In fact, Xbox's Phil Spencer recently tweeted about the situation, and was susprised to see so many people interested in Halo Online once again. Halo Online with Eldewrito mod is the first time many Halo fans have felt like they're playing Halo again in a very long time. I can say that with confidence, being a Halo fan myself.
I love Halo, I've loved it since it was first announced at MacWorld 1999. I enjoyed Halo 5, but not as much as I had enjoyed the likes of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. I have missed that "classic" feel Halo used to have, and Halo Online with the Eldewrito mod brings that back. Eldewrito brings all the good enhancements from the more modern Halo games, and applies them to the Halo 3 game style that we all know and love.
Eldewrito is proof in amongst itself that Halo fans want a new Halo Custom Edition. We want a version of Halo that uses the old Halo 3 engine, with updated features and more complex forge options. Eldewrito is that game. It already exists, but Microsoft doesn't want us to play it. I've been playing Eldewrito all weekend, and I just can't stop. It's fantastic. I haven't had this much fun playing a Halo game in forever.
If Microsoft isn't considering a new Halo Custom Edition, they really should be. Bringing Halo: Master Chief Collection to PC would be nice, but that's not Custom Edition, that's the normal Halo games. What made Halo: Combat Evolved so great was the addition of that Custom Edition expansion, which opened the game up to a whole new world of map making and multiplayer. We want a new version of Halo for PC that's designed with this in mind. The fans want it, and the proof is there with Eldewrito. You just have to make it happen, Microsoft.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.