The original Halo: Combat Evolved from 2001 is a game that has been thoroughly played by multiple generations of gamers. Whether you're battling in the tight Covenant-filled corridors of the Truth and Reconciliation or driving a Scorpion tank through yawning canyons on the way to the Control Room, chances are you've mastered this campaign if you're a Halo fan.
Be prepared, then, to have your entire skillset rendered useless by the Cursed Halo mod, made by the YouTuber InfernoPlus. This mod takes the deadly and precise "Halo dance" and completely flips it on its head, turning Combat Evolved into nothing but complete and utter chaos that's bizarre, hilarious, and infuriating all at once. Here's a look at what precisely the mod does, as well as how you can experience it for yourself.
What does the mod do?
Put simply, the Cursed Halo mod turns every weapon, vehicle, and enemy in the game into something that's either useless, overpowered, wildly unpredictable, or just downright silly. For example, enemy Banshees flap their wings like birds as they fly around, and many Grunts and Elites don pink armor and shoot heat-seeking hearts from their Plasma Pistols and Rifles. Grenades have randomized explosions; sometimes, harmless confetti will come out of them, while other times, they'll explode with the force of a thousand suns. It's impossible to try and list everything that the mod changes, but just know this: Cursed Halo is an apt name for the project, and anyone thinking that it will play like normal Halo: Combat Evolved has a rude awakening coming their way.
Despite the absurdity, though, I actually think the mod is fairly compelling. As someone who has played Halo games since I was a kid, it's interesting having the game's rules completely and utterly broken like this because it forces me to relearn how to play. A lot of the things the mod changes are things that stay consistent throughout the game, such as the new behaviors weapons and vehicles have. While the occasional random element can make it harder to come up with a plan, you can master most of what Cursed Halo throws at you if you put in the effort and are willing to let go of traditional Halo habits.
How to download and play Cursed Halo
To play Cursed Halo, the first thing you need to do is get your hands on a copy of Halo: Custom Edition, which is a version of the original Combat Evolved that allows for modding. The game can't be officially downloaded anymore, but you can get it here (the legality of this isn't clear, but nobody has ever gotten in trouble with Microsoft for this). Once you download it, unzip the file and then run the setup program. When you're asked for the key, you can use the one from this Steam forum — product keys for Halo: Custom Edition have unlimited uses, so don't worry about it being invalid. Finally, you'll need to select an install path for the game. It defaults to C:\Program Files (X86)\Microsoft Games\Halo Custom Edition.
Once the game installs, you'll need to patch it to Version 1.10. You can do this by downloading the patch here, unzipping the files, and running the patch application. It will automatically bring your Halo: Custom Edition to Version 1.10.
The final step is installing the mod itself, which is easy. You'll need to download the mod files here and then unzip them. From there, select all the files and drag them to your Halo: Custom Edition game folder, which will be located where you installed the game. Once that's done, you're good to go!
If you're uncomfortable with using an unofficial version of Halo: Custom Edition, don't worry. Since Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary has released on PC with mod support as part of The Master Chief Collection, it's likely this mod will be ported to it. With any luck, Cursed Halo will be playable on it soon.
What do you think of Cursed Halo? Are you going to play it? Let me know.
If you want to enjoy some regular Halo, make sure to check out The Master Chief Collection. It's available on Xbox One and PC for $40.
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