Forge Mode in Halo 4 Unveiled, Packed with New Features
Last week during my escapades at the RoosterTeeth Expo (RTX), I (among several others) was shuffled into a small theater where 343 Industries was giving a panel on Halo 4 and detailing many of its upcoming multiplayer features. The biggest announcement, however, was centered on the announcement of the revamped Forge mode in the game and the all new features it brings to the table for cartographers with a taste for creation.
Halo 4’s Forge mode will be all sorts of familiar to forgers who’ve forged in the past Halo games, but with an assortment of new features this time around that map creators have been begging for since the tool’s debut in Halo 3.
The ability to lock objects in place to hinder them from being bumped or slid has been added in, and can be accessed with a simple menu toggle on the object of choice. Additionally, the new “magnetize” feature acts as a “snap” feature, which automatically connects ends of similar/related objects together to allow for a smooth connection.
For example, making a floating bridge has never been an easier task – you can simply create bridge after bridge, easily snapping them together like Legos without the worry of having to line them up smoothly or level.
The ability to duplicate objects on the fly has also been added in, meaning opening the menu multiple times to place multiple iterations of the same object continuously is no longer necessary. A new dynamic lighting system has been put in place as well, meaning you’ll no longer experience the same lighting inside of a structure than out, and vice versa.
Also of note is the new object-highlighting system, which layers a greenish-yellow stroke around the object you’re hovering over, as well as displaying the object name on-screen. This allows you to know precisely which object you’re picking up every single time, helping fight the annoying frustration of accidentally grabbing the wrong object you just spent an hour placing.
Finally, there’s the addition of player trait zones, an exciting feature for long-time map makers that should allow for some insanely creative new game types from within the community. These new zones can be placed anywhere on your map and will affect players that enter the zone with any number of traits.
For example, you can affect a players speed, damage reception, and even gravity while in this field exlusively, meaning you can set a low-gravity PTZ across a canyon that allows the player to make an insane leap over the gap. This was just one of the examples used in the presentation, and the folks behind the mode are confident that you’ll come up with ideas they would have never thought of.
Speaking of folks behind Forge, it should be noted that the updated system has been crafted by Certain Affinity this time around, the Austin-based development studio behind the more recent Halo: Reach map packs, Halo: CE Anniversary, and the standalone XBLA game Crimson Alliance.
The Forge mode will be shown in greater detail prior to the game’s launch November 6, but it shouldn’t go without saying that I’m extremely, extremely excited.
If you’re entirely unaware of what Forge is and you want a history of the mode leading up to Halo: Reach, give the video below a watch first.