Halo: Reach - A Trip to Forge World

By Brian Leahy, Aug 26, 2010 2:00pm PDT Bungie introduced Forge in Halo 3, a rudimentary map editing feature that allowed some talented gamers to create new "maps" using Halo 3's existing levels as the canvas. In the final DLC pack for Halo 3, Bungie released "Sandbox", a 3-level map perfect for creating map variants. The tools to do so, however, were not updated. They have been in Halo: Reach.

"The Cage" and "Pinnacle", two variants of Forge World in Halo: Reach
Along with an improved Forge editor, players will gain access to the massive "Forge World", which is set on the original Halo ring. The Halo: Combat Evolved map "Blood Gulch" has been reimagined as "Hemorrhage" and takes place in just one section of Forge World. Along with the Blood Gulch valley, players can build upon nearby cliffs, islands, fields, and even in a large rectangular room. Hell, players can build in the sky now that items can be placed without falling.

I can talk about three official variants in Forge World thus far. The aforementioned Hemorrhage, along with two smaller maps: "Pinnacle" and "The Cage", which is very reminiscent of Halo 2's Lockout and Halo 3's Blackout. Pinnacle takes place on top of and around a mountain spire with three corners to the surrounding catwalks. While all three of these maps share the same look, they all feel like fully realized multiplayer maps.

The enhanced engine in Reach allows for these variants to be built inside of a map larger than anything that has ever been in Halo. Players aren't stuck looking at brown walls or fog like with Halo 3's maps. Instead, players will be able to look out on the lush, green ring-world of Halo and construct in any of the map's areas with the enhanced Forge features.

Sandbox in Halo 3, dark and brown -- Forge World in Halo: Reach, bright and colorful.

Bungie has set themselves up for being able to deliver new maps endlessly through Forge World. Players will be able to do the same and Bungie has stated that it would like to feature the best community maps and gametypes in its playlists. Even if Bungie doesn't feature something, player-created content can always be downloaded and played in custom games. Somehow, I think Bungie and Microsoft will still be releasing paid DLC, but I'm holding out hope for a good number of variants within Forge World, much like Sandbox in Halo 3. Maybe the DLC will even be new Forge Worlds...

A video detailing Forge World including a peek at some other variants can be seen below.

You can read our preview of the campaign mission Nightfall, our E3 preview of the game's space-flight mission, or our X10 preview of the game's first mission.

Halo: Reach is Bungie's final Halo game and will be released on September 14 on the Xbox 360.

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