Sunday, May 22

Halo 3 ODST Mod Adds New Guns, Elites To A Classic Sandbox

A neon-yellow elite stands ready with an energy sword in New Mombasa.

Screenshot: 343 Industries / Harbinger

In case you’re eager for some more Halo content but want to wait until Infinite figures itself out first, one of the best campaigns of the series just received an impressive mod that widens the sandbox, throws new enemies at you, and promises more updates around the corner.

Halo 3: ODST Reimagining, a solo effort from modder Harbinger (backed up by a team of testers), has one clear and direct goal: to make the classic campaign’s romp through the rain-drenched city streets of New Mombasa “more fun.” It accomplishes this by bringing in new enemy types, AI behavior, and weapons from some of the other games to make up for the original’s otherwise smaller selection of firearms and lore-bound enemy forces.

Speaking with Harbinger on Discord, he explained that the process was about “remixing” the encounters to make the 2009 experience feel a bit newer, with modified Brute behavior changing up the firefights alongside the addition of Elites, who were absent from the campaign due to the in-world Covenant civil war. Their addition nicely augments the enemy palette to restore the classic “shielded but headshottable enemies’’ so often associated with Halo campaign play. The additional weapons also help fill out the adventure with more ammo, as the later Bungie-era Halo titles always felt a little stingy in the bullet department.

Gif: 343 Industries / Harbinger / Kotaku

Playing through this mod a bit, it’s striking how subtle the changes are at first. Unlike many other Halo mods, such as the classic SPV3, this one doesn’t immediately hit you with overhauled visuals or blatantly obvious changes to gun design. It’s a bit more subtle, and as a result, it feels a bit more organic and in tune with the original ODST.

I found myself finding new weapons rather naturally in the environment—and by the rings are they a welcome addition. Having an actual DMR on the field makes up for the rather weaker silenced magnum and SMG the original introduced to the series, and while Halo: Reach’s plasma repeater makes an appearance, it feels a touch more effective this time around. It’s featured alongside a collection of other Covenant weaponry, like an automatic plasma pistol that spits out a three-pronged stack of red plasma. Overall, the expanded weapons certainly are needed with the newly expanded enemy ranks making the game feel a bit more lethal and engaging.

If you were looking for a good reason to jump into Halo 3: ODST again, the ODST Reimagining mod is well worth your time. Harbinger advised keeping an eye on this one, as he’s hoping to improve the open-world hub experience, possibly with some Halo: Infinite-inspired high-value targets to take down. Installing is easy: just overwrite the original’s map files in your local directory and set the game to run without anti-cheat enabled. Drop back in, Rookie.



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