Halo SPV3 Wiki
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Halo SPV3 Wiki

Singleplayer Version 3, better known as SPV3, is a sophisticated, large scale mod of Halo: Custom Edition that mainly features a revamped version of Halo: Combat Evolved's Campaign, including terminals, new weapons, vehicles and enemies, additional sections of levels, vastly improved graphics and more. The mod was first released on the 25th of June 2016 and created by the SPV3 Dev Team, headed by Masterz1337, a group of modders who have developed several other Halo: Custom Edition mods in the past, such as SPV2. Halo: SPV3 is only available on PC and is not endorsed or supported in any way by 343 Industries or Microsoft.

The multiplayer codes from Halo: Combat Evolved have been completely stripped from the game to create memory capacity for all of SPV3's additions and changes. This means that any kind of multiplayer, including co-op Campaign, can never work with the mod. It is purely a single player experience in every way, shape and form, hence the name Singleplayer Version 3.

In 2017, the SPV3 Dev Team released SPV3.1, an update of the mod, and was presented with its own game launcher and installer outside of Halo: Custom Edition, and was released with an extra mission, The Silent Cartographer: Evolved. This iteration was initially released in two parts, with the first six missions, collectively dubbed Landfall, being available to play early in the year. The full release containing the other five missions, all labelled as Outbreak, came out on the 17th of August 2017.

On the 6th of July 2019, a further overhaul, titled SPV3.2 was released by the developers. The update, while tweaking aspects of the mod, added six new missions: None Left Behind, The Commander and The Commander: Evolved to the Installation 04 Campaign, as well as a separate mini Campaign, Lumoria.

A further overhaul to the mod, SPV3.3, was released on the 14th of February 2021 after delays from the COVID-19 pandemic. A public beta was available to download on the SPV3 & Halo Legacies Discord server for bug fixing and gameplay balancing. The update features more new additions, most notably Firefight and the reintroduction of skulls.

With every new update to SPV3, the previous versions have become unavailable to download.

Availability & Installation

Halo: SPV3 is free to download from Masterz1337's Reddit page, ModDB or the MCC Project Hub (and SPV3 Support) Discord server.

In the past, SPV3 had to be run through Halo: Custom Edition. Custom Edition is a free-to-download expansion of the Gearbox Software PC release of Halo: Combat Evolved from 2003 that acted as the foundation of Halo's modding community, as it is open to modifications of the campaign as well the creation of entirely new levels that could be designed and developed by anyone who owns the source material.

This meant that a valid CD key from Halo: Combat Evolved's 2003 PC port was needed to be able to play SPV3, as one is needed to install Custom Edition, and that had to be installed before SPV3 could be installed. In recent years, getting hold of a PC copy of Halo: CE became more and more problematic and getting a valid CD key was also a struggle.

However, in late 2019, after the release of SPV3.2, Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) was ported to Steam and the Microsoft Store for the PC platform. Thus, with the 2021 update of the mod, MCC compatibility was implemented. SPV3 can now be installed if Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary from MCC is also installed on a device, meaning that Halo: Custom Edition and, by extension, a working CD key are no longer needed to play the mod and it is now more widely available than ever.

Game Modes

Campaign

Installation 04

The primary feature of SPV3 is it's heavily modified take on Halo: Combat Evolved's Campaign. It follows largely the same story as Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo: The Flood, but with additional characters and events. It was designed so that it could effectively take the place of those two pieces of Halo media, without causing any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the process.

SPV3's Installation 04 Campaign consists of 10 levels from the CE Campaign and 4 original levels.

Image Mission Description
Landfall
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The Pillar of Autumn "Escape intact as Covenant forces board your ship."
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Halo "Seek out surviving Marines and help fight the Covenant."
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The Truth and Reconciliation "Board a Covenant ship to rescue Captain Keyes."
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The Silent Cartographer "Search for the map room to lead you to the secrets of Halo."
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The Silent Cartographer: Evolved "Search for the map room to lead you to the secrets of Halo in this reimagined layout of the Silent Cartographer."
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Assault on the Control Room "Lead the Marines in an all-out offensive on the control room."
Outbreak
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343 Guilty Spark "Creep through the swamp to meet the only enemy the Covenant fear."
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The Library "Fight your way through the facility in search of the Index."
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Two Betrayals "Re-activate the weapon inside Halo and learn the truth."
Keyes "Stage a one-cyborg assault and bring back the Captain."
None Left Behind "Help with the evacuation of Alpha Base, and lead the marines to the Pillar of Autumn"
The Commander "The Commander of the Covenant turns his attention to the Flood as he investigates the Silent Cartographer"
The Commander: Evolved "The Commander of the Covenant turns his attention to the Flood, but Chieftain Lapidus has other plans"
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The Maw "Destroy Halo before Halo destroys all life in the galaxy."

Characters

Lumoria

SPV3.2 introduced a remake of Project Lumoria, a popular Halo: Custom Edition mod released in 2010 that was well known for its effective level designs. TM Mapping Team, Lumoria's original developers, entrusted the SPV3 Dev Team with their mod to bring the mini Campaign up to SPV3's standards.


Project Lumoria was originally presented as a four part mini Campaign. For its SPV3 rerelease, the final two missions were merged into one, due to their length being shorter than the first two, to make it into a three part story.

Image Mission Description
Lumoria Landfall "Join the crew of the Endless Horizon as they land on a mysterious world."
Valley Battle "The Endless Horizon and it's crew launch must secure the coastland, and search for a Forerunner facility."
Fight For The Future "Launch an all out assault against the Covenant and the newly awakened Guardian."

Characters

  • 734 Antecedent Sage

Firefight

SPV3.3 featured a Firefight mode as one of it's biggest additions. It is very much inspired by Firefight seen in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. It has been considerably downsized though, due to SPV3 only being single player. In contrast to this, it offers 2 gameplay variants.

Variant Description
SPARTAN vs Covenant "Test the Mark VII MJOLNIR armour against waves of Covenant"
SPARTAN vs Flood "Test the Mark VII MJOLNIR armour against a Flood Outbreak."

Gameplay

General

The gameplay in the mod is largely similar to that featured in Halo: Combat Evolved, albeit with a larger sandbox of weapons, vehicles and enemies. In addition, features such as boarding, vehicle EMP, loadouts and armour abilities from later Halo titles have been introduced. The modders aimed to preserve the design philosophy of Halo: CE, allowing for enemy encounters where the player is allowed to choose how to approach the situation rather than being forced through a linear path.

It is recommended, even by the developers, that people should only play SPV3 if they are already familiar with Halo: Combat Evolved.

Visual & Mechanic Alterations & Settings

The graphics have been painstakingly improved to a high standard, despite still being run on the old Halo: Combat Evolved engine. Software programs OpenSauce and Chimera have been used to enhance the engine's capabilities, to make the SPV3 Dev Team's vision for the mod possible. Dynamic lighting effects, ambient inclusion, ray tracing, film grain and particles in the air are subtle but massive changes to the look of the game. SPV3 is an ambitious project as it presents, for the first time, a version of Halo: CE run at least 60 FPS. This makes the game look more fluid and smooth. Aside from being adjustable, manually or automatically in the launcher, the Field of View and other settings can be accessed in-game by pressing F7.

The post-processing function of SPV3 has also been effective in correcting the notorious visual and graphical errors of Halo: Combat Evolved that have been present since the Gearbox PC release. Broken graphic effects in CE from 2003 onwards, such as bump maps, transparent shaders and fog effects to name a few, have been fixed as, mostly, a side effect of SPV3's post-processing. This restores a lot of visuals to the quality standards that were present when Halo: Combat Evolved was first released on the original Xbox in 2001. The SPV3 Dev Team's further graphical improvements have built on top of these fixes to make the game look even more pleasing to the eye.

As of SPV3.2, options in the launchers Settings menu can enable a Visor overlay. Inspired by Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, this option adds extra detail to the HUD, giving the impression that the player is looking through the visor of Master Chiefs helmet. The visor will subtly bob up and down as the player moves and water droplets and ice will appear on the screen in appropriate areas, adding and extra touch of realism. The HUD has also been changed to look more modern, bringing the health bar and shield power gauge to the centre and redesigning the overall look. There is also an option to remove the HUD entirely. The cinematic bars for cutscenes can also be turned on or off, depending on the players desire. Another option added, called DOOM mode, brings whatever weapon the player is using to the centre of the screen, imitating the perspective of the first-person shooter classic, Doom.

Customize menu in SPV3.3, showing the ODST option.

SPV3 also supports gamepads, both wired and wireless. To use them, they must be connected or active before the mod is started up and must be assigned to the player profile in use within the Settings menu on the title screen. There exists a default controller button map pre-set, but all buttons can also be mapped manually.

In the main menu is a Customization option (see right), allowing players to alter certain visual elements in the game. These include alternate costumes for the Master Chief and Cortana, skybox options for certain levels, a hint system and more.

Difficulty

One of SPV3's most prominent aspects is its emphasis on difficulty, aiming to be a challenging gaming experience. As such, the mod features more enemy numbers than Halo: Combat Evolved, along with more enemy types for all factions, as well as the new and revised enemy encounters in order to accommodate the vastly expanded weapon sandbox of the game.

The most obvious example of its increased difficulty is the removal of the Easy option from Halo: Combat Evolved. The mode itself has been reworked into the new Noble difficulty setting, made to be even harder than Legendary, and named after Noble Team of Halo: Reach. Although a harder difficulty, it is, at its core, Combat Evolved's Easy mode. The difference is that factors such as enemy durability and damage multipliers have been ramped up to eleven, but it does have generally fewer enemies than Legendary. As such, it is much easier to be killed on Noble than Legendary and enemies are much more durable. Aspects that were unique to Halo's Easy difficulty, like Avery Johnson's speech at the start of the game, are part of SPV3's Noble difficulty.

As a counter to the severely increased difficulty of SPV3, checkpoints can now be created manually by the player in the pause menu during gameplay at any time, on top of the automatic checkpoints the game gives you. This system is open to be abused if one finds the experience too challenging.

New Characters, Hero Units, Enemies & Allies

Unlike Halo: Combat Evolved, where players solely controlled the Master Chief, SPV3 features 4 playable characters:

  1. John-117, aka the Master Chief, returns as the player character for all missions that originally appeared in CE, along with two of the new missions: The Silent Cartographer: Evolved and None Left Behind. His Mark V MJOLNIR armour has been modified to give him a unique look for SPV3 in his default costume.
  2. Thel 'Vadamee, known in official Halo titles as the Elite who would become the Arbiter in Halo 2, is playable for the first time before his fall from grace within the Covenant. This iteration of him is the end result of the SPV3 Dev Team's experiments on playable Elite's, making Thel handle differently to a SPARTAN, with his own strengths and weaknesses. 'Vadamee serves as the player character in The Commander and The Commander: Evolved and he shares the same field model as the Elite Zealots.
  3. May-017 is an original character, a female SPARTAN-II whose appearance and personality is reminiscent of John-117. Being a SPARTAN-II, she handles the same as the Master Chief. May is the player character in Lumoria.
  4. The fourth player character is the Firefight SPARTAN-II, and unnamed character that players take control of in Firefight. He handles very similar to the Master Chief and SPARTAN May, but has some minor differences.

Character allies who wear plot armour, such as Keyes or Johnson, appear in SPV3 as Hero Units. These are special allied units who are invincible, but they can be knocked down and immobilized if they sustain enough damage. If this happens, the player can revive them by approaching them and pressing the action key, the idea taken from Halo 5's squad mechanic.

Enemies that appeared in post-CE games have been added. The Brutes of Halo 2 and 3 and Skirmishers of Halo: Reach are now among the Covenant ranks, with their own style of fighting, strengths and weaknesses. Jackal Marksmen are also included in the Covenant military. Hunters have been altered to be much larger in size than they were in Combat Evolved to be more inline with their future appearances. In CE, only the Spec-Ops Elites threw grenades. In SPV3, all Elites will now actively use plasma grenades in battle. Later in the campaign, Savage Covenant, who use UNSC weapons, are encountered, being driven to desperation by the Flood, who have also received massive changes from the modders. There are also new types of Sentinels, including the large and powerful Sentinel Enforcers from Halo 2.

The A.I. of the Marine allies has been improved for SPV3. They've been given an intelligence boost, so they are now far more helpful in battle. Each Marine has also been given more visual individuality, with many different Marine variants to be seen. Two Marines will rarely look alike. As well as the standard Marines, ODST's will accompany the player in certain levels, each part of a class with their own specialty, shown by coloured stripes on their armour.

Weapons & Vehicles

The weapon sandbox is one of the most fundamentally expanded parts of Halo: CE that SPV3 brings to the table. Weapons from other Halo games have been added, like the Battle Rifle, Brute Shot, DMR and Carbine to name a few. Existing weapons have also been modified to accommodate the expanded sandbox. Other weapons like the Flamethrower, that existed in the PC port of Halo: CE's multiplayer, have been brought into the Campaign. Also, new weapons have been made from scratch for this mod as well as new types of grenades. Weapons that were unavailable for use in Combat Evolved, like the Sentinel Beam and the Energy Sword, can be used in SPV3, though the Energy Sword is still an elusive weapon, only available in certain levels. The Jackal Shield can be used by the player for the first time in Halo. Another first in Halo that SPV3 includes is being able to retrieve Hunter Cannons from Hunters after killing them. Different variants for weapons also exist, such as 3 types of the Covenant Plasma Pistol.

Like the weapon sandbox, the vehicles have received massive additions and alterations. Some vehicles have been taken from Halo Wars such as the Sparrowhawk and Grizzly tank, that replaces the Scorpion tank. Wraiths are now drivable and different variants are present. 4 different types of Warthog are available now as is the Gungoose, a variant of the Mongoose from Halo 3. The Shadow, an early version of the Spectre in Halo 2 that was cut from Combat Evolved, has been brought to life in SPV3. While Spirit dropships are still a part of the game, they have generally been replaced with Phantom dropships. Pelican dropships now have automated weapon systems that aid the player whenever they are present.

All weapons and vehicles, existing or taken from other games, have been modified or possess features that make their appearance in SPV3 unique. Nearly all vehicles are now destructible and each also has its own recharging health system. The hijacking function from Halo 2 onwards has been added, available to the player only, and Covenant vehicles are susceptible to EMPs, which can be delivered with certain weapons, adding more options to units on foot.

Field Additions & Changes

Powerups have been updated in SPV3. Covenant Overshields and Active Camouflage are unchanged but a new Reflex Enhancement is present. For the UNSC, however, armour abilities have been added. The VISR function is available, that works similar to its appearance in Halo 3: ODST, along with an alternate version of it, THERMAL VISION, as well as a SPRINT ability. These abilities replace the flashlight when equipped and will only be active for a certain length of time, depending on the ability being used, before they must recharge, the charge level being shown on the HUD. Some passive equipment is also available like HEALTH REGEN, and a RADAR enhancer. Only a single armour ability can be equipped at any one time. Generally, they must be found in the field and equipped manually, though the player will automatically be equipped with one at the start of several missions, depending on the loadout chosen.

Another added feature to the gameplay is the placement of datapads and Forerunner terminals throughout the levels of the Campaign. The idea was taken directly from Halo: Reach, Halo 3, and the anniversary editions of Combat Evolved and Halo 2, except the terminals act like the datapads, instead of showing a cutscene. Like in the other Halo titles, they add context to the point of view of certain characters of the different factions that appear in the story.

The game features datapads from both the UNSC and the Covenant. Each mission contains a different number of datapads and terminals, but all missions feature them, even the extra ones. Each mission will also inform players how many datapads of each type and terminals are within each level upon finding one. Many of the datapads focus on the views of main characters, like Jacob Keyes and Avery Johnson, but some are from the view point of minor and supporting characters, like Mendoza or Zuka 'Zamamee. Others are written by faceless generic characters who may or may not been seen at all. All Forerunner terminals are from the perspective of 343 Guilty Spark, except the ones in the Lumoria missions. They act as collectables that appear in the field of the missions and must be physically found and interacted with to reveal each ones content, which can't be viewed anywhere else as no record of datapads or terminals discovered is held anywhere in the mod.

There are also 4 unique Cortana logs in the game. There is only one per difficulty, the content changing with each setting, but it is always in the same location.

Skulls & Cross-Map Unlocks

Earlier builds of SPV3 featured Skulls. In SPV3.2, Skulls were omitted, but have returned in 3.3. They are presented in the same manner as the Master Chief Collection, being available straight away instead of being easter eggs in the field, like older Halo releases. The difference here is that while some of these Skulls are taken straight from the official titles, some of them are completely unique to SPV3. Like normal, they can be combined in anyway that the player wishes to alter the gameplay experience. Skulls are also part of Firefight.

SPV3 also introduces a feature called Cross-Map Unlocks, which essentially act as the opposite of Skulls. Certain levels feature a switch that can be interacted with or a particular task that can be achieved that will either add to the regular gameplay or alter certain factors in future missions. None of the unlocks are game breaking, they simply serve as optional features to add variety to the gameplay and encourage replayability.

Music

The music has been remastered by composer Jafet Meza. Every track Martin O'Donnell created for Halo: Combat Evolved has been redone, some even with different versions, to better suit the look and feel of SPV3, while remaining faithful and respectful to O'Donnell's original work. Musical pieces from other Halo games have been brought into the mod, all having been rescored by Meza. Original tracks for SPV3 have also been written and composed by Meza for the new campaign. The original songs and pieces from other Halo titles can usually be heard in the extended sections of existing missions and the original levels SPV3 has to offer.

The music of SPV3 can be purchased and downloaded from Jafet Meza's Bandcamp page. It is also available to stream through Spotify.

Other Features & Alterations

SPV3 introduces a complete remake of the level The Silent Cartographer as well as and updated version of the original level. The evolved version features an entirely new map layout whilst keeping in line with the formats of the original game. As of the 2019 3.2 update, a further three missions have been added to the Campaign that reuse existing levels, one even reusing The Silent Cartographer: Evolved's level design, making 343 Guilty Spark, The Library and the three Lumoria levels as the only unique missions in the mod.

One negative factor of SPV3 is that, despite its ambition, its is being run on a game engine from 2001. This can result in crashes during gamely in certain areas, though these are not too devastating a flaw.

Features

Factions

UNSC

Commanders & Leaders

Personnel

Covenant

Commanders & Leaders

Personnel

Forerunner

Commanders & Leaders

Personnel

Flood

Commanders & Leaders

Personnel

Weapons

UNSC

Forerunner

Covenant

*-Only available in The Commander, The Commander: Evolved and/or Firefight.

**-Only available in The Commander, The Commander: Evolved and/or the Lumoria campaign.

^-Only available in the Lumoria campaign and/or Firefight.

^^-Only available in Firefight.

Vehicles

UNSC

Covenant

*-Unavailable for player use.

**-Only appears after a Cross-Map Unlock has been enacted.

^-Only available in the Lumoria campaign.

Equipment

UNSC

Covenant

Developer Notes

Gallery

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