Singleplayer Version 3 (SPV3) is a mod of Halo Custom Edition that features a revamped version of Halo: Combat Evolved's campaign, including terminals, new weapons, vehicles and enemies, additional sections of levels and vastly improved graphics. The mod was created by the Custom Mapping Team, headed by Masterz1337, a group of modders who have developed several other Halo Custom Edition mods in the past, such as SPV2. The mod is only available on PC and is not endorsed or supported in any way by 343 Industries or Microsoft.
On August 19th 2017, CMT 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.
On July 6th 2019, a further overhaul, titled SPV3.2 was released by CMT. The update, while tweaking aspects of the mod, added 6 new missions: None Left Behind, The Commander and The Commander: Evolved to the main campaign, as well as a seperate mini campaign called Lumoria, an updated version of an old Halo: Custom Edition mod, along side it. This version has also made it easier for the modders to update SPV3 and for players to acquire the updates.
Halo SPV3 is free to download from Masterz1337's reddit page to anyone who has Halo: Custom Edition installed on their PC, since Custom Edition still runs the mod. To install Halo: Custom Edition, a CD key from Halo: Combat Evolved's 2005 PC port is required, and is the only thing that must be bought to play the mod or any other mods from Halo's modding community. With every new update to SPV3, the previous versions have become unavailable to download.
SPV3's campaign 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 consists of 10 levels from the CE campaign and 4 original levels.
|The Pillar of Autumn||"Escape intact as Covenant forces board your ship."|
|Halo||"Seek out surviving Marines and help fight the Covenant."|
|The Truth and Reconciliation||"Board a Covenant ship to rescue Captain Keyes."|
|The Silent Cartographer||"Search for the map room to lead you to the secrets of Halo."|
|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."|
|Assault on the Control Room||"Lead the Marines in an all-out offensive on the control room."|
|343 Guilty Spark||"Creep through the swamp to meet the only enemy the Covenant fear."|
|The Library||"Fight your way through the facility in search of the Index."|
|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 Lepidus has other plans"|
|The Maw||"Destroy Halo before Halo destroys all life in the galaxy."|
- Jacob Keyes
- 343 Guilty Spark
- Avery Johnson
- Carol Rawley
- Shiela Polaski
- Thel 'Vadamee
- Rtas 'Vadumee
- Usze 'Tahamee
|This section requires expansion.|
Graphical updates have been painstakingly improved to a high standard, despite still being run on the old Halo: Combat Evolved engine. Lighting effects, shimmering on shiny surfaces 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 60 FPS. This makes the game look more fluid and smooth. Easter eggs can also be found in the mod, particularly on the Pillar of Autumn. The HUD has also been changed to look more modern, bringing the health bar and shield power gauge to the center and redesigning the overall look. 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. 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. All buttons must be mapped manually and button sharing cannot be done.
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 accomodate the vastly expanded weapon sandbox of the game. The most obvious example of its increased diffculty is the removal of the Easy option from Halo CE. The mode itself has been reworked into the new Noble difficulty setting, made to be even harder than Legendary, Halo's hardest difficulty setting, and named after Noble Team of Halo: Reach. Although a harder difficulty, it is essentially a revamped version of Combat Evolved's Easy mode, having generally fewer enemies than Legendary, and 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. However, it is much easier to be killed on Noble than Legendary and enemies are much more durable.
Enemies that appeared in post-CE games have been introduced. The Brutes of Halo 2 and 3 and Skirmishers of Halo: Reach are now among the Covenant ranks, with their own style of fighting and weaknesses. Jackal Marksmen are also included in the Covenant military. Later in the campaign, Savage Covenant, who use UNSC weapons, are encountered, being driven to desperation by the Flood. The Flood have received massive changes from the modders as well as the inclusion of new types of Sentinels. The Enforcers from Halo 2 also make appearances. As well as regular Marines, ODST's will accompany players in certain levels, each part of a class with their own speciality, shown by coloured stripes on their armour. Character allies, such as Keyes or Johnson, are now invincible, but they can be knocked down and the player can revive them, the idea taken from Halo 5's squad mechanic.
Nearly all vehicles are now destructible and the hijacking ability has also been introduced. Some vehicles have been taken from Halo Wars such as the Sparrowhawk and Grizzly tank, that replaces the Scorpion tank from Halo CE. Wraiths are now drivable and the Anti Air Wraith from Halo 3 is also present. 4 different types of Warthog are available now and the Gungoose, a variant of the Mongoose, is also included in SPV3. While Spirit dropships are still a part of the game, they have generally been replaced with Phantom dropships, which can be destroyed.
Weapons from other Halo games have also been added, like the Battle Rifle, Brute Shot, DMR and Carbine. 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 such as the Shredder, essentially a Brute variation of the Needler, as well as 3 new types of grenades; the Gravity Grenade, the Cluster Grenade and the Needle Grenade. The Needle Grenade is only available in 5 missions, however. 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 a mission exclusive weapon. 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, of which there are 3 different types.
All weapons and vehicles, existing or taken from other games, have been modified or possess features that make their appearance in SPV3 unique.
Powerups have been updated in SPV3. Covenant Overshields and Active Camouflage are unchanged but a new Reflex Enhancment is present, slowing down gameplay except the players actions that lasts for 30 seconds. 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, which heals a portion of the players health when their shields are full without health packs, and the RADAR enhancer, that upgrades the motion tracker to a radar, showing stationary enemies as well. 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.
The music has also 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.
Multiplayer has been removed altogether, possibly to enable memory space for all added features, changes and graphical updates. SPV3 introduces a remake of the level The Silent Cartographer as well as and updated version of the orginal 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 3 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.
Unlike Halo: Combat Evolved, where players solely controlled the Master Chief, SPV3 features three playable characters: John-117, Thel 'Vadamee and May-017. John-117, a.k.a 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 armor has been modified to give him a unique look for SPV3. Thel 'Vadamee, known in official Halo titles as the Sangheili who would become the Arbiter in Halo 2, is playable for the first time before his fall from grace within the Covenant. He serves as the player character in The Commander and The Commander: Evolved, another two of the new missions that respectivley reuse both level designs of The Silent Cartographer. The two missions are alternate versions of the same level. Thel is the only playable character in the mod with access to the Energy Sword. May-017 is an original character, a female SPARTAN-II whose appearance and personality is reminicent of John-117. She was created for a Halo: Custom Edition mod that was released in 2010. The mod in question, Project Lumoria, was taken by CMT, modified and brought up to SPV3 standards to be rereleased in SPV3.2, the 2019 update as a separate mini campaign.
The earliest version of SPV3 featured skulls, that worked just like in official games of the Halo franchise. However, from SPV3.1 onwards, skulls have been omitted and replaced with Cross-Map Unlocks. These unlocks only appear in Legendary or Noble play throughs. 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. However, they will only be applied on a straight play through of the game and will be reset if the play through is interrupted, e.g. quitting a level and starting another from the campaign menu.
Another added feature to the gameplay is the placement of datapads and Forerunner terminals throughout the levels in the campaign. The idea was taken directly 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, the latter being the only form of exposition from the Covenant's point of view of the story's events, outside The Commander and The Commander: Evolved. Each mission contains a different number of datapads and terminals, but all missions feature them, even the extra ones and the Lumoria campaign. 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 and 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.
As of SPV3.2, options in the launchers Settings menu can enable a Visor overlay. Inspired by Halo 4 and 5, this option adds extra detail to the HUD, giving the impression that the player is looking through the visor of Master Chiefs, and May-017's, helmet. The visor will subtly bob up and down as the player moves, adding and extra touch of realism. Another option added, called DOOM mode, brings whatever weapon the player is using to the center of the screen, imitating the persective of the first-person shooter classic, Doom. Game aspects, like field of view or even lighting and graphical effects, can be enable, disabled or adjusted in the launcher Settings menu.
*-Only available in The Commander and The Commander: Evolved.
**-Only available in The Commander, The Commander: Evolved and the Lumoria campaign.
^-Only available in the Lumoria campaign.
*-Unavailable for player use.
**-Only appears after a Cross-Map Unlock has been enacted.