Gearbox readying Halo Custom Edition

Developer plans free, modable PC edition of sci-fi shooter; no release date given.

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Late Friday, Gearbox Software announced it is readying a new version of Halo: Combat Evolved. Called Halo Custom Edition, the new version of the wildly popular sci-fi shooter will allow players to create their own multiplayer mods and custom content.

According to Gearbox, Halo CE will be a free, stand-alone, 170MB.exe based on v1.04 of the PC Halo, and will include netcode adjustments and fast shaders. While it doesn't require gamers to have Halo PC installed to play it, Halo CE does require the original's retail key to unlock. Halo CE will also be strictly multiplayer, and it will not include any of the original Halo's single-player maps. As it has not been through Microsoft and Bungie's testing process, it will be supported solely by Gearbox.

Along with Halo CE, Gearbox will release the Halo Editing Kit (HEK). The separate 250MB download will allow users to create their own custom content for Halo CE, and it will include a set of tools, tutorials, and art.

Gearbox did not reveal the exact date the modding crowd will be able to download Halo CE from its site, saying only that it will be available in the next week or two. However, the developer has posted a handy Halo CE FAQ to answer gamers' numerous questions.

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