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The game that defined a generation - REDEFINED

SPV3 (Short for "Single Player Version 3") is the third iteration of an extensive campaign modification for Halo: Combat Evolved's Custom Edition for PC. The project presents itself as a "reimagining" of Combat Evolved, incorporating elements from the main series and spinoff games (including some content cut from final release), expanded material such as the novels, and original content including new weapons and expanded levels. The project is spearheaded by Masterz 1337, the head of CMT (Custom Mapping Team) with its remastered and original soundtracks composed by Jafet Meza.

The mod itself is divided into several unique gameplay experiences:

  • Installation 04 - An overhaul of the original ten campaign levels of Halo: Combat Evolved, complemented by an additional four original levels.
    • The Silent Cartographer: Evolved - An overhaul the original The Silent Cartographer mission, featuring a completely unique level layout and redone encounters.
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    • None Left Behind - An original mission that revisits the mission Halo. Taking place after the mission Keyes, the Master Chief assists with evacuating the last few survivors of UNSC personell from Alpha Base.
    • The Commander and The Commander: Evolved, original missions that revisit The Silent Cartographer and The Silent Cartographer: Evolved. Occurring concurrently with The Maw, the Flood has taken root within the heart of Installation 04's Cartographer, gleaning the data stored in the facility to further expediate its infestation of the ring. Supreme Commander of the Covenant's Fleet of Particular Justice Thel' Vadamee, accompanied by Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadumee and Ascetic Usze 'Tahamee, is tasked with carving through to the heart of the Flood hive in a desperate bit to purge the parasite from the Cartographer and slow its spread throughout Halo.
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  • Lumoria - An overhaul of Project Lumoria, a separate Custom Edition campaign originally released in 2012.
  • Firefight - A dedicated Firefight mode that incorporates elements featured in the above two campaigns.

The mod was initially was released on June 2016, consisting of the first half of the Installation 04 Campaign levels (collectively titled Landfall). Future versions of the mod would continue to incorporate additional content:

  • SPV3.1 (previously referred to as SPV3 Part 2), released in August 2017. Added the second half of the Installation 04 Campaign (collectively titled Outbreak) with multiple changes, additions and bugfixes backported into the Landfall missions.
  • SPV3.2, which was released in July 2019. Added the Lumoria campaign and the missions None Left Behind, The Commander and The Commander: Evolved, with additional changes and fixes to the rest of the Installation 04 missions.

The latest version of the mod (including the other programs needed to run it) can be downloaded from the official Subreddit or ModDB. You can find more information about the mod on the official Wiki.

Tropes applying to the original Halo: Combat Evolved can be found here.

This Custom Campaign provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: A few levels from the original game are kept as-is with only mechanics modifications or the occasional Marine or ODST squad where there wasn't one previously, and of course new enemies, weapons and vehicles are added, but several levels are significantly altered.
    • In particular, the first level, the Pillar of Autumn, starts off normally with a fairly short, frenetic firefight through the ship's corridors. Once you reach the second maintenance access way, the level opens up with treks through vehicle tunnels and large, open rooms where unstable gravity introduces slow-motion platforming and an amazing sense of verticality that was not present in the original level.
    • The second level, Halo, is mostly the same but adds 2 new sections to the level after the "Not a natural formation" tunnels. The first section has you helping Shiela Polaski, the pilot of Pelican Echo 205, rescue 3 marine squads held captive by the Brutes. The second section involves you helping the Marines to repel a Covenant assault on the newly-established Alpha Base, before clearing out the interior structure and boarding an enemy Anti-Air Wraith stationed on top of the base, which is preventing Pelican reinforcements from landing. Alpha Base was featured in a sideplot of Halo: The Flood (the novelization of Combat Evolved)and Polaski was featured in the sequel novel Halo: First Strike but both never actually appeared or were even referenced in the game itself.
    • As mentioned above, there is an alternate version of The Silent Cartographer available in addition to the standard version, the latter which uses the original level layout with the only changes being updated enemy encounters and weapon placement. Dubbed The Silent Cartographer Evolved, it keeps the basic plot of the level the same, but radically alters the layout of the map, featuring a lush jungle island setting, with the security facility situated next to a subterranean cave system and the map facility itself being situated on the ocean floor! Instead of simply unlocking the door to the Cartographer facility after the Covenant seal it, you must also extend a bridge to Bravo 022's crash site before proceeding back into the map facility itself. Furthermore, instead of simply activating the map room via a one-click console, you must also activate several generators in a now-massive room while facing increasingly challenging waves of Covenant reinforcements.
    • Assault on the Control Room is kept largely the same layout-wise, but instead of simply walking into the Control Room's canyon after the second Hunter Room, the level has been expanded with another tank run through an underground cavern and more Forerunner hallways, before finally reaching a massive, open canyon with slopes that lead up to the control room, which is actually situated in the original canyon (which has been opened up at the opposite end).
      • When you reach the last open canyon in your vehicle of choice, a surviving Marine squad is engaging the Covenant from either side of a crashed pelican, and will accompany you the rest of the way. This, alongside the fact that the canyon's modified layout and new point of entry means you now have to fight your way up the Control Room's exterior instead of taking a quick Banshee flight, makes the level more befitting of its name as an "Assault on the Control Room".
    • Two Betrayals retains the new areas introduced in Assault on the Control Room but shifts the focus from vehicle traversal to on-foot backtracking and aerial combat (the latter being supported with the introduction and only appearance of the Sparrowhawk) like in the original.
    • An Entirely new level, "None Left Behind", was added with SPV3.2, and picks up right after "Keyes". It follows the Chief as he returns to Alpha Base to rescue the surviving marines. All of them end up being slaughtered as they evacuate the base, though, leaving only the chief to escape via Pelican.
    • The Maw also revisits the new areas introduced during The Pillar of Autumn, which has now been transformed into a dimly-lit Flood Hive. Other areas explored in the expanded areas include:
      • A stairwell similar to the one seen in the first level.
      • Ruined corridors which have been warped and crushed as a result the Autumn's crash-landing, to the point that they now rest at odd angles or have even been transformed into near-completely vertical shafts.
      • And a crews quarters, which now resembles a morgue thanks to multiple uninfected UNSC Marine corpses lying in hollow, rectangular bunk beds in the walls.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The final portion of The Truth & Reconciliation has you escorting Captain Keyes back to the Hangar Bay and escaping on a Spirit Dropship. This was a very harrowing ordeal in the original game, as Keyes was roughly as resilient as any other Marine you encounter (i.e. not very). In SPV3 however, Keyes is completely invincible, which completely removes the hassle of having to babysit him for the rest of the mission.
    • Deactivating the Phase Pulse Generators on Two Betrayals and getting through Warthog Run at the end of The Maw would normally be impossible while the "Keyes" skull note  is turned onExplanation . If the skull is on during these sections, however, teleporters are placed in key positions that allow the player to skip these normally impassable sections, while the Warthog Run's timer is also deactivated.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • In the initial release of SPV3, you always had to be extra careful when driving a Rocket 'Hog with a gunner. The Marines were still coded to treat the Rocket Turret like the regular Chaingun turret, and they didn't hesitate to fire a rocket into an enemy or (even better) at a piece of scenery that was right next to your vehicle. Thankfully, patches to the game have mitigated this somewhat, as gunners will now only target enemies a certain distance away from the vehicle (though it's still best to avoid driving past obstacles when they've locked onto an enemy).
    • Nearly any NPC armed with an explosive weapon, be it ally or enemy, has the capacity to kill/grievously injure themselves and anyone around them. This is most prevalent when they're fighting in cramped, indoor environments; If they don't kill themselves by shooting into walls right next to them, they'll do it through using their explosive weapons in close-quarters combat.
    • Bunched up groups of Marines will inevitably commit friendly fire, which can prove lethal if they're armed with weapons capable of performing headshots.
  • Berserk Button: Blind Wolves are generally docile creatures. But as soon as two them are killed, no matter the circumstances, the rest in the area will go berserk and attack everything in sight.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • NPCs and corpses caught within a gravity vortex (created via Gravity Grenades or the Void's Tear's overcharge shot) will bleed rapidly, to the degree that nearby surfaces will be literally painted in multicoloured blood.
    • The Flood, even more so than in Combat Evolved.
      • Arms and heads can now be fully separated from a Combat Form and exist as their own entity (instead of popping into a small piece of fungus, like in CE).
      • When a combat form is killed, the infection form sitting in the chest will pop, revealing a purple/red-coloured cavity that exposes part of the corpse's ribcage.
      • Jackal Carrier forms will burst into a mess of limbs, infection forms and blood upon death.
      • Flood blood is now a brightly coloured, glow-in-the-dark yellow-green instead of a sickly yet barely noticeable brown-green colour.
  • Caffeine Bullet Time: The Reflex Enhancer, which slows down Chief's perception of time around him to half speed for 30 seconds.
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place. The mod does a good job of meshing the original game's story and gameplay with elements that were either cut or would only be introduced later on in the franchise (which led to situations wherein certain enemies and weapons that by all rights should have been present during the events of the original game were not).
    • For starters, Brutes are present. They're similar to their Halo 2 counterparts, wearing very little armour aside from a Halo 3-styled helmet (with Brute Commanders and War Chieftains getting access to Power armour) and carrying weapons tailor-made for them. However, they are treated as a separate race in the Covenant Military with their own strengths and weaknesses, instead of being just a poor man's Elite.
    • Jackal Snipers and the Skirmishers from Halo: Reach are also present, supplementing regular Jackal Infantry.
    • Blind wolves were a type of wildlife that were originally supposed to roam the landscapes of Installation 04, but were cut from the original game and have been re-implemented into SPV3.
    • In another first, vehicles that originated from Halo Wars are usable. The Grizzly replaces the Scorpion, and yes, it has twin tank cannons and twin machine guns! Sparrowhawks are also present in the game, appearing as an alternate aerial vehicle choice to the Banshee during Two Betrayals.
    • Marine squads from the original game are replaced by ODST squads in the levels The Truth and Reconciliation and The Silent Cartographer, which mirror the events in Halo: The Flood.
    • Several weapons and vehicles from subsequent games have also been added, including the Battle Rifle (which includes a variable fire mode while zoomed in, a feature cut from Halo 2) and DMR, the SMG (alongside its silenced variant from Halo 3: ODST), the Gungoose and the Gauss Warthog. The Rocket Warthog and the Flamethrower are also present in the campaign, though both were actually in the PC release of the original game (where they only appeared in multiplayer), with the latter also making an appearance in Halo 3 as a support weapon in the Campaign/multiplayer. There's also the Heretic Hog, a secret unlockable Warthog variant that is essentially this game's version of the Sword Warthog (a Requisitions Warthog variant from Halo 5: Guardians armed with a Needler Turret)
    • On the Covenant side, we have the Particle Carbine (A battery-powered variant of the Covenant Carbine that fires purple beams similar to the Beam Rifle), the Brute Plasma Rifle, the Brute Shot, the Focus Rifle from Halo: Reach, the Void's Tear (a Requisitions variant of the Halo 5: Guardians Plasma Pistol), the Phantom dropship (which replaces all appearances of the Spirit outside of the Hangar Bay on The Truth & Reconciliation and the crashed Spirit in 343 Guilty Spark), the Shadow (a vehicle shown during Halo CE's E3 2000 trailer, but was cut from the final game and reintroduced as the Spectre in Halo 2) and the Anti-Air Wraith.
    • Flood Infection Forms can now infect live targets and turn them into Combat Forms like in Halo 3. The Brute and the Jackal can now be infected into their own flood forms. Interesting to note is that the Jackal form, like the Grizzly and Sparrowhawk, was introduced and only existed in Halo Wars, the only difference being that this form is a Carrier form rather than a combat form.
    • Sentinels now come in Aggressor, Sniper and Enforcer variants, the former two which can drop their weapons for the player to use.
      • Aggressors are the standard Sentinels armed with the Sentinel Beam, which fires an orange beam capable of lightning unshielded opponents on fire.
      • Snipers are a variant of the standard Sentinel armed with the Sentinel Sniper Beam, which fires high-powered blue beams similar to Halo 2's Sentinel Majors.
      • Enforcers are large Sentinel weapon platforms that provide heavy fire support with dual Incineration Cannons and Pulse Laser Suppressors.
    • Thanks to the power of OpenSauce (a program used to enable things the original game couldn't manage on its own) and various minor edits, many features and game mechanics from the future titles have been implemented into the campaign. To list:
      • Plasma pistols (excluding the Void's Tear) slowly drain their battery the longer you hold an overcharge, and can EMP Covenant vehicles with a charged shot (excluding the Brute Plasma Pistol).
      • Plasma and Gravity grenades also have an EMP effect on Covenant vehicles.
      • Any enemy-driven Covenant vehicle (excluding Shade turrets and the Banshee) can now be hijacked. Hijacking a Ghost has the pilot forcibly kicked out of the cockpit while hijacking a Wraith or Shadow will kill the driver and force enemy passengers to disembark the vehicle.
      • All vehicles can now be destroyed, including Shade Turrets, Phantom Dropships and their/(a Pelican's) turrets.
      • Armour Abilities exist in the form of Armour Upgrades; optional extras that can give you a slight advantage in combat. They include: VISR Mode from Halo 3: ODST, Sprint, Health Regeneration.
    • Various Forerunner terminals and UNSC/Covenant datapads lay scattered around the various levels. These provide text entries that explain many of the mods changes from the original game from the viewpoints of both canon and original characters.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Enemies now possess a wider variety of ranks and colours that not only denote toughness/intelligence, but also combat roles and weapons/equipment used (Jackals, Hunters).
    • The ammo counter on Assault Rifles will change colour depending on the ammo left in the clip, changing from blue to yellow once it reaches 15 rounds left, to red when it reaches 7 rounds left.
    • Weapons and vehicles that come in different variants also have small colouration differences:
      • Regular Assault Rifles have a yellow stripe running down the side of the barrel casing, while the GL variant's stripe is red.
      • The Battle Rifle variants can be determined by the colour of their ammo counter and scope lens: Variants 
      • The standard Sniper-Rifle has a blue-coloured scope (similar to the 343I-era games' Sniper), while the Silenced variant has a green-coloured scope (similar to the Bungie-era games) in addition to a modified, silenced barrel.
      • Averted with the Silenced SMG, whose changes are primarily cosmetic, not coloured-based; the changes include a silencer attached to the end of the barrel, with the SMG also getting an additional 2x scope with an orange lens.
      • The Brute Shredder, Brute Plasma Pistol and Brute Plasma Rifle are crimson coloured variants of the Needler, Plasma Pistol and Plasma Rifle respectively.
      • The Void's Tear, another Plasma Pistol variant, has a metallic white finish to it.
      • The Warthog comes in 4 variants: Chaingun (Teal-Green), Rocket (Black w/ yellow stripes), Gauss (Urban Camo) and the secret unlockable Heretic Hog (Purple).
      • Wraiths come in Standard (Purple w/ Plasma Mortar) and Anti Air variants (Red w/ Twin Shade Cannons).
    • The four floors of the Library also receive this treatment; the large plasma banks that run the sides of the long corridors now emit a blue, green, yellow or red light as you progress up the floors of the facility.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: Endemic to the Halo series. A new pickup called the Radar Enhancer allows you to track stationary targets for 80 seconds.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The "Angry" Skull. When activated, NPCs who are allied with the player (such as the UNSC Marines in the first half and The Sentinels in 343 Guilty Spark/The Library) will turn on you. Additionally, multiple enemy factions who are encountered in the same area will not fight each other, instead of committing all their efforts against a single adversary: The Player).
  • Expy/Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The three new Brute weapons are this to the Brute weapons introduced in Halo 3:
    • The Brute Plasma Pistol is this to the Mauler, as both are shotgun-pistols that are devastating at close range but suffer from a small clip and a small reserve ammo pool. Being an energy weapon, the Brute Plasma Pistol replicates the Mauler's drawbacks by overheating after a few shots and draining its battery quicker than other energy weapons.
    • The Shredder (read: Brute Needler) is this to the Spiker, as both are automatic weapons that fire sharp projectiles that can quickly down foes who are not protected by energy shields and possess sharp attachments that also make the firearms effective melee weapons.
    • The Piercer borrows elements from the Needler, Mauler and Spiker, as it is a sidearm (Mauler) of a traditional Brute design (Mauler/Spiker) that fires superheated spikes (Spiker) that home in on enemies (Needler).
  • Fate Worse than Death: Namechecked by a Sangheili Zealot in one of the datapad terminals where he laments the loss of a substantial number of his fellow Covenant members, even Grunts and Jackals, using this phrase to describe their fate.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: SPV3 adds several weapons that possess incendiary properties, which allows them to set enemies on fire. Fire deals afterburn damage to unshielded of these weapons can deal afterburn damage by setting enemies on fire and are capable of detonating grenades dropped by enemies.
    • The Brute Plasma Pistol's overcharge shot splits into several burning globs of plasma upon impact with a solid surface. While these globs cannot set enemies on fire, they still have the capacity to cook grenades off, and enemies that stand in a glob will be quickly whittled down by the constant damage it deals, which only increases with every additional glob that an enemy stands in. This makes the BPP's overcharge shot extremely effective when fired in a confined space.
    • The Flamethrower expels a semi-liquid fuel which melts through shielded and unshielded enemies like no one's business. The fuel's adhesive nature allows the flames fired by the flamethrower to stick to surfaces, making it a powerful close-range area-denial weapon.
    • SPV3's Forerunner weaponry all possess incendiary properties, which is what gives them the edge during combat encounters with the Flood.
      • The Sentinel Beam can set individual enemies alight after a few seconds of concentrated fire.
      • The Sentinel Sniper rapidly fires high-powered beams can set individual enemies ablaze in a single burst.
      • While unusable by the player, the Sentinel Enforcer's Pulse-Laser Suppressor and Incineration Cannon also have their own unique properties: The former sets enemies on fire after they've taken enough damage from it in a short period of time, while the latter fires globs of incendiary material that leaves a burning residue wherever they land.
  • Flechette Storm: The Needler, obviously, alongside the Shredder (a Brute Needler that only supercombines on unshielded opponents) and the Piercer (a Brute Pistol that burst-fires small, homing, superheated spikes).
  • Gravity Sucks: The GravityGrenade, when thrown or set off by another grenade/fire, creates a gravimetric vortex at the point of impact. This vortex will suck nearby NPC's and other loose objects such as weapons and vehicles in, shaving away at the health of NPC's before collapsing in on itself and releasing a powerful EMP blast, which can disable electronics such as energy shields/vehicles and kill weaker/weakened enemies. The Void's Tear's overcharge shot has the same effect.
  • Grenade Launcher: The Assault and Battle Rifles come in GL variants equipped with M45 Underslung Grenade Launchers. These launchers hold a maximum of up to 6 grenades, which travel in an arc when fired and detonate on impact. The grenades fired from the launcher are more powerful than the thrown frag grenades, capable of taking out entire groups of weaker enemies or tougher, individual targets with a direct hit. The only drawbacks are that the weapon that the launcher is mounted on cannot fire during the launcher's lengthy reload cycle, and standard grenades cannot be thrown while a GL weapon is active.
  • Harder Than Hard: The new Noble difficulty, which is actually Easy Mode with the AI and damage multipliers turned Up to Eleven. In general, the mod itself is also more difficult when compared to the original game thanks to the wider variety of enemy troops and the weapons/vehicles they come equipped with.
    • Doubly so for NASO; Noble difficulty with All Skulls On. Unlike the other main-series games, SPV3 has very few cosmetic or advantageous skulls.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Silenced variants of the Battle Rifle, SMG and the Sniper Rifle have, among other modifications, silencers attached to the end of their barrels. Firing a silenced weapon will not alert enemies, and they will only raise the alarm when you're in their direct line of sight.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Flood have a crippling weakness to fire and incendiary weapons. These weapons can also be useful against Covenant Troops, but are generally not as effective.
  • Last Ditch Move: Elite Ultras and sword-wielding Zealots will switch out their weapons when their shields are down and they have taken some damage; Zealots will exchange their sword for the Void's Tear while attempting to pull back into cover, whereas Ultras will pull out an Energy Sword before bum-rushing the enemy in a fit of rage.
  • Meat Moss: Flood Hives are areas that have been afflicted with a heavy Flood infestation and are encountered during the second half of the campaign. They can be easily identified by "Pods" of Flood biomass attached to the walls, floor and ceiling of the environment, which will burst open with a loud bang upon taking damage or with close proximity to the player. While these Pods mostly contain various Flood Forms, a few of them may contain rewards in the form of power weapons for the player to use.
  • More Dakka: The Hunter Shade Cannon; a portable shade turret used by Spec-Ops Hunters, and the M247H Turret; a portable Warthog Chaingun that easily punches through flesh and shields alike.
  • Nerf: The Flood have received multiple nerfs to balance out their improved AI and newly upgraded units. All forms now take damage and can be stunned by melee attacks, and the small infection form sitting in the chest now acts as a headshot area, meaning that combat forms can now be one-shot by something other than the shotgun and explosives. The Sniper Rifle just became useful again...
  • Night-Vision Goggles: VISR mode from ODST exists as an available Armour Upgrade. When activated, it will highlight enemies in red, allies in green, animated objects such as doors and terminals in yellow, and the rest of the environment in blue.
  • No-Sell:
    • The personal energy shields of the four Elite Honour Guard ranks (Minor, Major, Ultra and Zealot) have more in common with stationary energy shields than those used by other Elites, in that they are invulnerable to all forms of ballistic weaponry. The only way the shields can be overloaded is through plasma, explosives, melee attacks or fire.
      • This also applies to Honour Guards who have fallen victim to the Flood, and have transformed into Honour Guard Combat Forms. They are granted the same ballistics-immune energy shielding, but only at 75% of its original strength like other shielded Elite forms.
    • In addition to being granted with the same energy shielding as Brute Commanders, Brute Chieftains possess armour pieces which are nigh-on invulnerable to everything except explosive weaponry and being splattered by a vehicle. Their ornate helmets, on the other hand, can be destroyed, which leaves them vulnerable to headshot weaponry.
  • Overheating: The new Plasma Charging Stations can do this to any held Plasma-based weaponry if you hang around the station after the weapon reaches full charge. This will not place you in any significant danger unless you are trying to recharge during a firefight. However, since these chargers tend to be few and far between, it's recommended that you still scavenge for dropped weapons.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted with the Pillar of Autumn's interior sections, which now possess automated turrets that can mow down the Covenant in seconds. Also averted with Pelicans, which possess 4 automated mounted on the chin, wings and passenger bay of the vehicle that come in 2 configurations[note]1 variant has 4 Chainguns identical to those on the Pillar of Autumn, while another replaces the wing-mounted chainguns with 2 homing missile pods[/note]. This makes sections of the game where the Pelicans fly in while enemies are present considerably easier.
  • Recursive Ammo: The Cluster Grenade, a Brute invention and one of the new grenade types. It explodes into several miniature fuel rod bombs that, like the standard frag grenade, also explode when they come to a rest.
  • Redshirt Army: The UNSC Marines, like in Combat Evolved. However, this is toned down significantly due to the wider range of precision weaponry that they can use, which allows Marines to quickly down enemies through headshots. Furthermore, the changes to the basic assault rifle (which is now much more accurate at medium-long ranges) have not just made it more useful to the player but to the marines as well (as the Assault Rifle is the weapon most commonly used by marines), making them much more effective against tougher enemies such as Elites. The additional weaponry also makes them better able to handle enemy vehicles (especially when armed with a rocket launcher); It is not uncommon for the marines to dispatch squads of enemies or even light vehicles such as Ghosts, Shadows and Banshees with minimal-to-zero player assistance. Marines also now have a surprisingly powerful kick for a melee attack, which can one-shot weaker enemies like Grunts or Jackals.
    • In short, the Marines will still drop like flies when under heavy fire, but they will generally pull their weight in a fight much better than the original game, where they were mostly The Load aside from the occasional well-placed frag grenade, if they had a sniper rifle, or when they were manning your Warthog Turret.
    • However, this trope comes into full effect when the Flood is introduced in 343 Guilty Spark, as Infection Forms can instantly kill marines and transform them into Human Combat Forms if they manage to latch onto them.
  • Regenerating Health: While SPV3 uses Combat Evolved's original Regenerating Shield, Static Health system, an armour upgrade called Health Regen does this once your shields are fully recharged, similar to the later games in the series. Despite this, Health Regen only heals two-thirds of your total health bar (maximum yellow bars), ensuring that medkits do not become a redundant feature as they are the only way you can fully heal yourself.
  • Save Scumming: Manual saves now exist for the first time in a Halo campaign, allowing you to do this if you have trouble with certain sections on higher difficulties.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: The Savage Covenant are Covenant infantry that appear during the Outbreak chapters of the Installation 04 campaign who, out of fear of being overrun by the Flood and desperation due to the lack of working Covenant weapons, have taken to using Human weaponry. Savage Covenant will use the closest analogue to the weapons they'd normally carry (i.e. Savage Jackals and Skirmishers will typically carry Pistols and SMGs, while Jackal Sharpshooters carry Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles, DMRs and Sniper Rifles) and are equal in toughness to standard Covenant infantry ranks.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge:
    • Skulls make an appearance as gameplay modifiers that can be activated from an in-game menu. They include:
      • "Angry": The UNSC, The Covenant, the Flood and The Sentinels have united to kill the Master Chief.
      • "Blind": Disables the player's HUD and shield alert sounds (was replaced by the Four-Eyes Skull in Version 3.1)
      • "Four Eyes": Vision becomes increasingly blurrier as the player's shield takes damage.
      • "Drought": Enemies no longer drop weapons, forcing you to scavenge for weapons and ammo placed in predetermined spots in levels.
      • "Keyes": (originally "Captain took my Keyes"): Vehicles cannot be driven by the player, forcing you to travel everywhere on foot.
      • "Spite": Does scratch damage to your shields every time you fire your weapon, forcefully de-scoping you and preventing your shields from regenerating.
    • There are also a couple of "Easter Egg" skulls which aren't activated from the menu and are instead found. They include:
      • "Moon": Permanently enables the low gravity effect. This skull can only be found in the first mission, "The Pillar of Autumn".
      • "Mantis": Generates an untextured Mantis from Halo 4 for you to use.
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: Jackals (excluding Snipers) and Skirmisher Majors. You yourself can become one of these by picking up white, unused Spec-Ops Jackal Shields.
  • Starfish Language: The Elites still retain their classic Halo CE backwards dialogue. The Brutes have also taken a page out of the Elites book, as their speech (excluding certain grunts, growls and other pain/death sounds) consists of their lines from Halo 2 and 3, but reversed.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: Averted with the regular flashlight, which can be used indefinitely when you have the Health Regen Armour Upgrade (or no Armour Upgrades) equipped, but played straight with the VISR Armour Upgrade.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Hunters in the original game became a literal joke once you figured out they could be dispatched with a single shot from the bog-standard human pistol to their vulnerable sections, even on Legendary difficulty. Here, they have more in common with their counterparts from later games; The pistol is no longer a one-hit kill against them, and attacking them from the front is an exercise in futility as their torso's exposed midsection has now been covered up at the front. They also come equipped with a wider variety of weaponry than in the original game (or, indeed, in any single official game), with Hunter variants existing that use the Hunter Assault Beam from later games and an arm-mounted Shade Cannon which swaps their usual charged-shot weaponry with a handheld plasma machine gun, in addition to their original Fuel Rod Cannon. They even have a second, faster melee attack where they perform 2 quick and powerful swipes that can catch slower players off-guard.
      • Thankfully, they aren't so tough that they become annoying damage-sponges like in the later main-series games. They are only slightly tougher than a Brute (who could also be considered damage sponges aside from their weakness to headshots) and can be downed in one hit from a single Sniper Rifle round, Needler/Shredder supercombine or Plasma grenade stick to their vulnerable areas or with a direct hit from a rocket. It's even possible, with good timing in dodging their rather slow melee attacks, to engage them in a melee-only fight and come out on top.
    • The Marines have also done this to a degree as well. See Redshirt Army above.
    • The Flood have been given the largest overhaul out of the enemies originally present in Combat Evolved, with each Flood Form receiving their own additions and changes:
      • Infection Forms are still relatively the same by themselves, but can now instantly transform live Marines and Covenant (excluding Hunters) into Combat or Carrier Forms if they manage to latch onto them, similar to Halo 3. This allows Infection Forms to quickly overwhelm organic forces while simultaneously adding to their numbers.
      • Combat Forms now come in 5 different types, each with unique properties, combat tactics and preferred weaponry depending on what species that Combat Form was prior to infection, making fights against the Flood more challenging and less repetitive:
      • Brute Combat Forms retain the rush-enemies-while-inaccurately-firing-weapon tactics of the classic "Combat Evolved" combat forms and typically carry Heavy or Brute weaponry. The only other differences they have is slightly more health and increased size compared to other forms.
      • Elite Combat Forms have middling accuracy with their weapons and retain the combat harness worn by Elites prior to infection. These harnesses come in all available Elite ranks and colours while adopting the properties each Combat Harness offers. This means that energy shielding strength scales with rank (red-armoured Elite Major Forms possess stronger shields than blue-coloured Elite Minor forms) is and will pull away to recharge once the shield goes down;
      • Elite Runner Forms are freshly-infected Elites with large incubation sacs attached to their backs. They act as a sort of Combat-Carrier form, exploding into several infection forms upon death. Aside from that, they cannot carry weapons and don't possess the unique properties that standard Elite Combat Forms are granted.
      • Human Combat Forms are the smallest and weakest Combat Form but have the highest weapon accuracy. They're typically found hanging at the back of most Flood Hordes, sniping away at enemies with precision weapons such as the DMR and the Particle Carbine, and will only run to melee enemies if said enemy is at close range or if their shooting arm is dismembered.
      • ODST Combat Forms are Human Forms wearing ODST combat gear, which covers up the Infection Form protruding from the chest (i.e. the headshot region) and forces you to focus on dismembering/meatshotting them. They also share the same Incubation Sacs with the Elite Runner Forms, meaning that they will also explode into several Infection forms upon death.
      • Carrier Forms now come in two types:
      • The standard Carrier Forms are now referred to as Grunt Carrier Forms, which harkens back to the Carrier Form's original design concept of being derived from infected Grunts. Alongside a new model to reflect their new title, they now spit out a larger number of Infection Forms upon death. The damage of their explosion has also been drastically reduced and does not create a chain reaction with grenades. While this means that close encounters won't be near-fatal
      • Jackal Carrier Forms are new form partially inspired by the Jackal Combat Form featured in Halo Wars. Jackal Carrier Forms are more agile than Grunt Carrier Forms, capable of leaping long distances with surprising speed. But their only method of attack is a weak swipe, they're weak enough that they can be eliminated by a single melee attack, and they spit out fewer Infection Forms upon death.
    • As mentioned above, the Sentinels have had their forces bolstered with new units and incendiary weapons, which allow them to better combat the Flood.
  • Underwater Base: The titular Silent Cartographer has now become this in The Silent Cartographer: Evolved.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Interestingly, some of the examples from the original game are still present here, though there are just as many exceptions:
    • While you cannot take a Jackal's shield off of them after killing them (as is typical of the series) you can occasionally find white Jackal Shields not attached to a Jackal's arm here and there which you can indeed use. Unfortunately, due to game limitations, you cannot dual wield it with another weapon at the same time (thus it permanently takes up one of your two weapon slots) and the white colouration makes it difficult to see through it (though using VISR Mode can somewhat mitigate this). Although it makes up for this by being virtually invulnerable to all forms of weaponry (though Plasma Pistol/Gravity Vortex EMPs can still disable the shield, while explosives and melee attacks can still bypass the shield), and the player can still melee enemies and use grenades while the shield is active.
    • However, some things can be used that could not in the original game. The most obvious is the Wraith, which in the original game could not be used as it was always under enemy control, and the game lacked a vehicle hijacking mechanic. Also, you can use the Hunters' arm-mounted weapons after killing them, which is quite useful for dispatching the second hunter once you've taken out the first.
      • A unique example is the Anti-Air Wraith, which made its debut in Halo 3. In that game, it was unusable unless you pulled off a very carefully timed exploit, as it would self-destruct very rapidly if the pilot was killed. Here, however, it is fully usable and hijack-able normally.
      • Additionally, Wraiths that were on board the Truth and Reconciliation could not be driven in the original game. The original release of SPV3 allowed you to drive them, but their general use was greatly limited to being slow, large and somewhat unwieldy turrets that are only useful in the room they're present in, and thus the feature was dropped in Version 3.1.
    • Strangely though, you can encounter unusable friendly vehicles in the form of Warthogs located in the vehicle tunnels within the expanded section of the Pillar of Autumn.
    • Sentinel Aggressors (and by extension, the new Sniper rank) now drop their Beam weapons upon destruction. The Incineration Cannons affixed to Sentinel Enforcers can also be dropped and used by the player as of SPV3.s, though their Pulse-Laser Suppressors stil remain unusable.

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