Halo 3 might have preceded Halo's own horde mode, Firefight. But a new mod for The Master Chief Collection has given the trilogy-closer its own survival gametype—one inspired by the series' oldest rival.
Released over the weekend by modder Crisp, Halo 3: Zombies brings the slow, terrifying death march of Call Of Duty's Zombies mode into Halo's opening jungle map. Undead Nazis have been replaced with the parasitic Flood, but the format remains the same. Hold out against the horde, raising money with each kill to spend on new weapons, powerups, and new parts of the map. Mystery boxes let you gamble on spicier tools, while some rounds will see more powerful foes drop in from orbit.
It's an entirely different mode of survival than Halo's usual Firefights—less chaotic but effortlessly tense, instilling a sense of dread even as you stomp around in power armour. Halo's always quietly been very good at horror, ever since the parasitic fungus-like Flood first showed its tentacled face in Combat Evolved. Crisp's mod taps into that otherworldly, alien terror perfectly.
But it's also delightfully rough in the way mods often are. A title screen seemingly rushed together in MS Paint, a goofy cinematic to set the tone, a campaign map repurposed into a zombie arena using spare props and swapped out skyboxes. Despite this, Halo 3: Zombies works brilliantly—if anything, the jank only lends the mod even more of a B-movie flair.
While proper mod support is still a distant promise, the Halo community has already delivered some outstanding new mods—from Extinction's massive vehicular combat to an MCC port of Cursed Halo. I still believe 343 should leave Halo: The Master Chief Collection alone, but I'm more than happy to see the community tear down and rebuild Halo in their image.