Halo Infinite, Halo 3, or Halo: Combat Evolved. It’s hard to say which of the sci-fi FPS games offers the best experience all round. But the best campaign mode — at least, in the games developed by Bungie — has to go to the heartwrenching, story-driven prequel Halo: Reach, which is almost perfect save for one very annoying feature – a feature that’s just been fixed after 12 years.
AI comrades have always been a fundamental part of the Halo series. From that very first game, where you’re accompanied by those affable fireteams of Australian-accented Marines, having the NPC soldiers fighting by your side makes the entire world of Bungie and 343 Industries’ FPS feel significantly more alive.
In Halo: Reach, however, despite the game focusing entirely on the comradeship between Six and the rest of Noble Team, the AI seems to behave considerably more, well, stupidly than in other Halo iterations. It doesn’t just affect the gameplay, but also the narrative, as your otherwise well-rounded and likeable compadres act like dumb, clumsy bots.
Enter King Feraligatr’s Enhanced Reach Friendly AI, a new Halo mod that overhauls the entire friendly AI system to make the whole Reach experience feel more plausible and alive. Every single NPC comrade has been tuned and improved, from the Marines to the ODSTs and Noble Team itself. “I’m a guy who likes his friendly AI to appear competent and have a will to live,” writes creator, King Feraligatr. “At the same time, I understand that the player has to be the primary driving and killing force. So I strike a balance: my friendlies are a bit better at killing, but their primary focus is looking like they have a will to live, appearing competent, and not being a nuisance.
“Observe as Noble Team feels a bit more like trained supersoldiers instead of being total dumbasses,” the modder continues, outlining a list of changes to Halo: Reach’s friendly AI that includes adding extra health to the generic Marines, giving the ODSTs the ability to see and shoot in the dark, and making all NPCs more likely to strafe, dodge, and use cover.
Most interesting are the changes made to Noble Team itself, which are based on each character’s personalities. Emile, for example, the rough, tough, skull-mask wearing Spartan, is more likely to charge at enemies and overwhelm them using brute force. You can download the improved Reach AI mod at Mod DB.
Otherwise, you might want to check out our guide to all the Halo Infinite multiplayer skins locations, or perhaps try to track down all the hidden goodies with our Halo Infinite collectibles guide. Alternatively, if reading about Reach has you feeling nostalgic, try some of the other best old games for PC.