Microsoft’s 343 Industries is still revealing new launch details ahead of the Halo 5 release date at the end of the month. Early this morning the development studio began letting users create Spartan Companies, a new feature for Halo 5 that’ll allow players to band together and create their own groups for playing Halo 5 Warzone multiplayer.
343 Industries didn’t exactly announce the new feature for Halo 5: Guardians in a blog post. Instead, Spartan Companies simply appeared on the Halo Waypoint website this morning.
Halo 5: Guardians is an Xbox One only first-person shooter that continues the story first started with Halo 4 for the Xbox 360. Gamers are still Master Chief Petty Office John 117, but they also play as Spartan Jameson Locke, a series newcomer who’s sent to hunt down the Master Chief because he’s gone rogue and refuses to take orders. Microsoft is hoping that the game will boost sales of its Xbox One entertainment console during the busy holiday shopping season.
Anyone who is familiar with the idea of Clans should recognize Spartan Companies. Spartan Companies allow Halo 5: Guardians players to create their own teams. Players can create their own Spartan Companies for different activities or join a Spartan Company that’s already been created by someone else. When they do, 343 Industries gives them a free REQ pack with a new helmet and armor for their character. In Halo, multiplayer characters are called Spartans.
Each Spartan Company can have up to 100 different Halo 5: Guardians players attached to it. Besides color and logo, Spartan Companies get their own emblems and banners. To be clear, Spartan Companies seem to be directly tied to Halo 5: Guardians’ Warzone multiplayer mode.
Warzone is a huge battle that sticks two teams of real players in a massive world and tasks them with stopping Covenant forces. Players earn REQ Points for the different kills that they’re able to pull off. Those points can then be used to requisition weapons, vehicles and accessories for use in the game. Microsoft talked about the intricacies of the REQ system fairly recently. Essential, REQs are a collectible card game that allow for character customization and more.
To prepare for the Halo 5 release date on October 27th, 343 Industries is rolling out some site upgrades now. Starting today, Halo Waypoint offers complete access for Spartan customization. This means that those who plan on purchasing Halo 5: Guardians can bide their time toying with their armor. An app isn’t required to do this at all. Instead, everything is done through a web browser and looks just like it would in the game itself, only without some textures and lighting effects. Users who received a REQ Pack when they placed their Halo 5: Guardians pre-order can open those packs on the site now too.
Theoretically, Spartan Companies should help fix a pretty big problem for Halo. Previous games in the series have completely relied on Xbox Live itself to provide the features that players use to interact with each other. The service doesn’t have a universal way for large groups of gamers to keep track of each other beyond adding them to their friends list. Clans let players quickly connect with people who are as serious about a game as they are, but without adding them to their friends list.
Grand Theft Auto 5, an open-world game developed by Rockstar Games, has its own Clans system too.
Halo 5: Guardians is one of two major games coming to Xbox this holiday season. Microsoft made a deal with Square Enix to bring Rise of the Tomb Raider to the Xbox One and Xbox 360 this holiday season exclusively.