343 Industries’ Halo 5: Guardians is the poster-child for what video game lovers and technology enthusiasts sometimes call “New Microsoft.” Following Microsoft’s shift to make gaming just as good on PC as it is Xbox One, the title is available on both platforms. There’s no season pass buyers don’t have to worry about paying for maps. The studio makes them available for download at no charge. The Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update coming later this week to both Xbox and Windows is the biggest the game has gotten in a while.
Halo 5: Guardians arrived on Xbox One back in 2015, filling out Microsoft’s holiday games line-up nicely. An early Update added support for Forge Mode, for example. For its first year of availability, Halo 5 Updates arrived once a month, packing new REQ Cards and new maps for everyone to experience in Arena or Warzone Multiplayer. Other updates have added new content, but the Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update goes beyond new maps, weapons and gear.
Inside is support for miniature games and an all-new camera mode that makes watching other people play multiplayer more enjoyable. The Custom Games Browser lets anyone examine different game types with ease. All of these features are set to arrive on December 8th.
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: Forge Mini Games & Canvases
The creation engine of the Halo experience, Forge allows gamers to create maps of their own design. It’s also been used by clever designers to come up with new game types entirely. For example, Grifball, a sport played with gravity hammers and a grenade is only possible because of Forge. In it’s reveal of the Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update, 343 Industries confirms that Forge Mini games support is on the way. We know for sure that the mode will now support Chess.
Everything created in the Forge community starts with a Canvas. Canvases are large maps designed by the 343 Industries team, that players can build on. The Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update will include two new canvases for creators to build in. One is Barren. The other is Depths.
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: Observer Mode
The team at 343 focused heavily on e-sports with Halo 5: Guardians, even going so far as to create an in-house team to experience the game’s features and provide feedback before launch. Observer Mode is fashioned out of the broadcaster system that the studio created for e-sports announcers months ago. Users of Observer Mode get to experience the game in real-time, without having to wait for video later. They also get an on-screen look at what players have which weapons and what the score is.
Game types with 8 players and up to two teams are supported with Observer Mode.
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: Custom Games Browser
Giving users the ability to create their own custom games with Forge meant that the game had to do a significantly better job at letting users know what was out there for them to play. Soon it will. The Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update for both Xbox One and Windows 10 versions of the game support the new Custom Game Browser.
Through the Custom Games Browser, gamers can track down matches that are happening in real-time and join them. The feature lets users find other custom games similar to the ones that they like too.
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: New Features for Windows
Windows 10 users never got the traditional Halo 5: Guardians release because Xbox on Windows was in its infant stage and Xbox Play Anywhere hadn’t been revealed yet. For the last few months, 343 Industries has been trying to make up for that. First it delivered the Halo app and Halo 5: Forge. Both are free for anyone with the operating system installed.
Now PC gamers can experience Arena and Forge. Arena is the classical Halo multiplayer experience. Warzone is still missing though. Because there’s no matchmaking, players will need to use that Custom Games Browser or find people to play with on their friends list.
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: New REQ Cards
There are 34 new REQ Cards coming with the Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update, all of which gamers will need to unlock through opening REQ Packs with in-game credits or real-world money.
Speaking of real-world money, anyone that spends theirs on REQ Packs can now gift them to friends to open. Unfortunately, gifting doesn’t work for REQ Packs purchased with in-game currency.
Read: Halo 5 Problems & Fixes
Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update: New REQ Voiceovers
Finally, a new Voices of War REQ Pack for Halo 5: Guardians will let anyone change the multiplayer voice overs. The pack costs $9.99, but includes three different characters: Buck, Exuberant Witness and Yabda.
Again, the entire Monitor’s Bounty Halo 5 Update is free for everyone. Those that already have digital or physical versions of Halo 5: Guardians installed on their console should see the update appear on their system if Always-Connected power mode is on. Without it on, they’ll get prompted to download it the next time they open the game.