Video game developer 343 Industries isn’t just teasing February Halo 5 Update details in a recent blog post. The studio responsible for Halo 5: Guardians and its add-on content recently revealed most Hammer Storm, this month’s update to the Xbox One’s popular first-person shooter. The update includes a new map and a few more Spartan customization options.
343 Industries gave users an extended peek at the February Halo 5 Update last week in a post on Halo Waypoint just before the start of the weekend. The story portion of Halo 5: Guardians follows along as two teams of Spartans, one led by Master Chief John 117 and another by Spartan Jameson Locke, track down what’s causing catastrophic events in deep space.
Halo 5: Guardians arrived on Xbox One last year to high sales and decent reviews. Even before launch, 343 Industries promised to keep the multiplayer portion of the game updated with new content at no additional charge. The February Halo 5 Update is the studio continuing to make good on that promise.
Of all the new things to get excited about in the Hammer Storm update, the new game modes are sure to get the most attention from longtime Halo fans. A few of them are upgraded takes on Halo classics. Assault and Grifball are coming back in a big way. The latter puts users on teams of two as they try to score goals with a bomb and avoid the gravity hammers of the opposing team. Fiesta Slayer is coming back too. New features will allow Halo 5 players to create their own Oddball and Ricochet game types if they want.
With most of the Halo 5 updates, 343 Industries has added new maps at no additional charge. The February Halo 5 Update comes with Torque, a new play space built specifically for Halo 5’s Arena multiplayer. Torque is set on a large UNSC space station, but the studio isn’t ready to reveal anything else about it just yet.
Halo 5: Guardians’ multiplayer is built around the concept of REQ Cards and REQ Points. Players get REQ Points for participating in the game’s multiplayer experiences consistently. They can then take those REQ Points and invest them in REQ Cards that unlock new items. REQ Cards containing new armor and character customization options unlock permanently. Weapons and vehicles are one-time use. Users can spend real money on REQ Packs if they want, which is why Halo 5: Guardians doesn’t require that users pay for a season pass or map packs to unlock new content so far after launch.
Keeping a steady stream of new REQ Cards flowing keeps the REQ system running smoothly. To that end, 343 Industries packs new earnable REQ Cards into each update. The February Halo 5 Update is no different in that regard.
The studio is adding a new rare Gravity hammer, REQ Card and an Ultra Rare Hammer Time REQ Card to REQ Packs. It’s also added a new armor set and helmet, Jumpmaster Dispatcher to the mix of cards that players can get. The Jumpmaster armor set is Uncommon. As such, players shouldn’t have to open a large number of REQ Packs before they get it. We’ll learn more about other new REQ Cards closer to the update’s launch.
Following the February Halo 5 Update, players have a few more options for customization. Going forward, there will be 60 different colors to choose from, with first and secondary armor color options.
All told, the February Halo 5 Update seems pretty robust, but we’ll have to wait until 343 Industries reveals the rest of the game’s REQ Cards before passing final judgement. All new Halo 5 content arrives as free updates to the base game, so the upgrade should automatically download when available.
Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly when that’ll be. The studio is only saying that the update will arrive sometime later this month.