We’ve known for some time that Microsoft’s 343 Industries has plans to update Halo 5: Guardians every month. It wasn’t until last night during The Game Awards that the company revealed just how large the December Halo 5 Update will be. The studio teased a lot of what’s coming to Xbox One’s must-have game in a trailer that aired during the show.
The Cartographer’s Gift is what 343 Industries is calling the December Halo 5 update. Released in October, Halo 5: Guardians was the highlight of Microsoft’s fall gaming line-up. The game was also a system seller, helping the Xbox One to beat sales of the PS4 for the first time in months during October. 343 Industries has said publicly that it’s treating Halo 5: Guardians like a service, delivering new content at a steady pace absolutely free. It’s able to do this because the game’s Warzone multiplayer mode includes REQ Cards that users can purchase for unlockable items.
The December Halo 5 Update will add more than a few new maps to the online experience. For Warzone there’s Battle of Noctus. Arena multiplayer lovers can expect Overgrowth. Two new maps are coming for Big Team Battle, Antifreeze and Burial Mounds. Again, the new maps contained within The Cartographer’s Gift are completely free for everyone to download. Players can also expect 25 new REQ cards to arrive along with the upgrade. There are 25 new REQ cards with new armor, weapon, and add-on variants.
We already knew that there’d be a December Halo 5 update because 343 Industries promised to add-on Forge Mode during December this past fall. Forge Mode is a creation tool. With it, gamers can create their own landscapes and game types using some of the same tools that 343 Industries has at their disposal. Every previous Halo game with Forge Mode included at launch. 343 Industries bet that it could deliver the core game, then add the mode instead of having it hold up the game’s release, it seems. The bet paid off, but now it’s time for the studio to follow through. The Cartographer’s Gift update will include that long promised Forge Mode for Halo 5: Guardians.
Finally, the trailer included news about the Halo World Championship taking place this weekend. Microsoft and 343 Industries promised that a percentage of REQ Pack sales would go to funding the gaming competition. That fund has now reached $2 million, according to the video description on Microsoft’s YouTube page. The Halo World Championship takes December 6th. In celebration, Halo 5: Guardians owners can purchase a new REQ Pack that has armor, weapons, skins and emblems that match the event’s logo. This special REQ Pack will only be available until 12 P.M. Pacific Time on Sunday. After that, it’ll disappear, never to be seen again.
Halo 5: Guardians features a brand-new single player story that’s focused on Master Chief John 117 and Spartan Jameson Locke, a relatively new addition to the franchise. Locke is sent to find John 117 and bring him in following some mysterious incidents on far-flung worlds. Both Locke and Jon 117 have a team of Spartans with them for the journey. Players can give these Spartans orders throughout the story, or partner up with three other friends to run through the game’s story. Halo 5: Guardians is an huge upgrade compared together games. The graphics are great. New mechanics like Clamber and Ground Pound add some physicality to the game that just wasn’t there in previous versions.
Microsoft sells Halo 5: Guardians on its own in stores begging at $60. More expensive versions include collectibles and a month’s long collection of REQ Packs at no additional charge. Microsoft also sells Halo 5 with the Halo 5 Guardians Xbox One console bundle. GameStop has this console bundle for $499.