'Halo 5' Beta Gets New Maps, Weapon, and Mode

Halo 5 Beta

When it comes to Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries hasn't been shy about making changes. For one, there's the game itself, which shakes up the traditional Halo formula by adding new movement and aiming options. That's been a controversial decision, leaving players concerned that Halo 5 will feel more like Titanfall than the classic franchise they know and love. While hands-on time with the game goes a long way towards allaying these fears, many gamers - particularly those without beta access - are still watching with bated breath.

But that's not all that 343 Industries is changing. Even though Halo 5's multiplayer beta began less than a week ago, 343 Industries recently rolled out an update to improve the game's matchmaking capabilities. Now, about a week after launch, the Microsoft-owned development studio is introducing a host of new gameplay elements, including new maps, new weapons, and a new game type.

It's that new game type that's the most exciting addition. "Breakout" is a two-team deathmatch in which each player only gets one life per round. Die, and that's it. No do-overs. No respawning. The first team to win five rounds wins the match.

While this isn't exactly fresh information - 343 Industries first mentioned Breakout over a month ago - the new update marks the first time gamers will get their hands on the game type themselves, and the mode should be playable on both the Crossfire and Trench maps. Breakout sounds like an interesting way to take the traditional Halo combat and raise the stakes, emphasizing caution and tactics over blind, chaotic violence. Hopefully, it'll live up to its promise.

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With this week's update, 343 Industries also swaps two new maps into the Slayer playlist. Regret and Eden are "remixed" versions of Truth and Empire, which were part of the beta's first week. The update also introduces a brand-new weapon - the Hydra MLRS - as well as a revamped version of Halo 4's Light Rifle.

It's highly unlikely that players will tire of Halo 5's beta before it ends on January 18, but the flurry of activity on the developer's end is reassuring. After all, 343 is counting on the beta to both refine gameplay and to help prevent technical issues like the ones that plagued last year's Master Chief Collection. Microsoft and 343 Industries have already started taking Halo 5 pre-orders, including a $250 collector's edition; if the beta does its job, 343 Industries might actually release a product that's worthy of such a high, high price.

Halo 5: Guardians is scheduled for Fall, 2015 for Xbox One.

Source: Halo Waypoint

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