And the content just keeps on coming. Hot on the heels of this weekend's update - which gave Halo 5: Guardians testers two new locations, new weapons, and a new game type - 343 Industries has unveiled two more maps for the game's multiplayer beta. "Pegasus" and "Orion" were both made using Forge, Halo 5's level creation suite, and show off the improved editing tools gamers will be able to play with when the Xbox One title launches next fall.
There's just one catch: gamers have to decide which of the two maps they want to play. Starting on January 6, Halo 5 beta testers will be able to log in to the Halo Channel and vote for either Pegasus or Orion. The winning map will be added to the Halo 5 beta during Week 3, while the loser will be put back in storage. So far, 343 hasn't confirmed whether or not these custom maps will be part of Halo 5's retail release; this might be the only chance that gamers have to try either level, so choose wisely.
Details about the new maps are just some of the information that Halo 5 studio head Josh Holmes shared with IGN. On the subject of multiplayer maps, Holmes stated that other than "Truth" and "Regret" (pseudo-remakes of the Halo 2 classic "Midship"), 343 has no plans to recreate classic Halo maps for Halo 5: Guardians. Further, while the beta focuses mainly on smaller scale, arena-style gameplay, Holmes promises that discussions regarding larger, vehicle-oriented maps are coming later this year.
Of course, players won't get the chance to try vehicle-based multiplayer before this fall. Despite the beta's popularity and fairly positive reception, Holmes says that 343 Industries has "no plans for a second multiplayer beta." The studio will use the information they've gathered to fine-tune the Halo 5 multiplayer experience throughout 2015, but once the beta ends on January 18, that's it. Halo fans dying for more Spartan-on-Spartan action will have to bide their time until Halo 5's full retail release.
It's going to be hard to wait, especially given that this year's title, The Master Chief Collection, is still undergoing repairs. On the surface, Halo 5 might change the franchises' gameplay, but it's still Halo at its core, and there's a reason why the title remains one of the most anticipated games of 2015.
Update: Voting is well under way, and Pegasus currently leads with 52% of the vote. 343 Industries has also released some new information highlighting the differences between each map. Orion is an asymmetrical battleground, emphasizing two defensible towers and power weapons, including the Energy Sword and Sniper Rifle. Pegasus features long lines of sight and long to mid-range weaponry like the Rocket Launcher and LightRifle. The competition only has a few hours left, so make sure to get your vote in before it's too late.
Halo 5: Guardians comes out this fall, as an Xbox One exclusive.