343 Industries releases the first major update for Halo 5: Guardians, which adds new maps to existing playlists, and also removes the Orion map from the game.
For 343 Industries and Microsoft, the launch of Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One has been a success. The game has amassed well over $400 million in sales, becoming the fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive in the process. The game’s popularity and importance to the Xbox One will justify 343 supporting it long after launch with updates and DLC, with the first major update available today.
Players that boot up Halo 5: Guardians today will be prompted to download the update. The update will add additional maps to playlists where they previously weren’t part of the rotation, as well as completely remove one particular map from the game, at least for now.
“[…] we’re removing Orion, in its current form, from all playlists so that we can take some time to remove and patch map exploits as well as make additional improvements to the map before re-adding it where appropriate.”
For those unaware, the Orion multiplayer map has come under criticism by the community for a couple of different reasons. The map is riddled with player exploits, and the spawn points are sometimes very difficult to fight out of. Instead of simply letting it fester as a hated map, 343 is working to fix what people aren’t liking about Orion, and as they stated, they will re-add it to the game when it’s appropriate. When that will be exactly is anyone’s guess.
In the meantime, 343 will also be adding new maps to playlists that previously didn’t host them. Capture the Flag, Free for All, Slayer, and SWAT will all have new maps in their rotation for the purpose of increasing multiplayer variety, but perhaps the mode that will be most altered by the addition of new maps is Breakout.
Breakout is a new multiplayer match type, originally introduced to fans in the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta. It is designed to appeal to the eSports community, and until today’s update, had exclusive maps, all of which use the same aesthetic meant to look like a futuristic training ground for Spartans. With today’s update, maps that don’t abide by this visual style will be added to the Breakout playlist, such as the Coliseum and Rig maps, for example. It doesn’t appear that any of Breakout’s exclusive maps will be added to the other match types, however.
With the first major update now available for Halo 5: Guardians, 343 is proving their willingness to improve upon the game post-launch. Players should be able to expect 343 to continue updating and refining the Halo 5 multiplayer component in the months ahead, an effort that will include free new DLC maps as well as the addition of fan-favorite playlists, such as Big Team Battle. Halo 4‘s online multiplayer is notorious for having its community shrink rather quickly after launch (compared to previous games in the series), but for the time being, it doesn’t look like 343 will have the same problem with Halo 5.
Halo 5: Guardians is currently available exclusively for the Xbox One.