Halo 5: Guardians allows players to spend points, and more controversially, real money, through its REQ system to obtain new equipment for its Warzone mode, but the game’s multiplayer has been supported by a substantial amount of free content, as well. Microsoft is quick to point out that 11 new maps have been released for free since the game launched, and a new update brings back some classic Halo staples, including my personal favorite mode.
Titled “Hammer Storm,” the update includes a new map, called Torque, which looks extremely similar to an early mission in Halo 5′s campaign, complete with low-light hallways and wires scattered across the floor. Moving pistons, a set of which are “in each courtyard” on the map, should also keep players from staying in one spot for too long.
Two weapons are also making their return from previous Halo games. The original Halo: Combat Evolved pistol, considered one of the best weapons in the entire series, has returned, as has the Gravity Hammer.
While the latter weapon may not be as memorable, its inclusion means that Hammer Storm is also bringing back Grifball. The fast-paced, sport-like mode sees two teams fighting over a single ball in the middle of the map using only Energy Swords and Gravity Hammers. The mode has always felt a bit like a game of hockey, and an “ice rink” area should allow you to live out your brawler fantasies. I spent more time playing it in Halo 4 than practically anything else.
Another mode, “Fiesta Slayer,” functions as a purposefully-unbalanced version of the classic mode. With every respawn, you start with a random weapon, giving even the worst players a chance to do some damage… provided they’re lucky.
Halo 5‘s story could have used a little more work, but the multiplayer is simply second to none, and these continual updates mean that it could stay in some Xbox One disc drives until very late this year — perhaps when Halo Wars 2 finally arrives.