Last week’s Game Awards dropped a lot of information in viewer’s laps, but little got us more excited than the first teaser trailer for December’s Halo 5: Guardians update. And, as with November’s DLC (Battle for Shadow and Light) Halo 5 developers and general tease-merchants 343 Industries have taken a little time to let us stew before revealing what else is coming our way this Christmas month in the update named The Cartographer’s Gift.
We know that there will be two new armour variants – the Mark IV [GEN1] Armor Set, and the Raijin Armor Set. In fact, the former is in the very first scene of the trailer, sported by Mr. Big Red Spartan at the front.
Alongside the new armour there will be four new maps; one for Warzone (Battle of Noctus) and one for Arena (Overgrowth), and two Big Team Battle maps (Antifreeze and Entombed). Battle of Noctus and Overgrowth also feature in the trailer.
New maps means new ways to kill stuff, too. The Cartographer’s Gift will feature four new variants of the SPANKr rocket launcher (two Rare, one Ultra Rare and one Legendary). The remaining new REQ cards coming our way is that include 10 Legendary, 10 Ultra Rare, 6 Rare, 15 Uncommon and 1 Common card, spread across the usual mix of weapons, armour, emblems and the like. Take a look.
The Cartographer’s Gift will see the introduction of a brand new competitive element called Seasons. Seasons will allow Spartans to test themselves against the best, and track their progress from season to season. 343i explains it like this:
“Seasons are a new competitive feature for Arena which will give you a chance to continually challenge yourself in ranked playlists, and also prove that you’ve improved your game since the last Season. The January 2016 Season will begin with the Cartographer’s Gift update (set to drop the week of December 15) and end on January 31, which will make the first season a little over a month long. Moving forward, we’re going to keep an eye on feedback regarding season length.”
For those who like to really test their PvP mettle, we think Seasons are a great idea, and no doubt 343i is firmly planting their (captured, probably) flag ever more firmly in the competitive eSports arena with this innovation.
Of course, one of the most anticipated elements of The Cartographer’s Gift is the reintroduction of Forge, the map editor. 343i have this to say:
“The biggest Forge yet (which was built on years of community feedback) is making its debut to Halo 5, giving this next Halo 5 update its holiday-appropriate name. The new Forge includes a ton of new features including 1700+ objects, new object types such as FX and sound emitters, decals, invisible blockers, projected terrain pieces, lighting objects, a new multi-selection control scheme, precision editing, object grouping, true budget system (with a higher object placement count), smart magnets, and plenty, plenty more.”
We are really excited by Forge – 343i are so proud of the tool that it is being used by members of the Forge community and 343i multiplayer level designers to create ALL the Big Team Battle maps for Halo 5.
We can’t wait to get our hands on The Cartographer’s Gift. If you want to know more about the new Warzone map Battle of Noctus, 343i have an in depth examination (and some stunning concept art from Noctus and Overgrowth, tiny portions of which feature on this page) over at halowaypoint.com.
Keep an eye on xboxuk.com and we will have more detail about December’s update as soon as it’s available. Until then, see you in the Warzone, Spartans!