Do you love free stuff and Halo 5: Guardians? Good, because as we reported last week, 343 Industries just released the first of many map-related updates. Clocking in at a mandatory 6.2 gigabytes (set aside some reading time), the Battle of Shadow and Light patch brings Big Team Battle back from the grave. Warzone earned its keep as a defining mode, but some people lamented the omission of the franchise’s kill-or-be-killed, 8v8 deathmatches at launch.
And yes, objective-based enthusiasts, Strongholds and Capture the Flag flesh out the playlist, as well as four additional maps. Basin, Deadlock, Guillotine, and Recurve stand out from current Halo 5: Guardians battlefields, though their valley, industrial, and mountainous settings feature a pleasant familiarity. Deadlock, for example, shares similarities to Halo 3’s Standoff, while Guillotine is a near-exact remake of Halo 2’s Headlong.
Big Team Battle may be this update’s main attraction, but the developers show some love to the rest of the fans, too. 343 Industries gift-wrapped new armor, vehicle, and weapon skins for Warzone players to obsess over. Nothing says discreet like a Scorpion coated in tundra camouflage, or assassinating someone with a flying knee to the noggin’. Brutal stuff. You’ll also look cool doing so in the Shinobi armor.
More than that, 343 Industries tweaked existing modes, speeding up Warzone’s base capture times and the rate at which REQ levels refill. And hallelujah, no more frag grenade spam; the starting grenade count has been reduced to one. In SWAT, too, the developers removed friendly fire and increased respawns from one second to three seconds (as if that will improve my kill/death ratio).
For a more comprehensive rundown, check out Halo Waypoint or watch the trailer below, and to see what score we awarded Halo 5: Guardians, please read our exhaustive review.