Halo 5 is receiving the free Memories of Reach DLC later this month, and one of the major new features is the return of Infection. 343 Industries detailed some of the changes coming to the zombie-style mode for the Xbox One shooter in a video and interview released on Monday.
Infection, for the unfamiliar, is a multiplayer gametype that has been around since Halo 2, where it was introduced as a custom game. It was last seen in Halo 4, renamed as Flood. Matches start off with a team of Survivors and a team of Zombies equipped with Energy Swords hunting them. When a Survivor dies, they are switched to the Zombie team. This continues until the one or more Survivors are able to stay alive when the clock runs out or they are all wiped out.
The Halo 5 version of Infection will launch with three developer-made maps and several community-made maps. The developer-made maps are actually conversions of the existing maps “Riptide,” “Plaza,” and “Overgrowth” renamed to “R.I.P. Tide,” “Nerve Center,” and “Malignant,” respectively. Each map type has been altered to different degrees to cater to the gametype.
“I put cages in certain rooms, I blocked of a couple pathways to make dead ends that players could hold out,” 343 Industries Community Coordinator John Junyszek told Game Informer about the “R.I.P. Tide” map.
“One of the other things is bottom middle – I put up bars so that blocks off anyone traversing through bottom middle, but it is also a good holdout spot, so if a player wants to hold out down there, they are dedicating to that one spot, and the bars allow zombies to smack him if they want to wait for guys to go all the way back to the bars. Then they can hit them. And then you also have the fact that he’s holding out in a tunnel and he’s fighting off through this one area and trying to make his last stand. It’s a bunch of little spots like that scattered throughout all these maps.”
Non-infected players will start with Assault Rifles and Shotguns instead of the Pistol, as in past iterations. The decision to remove pistols from the start was because playtests showed players hanging back and going for headshots against Infected versus and reduces movement around maps. Pistols can still be picked up around, however, along with power weapons.
Infected players have lost their shields and the ability to sprint, but can still use their Thruster Packs to move around quickly. They also have the ability to jump higher than non-infected Spartans. Meanwhile, the Alpha Infected players, the players that start the match as Infected, are partially invisible to start a match and leave a ghostly green trail behind them.
Alpha Infected typically started with increased health and speed in previous iterations of the gametype, but 343 Industries went with a stealthy approach for Halo 5. Alpha Infected are partially invisible and leave a green ghostly trail behind them. Additionally, they do not show up on radar.
343 Industries decided on this direction for Alpha Infected because it provides a less stagnant start to matches, in the developer’s opinion.
Alpha Infected and Infected also have their own separate set of traits for players to manipulate in custom games and Forge in Halo 5.
Memories of Reach is due to hit Halo 5 before the end of May. 343 Industries has a Twitch livestream scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. The free Halo 5 DLC will come with a new Arena map called “Stasis,” plus Infection, new REQs based on Halo: Reach, in addition to numerous gameplay and balance tweaks and fixes.
[Image via Halo Waypoint]