Developer 343 Industries isn’t quite done with Halo 5 yet. The studio released the massive Monitor’s Bounty update on Thursday for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs that brings the long-awaited Custom Games Browser, new features and tweaks, plus a load of new content and abilities for Forge users to build with.
The Custom Games Browser is perhaps the most impactful addition with the Monitor’s Bounty update. Halo 5 players will no longer have to find custom maps and modes via a web browser outside of the game. The new browser allows players to search for in-progress games with the maps and modes of their choosing.
The new Custom Games Browser is not just available on the Xbox One, however. Windows 10 users have access to it as well to find people to play in the Halo 5: Forge application. PC players could previously only meet up with others to play with via pre-arranged get-togethers with friends. Now they’ll be able to play with friends and strangers alike in user-created game modes and maps.
It won’t be the full Halo 5 multiplayer experience, but it is a start and a clear setup for future entries in the mainline series to be available on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs with support for cross-play.
That’s not the limit of new content for both the Xbox One and PC. Forge has received two new canvases, along with hundreds of new items for creators to create with. The new canvases include the flat, desert-like “Barrens” with three lighting themes and a venture underwater with “Depths.” The latter gives Forge makers an underwater map canvas to use other than breaking down the “Fathom” map.
Meanwhile, hundreds of new items have been added to Forge, from new weapons, to vehicles, walls, props, golf clubs, golf balls, and golf holes. Yes, 343 Industries is giving Halo 5 owners new ways to play via a “massive scripting update” that adds new actions, options, conditions, and scripts to use when creating custom game modes.
Those that enjoy watching Halo 5 have a new Observer mode to use. This allows “any player in a Custom Game lobby to enter the match as an observer and cycle through player POVs, view the weapon and status details of all active players in the match and enable the fan-favorite ‘player outlines’ to see every player across the battlefield.”
On just the Xbox One side, the Warzone and Warzone Firefight modes received a plethora of tweaks too. A new variant of the Grunt Goblin equipped with a Beam Rifle was added, while the Warden Eternal, and other AI characters received some balancing and bug fixes.
Additionally, Warzone Firefight added the “Temple” and “Prospect” maps to the rotation. With only a handful of maps to play on, this is a welcome addition. Developer 343 Industries is also adding more difficulty options to the mode.
“Relax and get your PvE action on with Heroic difficulty, or rachet the challenge up to Legendary. For the truly brave, Warzone Firefight will now also feature a third, rotational weekend playlist, Mythic Warzone Firefight. You thought you were challenged before? Let’s try it this time with Skulls active!”
Naturally, dozens of new Reqs were added with the Monitor’s Bounty update for new vehicles, weapons, and skins. Possibly the most interesting is the new M319 Grenade Launcher.
The Halo 5 Arena multiplayer experience received the Team Skirmish playlist divided between Ranked and Social playlists. This adds a “huge selection of map and game type combinations, some of which have never been played in Halo 5 Matchmaking before. Plus, all new fun and hilarious game types have been added to the Action Sack rotation.”
How much longer Halo 5 will receive new content is unknown. The developer is clearly working on the next entry in the franchise, but some of the development team is still chugging away on the now year-old title.
[Featured Image by 343 Industries]