343 Industries reveals Xbox One X enhancements for Halo 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo Wars 2 and more updates
Lots of Halo news, but none about Halo 6.
Last month, Microsoft brought four Halo games to the Xbox One through backward compatibility, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST Campaign Edition, Halo 4, and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. At around the same time, Halo developer 343 Industries revealed that Halo 3 would be getting 'awesome things.'
While 343 Industries hasn't noted what those 'awesome things' are yet, they have detailed some other bits of exciting news.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
According to 343 Industries, Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) will be getting an update for the Xbox One X. MCC will not only be enhanced for the beefed-up Xbox console, it will all see a number of fixes, improvements, and upgrades to the core game.
With so many games included in MCC and each one containing its own iteration of the Halo engine, the update will not "happen overnight" and will include plenty of testing at a "large scale." 343 Industries is planning to begin this in Spring 2018.
Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5 will be getting a new content release called 'Overtime.' This will bring tweaks, adjustments, and, of course, content. The November update will be bringing 4K enhancements to Halo 5 for the Xbox One X, it will bring back Oddball, tune weapons (detailed below) and will bring the Local Server App. This app will allow Xbox owners to use a Windows 10 PC (connected to the same network as the Xbox) to host LAN matches.
Here are the weapon tweaks 343 Industries detailed, as per their wording:
- The Battle Rifle was re-tuned in several ways to help better distinguish its prowess as a mid-range weapon while also looking to slightly reduce its effectiveness in longer range engagements. In general, the team likes how some of these changes resonated and the data gathered was positive – particularly the cadence and rhythm – but we heard from many of you that a feeling of “randomness” and “inconsistency” did not feel good. The BR was taken back into the shop with the goal of addressing this feedback and will ship with recoil that’s in-line with the original launch version and a bit tighter bullet grouping compared to what players experienced during the tuning test.
- The goal for the Gunfighter Magnum was to curtail the effectiveness of this weapon at longer ranges and make it really shine as a close quarters secondary weapon. Overall the test version worked out pretty good, but the team felt there was room to do a bit more to help it further go toe-to-toe against CQB battles vs. SMGs and ARs and player feedback was strong that the weapon felt too weak. To help address this, the Gunfighter magnum has seen additional refinements to make it “snappier” in terms of drawing and readying while also boosting its damage and accuracy.
- The Rail Gun was tuned with the goal of trying to make it have a bit more of a deliberate, planned usage in battle vs. the insta-fire, insta-kill snapshot weapon it has become. The version of the Rail Gun that was included in the public test did solve the goal of reducing its effectiveness as a snapshot/CQC weapon, but the overly long charge time combined with instant firing made it overly difficult to use in the heat of battle. Many players stated it didn’t feel fun and the team agreed. To help address this, the updated Rail Gun will land in the middle with a slightly longer recharge time than the original default version and a slightly slower fire time at the tail end than what was in the public test. In other words, it takes a little longer for you to charge the weapon, but you can also hold that charge longer as well before firing.
- Changes to the Assault Rifle’s tuning were aimed at rewarding more skillful use. The results of the tuning test didn’t truly align with our goals and much of the player feedback echoed that outcome. During the test, the AR essentially became more cumbersome and harder to use, which isn’t what the team was going for. For the November update, the AR has been addressed with a goal of making it more understandable and approachable, but with more depth. The refined AR will receive an increase to accuracy and a slight increase to its fire rate but at the cost of decreased damage per bullet.
- During the public test we, weren’t able to include grenades due to technical limitations, but it has always been a goal to make adjustments to both Frag and Splinter grenades in Halo 5. When the November update lands, both of these grenade types will be adjusted across all game modes.
- Frag grenades are being tweaked to have a slightly reduced blast radius. The goals for this change are to reduce the effectiveness of “spamming” grenades while also doing a better job of aligning the area of effect of the blast with the on-screen VFX.
- Splinter Grenades are getting tuned to address the fact that they feel “cheap,” and overpowered in their default implementation and are overlapping too much with direct burst damage role of the Frag Grenade. To solve for this, the initial blast damage is being reduced to make Splinter Grenades excel as an “area of denial” weapon as intended.
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 will be getting an Xbox One X enhancement patch, which will also bring support for Xbox Arena on Xbox Live, as well as crossplay for Xbox and Windows 10 PC.