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Halo 5's free Hammer Storm update is live with new map, Assault mode and more

Halo 5: Guardians has a new free update available for download. Players of the Xbox One sci-fi shooter can grab the update, Hammer Storm, which includes a number of new features.

One of them is a new space-based Arena map called Torque. It also includes Assault, a classic multiplayer mode that is finally making its Halo 5 debut:

"The objective of Assault is simple – Take the ball to the enemy's goal to score. It's important to take down enemies to gain control before rushing for the ball, located in a neutral position on the map. Remember, you'll be unable to shoot when holding the ball, but that doesn't mean you'll be completely defenseless. One melee is all that's required to take down your foes with the ball, and carriers are equipped with two thrust charges to close the distance fast! Take down enemies, secure the ball, and march into opponent's base to score points – this is Assault."

Another fan favorite mode, Grifball, is included in the Hammer Storm update, which was first inspired by one of the characters in the Halo-based machinima series Red vs Blue:

"Players spawn on opposite sides of an open court and must smash and slice their way through opponents to score the Grifball which spawns in the center. Grifball carriers turn the color orange to be spotted more easily and of course to resemble Red Vs Blue's most beloved loud-mouth, Grif!"

Two more classic Halo weapons are added in the update; the trustworthy pistol from the original Halo: Combat Evolved game and the Gravity Hammer that first appeared in Halo 2. In addition there are two new Storm Rifle variants, new weapons skins, new REQ drops, two new character stances and lots of other improvements and bug fixes.

Source: Microsoft

19 Comments
  • Cool, I'll try it when I get home. I saved up a bunch of REQ Points for the update. I didn't care for the new map on Twitch, but I have a hard time believing it could ever be as bad as Riptide, which might be the most poorly balanced map in the game.
  • Riptide is loads of fun (and beautiful). In what way is it unbalanced? More so asking out of curiousity. I do think there are too many power weapons on that map. I've only played Riptide on slayer... no team based games yet so maybe I haven't seen the imbalance.
  • While I initially hated maps Overgrowth and Riptide, they've since grown on me and now I think they're quite decent, especially for Strongholds.
  • Does the Halo CE pistol destroy enemies in two headshots? Edit: the Gravity Hammer was first available in Halo 3, not Halo 2.
    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's a good question. Personally, while I love these free updates, I don't like them adding in weapons from previous Halos that have different mechanics to them, like they did with the H2 BR, and which, apparently they are doing again with the pistol. It just adds more variables, which leads to more imbalance. I also loathe the smorgasbord of new armors, emblems, helmets, visors, weapon skins, etc. that they are seemingly never going to stop adding in. Does anyone really care about having 38 weapon skins for the BR that look identical except one has a tiny yellow band on it and another has a tiny white one?
  • I agree with your opinion on the variants, armours etc. However, I understand the reasoning. The first part is that people like visual proof of an update. Those things represent it for people who can't help but be completionists with this sort of stuff. Secondly, it brings in money which goes towards both updates for halo 5, esports prizefunds andlining microsofts pockets.
  • I like how they kept the H2 Battle rifle to only one map (Riptide). Looks like the Halo 1 pistol will be a power weapon
  • I disliked it at first, but it's grown on me. The different weapon skins have no battlefield advantage, they're just something nice for players to customize their character. The weapon mecahnic variants are limited to one gametype (Warzone) or one map (Riptide), so it's not difficult at all to avoid that if you want to. I was also originally mad at having packs for sale to players, but I've come around on it. If players want to spend their money on customizations, more powr to them. The benefit is 343i has continued funding for dedicated servers and new maps, without having to charge subscription fees or for new map packs. And if you don't want to spend money, you can unlock REQ packs by winning games and completing commendations.   I do wish it was like Halo: Reach and all customizations carried over into campaign, though.  
  • "The weapon mecahnic variants are limited to one gametype (Warzone) or one map (Riptide), so it's not difficult at all to avoid that if you want to." I was mostly referring to the frustration over not seeing a finish line, regarding completing all the unlocks. I don't mind working towards a goal (here, unlocking everything), but if they keep moving the finish line every time we get close to it, eventually people will get pissed off and leave. Conversely, I won't stop playing if I unlock everything, as then I can actually start using REQ weapons in Warzone instead of selling them for points. I like to complete a goal and move on to the next one, not endlessly fail to complete the same goal.
  • I think you're looking at it the wrong way. You can sell REQ weapons, but the point is to use them in game. Why sell them just to try and unlocked something else?
  • He said it first appeared in Halo 2, which is true. The final boss in Halo 2 was a brute with a gravity hammer. Quite a fun battle with multiple levels and a lot of places to lay traps. From the Windows Central Universal Application for Windows 10
  • Really? I only ever lead the boss to chase me around a wall as I shoot him, and jump over it whenever he gets close.
  • Correct, the enemy's name is Tartarus and the hammer is called the Fist of Rukt (I know my Halo). But it was a completely different design, and couldn't be used by players. The current design showed up in Halo 3 used by multiple Brute Chieftains, and could be used by the player in both campaign and multiplayer.
  • Firefight should be added as well.
  • So to be bearer of good news...coming out later in the year...probably june
  • Can't wait to give it a go.
  • I know what I'm doing today - Grifball!
  • I only play arena so I'm sitting on a gazillion req points and weapons. I sell what I can for a new helmet now and then IF I even win one purchasing more req packs. Really, it's all a big PITA. I'm an adult, I can't spend 2 hours selling back plasma pistols for fake money one at a time. Every time I win REQ its just more work.
  • The best strategy to sell REQs, at least until they actually add the option to sell multiple ones at once, is to sell them in between Arena matches. I can usually sell a few dozen between every match. Yes, it's tedious, but I'm not really doing anything else during that time.