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Halo 5 to include 15 free maps in DLC; no Gold required for online co-op play

In a major move to continue their work building a better relationship, developers of Halo 5, 343 Industries has elected to include 15 free multiplayer maps as DLC on top of the 20 maps included in the game’s launch. In addition, 343i will not require Xbox Live Gold for players to play online co-op. This is a major move for both 343 and Microsoft to help the Halo fanbase continue flourishing.

The information comes from the most recent Gameinformer digital release that included a detailed breakdown of some new information and things to expect from Microsoft’s E3 2015 press conference on June 16.

Also noted is the reveal of a new multiplayer mode at E3. This mode will include “all aspects of the Halo sandbox.” It has been in development for years prior to this reveal and it is likely to be a major keynote of Microsoft and 343 Industries multiplayer presentation.

Some notable changes to the classic Halo gameplay formula to come from 343i
Some notable changes to the classic Halo gameplay formula to come from 343i

Halo 5 promises to bring back a greater arena style feel with gamers getting a taste of some close-quarters combat in the game when the beta released back in late December to mid January. However, this news suggests that the grand fire-fights that many fans of the series love will still be just as present as ever.

Outside of the online player vs player multiplayer, the co-op experience looks rejuvenated as well with the ability to jump into a co-op campaign or drop-out without interrupting the game. This ties in to new information showing that both Master Chief and Spartan Locke will always be accompanied by a team of 3 A.I. partners.

Halo 5 is due to release October 27, 2015 on Xbox One and will retail at $59.99. More information will come at E3 2015 June 16-18.

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New Spartans unveiled in Halo 5 cover art

The intriguing battle between the classic hero, and the mysterious new-comer has just gotten a bit more complex with Microsoft’s last art release showing a collection of new Spartans — including what is likely Blue Team, Master Chief’s former squad, in the bottom left corner for those familiar with the Halo lore.

It seems those sided with Spartan Locke are some exciting familiar faces from past Halo games as well. For the first time, major characters of the ODST game will be intertwined with the core story as Buck and Romeo join Locke. Macer, another main characer with ties to Locke is also featured in this blown-up piece of the major art release.

Spartan Locke will be getting help from some familiar faces in Halo 5.
Spartan Locke will be getting help from some familiar faces in Halo 5.

The narrative consisting of Master Chief and Spartan Locke’s turmoil amidst the covenant attacks on human ground is already generating extensive positive buzz around the franchise — which was certainly much needed after the negative publicity 343 Industries underwent during The Master Chief Collection’s release.

Microsoft’s involvement of the fans did an excellent job to promote the franchise with the #HuntTheTruth trend on twitter and other social media platforms. The fans were the ones who actually went out and pieced together clues left behind to reveal this new cover art, and in-turn the animated video that even furthers the excitement.

Halo 5 is due to release at the end of 2015 (October 27) exclusively on the
Xbox One.

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Spartan Locke vs. Master Chief — New Halo 5 ads | Release date unveiled

343 Industries’ recent release of Master Chief and Spartan Locke Halo 5 advertisements show a near-identical narrative — but with the roles of each character reversed.

Though the multiplayer struggled to deliver in 343i’s most recent release (The Master Chief Collection), the quality of the campaigns in the Halo franchise looks to remain as well-made as they’ve always been with the most recent trailers throwing a major twist in the entire story that Halo has revolved around.

Master Chief is shown almost as the “bad guy” in the trailers with Spartan Locke implying the destruction of the human city is on the shoulders of the Chief. How involved Spartan Locke’s part in the Campaign is still unknown, but with the mirroring images of both of the super soldiers being displayed throughout all of the advertisements it looks likely that the story could be split between the two characters 50-50. It’s possible Halo 5’s single player will be similar to that of the Halo 2 campaign when the Arbiter took on a significant role in the story.

Check out the trailers below:
Spartan Locke

Master Chief