343 Industries has shared new details about Memories of Reach, Halo 5‘s next free update. In the developer’s latest weekly update, 343 started off by saying Memories of Reach won’t be out until the week after next, meaning sometime the week of May 9. “We’ll continue to keep you updated on specific timing as we get closer to release and all final work is completed, tested, and ready to go out the door,” it said.
One of the biggest draws of Memories of Reach is the new Infection mode. According to 343, it’s now receiving “final tweaks and polish,” and is nearly finished. The developer also shared some specifics about the mode and how it plays. Here are the details, written by 343:
- Total player count: 12
- Number of rounds: 4
- Round time limit: 3 minutes each
- New Custom Game option: “Last Squad Standing”
- Spartans have all Spartan abilities
- Infected have Thrust, Smart Scope, Stabilize
There will be 18 medals to collect in Infection, including things like Zombie Hunter, Zombie Slayer, and Hell’s Janitor, among others. You can see images of all of these medals here on Halo Waypoint.
Also in the blog post, 343 shared a preview image of the Memories of Reach Req lineup. As you can see, a new Arena map called Stasis is coming to Halo 5 with the update, along with the aforementioned Infection mode. The Brute Plasma pistol is also on the way, as well as new weapon skins and armor. The full Req lineup will be announced sometime next week; check back soon for more.
The Memories of Reach update also includes new functionality for the Forge mode. 343 released a cryptic animated GIF that showcases what’s coming; check it out below.
Additionally, Halo 5’s Memories of Reach update will introduce Req weapon balance changes with the aim of bringing their effectiveness “closer in line” for both Warzone and Arena. More than a dozen weapon variants are being changed “to have a more appropriate effectiveness.”
Some examples include the Plasma Caster’s cluster grenades becoming more effective, while the charge shot will have less arc. The Hydra Launcher, meanwhile, will see its recoil reduced and rocket splash damage radius increased. Many more weapons are having their effectiveness altered with the Memories of Reach update, and for those interested, this blog post dives deep into what’s changing and why.
Memories of Reach also includes new advanced controller options, changes to the UI, and additional matchmaking preference options.
The update will be Halo 5’s sixth fifth free expansion following the game’s launch in October 2015. The others were The Battle of Shadow and Light (November), Cartographer’s Gift (December), Infinity’s Armor (January), Hammer Storm (February), and Ghosts of Meridian (April). This monthly streak came to an end with Ghosts of Meridian, as it came out in April, missing March.