Halo 5's Breakout Mode Gets Some Major Changes

Expect a totally new experience the next time you play the intense mode.


343's ongoing support for Halo 5, which launched one year ago this month, has been steady and impressive. The developer continues to support and update the game, the latest example being some changes to the game's love-it-or-hate-it multiplayer mode, Breakout.

As outlined in 343's latest weekly blog post, the most noticeable changes include new starting weapons and giving players full shields. Additionally, all five of the original Breakout maps are redesigned, while a new one called Knell, which was made by the community, has been added to the hopper.

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The full-shields gameplay element is particularly interesting, as the previous setup was no shields at all. Matches could end very quickly if a team wasn't organized--or if the other side was just really good.

Discussing the changes, 343's Quinn DelHoyo said the developer enjoyed "a lot" of what the original version of Breakout was, but it wasn't the best it could be.

"We felt that the combat engagements always sat in a gray area between the ultra-lethality of no-shields SWAT and the classic gameplay of full-shields Halo," he said. "We're still very committed to the original spirit of Breakout, and for the update we wanted to maintain the high stakes of single life elimination but make it feel more at home with Halo players by enabling full shields, as well as motion tracker to more closely match Arena settings. Now you'll have more time to react when getting shot or survive a blast from a frag grenade. The encounters will have that unique 'dance' that only Halo combat offers."

As for the weapon changes, Breakout players will now see their Magnum's power increased with a "slight buff," while it gets an extended magazine that holds 18 shots instead of the previous 12. Players will also have a shotgun--and for good reason.

"The Shotgun's role in all of this is to augment the playmaking ability of a single player," DelHoyo said. "Every Spartan must be respected and we've found that 1v2s and 1v3s are very viable when that lone player has a shotgun in their back pocket."

Additionally, the max frag grenade capacity is rising from two to four. "The reasoning behind this is to give players another way to gain the advantage over their opponents," DelHoyo said. "Savvy players will go out of their way to locate grenade caches on certain maps to stock up on a handful of grenades to use at their disposal. Note, players will still spawn with one frag grenade--that aspect remains unchanged."

Another major change is the flag-capture objective setup. Before, you had to capture the flag and bring it to the opposing team's side to win (or kill all enemy combatants), but now, teams have to take the flag to their own side of the map to win.

"This now forces teams to be mindful of the flag and push out for position early," DelHoyo said. "We've found that opening rushes are more exciting and offer more viable strategies. Does a team put all their focus on grabbing then protecting their flag carrier? Or do they setup and bait the flag? Which power weapon do they rush for? It's been fun to see all of these possibilities--and more--play out in our internal playtests."

As for the map design overhaul, 343's Alex Bean explained that the idea was to support the new starting weapons and full-shields experience. "It was our goal to give each map a design that facilitated a different kind of gameplay, while bringing increased verticality and a more classic Halo map feel to each one," he said.

You can see all of the redesigned Halo 5 Breakout maps, along with the new one, Knell, in the gallery above. After you've played the new Breakout mode, you can leave feedback for 343 here.

Also in the blog post, 343 teased Halo 5's future DLC. The developer said some "particularly interesting things [are] in the works in the sandbox and Forge departments, just to name a few." This follows a tease from last week, when 343 suggested that September's Anvil's Legacy expansion may not be the Xbox One game's final piece of add-on content.

"We're not done just yet," the developer said at the time. "Various teams here at the studio are hard at work finishing up a few different flavors of goodness, and we'll be talking about all of that and more in the near future. I am particularly excited about that part."

Given that Halo 5's playerbase is still reportedly very strong, it makes sense that 343 would want to keep the ball rolling with more content.

Anvil's Legacy was Halo 5's ninth free expansion. Halo 5's other expansions included The Battle of Shadow and Light (November), Cartographer's Gift (December), Infinity's Armor (January), Hammer Storm (February), Ghosts of Meridian (April), Memories of Reach (May), Hog Wild (May), and Warzone Firefight (June).

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