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Bip. Bap. Beta.

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Amidst the countless hours spent playing Halo in its myriad of forms, there are several moments that tend to stand out among the rest. Late night campaign runs, last second flag-caps, hilarious custom Forge fests, and many, many more. Holding a particularly special place in this upper echelon of experiences is a brilliant gem in the Halo crown: Firefight. Like the franchise itself, Firefight has grown and evolved – from its sweaty palms-inducing, survival-focused origins in Halo 3: ODST to the frenetic and fast paced enemy onslaughts of its Halo: Reach incarnation. Whether it was running laps in a Prowler in Lost Platoon or holding the line in Alpha Site, eliminating Elite Generals in Glacier or the Viva Piñata-palooza of Gruntpocalypse – for millions of us, Firefight is a mode that’s offered many a memory.

And now, it’s time to welcome a new member of the Firefight family into the fold. Blending the large-scale mayhem of Halo 5: Guardians’ epic Warzone experience with bigger encounters, badder bosses, and brilliant new objectives, Warzone Firefight is a bold new flavor for each beloved mode, and we’re excited to make this experience part of Halo 5: Guardians this Summer. If you’re new to the concept, let’s take a look at what you’ll be getting yourself into when you strap on your Mjolnir boots and step foot onto the field of battle.

Quite simply, Warzone Firefight is an ambitious new multiplayer mode coming to Halo 5: Guardians that stands primed to offer the biggest Halo cooperative experience ever in franchise history. In Warzone Firefight, up to 8 players will work together to complete five rounds of increasingly difficult, dynamic objectives set against a timer to emerge victorious. Since its reveal, players all across the world have been chomping at the bit to get a taste of this exciting and evolved PvE experience, and starting today, we’re offering all Halo 5: Guardians players a chance to do just that with our special Warzone Firefight Beta.

The five-day beta experience will see Spartan fireteams of up to 8 players battle against an onslaught of enemy AI on the Escape from A.R.C. Warzone map. You and your friends will tackle a new objective for each of the five rounds, with each task growing progressively more demanding along the way. And since the mode is a fully realized member of the Warzone family, players will have full access to their arsenal in the Halo 5: Guardians REQ system, letting you leverage your REQs in new ways against computer-controlled enemies.

In order to truly get a sense of what this new mode’s addition means for not just Halo fans, but for us at 343 Industries, I grabbed the forefathers of Warzone Firefight – David Ellis (Multiplayer Designer) and Lawrence Metten (Senior Multiplayer Designer) – to offer some deeper insight on the matter.

GRIM: So guys, what are your favorite aspects of the new Warzone Firefight mode?

DAVID: My favorite are the dynamic objectives. I’ve been working on this mode for months and I still love not knowing what objective the next round holds in store for me.

LAWRENCE: My favorite part of Warzone Firefight is seeing how eight Spartans work together to coordinate attacks and tackle each objective. Developers in our 343 playests continue to find new ways to work together and combine REQs for maximum carnage and efficiency, I look forward to seeing the strategies that players around the world come up with during the Warzone Firefight Beta this weekend!

GRIM: What was the development process like; any particular challenges to overcome or gratifying design moments to share?

DAVID: Difficulty tuning, by far, has been the toughest nut to crack. Dealing with more players and enemies than ever before in Halo, we’ve had to establish new methods for creating a compelling co-op encounter that presents a challenge for players across the wide variety of skill sets matchmaking entails.

LAWRENCE: Warzone Firefight uses the entire map and features AI enemies and objectives in areas previously reserved for only player-versus-player combat. One of the bigger development challenges was finding the right areas for these objectives and experimenting with different types of Bosses in these new locations.

GRIM: How would you explain the new mode’s connection and place in the “Firefight family” – for fans of the mode in previous Halo titles, as well as folks who are already fans of Warzone in Halo 5: Guardians?

DAVID: 50% of Warzone Firefight is Warzone (it’s right there in the name). I think the two features that make Warzone Firefight unique are the variety of objectives alongside access to the entire suite of REQ cards a community member has unlocked and collected. When that objective variety pairs with the plethora of player arsenals, you should see a ton of differences from match to match and group to group.

LAWRENCE: Warzone Firefight turns everything up to 11. More players, dozens of enemies, and the entire REQ inventory combine to create the biggest cooperative experience we’ve ever seen in Halo.

And in case some of these new challenges sound like a tall order, we’ve got you covered with a special REQ pack offer just for the occasion, to make it even easier for eager Spartans to unlock the most powerful REQs in the system. The Halo 5: Guardians – Mythic Warzone REQ Pack will be available for a limited time, for $9.99 USD (or 80,000 RP). Each pack includes ten Mythic single-use power weapon REQs and one Ultra Rare or Legendary weapon or vehicle certification, if available. For use in all Warzone modes, including Warzone Firefight, this pack will ensure you enter battle with the most powerful gear available.

Needless to say, we’re extremely excited to place Warzone Firefight in the hands of the community this weekend, as your passionate and invaluable feedback will only help make the mode even better when it hits Halo 5: Guardians in fully-fledged form later on this Summer. So check your controllers, find your friends, and get set for a co-op combat drop.

Welcome to Warzone Firefight. You picked a helluva week to join up…

-Grim

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