The team behind Halo 5: Guardians is ready to announce their next free update, including one new enemy unit and one new UNSC vehicle. Fans of the 24-player Warzone mode are in for a treat.
Meet the new boss
The first new unit is the Grunt Goblin, a hulking mech piloted by an elite Grunt. 343 Industries character designer Steve Dyck told Polygon that the Goblin can be fielded as either a Legendary or a Mythic boss. It’s the first character ever built exclusively for Warzone and Warzone Firefight.
"There are two variants of the Grunt Goblin with different capabilities," 343 Industries character designer Steve Dyck told Polygon. "Essentially, the backstory of this battle suit is it was built by Grunts for Grunts in what the Grunt designers agreed was the perfect embodiment of agility and lethality. Obviously when you have a Grunt driver or ‘jockey’ controlling this powerful battle suit, results may be unpredictable.
"We really wanted to make the Goblin jockeys fun, memorable enemies to fight," said writer Nick Ardizzone. "We made sure to give them lines that show for all the time they spent learning to pilot their Goblins, they spent at just as much honing their cutting insults (‘You’re real bad at fightin’!’) and terrifying threats (‘Gonna smash all your important parts!’)."
Chris Proctor, senior systems designer, gave us a laundry list of features and loadouts of the Goblin, as well as tips for players looking to take one down.
Goblins are kitted out with a double-barreled heavy needler, which can do massive damage to vehicles. Goblins are also capable of a needle barrage, a multiple-launch system that can target up to eight players at the same time. It’s a nasty talent, but one that’s easily disabled by knocking out the Goblin’s backpack. With the barrage out of commission, the Goblin will be forced to rely on its grenade launcher, which will be more powerful on the Mythic variant.
As far as melee goes, the Goblin is highly mobile and capable of jumping up to 200 feet. It can drop any Spartan, or any light vehicle, with a single punch. There’s also a few surprises for any large vehicles that get too close, including a disabling EMP pulse.
One strategy for taking out a Goblin is to demolish the pilot’s canopy. Players will have moments to take out the Grunt inside before it regenerates. Also, behind that backpack that controls the needle barrage is a weak point. Hammering it will deal bonus damage. In the meantime, keep your distance, says Proctor, as the heavy needler and melee attacks will cut through even the UNSC’s most powerful weapons platforms.
"Unlike other vehicles," Proctor said, "the Grunt Goblin cannot be hijacked or boarded and has a complete immunity to EMP effects. Don’t waste your time (and REQs) on plasma pistols!"
Calling in CAS
The new unit available to the UNSC forces is called the Wasp. It’s a brand new unit in the Halo universe, designed for close air support (CAS) in hostile environments. It even features vertical take-off and landing.
"In fiction, the AV-49 Wasp supplements existing stocks of AV-14 Hornet and AV-22 Sparrowhawk aircraft in UNSC Marine service," said systems designer Tim Temmerman. "It is a close air support VTOL armed with heavy machine guns and twin rocket launchers.
"In-game, players will want to use it as a quick-strike vehicle, flying in low for a kill and bugging out quick to allow the shields to recharge. The armor on the Wasp is light in order to keep it aloft, so the recharging shield provides the moderate protection needed to re-engage at a later time. The key is to keep moving, drop in low to maximize weapon effectiveness, and steer clear of vehicles with heavy weapons."
Fielding a Wasp will require a REQ card, and will be droppable in Forge. Both the Wasp and the Goblin Grunt will be available in the next free update, landing soon.