When Halo 5 initially hit the multiplayer scene, it was in a very stripped down state. There were only a handful of game types, a limited map selection, and some missing weapons. Since then, 343 Industries has greatly expanded the game’s feature set to include all manner of fan favorite options. However, one important piece of the puzzle was missing. Halo 5 is the first multiplayer game in the series to not feature Oddball, the unique spin on Hot Potato that features a human skull. In an earlier update, Oddball was made possible in custom games as a subset of Assault, and this week will see the game mode enter matchmaking for the first time.
In this week’s community update, the details were laid out. The mode will be a four on four team game and get its own temporary unranked playlist. If you’re looking to sample the game type before it hits matchmaking, it’s currently available via the content browser. Other matchmaking updates include the return of the ranked Snipers playlist and improvements to wait times for skilled players trying to get an FFA or SWAT match. Oddball will be replacing the current rotational social playlist, which is an 8v8 Capture the Flag mode with custom arena maps called Castle Wars.
While it probably won’t be quite the same without the skull, I welcome Oddball back to matchmaking and hope that it is successful enough to warrant a more permanent place in the game. You can tell that 343 is trying to keep the Halo faithful happy with plenty of new matchmaking content, but you have to wonder how they’ll keep the momentum going in the long term. They’ve said repeatedly that Halo 6 is not coming soon, and the once monthly drops of new maps and guns have completely ceased. I understand you can’t keep that pace up forever, but I’d hope that there are at least a few more content drops in the pipeline.