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Michael

Halo 5: Guardians

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So Halo 5 released today. Anyone else bought the game or even watched a playthrough of it? Give your opinions here! I woke up at 9am today and me and my friend played and completed the campaign on heroic, then we played enough of Warzone and Breakout to reach level 10 so i'm going to give my full opinion of the game here with spoilers included.

Story

So here's probably the most controversial and criticised part of Halo 5: Guardians. Microsoft did a hefty job of advertising this game with the thought of Master chief becoming a traitor and Spartan Locke tracking him down to confront him. Our job was to hunt the truth in this campaign to find out why Master Chief is doing what he's doing.

 

This was the case, for all about 2 missions. We immediately learn that Master Chief is seeking out Cortana after being given a vision that she is alive and here whereabouts becoming known to him. After learning that his team would not be assigned to retrieve her but another would, he disobeyed orders and went off with his team. A mission of two later after a badass confrontation between Chief and Locke, Locke's team learn that Cortana is planning a mass AI takeover, and suddenly the "Hunt for Master Chief" became the "Save Master Chief" which could have been executed better. The story was suppose to be Locke hunting Chief, so halfway through the campaign when you learn the hunt is over and the rescue mission begins, you feel a little deflated. It would have been better if they made the reveal nearer to end to make everything more dramatic and the truth more sudden.

That being said, the campaign is much better than Halo 4's and still nothing to sneer at. While not as strong as people wanted on the story side it's still a fun experience and an interesting story to follow.I wouldn't say it was terrible, I personally just think it could have been so much more with what they presented. There is plenty of Halo lore and hardcore fans will enjoy the characters, old and new.

Never did it feel repetitive, there were some cool moments too

 

Such as attacking the Kraken, walking on the side of a Guardian and stopping Cortana at the end 

There is a big problem that I can agree with people. I don't see this as a spoiler either. In the campaign of 15 missions, you only play as the Master Chief for 3 missions. 3-4 missions aren't technically missions, they're more walk around and talk to people, so 7-8 missions are you playing as Spartan Locke. I can understand 343 trying to introduce new characters and wanting to see Chief through Locke's perspective, but considering how much criticism Halo 2 got for the Arbiter missions I don't see what made them to make such a choice.

Gameplay

Rarely ever has the gameplay for any Halo game been under fire, and that wont start with this game. The first major thing to notice is the Star Wars Republic Commando healing system being introduced. You now have a team of 4, and each member if not incinerated, crushed or unreachable i.e falling off a cliff, can be revived by another team member which is quite useful. Considering the campaign has the team members with you at all times, it only makes sense to implement features that will get you to interact with them more often. If a member is downed, you trot on over to them pick them up using the mechanic on your arm that scans them and I assume gives them the will to live :p

Next, the game does a fantastic job of making you feel like a Spartan. The abilities implemented feel heavy and brutal. That Grunt you just ground pounded is dead, but you also felt that impact. That breakable wall over there explodes as you burst through it with the Spartan shoulder barge. The assassinations have been in Halo since Reach but that doesn't stop them from looking amazing when you go behind an elite, struggle with it as you climb up behind it and proceed to snap its neck.

Next, there is a wide range of weapons, all with awesome sound effects. One very noteworthy thing to mention is just how awesome each weapon looks when you aim them. The Promethean weapons breaking a part and glowing, the Covenant weapons spinning and twirling, the human weapons blinking and flickering. It's a small thing to mention, but sometimes small things make a big impact.

The fast paced combat was executed well. I know people were worried that Halo was becoming too much like Call of Duty but I 100% disagree, the two are nothing alike. Halo has it's own thing that makes it a new, fresh, fun experience. The melee feels very brutal as you turn the corner and punch the face of another Spartan into the wall and multiplayer is very addicting.

In multiplayer there's the usual modes such as Slayer but Warzone is the main focus. It's a little like a domination game mode but instead of securing rings for points, you eliminate special enemy AI that appear randomly in the battlefield for a large chunk of the points. A Promethean Knight with a name will spawn and it worth 50 points, or tank general will spawn with a Wraith and some Elites and be worth 150 points. It's basically a threeway battle between Red team, Blue team and the AI and the AI are not easy to kill, it requires at least 3-4 players to start doing good damage. The first team to 1000 points wins. Player kills also count but it's only 1 point per kill. A cool thing that you can do is call in vehicles or weapons throughout the game to support your team when you have enough from them, of course you only get these items from the Req pack you can buy for in game currency or real money. You can capture spawn points to get to certain places quicker to, they can make or break the game you're in, they're that important.

Graphics

Being probably Microsofts biggest exclusive, there's no surprise they didn't hold back on this game. The graphics are beautiful and the constant 1080p 60FPS is amazing, I've not once experienced any frame drops or technical problems. The game is polished and a lot of hard work went into it. I did experience one glitch where I fell through the map...but to be fair I was jumping around on top of rocks that I shouldn't have been aha.

Music

Nothing noteworthy, the usual masterpieces from classic Halo played and some normal combat music. Disappointing to say the least unless i'm missing something.

Verdict

  • Great multiplayer
  • Ok-ish story
  • Great gameplay
  • No noteworthy music
  • Good characters
  • Great performance i.e 1080p 60 FPS, no crashing, beautiful graphics and cutscenes

Not game of the year, but damn is it worth buying if you're an Xbox owner.

Edited by Michael

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Story was a weird turn from what the marketing suggested but was enjoyable nonetheless. The actual gameplay and pacing of the campaign was spot on though; some really great missions (the Meridian & Sanghelios missions are among the best in the series IMO) throughout. And those small exploratory missions in the settlements like Meridian Station make me want a Mass Effect-style RPG set in the Halo universe. It was really cool to get a breather and a chance to explore populated areas and talk to the people who live there. Something very different for the franchise I hope to see more of in the future.

On the multiplayer side of things, this is the best Halo has been since 2. Everything feels perfectly balanced and the new gameplay mechanics like sprinting, charging and the ground pound make matches feel more intense than ever. Warzone is also proving to be a real highlight; loving the massive scale of things there.

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I'm a huge Halo fan and I really didn't like the campaign at all tbh. Spartan Locke is not interesting at all. If anything we should have played as Buck since he was a way better character, and we already have exposure to him through ODST. The only worthwhile thing about this game to me is that it's finally 60fps and that just feels amazing! The story just really disappointed me due to lack of having Chief's perspective considering the changes that were happening....were kinda central to Chief's relationship with Cortana. 343 also needs to get through their heads that not everyone reads the novels. I love Halo so much and it's one of my favorite franchises but I'm not going to read numerous novels about it. So many things, hell Chief being from the Blue Team at the start is just said in passing because they just assume you read the books. Same issue with Halo 4 when they just assumed you knew who the Didact was :/ 

 

Multiplayer is just not wow-ing me at all either, but that's primarily due to the fact that I always stuck to Big Team Battle. I love that mode and I know it's coming eventually but I paid $60 dollars for this game and don't really appreciate how the multiplayer feels incomplete and in beta form still. I kinda like the Warzone stuff with all the objectives happening all the time, but I really can't see myself sticking around once Black Ops 3 and Battlefront 3 drop. 

 

Having said all that, the mission where you're sprinting down the Guardian is one of the coolest levels ever! :) 

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Story was rather disappointing. The game was show as Locke vs Master chief in the trailers and ads and it never really happened in the game what so ever. You played as master chief for only three mission in the game and we give 0 fucks about Locke and his story. Master Chief is and should have been main focus as always do these company's never learn?MGS2 with radien over snake. Also no local play what so ever.... Also ending and game was way to short with no pay off. You can tell this was part 1 of a story and not real ending. 

Its very much like halo 2 a disappointing short story but amazing MP. 

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