343 Industries has brought the legendary Halo franchise to the Xbox One finally with the latest title Halo 5: Guardians along with new higher visuals it offers a new gameplay experience to the Halo franchise. It is an action pack adventure in the campaign. The two new modes for multiplayer are great to play that will offer epic online moments. No spoilers will be in this review and will just talk the basic premise of the story. How has 343 Industries redefine the game this time around? Now continue reading down below to find out.
The gameplay offers a new feel to the Halo franchise that is now more fast-pace action. Now you may sprint around with the R3 analog button and while sprinting you may then press RB for a dash melee punch that is satisfying to take an enemy down. Another great new move is dashing with your jetpack to evade shots and maneuver around the battle. Going up on higher heights to jump down and holding RB to charge up a down dash punch melee to the ground that is awesome to do to take down an enemy or pack of enemies. Now you may revive your allies by holding down the X button when they go down too which is great and cool animation too.
The new mechanics are fun to play with in the story mode and online. It works well and offers a new Halo experience that is the best combat to date for the franchise. All the weapons now are able to aim down the sights kind of. Veterans of the series will have to adjust to this new gameplay. It feels vastly different then past Halo games that may upset fans. The sci-fi weapons in the game are all design greatly with new visual upgrades with the new hardware of the Xbox One and are great to use in combat.
The story may be played solo or online co-op with up to four friends. No more local couch co-op which is a bummer if your friend that you played with does not own an Xbox One. Now for the story you will be playing around great locales throughout the campaign that are action pack. In the story control the Spartan-IV Fireteam Osiris led by Spartan Jameson Locke or Team Blue led by Master Chief to experience the point of view of these two Spartan fireteams. The basic premise to the story is that Locke is task to tracking down Master Chief for questioning for disobeying orders while Master Chief is searching for answers after receiving a cryptic message from a familiar voice that sounds like Cortana. Team Blue is played for a bit and not as much like the other team making the story a bit incomplete for their side of the view. This makes Locke the main character of the game but his character is pretty weak. He is just a soldier following orders and does not provide a great depth into his character.
The ad campaign for the story of the game made it more like a death hunt that Locke was going after Master Chief with a greater conflict but that is not present here. It would have been more thrilling and exciting. It still provides a great story for fans of the game. Especially for the fans that are into the expanded universe of Halo with the books. I myself have not read the books and have only played all the past games for the series. Leaving me a bit confuse about the new characters but still provides a good story that is exciting. If you have read the books it will offer greater depth to the Halo universe story. That will be the basics I’ll say for the story because the rest you must play to find out and to avoid making a spoiler.
In the campaign the locales you visit are beautiful sci-fi environments that is a now becoming staple of the franchise. Cool environments, enemies, and sci-fi weapon designs that bring the world to life. During the campaign when playing you will be picking up variety of weapons to use against the Covenants and Prometheans thanks to lack of ammo in sections that will require you to switch weapons. There are simple commands to give to your AI companions like go to a spot or a main target of interest to shoot at. The new CG cutscenes provide awesome and action pack scenes to watch.
The story overall was good and ends with a major cliffhanger setting up for a sequel. I enjoyed playing it entirely from beginning to end. The checkpoints in the game are nicely place out. The campaign is short around 6 to 8 hours depending how you play thanks to three missions being just CG story for most of the mission. Normal mode is great to play and balanced. Higher difficulty for those that like a challenge is present, but on Legendary this time is around is more hardcore and will be frustrating at times making this difficulty feel unbalanced.
Now for the online multiplayer it works extremely well and is easy to get into a match fast. No problems connecting to a match and offers the same fast-pace action from the campaign. All past Halo multiplayer modes are present along with two new modes that I will break down below. The customization of your online Spartan is awesome and offers tons of unlocks to customize his look online. Now read on below for the two new modes below.
First up is Arena mode. This is an E-Sport like pro game match 4 vs 4 competitive combat mode. It offers a unique fast-pace action that you must adjust too. It is exciting and greatly competitive to play. The maps are small for quick action mayhem. During the matches there will be weapons to pick up in the map after a timer unlocks them. This mode has the main team vs Arena mode, free-for-all, slayer and more.
Warzone is the second brand new mode where it supports up to 24 players in massive-scale battles with both friendly and enemy AI dropping in constantly during the match as well. It’s non-stop action when you confront Spartans, Covenant, and Prometheans, all while trying to complete a variety of objectives. The spawn points for the game do not get you back to the firefight when down unlike other games where you may spawn next to an ally of your choice.
In this new mode you may use the new REQ pack system that lets use cards during the fight to use vehicles, perks, and weapons you may have once your REQ level is up to use the specific card. In order to use some cards you must have the require REQ level and you get to level the REQ level up from capturing the bases. Offering a system that well let one win with the best cards but are one time use only. Unlock more REQ packs from in game or buy from micro-transactions with real money that may break the game unbalance during matches. It is still fun to play but there will be matches that will be frustrating. There are bosses too when trying to take over the three bases in the map and you must choose wisely your battles to win. Taking down bosses offer great score points to change the tide of the battle but at the final round of the match there will be a high value boss target that will be worth 150 points that may help you turn the tide of the battle too if your neck to neck. Offering an intense thrilling online matches.
Overall 343 Industries has provided one of the best Halo combat experience to date that I have enjoyed despite being sad no more local split-screen. I like the fast-paced action that creates epic moments in the story or going online for supremacy. Halo: 5 Guardians provides a story that will confuse those not invested into the expanded universe of Halo, but offers a good story to play through to the end. The locales you visit during the campaign are awesome and the CG cinematic great to watch. The major cliffhanger in the end is suggest a sequel is coming. Multiplayer will provide hours of fun play sessions on all the great modes from past entries along with two new modes that provide thrilling fast-pace matches that will keep you coming back for more. Arena mode will be the best mode for pro-players that love true competitive online team gameplay. Thoughts or questions on the game let me know in the comments below.
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Developer: 343 Industries Publisher: Microsoft Studios
For Blood, Mild Language, and Violence
Release On: Oct. 27, 2015 (Worldwide except Japan) Oct. 29, 2015 (Japan)
Platforms: Xbox One Players: 1 Network Players: 2-24
Price: $59.99 (USD), £44.99 (GBP), €69.99 (EUR), $99.95 (AUD)
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