343 has hit us again with their second outing from their new take on the iconic Halo series. With this game probably seeing the biggest change in franchise history. The new story direction with Agent Locke as the main character, the new spartan abilities, and the new big mode of 24 played battling against AI, Halo certainly has changed.
Halo 5 Guardians features two distinct multiplayer variants, Arena and Warzone. Arena is the competitive side of the multiplayer featuring 4v4 gameplay, free for all, and the games new Breakout mode. It even at the time of this review features Big Team Battle which is 8v8. The main modes for Arena are Slayer, which is classi Halo death match. Swat, headshots mode, free for all, every man for themselves, Breakout which is the games new round based one life mode with a twist, and finally Arena, which consist of Slayer, CTF, Strongholds, and Breakout. Personally I find it to be the most competitive Halo since Halo 3 and I love that, but we need more gametypes, better map and mode rotation, but at least the inclusion of Big Team is a great start into that area. Also some social playlist like Infection would be appreciated.
Now as for Warzone, it is large scale combat between two teams of 12, enemy AI and boss fights. Both teams will fight to control bases and kill enemy bosses for points across large maps, bigger than any maps we have seen in a Halo game yet. This is where the games REQ system comes into place. REQ is where you get all your armor, weapons, vechiles, and various other things like emblems and weapon skins. Now how this implemented in Warzone is like this, you can simply press on something you have it the load out menu. For example if you have enough power for a Sniper Rifle cars you can use your power to add that into your loadout. It’s simple and works decently. Though the micro transactions are a bit of a turn off, it’s easy to get REQ points in my opinion. But regardless Warzone is a great addition, with my only complaints being that Warzone assault needs better balancing, and also more maps as well since at present time Warzone only has 3, compared to Arenas 20 plus.
Halo 5 Guardians features two teams you can play as either in solo or Co op play. Team Osiris consist of Agent Locke, Buck from ODST, Tanaka, and Vale, while Blue Team features series and Xbox iconic Master Chief, Kelly, Linda, and Fred, Chief’s team and family from the extended universe. Halo 5’s story picks up over a year from the end of Halo 4 and Spartan Ops. The Covenant is finally breaking with force from the Prometheans who have now turned on them, and the Arbiters forces. Halo 5 opens up with Team Osiris sent in the midst of a large battle between the Covenant and Prometheans to retrieve Doctor Halsey so she can share her information on destructive events that have been occurring on human worlds the past few weeks. Events transpire on the mission that results in Halsey being brought back safely. We then have our attention redirected to Blue Team, with a scene with the Chief touching the back of his helmet with his hand trembling, a reminder of what happens at the end of Halo 4.
Blue Team has a mission to retrieve data from a vacant ship called Argent Moon, events happen that leads to the Master Chief going Rogue in order to find out the truth behind the destructive events. Over the course of the game Agent Locke hunts the Chief to the planet Meridian, where of course they duke it out, bro style After that the game takes us to the Elite home world to aid in the war against Covenant, meanwhile while the Chief is elsewhere.
Without spoiling too much, some aspects of the story I enjoy mainly some plot twist, but at times the narrative seems unfocused at times, even the introductions for new characters treat them as if they have already developed for games, which they haven’t, it sorta feels like the catalyst for bigger and better events. The games level deisgn, enemy battles, and wide array of locations make up for this, as you always are having fun, even have some collectibles to find, which I did on a second playthrough. The game is about as long as the other games in the series, I clocked in at about 9 hours and 42 minutes at time of completion on Heroic.
I said the game has some of the best level design with multiple paths to take, but some of the missions have you simply walk around, which is cool, but not exactly well executed, I would like to see this feature improved upon in the future. But overall I enjoyed this games campaign despite its flaws
Overall Halo 5 Guardians is probably the best online shooter available on a current generation platform and I would highly recommend it. With free updates coming in the future such as Forge the game will get even better. But at the time of this review I would give Halo 5 Guardians a 8 out of 10, see you starside!