After years of hype and excitement Halo 5 is out. I got to play it for quite a bit last night, so like I promised yesterday, I thought I would let you know my first impressions. It is Halo. Now that is either high praise or not depending on who you are, but Halo 5: Guardians is more of the Halo franchise we have come to know and love. I have had a blast so far, and I can’t wait to play more.
The game takes place a little after Halo 4, and it quickly introduces you to a new protagonist and his team. Spartan Locke and crew are out looking for the Master Chief who has gone rouge in the Outer Rim, so ONI (Office of Navel Intelligence) sends a new Spartan after an old Spartan. You will still get to play as the Chief leading Locke on his marry chase, but this is mostly Locke’s story (so far anyway).
Sadly Spartan Locke is kind of dull. He just gives orders and takes orders, and he doesn’t question the job. Which is kind of a shame, I understand that they wanted to give you someone like the Chief to play when you aren’t playing, you know, playing as the Chief, but Spartan Buck, who you may remember from Halo: ODST back when he was just an Orbital Drop Shock Trouper, seems like he would have been a better lead (that could just be my love for Nathan Fillion talking though). While he still follows orders, he at least questions them and wonders about the bigger picture.
Still Halo has never really been about the story happening during the game. The game has always been a small window in to large universe. I hope they open it up more later in the game, but the reviews seem to be telling me otherwise. It just seems that after Halo 4, one of the better story based Halo games, that they would have tried to up the ante a little.
Though the reason you play Halo, the great shooting action, is still present in Halo 5: Guardians. It is fast, now moving at 60 frame per second, and frantic, and the controls as far as aiming and shooting go are spot on. My only grip is that I wish I could get the dash forward button ‘B’ and the melee attack button ‘Right Bumper’ swapped. I tried to use a different scheme for awhile to make up for that, but then it was even worse. So 343i if you are listening please swap those two buttons. I may try and use the new Xbox Accessories App and see if I can swap those buttons just for this game.
Halo 5 is also the best looking game so far in the franchise, which should be no surprise. Everything just pops. The characters, the guns, the environments, just everything looks better. It matches the style in Halo 4, but just ramped up a bit.
Besides my minor controller gripe, the other issue I have is that your squad mates are as dumb as dirt. Now that could be because they make the AI squad members dumber when you play Co-Op (I have only played Co-Op), so that you rely on your human team more, but I doubt it. We will see if I play alone any time soon.
The multiplayer in Halo 5 is split up in to two areas, Arena and Warzone. Arena is the Halo multilayer you have come to know and love. Just polished to perfection. It is a four on four test of skill. Which is why I am terrible at it. My skills are lacking. Warzone is like a Halo MOBA highbred. I am not sure if I like it, I may report back on that more later. You fight other teams as well as AI controlled mobs. It was fun, but kind of un-Halo. Like I said, I may need to play more of that to get a better handle on it.
Halo 5 is more Halo. For me that is a great thing, but for you that may sound disappointing. Whether you are playing as Locke or Chief, you will shoot, jump, and punch your way through the bad guys to get your objective. I know what I will being doing tonight.