HALO 5: GUARDIANS
By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on November 1, 2015
Spartan John-117 aka Master Chief has served in many battles and, even though on a lot of these occasions he had the weight of the universe on his shoulders, he always rose to the occasion. All the while, he never seemed burdened by any form of emotion. This changed, however, when his long-time AI companion Cortana died on Requiem. But is she really gone?
Halo 5 is set 8 months after the events of Halo 4 and 1 month after the events happening in Spartan ops (H4 game mode). In this time the Chief has joined his old fire team, blue team. And even though he was ordered some R&R time he reassigned himself and by extension his fire team to remain on duty.
If you have followed the pre-release marketing campaign "Hunt the truth" you might have heard that Master Chief was depicted by the UNSC as a traitor and later he was even officially pronounced killed in action. But as real Halo fans know, Spartans never die. The story that this marketing campaign told us, actually runs parallel to the Halo 5 campaign.
Halo 5 is different to previous games in the franchise in a lot of different ways. No longer do you have the so called armor abilities like jet-pack or thruster packs. Some of the previous abilities have however found their way as a standard in the armor of the Spartans. How this effects gameplay can be read in our previous review of the Halo 5 multiplayer Beta.
Campaign-wise, stuff has changed too; Like in 2, there are 2 protagonists, one off course being the one and only Master Chief and the other being Spartan Jameson Locke, who has been introduced to us in the live action miniseries Halo Nightfall (he was still "only" a ONI operative then). The two Spartans are joined by their respective fire teams, Blue team for the Chief and Osiris for Locke. Soon after the Chief’s first mission, which is the second mission of the campaign, Locke and his team are tasked to hunt down the Chief, as he seems to have gone AWOL. Que "hunt the truth".
Some people might think the story of Halo 5 seems quite short or chaotic, and they would not be entirely wrong. This is due to the fact that, by now, it actually relies a lot on the alternate media which add to the Halo Lore. Some gamers out there might not be interested in these things, but I (being a Halo Fanboy) actually thought 343 did a great job of telling the two stories and eventually bringing them together. And we can tell you this, playing the campaign on legendary, which is the hardest standard game mode, is really, really though. Especially the boss fights with "Warden Eternal" make you have to rethink your strategies more than once.
We don’t want to spoil the story for you as it should be really be enjoyed how it is meant to, on your own television. But one thing we will tell you is that an old friend will bring the universe to its knees.
After we finished the riveting story, we shifted our focus towards the new and improved multiplayer. As previously said, we already covered the gameplay mechanics in our previous MP Beta review. But, this review only covered the main slayer game types, along with the new Breakout game mode.
However, Halo 5 comes equipped with another game mode: Warzone, and this one is awesome! Warzone places 24 players in a 12 v 12 battlefield simulation, at the time of release there are only 3 missions but this is not a problem, as the battlefield constantly changes because of the different real life enemy tactics to claim and reclaim forward control bases. In these warzone battles you are able to use Requisition cards ("Reqs" for short ) these Req cards can be acquired by leveling up your Spartan and completing commendations, but also by buying cards at the store. And although you can spend real life money on this, it is definitely not necessary as for competing in any MP match you get Req points, which in turn can be spent on the card packs. These Reqs come in quite a few different types: customization reqs for your Spartan and weapon look on the battlefield, power weapon unlocks, vehicle unlocks and armor unlocks.
The customization and standard weapon cards can be used over and over again, the other cards however, are “one time use” only. During a warzone game you still are not able to just start of the match with über weapons and vehicles, this actually has been balanced really well. Each card you earn is assigned a level, for instance a ghost is level 3 while a mantis is level 8. As the match progresses higher and higher level cards are made available to use on the battlefield. However, at the start of the match only level 1 cards are available for use. While the main usability is meant for all the players in the game, you also are limited in using them. When you use a card, its level is deducted from the stored up Req level you have. So if you have multiple ghost cards ( level 3 ) and you have a stored req level of 5 you can "summon" 1 ghost. After this, your stored Req level is 2, which is insufficient to directly "summon" another one.
All in all, we at DumeeGamer, and especially me, being a huge Halo fan, are nothing but happy with the game 343 Industries has delivered to the world. I will most certainly be putting a lot of time into it, I have already racked up a nice 30 hours of gameplay.