Halo 5 Guardians, where do I start. I have experienced so much awesomeness in the Halo universe and then this one came along and just doubled the awesomeness. The Halo universe has such a large scope for stories and lore. Then with each game in the series that comes out, just starts scratching the surface of everything and then turns everything upside down. This is in short what Halo 5 did to me.
In Halo 5 Guardians, you have two Spartan teams in the game: Fireteam Osiris and Blue Team. Fireteam Osiris is the first team you start the game with which is led by Spartan Locke. Your mission was to find Dr Halsey and bring her back to the UNSC Infinity. Then after that you start with Blue Team which is considered the veteran or legendary group of Spartans led by John-117 aka Masterchief. At the end of their mission, the story takes on a whole new direction and then “The Hunt” begins.
The story spans over 15 missions and I just felt that some missions were kind of pointless to me. I know this is weird of me saying this, but they could have added more to it. But then again it was more refreshing that just getting another cutscene to set up the next mission. What also give some added details into the story is all the intel/data points hidden in each mission. They are the new form of terminals, but finding them all will add to your game time.
The gameplay is very different to other Halo games in the series, but also very much the same. The newly added armour abilities give it a refreshing feel. Like there is now multiple paths one can take to reach your objective, but some require you to bash through a wall or boost jump across a big gap. Flanking in the game is really great, you can send your team to focus on position and then you can move to a flanking position and get the upper hand. Discover a whole bunch of crawlers below you? Not a problem, just use your ground Bash ability. What also makes this game different is, you can view down your sights with every weapon in the game. All the other games you could only do it if the gun had a scope attached to it. This took me some time to get used to. I was mostly just shooting from the hip and wasted so much ammo. Then I took the words of Masterchief to heart: “Controlled-burst! Don’t spray and pray!” – Forward Unto Dawn.
These new armour abilities are also added to the multiplayer mode, which really increases the speed of the games. Using your speed burst at the right time to get that very satisfactory assassination. For multiplayer they also introduced the new Requisition System. These Req Packs one can buy with your requisition points will give you one-time use cards or permanent unlocks like new armour for your Spartan, Banner Icons, weapon skins etc. They improved the customization options for your Spartan, but it just feels that they oversimplified it. You can now only select your Helmet, Armour set and Visor. Before you had a little creative freedom in customizing a one of a kind Spartan, now it just comes down to what colour you make yours.
Multiplayer is split into 2 sections; arena and war zone. Arena is where you will find modes like Slayer; capture the flag, swat etc. The new warzone mode is a much larger mode compared to the arena. It features 24 player battles 12 vs 12 and it adds some AI-controlled opponents and the maps are larger than any Halo map you have seen before. In the warzone you get to use the requisition system, you earn points to buy more Req packs and then you can decide when, where and what to use in the game to give you an upper hand. Maybe you want to run around with a Spartan laser. End of the day, you will want to destroy the other teams Core for instant victory or just fight it out till one of the teams get the victory.
I can honestly say that Halo 5 Guardians has rendered me speechless (In a good way). The story was based on something, but it was more of a cover to what really was going on and then at the end I was shocked to see what happened. Something I really didn’t see happening. I mean the credits start right after the last mission. There has to be more. Well, there will be more, as this is just the first game in the new Trilogy. I know the ending will upset many as it has a very open ending, but some might really like how it finished. I don’t want to say much more than that, don’t want to spoil it for you guys.
In the end, I feel that this is one of my favourite Halo games in the series with Halo 3 and 4 tied for second. This game also for me set the benchmark for visuals. This game looks absolutely stunning. The amount of details 343i added into this game is amazing. The music will give you Hoendervleis (Goose Bumps).
My final thought: If you enjoyed all the other Halo games in the series and you a big fan of the series, then you are going to enjoy this game. Legendary difficulty might feel like it can’t be done for many, but then you can play on Heroic for a much maximum fun. I found that this game was well worth the wait and will recommend everyone to play it. See you all in the war zone.