This is a hard one to comment on. This seemed like the easy pick and then I experienced the campaign, which is less than desirable. However, if you want something that goes toe to toe with Call of Duty: Black Ops III and then some, Halo 5: Guardians is for you. If you want a Halo multiplayer game that goes back to the good old days with some new tricks and a upgraded framerate, you’ve found your winner. 343 Industries did a great job making online multiplayer fun again after disappointing some of the hardcore crowd with its previous release.
Reasons to Play
- Great fast paced shooter with dedicated server support
- Halo returns with an amazing eSports presence
- Multiplayer experience is much improved since the Master Chief Collection
- Unique multiplayer mode, Warzone
A Both Working and Fun Game
You may be thinking to yourself, is this really a point worth mentioning? Well, it is. Look at the past disaster with Halo: MCC and games like Arkham Knight that are pretty much unplayable on PC and you will start to release that games at time are released broken. This is not one of them. With a lesson well learned, 343 Industries have put out a game that feels both easy enough for a casual to pick up and play but hard to master. The game offers a frantic multiplayer experience via its “Arena” mode in which it is all about which team has the most skill. Within Arena play, there are several different options for Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and so on, all with fancy names as Halo does. SWAT, a fan favorite, makes a return for those that always seek to land those headshot or go home. If you cannot of course, you may want to stay away from this one. Spartan Abilities (various movements that can be done without pickups) such as thruster packs and “Smart Scope” (aiming down sights) are both new to Halo. Combine this with 60 frames per second and you get a frantic and fun multiplayer experience.
If traditional Halo doesn’t sound fun to you, there is the new “Warzone” mode. Warzone is a huge game mode which has twelve people per team and is an all out battlefield. This mode is more objective based since you need to take control of certain points across much larger maps than you would see in Arena. Another point of interest is that there are AI enemies also scattered that can also get in the way. Vehicle gameplay should be expected during these bigger team battles, and new REQ System (REQS), which will give players new skins in game or in-game bonuses to use in either mode also mixes things up.
Halo stronger than ever in the eSports scene
We can debate all day about if the REQ packs are “pay-to-win” or not. Regardless of your stance, they in part help in something much more important. The prize pool for the Halo Championship Series. 343 Industries has proven they are dedicated to the scene more than ever.
Fans have always made Halo better, with input and creativity, but now for the first time in Halo esports history, they have the opportunity to contribute directly to the $1 million Halo World Championship prize pool and help grow it to epic proportions. A portion of all REQ packs purchased with real-money in Halo 5: Guardians goes to crowdfunding the tournament prize pool. We started at $1 million, and thanks to the passion and generosity of the Halo community, we are excited to announce that fan activity has officially generated over $700K to the fund, and it continues to grow until the World Championships in March 2016. Can we hit $2 million? Let’s go!
This is where the pros at Halo come not just to play but to win. The top players take home major winnings that would make some of us consider leaving our day job. The fact that 343 is dedicated to this cause shows they have been paying attention to the rise of eSports in general and are quite smart to bring Halo back.
The Spartan Abilities are worth mentioning in their own category due to what they bring to the game. In addition to the ones mentioned above, you also have an ability to climb up ledges in case you don’t quite make a jump. This help to be able to clear distances a bit easier, although you can be taken advantage of which climbing up. Or you can sneak up on a opponent with their back turned. You can sprint like you could in Halo 4 and sprinting at top speed for a period of time will allow you to do a “Spartan Charge”, in which you dash tackle an opposing Spartan for damage. Sliding is also an option when hitting top sprinting speed. The “Ground Pound” however, is where you can get flashy. When you are in mid-air, you can charge this attack for a few seconds, take aim below, and smash the ground likely killing the unfortunate Spartan below you that gets hit by it. Getting the game kill with this attack is quite satisfying. Try it.
In conclusion, the game can be recommended highly for its multiplayer but because of single player shortcomings, waiting on a sale might be ideal. Whichever you choose however, this an online experience you don’t want to miss. It is a modernized Halo game that should have enough to still please the Halo veterans out there as well.
Cover image via