Halo 5: Guardians is already exciting players and making waves with its recently concluded beta test. With a release date of fall 2015, fans are trying to decide if it will be the best Halo of the series.
New Hero, New Story
Halo 5 follows the story of a new hero, Spartan Locke, who is tasked with finding the famous Master Chief after an alien attack on human colonies. Microsoft originally announced Halo 5 at E3 2013 with a short teaser trailer featuring a glimpse at the new character and a voice over by the Arbiter character played by Keith David. In the teaser, Spartan Locke watches one of Master Chief’s famous exploits from Halo 2 as he destroys a covenant ship immediately evoking our feelings for that classic, superb game. In yet another trailer showcased, we see Master Chief exploring an unknown world as a massive machine explodes from the surrounding desert landscape. Developers have been tight lipped on story details but have stated that the original Reclaimer Trilogy story line will be continued in this new game.
Halo 5 is the 12th game in the Halo series. 343 Industries’ contributions to the franchise, Halo 4 and Halo: Spartan Assault, have been met with mostly positive reviews from fans. For the new game, the developer has designed an entirely new game engine which takes advantage of the Xbox One’s graphical power and dedicated servers.
While the franchise’s story has captivated fans for over 13 years, the multiplayer experience of the Halo games has always been paramount. Gamers who purchased Halo: The Master Chief Collection earned an exclusive pass to participate in the Halo 5 multiplayer beta which ran until January 18th.
Halo 5 brings back many of the most requested old features from previous games as well as a few new ones. Guns no longer feature down sight aiming and instead all feature the new Smart Scope. Much like Halo 2, taking damage will knock players out of the scope, keeping things from reaching stagnation. Sprinting is infinite, but while running, players no longer recharge their shields. Like many modern shooters, all Spartans are sporting new thruster packs which allow them to hover and boost through the air. This, combined with the new clamber ability, which allows for a certain level of parkour over boxes and objects, makes for a much faster paced and hectic gameplay. In comparison to the clumsiness fans felt throughout Halo 4, these changes are most welcome.
Old maps like Midship and weapon favorites like SMG, pistol, rocket launcher and energy sword have all made appearances though with noticeable tweaks. Everything looks extremely polished for the upcoming release, though many players found the new controls to be clunky and unresponsive.
With beta closed, 343 Industries has given themselves plenty of time to iron out these minor kinks. While it is unknown whether Halo 5 will live up to its predecessors, everything points toward this being the best Halo game yet.