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    Halo 5: Guardians

    Game » consists of 12 releases. Released Oct 27, 2015

    Eight months after the events of Halo 4, the Master Chief has reunited with his former SPARTAN-II comrades. After they go AWOL, a team of SPARTAN-IVs known as Fireteam Osiris is assigned to hunt them down.

    Impressions Thread

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    The game has been out for two days, long enough for players to have sunk their teeth into the game. Curious to hear what everyone thinks, especially in regards Halo's recent history.

    Personally, I went into Halo 5 really wanting to love it. Really rooting for this to be the defining Halo game. And, in my mind, it might very well be, although, not for the reasons 343 might have intended. Generally, the campaign--which I haven't quite finished--has been pretty flat. And though I went through a bit of a honeymoon phase with the multiplayer, including the new Warzone mode, I'm feeling some serious burnout on the second day of the game's life.

    I'm having some trouble with the game mechanically. It plays well enough, but there's something janky about the downsight aiming, as if there might be a, like, deadzone issue, maybe? Like the aiming is at times too sensitive and at others not sensitive enough?

    The first impression hasn't been great, and I'm starting to already feel like I've seen everything the game has to offer. How's everyone else feeling about Halo 5?

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    mems1224

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    Love the game. Its basically the best the game and multiplayer has played since Halo 2. The campaign is disappointing but the multiplayer is amazing and will only get better once BTB and other playlists get added to the rotation.

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    Pontron

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    #3  Edited By Pontron

    I thought the campaign was really good through and through gameplay wise. It's pedal to the medal start to finish and some of those fights are so intense. It was electrifying at times, completely awesome. I thought the soundtrack didn't do the gameplay justice enough as it has in the past. Where are those fat drums man? The lack of a defining vehicle sequence was a little disappointing as well. The story was a bit of a let down overall, especially after all of that marketing. I was expecting much more, or rather entirely different than what I got.

    The arena multiplayer is fantastic. This is as good as a console shooter can get. Really liking the guns and maps so far. I just kind of wish they'd add those classic game types.

    Not quite as good as I was hoping, but still damn great, and one of, if not the best game you ca get on Xbox One right now.

    @historyinrust: As for the aim down the sight, use the halo 4 scheme. Don't treat it as if you were aiming down the sight in call of duty. Use it the way you've always used it in Halo and you will get it.

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    deactivated-60a530ec4d635

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    I'm actually a bit disappointed in the game. I'm someone who plays Halo games primarily for the campaign, and Halo 5's campaign was just.. boring. It took forever to come to an interesting (but very obvious) point in the story to than suddenly end. I'm going to play it again on easy, just to mess with the new Spartan abilities some more, and maybe the story will grow on me.

    Multiplayer didn't fair any better either. I played only two matches in Warzone, but in both instances the other team had better cards and we got smoked. Not exactly a great first experience.

    So far It was a disappointing experience.

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    BabyChooChoo

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    I've already voiced my thoughts quite a few times so I'll try to be brief:

    • Plays, looks, and sounds great.
    • A few encounters when playing solo on higher difficulties are absurdly frustrating not simply because of the difficulty, but also because enemies will literally ignore your teammates. This is extra frustrating when fighting Knights and the Warden.
    • Why the fuck do you have to fight the Warden so many goddamn times? Could they seriously not come up with another boss?
    • The Kraken was suuuuuper disappointing. Took maybe less than 5 minutes.
    • Story was a let down. Marketing was waaaaay off the mark. It was presented poorly. The story gives zero fucks about any of the other Spartans and arguably barely gives any fucks about Chief and Locke.
    • Cortana looks dumb.
    • The non-combat missions feel...unfinished. Like they were originally intended to add more world building, but they didn't have time or something.
    • Has a couple of really cool moments and set pieces. Not the best in the series, but still really fun.
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    Firepaw

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    #6 Firepaw  Online

    Campaign is bad and boring, multiplayer is good so far.

    • The inclusion of the fireteam Spartans feel pointless, and they are barely characters.
    • Campaign was short and too easy, beat it on under 6 hours on Heroic Solo on my first time through.
    • The characters aren't interesting and almost nothing happens in the story except for the set-up for the next game.
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    Nardak

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    I do like the solo campaign as far as the story goes. But my biggest problem with the game are the boss encounters.

    It is pretty obvious that the boss encounters have been designed for co-op play. I have had a really frustrating time in killing the bosses since the AI controlled teammates cant survive for very long. Most of the boss encounters would have been pretty easy in co-op but as solo player those boss encounters are very frustrating.

    I am pretty glad that I didnt go with the Legendary difficulty from the beginning but settled on the heroic one. Would probably have been stuck at the first boss at this point otherwise.

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    djhicks1

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    @historyinrust: Yeah, it feels weird, man. Kind of like how Killzone felt weird. And the feedback from weapons, damage dealt and damage taken, feels like I'm in a vacuum or something. Dissatisfied so far, two chapters in.

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    Steadying

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    The characters aren't interesting and almost nothing happens in the story except for the set-up for the next game.

    Pretty much every AAA game lately tbh.

    What's up with these weird missions where you walk around a town, talk to a person, and then the mission ends? Should have just tacked those on to the end of the previous missions, such an obvious attempt at inflating the mission list number.

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    csl316

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    #10 csl316  Online

    Beat a few missions, and it just feels great to zip around. The movement and tactical options make routine skirmishes feel exciting. I feel like there's so much potential for a high skill-ceiling with these mechanics in every mode.

    Multiplayer was fun in the beta, and still is. Hopefully I can fit in a thing of Warzone tonight.

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    nickhead

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    Did anyone read this scathing write up at Engadget? I'm still on the fence about picking this up - especially because I'm more interested in the campaign and it sounds very mediocre.

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    teeknuts

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    #12  Edited By teeknuts

    I got the game winning kill in an Arena match and yelled out "Arghhhhh....Halo!" So, obviously I feel the area mode is pretty good. The campaign is...okay, I suppose. The boss battles are kinda weak and the story seems to spin its wheels a bit until the final third, but I think the last act is pretty okay. I understand the comparisons to Halo 2's ending but I don't think it's quite that bad. I think it sets up Halo 6 pretty nicely, but there is one question that I still can't answer.... Why doesn't Infinity's AI side with Cortana? It seems like they were setting up for that to happen with the one cutscene in the middle of the game, but nothing comes of it. They better explain that further in the next game.

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    Tonic7

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    #13  Edited By Tonic7

    Just a bit of qualification here (for whatever reason): I've played hundreds of hours of each Halo except 4, dating back to 16-person LAN parties with Halo 1, countless hours on MP with each, etc., etc.

    Campaign: Playing on heroic, and I agree the "boss" battles are awful. Overall though, I feel that all of the combat so far is very intense and really satisfying...lots of enemies, lots of ambient action happening around you. It also helps that they are extremely generous with power weapons this time if you are willing to look around you. I haven't finished yet (Mission 9) so I can't comment completely on story yet. It does feel quite in the middle of a trilogy, though. Lack of character development on both Spartan teams is expected but disappointing. Side conversations during missions just aren't enough, frankly. I do think it captures the locales well - I felt like I was really exploring totally alien worlds a la Halo 1. Still, the environments feel a bit enclosed and not quite as open as Halo 1 / 3 were, too. In general I gotta say it feels great to me. I'm enjoying it. And it's a hell of a looker, so to speak.

    MP: The new movement options feel like an inevitable upgrade to be a "modern" shooter. Still, not disappointed. Feels great. Weapons feel like true Halo to me, and all have a unique purpose with only a few exceptions (really, who the hell would use that new Hydra rocket launcher?). The side to side boost is a real game changer...it's a bit harder to close out some kills now that it's in there. I'm sure they'll add more to Arena but for now slayer and the classic mode with CTF will have to do for me, a traditionalist. I think the new breakout mode is lame as hell, but Warzone is kinda neat. Extremely chaotic and has a bit of a "hot mess" quality to it if you are playing solo. The card system is...what it is? Very torn on that aspect of it. It changes the tactics a lot by not having to know weapon respawns. I'm torn on Warzone; I'll have to keep playing for a few months to know my thoughts for sure.

    Overall, all that really matters to me is: How in the fucking hell does the default BR not enhance zoom distance? Ugh.

    It's a great Halo game, in my opinion.

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    Tonic7

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    @nickhead: Just gave it a quick skim. His complaints about the revive system are accurate and fair if not a bit exaggerated. Frustrating, but I'm on Mission 9 and I've died maybe 5-10 times on heroic so far? Hasn't majorly affected my experience except on the awful bosses, which feel like an exception.

    I'm an admitted "Fanboy" (what a goddamn term) who is dedicated to the series, so keep that in mind. Yet he honestly compares the squad commands to those in Mass Effect 3. I mean...why? The squad commands here practically don't exist, but it also isn't an RPG at all (or claiming to be) and it's the first time they've tried it and etc. etc. It's a straightforward first person shooter that plays fine alone and is clearly anticipating co-op. The squad mates make ambient sound that adds to the action, and they change very little for me compared to another Halo campaign. That comparison alone is worthy of considerable debate.

    It's an interesting read, and especially odd considering how much of a "lore nerd" he considers himself to be. You'd think he'd forgive some of the terrible, terrible character development with both squads considering his background knowledge. I know nothing about the squads and found them to be kind of meh but at times interesting filler and that was...fine? How many characters in original Halo are truly that interesting? Much of his rhetoric reads like someone coming to the series expecting something it has never been. Did anyone expect the squad mechanics to be truly game-changing? Am I crazy expecting nothing from the teammates? I wanted a solid single player experience and I've found it in Halo 5. That's my quick take.

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    doctordonkey

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    This really feels like the Halo 2 of this new trilogy (4-6). In that the campaign feels disappointing, setting up the the narrative for the sequel and that's about it; and that the multiplayer is incredibly well put together and obviously the main draw. I've finished the campaign on Heroic and only put in about an hour or two into the multiplayer, but so far this very well might pass up Reach for my personal favourite Halo, and I really like Reach. Most of the reason being that the multiplayer is so great, because I really don't think this games' campaign holds a candle to Reach's.

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    nickhead

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    #16  Edited By nickhead

    @tonic7: Yeah I thought the whole thing came off just a bit whiny and that he was still upset about no couch co-op. Halo campaigns for me were more about those grand moments where the map opens up with battles raging on, so the more enclosed environments sounds a little disappointing too.

    I think that was his point though about the squad mechanics. You saying they practically don't exist, (but the entire game you switch between playing as squads), brings expectations of more freedom with controlling your AI characters. I personally wasn't considering this aspect for Halo 5 either and won't even engage in it once I get around to playing it - but I can see where he's coming from.

    Also not sure what he was expecting with interesting characters because that is definitely not how I'd describe anyone from past games in the series.

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    zombie2011

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    Multiplayer is right up there with Halo 2 and 3.

    I actually really like the Req system, it's a nice way to get some cosmetic changes without having to play for 100+ hours like in Halo: Reach. I've played quite a few Warzone matches and while it's not my go to game mode it's so much fun, looking forward to what they do in the future with that mode.

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    MaxMischi3f

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    Man, the boost is a huge game changer. It really changes how the game flows around cover. Once your shields drop, as long as you're within a boost length of a corner it's super easy to deny that last hit and live to fight another day. It's really great for dodging grenades, and melee hits.

    I really like the DMR and SMG in this one too. The DMR is a total beast and the SMG is the king of any sort of short range gunfight imo.

    Honestly, I even kind of like the hover. It's not super useful but sometimes it can give you a chance to jump just high enough to shoot over someone's cover to land those last couple hits to finish somebody off.

    The death from above slam is garbage though, it takes fooooooor ever to charge up.

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    MaxMischi3f

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    Oh, and the light grenade is amazing now. Drop it in a hallway to prevent someone from chasing you and laugh as you rack up an easy kill. I also like tossing them in the middle of or slightly behind someone you're in a gunfight with. Nine times out of ten they'll accidentally back up or circle strafe into the cloud of cluster bombs and kill themselves.

    However it's pretty easy to get a betrayal or two with them. :-/

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    mems1224

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    Man, the boost is a huge game changer. It really changes how the game flows around cover. Once your shields drop, as long as you're within a boost length of a corner it's super easy to deny that last hit and live to fight another day. It's really great for dodging grenades, and melee hits.

    I really like the DMR and SMG in this one too. The DMR is a total beast and the SMG is the king of any sort of short range gunfight imo.

    Honestly, I even kind of like the hover. It's not super useful but sometimes it can give you a chance to jump just high enough to shoot over someone's cover to land those last couple hits to finish somebody off.

    The death from above slam is garbage though, it takes fooooooor ever to charge up.

    Dude, I have killed sooooo many people with the Spartan slam. You can't just use it on someone who's looking right at you which is how it should be.

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    BoOzak

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    #21  Edited By BoOzak

    The capaign was fine, minus more than a few terrible boss fights and a shit ending. (Kind of like Halo 2 I guess) The multiplayer would be alright if they didnt replace BTB with Warzone, which feels like a bad version of Onslaught from UT. I also feel like none of the maps have much personality to them. The game does look good and play well and the matchmaking works well most of the time which is something. (to be expected from a first party AAA game but lest we forget TMCC) So yeah I'm not too thrilled so far.

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    mems1224

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    #22  Edited By mems1224

    @boozak said:

    The capaign was fine, minus more than a few terrible boss fights and a shit ending. (Kind of like Halo 2 I guess) The multiplayer would be alright if they didnt replace BTB with Warzone, which feels like a bad version of Onslaught from UT. I also feel like none of the maps have much personality to them. The game does look good and play well and the matchmaking works well most of the time which is something. (to be expected from a first party AAA game but lest we forget TMCC) So yeah I'm not too thrilled so far.

    BTB is coming before the end of the year I think.

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    Cav829

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    #23  Edited By Cav829

    I just finished the campaign, so I'll post my impressions:

    • I agree with everyone who says if you have any Halo experience whatsoever, just skip to Heroic. I think normal at this point is just to mess around with and have a Halo power fantasy, but it's also going to result in you picking up all kinds of bad habits if you go to higher difficulties or go into multiplayer. But if you want a fun power fantasy, normal is the way to go.
    • Locking the framerate at 60 FPS makes a huge difference, and every FPS on consoles should do this.
    • The changes to movement speed are good. I'm not sure they've quite figured out how to balance the weapons to adjust for those changes, but it's a step in the right direction.
    • The boss fights are just awful. People excusing how awful the Warden is kind of are being dismissive how many damn times you fight him and how lame he is. It feels like they came up with a tutorial boss, then just had you fight the same boss 5 or 6 times. On top of it, there's nothing fun or interesting about him. They just gave him an insta-kill attack with a really large hit radius. Considering how much effort and polish went into the game in other areas, this aspect of the game is maybe the single worst aspect of a Halo campaign I can recall. I want to call it near campaign ruining. By the time you do the four Warden fight in chapter 14, I was near ready to turn the game off. That was quite simply the single most unfun gaming experience I've had this entire year.
    • The overall story is a mess. The pacing is kind of herky jerky, and the awful antagonist, even by Halo standards, doesn't help. Your squad mates are just lame. Locke's team is a bit more interesting, but just a bit. Where the story is going is such well-worn sci-fi territory, and has been done much better in other works of sci-fi, so honestly it just felt like an excuse to turn Cortana into a villain than anything particularly interesting.
    • The strafe power is good, but I don't think I'm as impressed with the "change" it presents to the combat because it's similar to the power thrust ability from 4. Just not a lot of people seemed to use it because active camo, jetpack, and hologram were more popular. It is certainly a good change though.
    • I hope this is the last time we see the Covenant in campaign mode. I'm so done with fighting them, and narratively they don't belong in several spots they show up. I feel like them still being an enemy is an excuse to not change up the game's weapon set. Considering all the changes to movement speed and aim down sites, this was a great opportunity to really shake things up which was missed.
    • Your squad's AI is dumb as a bag of rocks. Considering the campaign feels balanced more for co-op than single player, I would compare this to not quite but almost Resident Evil 5 levels of getting frustrated with bad AI that the game seems to want you to depend on.

    I'm debating writing a full review with the caveat I've only played enough of the multiplayer to get some first impressions, because I've played this series enough to know you need a good couple dozen hours to really feel it all out, and I've only played maybe 15-20 hours so far between the full game and the beta Right now, I'd say call it more a 3 star campaign than a 4 because the Warden really hurts the game's replayability. I enjoyed the campaign despite all the criticisms listed above, but given the extra time 343 took to make this product, it is rather disappointing this isn't better.

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    shifty13

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    I like how the game ends though, the Halo universe changes dramatically which is a good basic story. The way 343 went about telling the story through Locke chasing Master Chief does not flow well, as you are essentially waiting for Locke to catch up to Master Chief to continue the major plot point of the game. If 343 just condensed Locke story down I think the game could have flowed better and had maybe more set up to the first mission of the game and whats going on in the Halo universe at large instead of hiding it all in other media.

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    mordi

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    For me, Halo 2 was the high-point in the Halo series. Mainly because of the multiplayer and the gameplay in general, but probably also because I was just the right age when it came out. My friends used to come over and we would play Halo 2, 3 vs 3. Even after Halo 3 came out, we stuck to Halo 2.

    I feel like Halo 1/2/3 and Reach nailed the basic things. The Bungie games had a great feedback loop in the shooting/gunplay mechanics which in my opinion has been lost since Halo 4. Thanks in large part to Max Hoberman (AFAIK) Halo 2 broke the mold when it comes to how a multiplayer lobby should be handled. This was further developed in Halo 3, which was more or less a masterpiece when it comes to building a solid and lively community. Because of how everything from grenades to projectiles was based on physics, Halo 3 felt like anything could happen. Like diverting a rocket using a gravity hammer, or throwing a grenade into a mancannon. Although Halo 2 was my favorite game, Halo 3 is "objectively" the best multiplayer Halo game in my opinion. I loved small things such as being able to access my friends-list in-game and seeing that my friends had two minutes left in a Team Slayer game, or being able to record my favorite moments of crazy stuff that happened in the Theater mode.

    Halo: MCC had one great idea, which was that you can instantly and easily switch between each of the games. But that meant that all those small things Bungie added into it, like how a lobby is handled, was thrown out in favor of a 343-made solution. In this particular case it was a disaster.

    Anyway, Halo 5 seems alright and fun, but it will never be as much fun (for me) as the high-points of Halo 2 and Halo 3.

    /rant

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    Nashvilleskyline

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    Before getting to the last 2 missions, I was really disapointed in the story. But I really like where they are taking the story. The ending was really good in my opinion.

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    csl316

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    #27 csl316  Online

    Halfway through the campaign now, and I'm enjoying it more and more as I go. The gameplay is superb, and the environments and combat encounters are constantly changing.

    Now that the story has me hooked, I'm very curious to see how it ends (as I tend to like controversial endings more than most).

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    ripelivejam

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    So what were the reasons for people not digging halo 4 multi?

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    Entreri10

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    So what were the reasons for people not digging halo 4 multi?

    Not sure, I really enjoyed the mp in Halo 4 it seemed like a step in the right direction as far as making it feel faster.

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    nickhead

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    @ripelivejam said:

    So what were the reasons for people not digging halo 4 multi?

    Not sure, I really enjoyed the mp in Halo 4 it seemed like a step in the right direction as far as making it feel faster.

    I enjoyed 4 as well, but I think the core fans were against the faster feel? I know I personally thought the game felt a lot more like Call of Duty when it first came out and it lost a little bit of what made Halo its own thing.

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    deactivated-629ec706f0783

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    @ripelivejam: A lot of it was the departure from classic Halo "weapons spawn at spots and controlling them is key" to COD style load outs, and instead of heavy weapons being scattered on the maps, they are rewards for kill streaks then dropped in when you request it.

    Most the people who had an issue with it were silly thought, the gun play and everything was still Halo ass Halo, and it was still very fun. I played a ton of Halo 4's multiplayer, and never had a bad time. That being said, I like the return to form of Halo 5's Arena mode, with placements of power weapons being map specific, and everyone starting with the same 2 guns. Makes battlefield control and denial of enemy equipment a valid strategy, instead of just running around shooting and hoping to call in a sweet ass gun.

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    deactivated-61665c8292280

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    Looks like there is a mechanical issue with the cursor movement/aiming in Halo 5. The lateral aiming acceleration jumps extremely suddenly before it ought to, as opposed to the gradual acceleration found in other Halo games and other shooters.

    VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmGc_rpjGzo

    AND there is extreme deceleration when moving the reticle diagonally back to neutral height. (Apparently, this is an issue only for Xbox One controllers with the 3.5 mm jack, for whatever reason.)

    VIDEO: http://xboxdvr.com/gamer/z0oinks/video/12468202

    According to a couple of verified 343i representatives on Reddit, the Halo 5 team is aware of the issues.

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    Cav829

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    #33  Edited By Cav829

    @ripelivejam: Here are as many of the complaints I can recall:

    • Health meter regenerates as opposed to earlier entries in the series where you needed to find health packs. Some felt this made it too easy to camp in certain spots and poke out from/hide in cover.
    • Continued complaints about abilities, which were introduced in Reach. Though let me add, nothing in 4 compares to the b.s. that was armor lock.
    • Loadouts and the idea of ranking up to unlock weapons/abilities for loadouts. In particular, you could default to an anti-vehicle loadout (plasma pistol and plasma grenades).
    • When it first came out, I remember people really didn't like some of the maps.
    • Some complained the added speed made it too "arcadey."
    • The point above about removing some of the importance with controlling certain spawn points.

    BTW: I enjoyed Halo 4's multiplayer a lot. I mean I played over 100 hours of it, so I better have.

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    woodek

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    #34  Edited By woodek

    The campaign was incredibly fun. No missions that I loathe and hate to play when they come up (I'm looking at you Halo 1, 2 and 3). Incredible vistas, great soundtrack that kicks in at just the right moments, and the game just feels so tight. The story was meh for sure though. I like the direction with Cortana, seems like they are trying to create a personal narrative and world ending narrative at the same time. But the actual story was bleh. Where is all the character building of chief's buddys? And the Locke's spartan friends are all boring except buck because Nathan Fillion. They should have let him just run the show like in the Taken King.

    Multiplayer however is just, wow. Like I've never played a shooter this great. Everything just feels perfect. The dedicated servers are incredible, the gunplay is incredible and really really balanced, I mean I'm picking up a storm rifle for christ sake in matches now. The maps look slightly boring, but their design is amazing. Only map I feel like should be addressed is Orion, its kind of a shitshow. And the ranking system is great. Every match I've played so far has been nail biting. So many 48-50s in team slayer, multiple people with 24's in free for all, all going for that last kill. I even had a breakout match where we went 4-0, and they came back to beat us 4-5. We all chatted afterwards and agreed it was a great match. Even warzone is pretty great, I had a match where we were 600-900, and we came back to 1000-996. We won by 4 points. It was a fucking incredible match. And I really like the armor customization, req pack stuff. Keeps my monkey brain going with the game.

    Here is some slight nitpicks however, which seem like they will be addressed soon:

    1. Social playlists: I would like a place to warm up in before I go into a ranked playlist. I mean I'm Platinum in Team Arena, Platinum 3 in team slayer, Diamond in breakout, and onyx in swat and free for all. Just jumping in there is kind of hard at the moment.

    2. Spawns and congestion in swat and free for all: Swat needs to have a slight respawn timer. Too many times can you respawn and then immediately get killed. FFA is a clusterfuck in some maps. Maybe drop the player count down to 6 or even 5 for each match.

    3. Map rotation: I've played orion 4 times in a row once. It was fine, every match was fun, but come on.

    4. Mythic and legendary items being one time use: If I ever get a mythic or legendary weapon I will never use it in warzone. Why? Because its a one time use. They are so incredibly rare, and yet you would only get a minute to use one if you are lucky. Seems stupid to put so much effort into these things, and have cool concepts for what these weapons do, just to have them disappear immediately. Either up the drop rate, stop them from being one time use, to being one time use per match with a higher energy count, and make them unlock the skins for the items too, so you could seem them in arena as well.

    Besides that, this is easily my favorite halo game of all time.

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