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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.

    My thoughts on the competative map design...

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    bluefish

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    I'm not nuts about it. I'm finding two things to become clear.

    1) They're not clear, visually. I have a very hard time in a lot of maps immediately assessing where I am and what direction I'm facing. It's a problem and it relates to the somewhat 'labyrinthine' approach they've taken with a lot of the maps this time around. Eg. the new version of Midship is one of the most visually muddled in the game and despite being a damn circle I have a very hard time identifying where the conflict is taking place and how to get there. To contrast this with classic Midship, it was designed with clean lines, a clear sense of space and paths around the space are easy to recognize by virtue of that.

    2) They are friggin labyrinthine while still wildly open. The number of paths and sight-lines are SO numerous it's hard to identify where a threat is and what actions it might take. This is frustrating and undercuts what made Halo games as tactical as they were, which is the importance of territory control. When you're accessible from 3 to 6 vantage points almost no matter where you are it forces constant movement/adaptation. Now that sounds like a good thing until I realized it's not adaptation based on control, placement or tactics, but based on lack of information and simply trying to catch someone unaware. It's further highlighted by this being the longest range/most precision aiming focused Halo game to date.

    In all previous games it was pretty damn hard to reliably catch people unaware. Spaces were clear, spacious at times and had easily identifiable sight-lines. That is very much not the case in Halo 5. I've found too much success comes from hyper aggressive play with no tactical thought.

    As people play more and more these problems will be managed more, but I feel they're too core to the map design to really be ironed out by smart play and map knowledge alone. It's a real bummer.

    Anyway. Overall I do like the game. Not every map suffers from this stuff and the new features (clamber, boost thing) are very cool and keep things fresh. ADS I could take or leave, it does increase accuracy but being hit takes you out of it super fast. So yeah. I hope I jive with these maps as time go on but they are grating on me at the moment.

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    zombie2011

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    I think these maps are right in line with the Bungie maps. Like all games once you get used to a map navigating it will become easier.

    Besides the symmetrical maps I can't think on any maps in the Halo games that are not as "labyrinthy" as the ones in Halo 5.

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    Pontron

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    I've been playing well as of late. The only map I can't seem to connect with is fathom. But its so important to get those power weapons and try to hold the high ground

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    handlas

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    The Breakout maps are my fav. Small so I dont get lost and the symmetry makes it balanced imo.

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    mems1224

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    @pontron said:

    I've been playing well as of late. The only map I can't seem to connect with is fathom. But its so important to get those power weapons and try to hold the high ground

    Yea, Im not a fan of Fathom either. Whoever controls the rail gun wins the map because they have the power weapon and the elevation.

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    csl316

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    The handful I've played have felt... I wanna say over-designed. You can tell they've been playtested to all hell. The complexity leads to a lot of depth, but it'd be nice to have a few simpler maps that are easy to grasp.

    Of course, the more I play the more I'll learn. Presumably the more I'll enjoy.

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    Steadying

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    I just don't like many of the maps from a visual standpoint. In fact, the only one I like is the weird wireframe-y one. Most of them just boring to look at. In fact, I swear one of them is just ripped straight from Blacklight: Retribution, that's how dull they all look. A distinct lack of big, outside forest-y type areas.

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    mems1224

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    I just don't like many of the maps from a visual standpoint. In fact, the only one I like is the weird wireframe-y one. Most of them just boring to look at. In fact, I swear one of them is just ripped straight from Blacklight: Retribution, that's how dull they all look. A distinct lack of big, outside forest-y type areas.

    i completely agree with that. too many industrial or forerunner map designs. we need more skyboxes!

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    huntad

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    Yeah, the maps are ugly and complex. I know they made them so topsy-turvy because of the clamber and boost features, but that further makes me wish that sprint, and side boost were not added. I miss the simpler map design from the original Halo and Halo 2. They added so much stuff and fundamentally changed the pace of the series. I'm convinced that a simple map would render the new features useless, and complex maps (like those in the game) are just too involved to have a nice, smooth flow. It's just a cluster-fuck..

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    csl316

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    #11  Edited By csl316

    Played a couple hours tonight and again, wasn't feeling them. The designs just don't have a lot of personality, both visually and layout-wise. Just compare Battle Creek to Prisoner to Hang Em High to Side Winder and Blood Gulch. All distinct with their own look and feel. I've played about 20 matches now and I still don't recognize a single level when the name pops up. It's all a blur.

    On top of that, it seems if I shoot a guy 2 or 3 times, he can just hide behind a wall before death. Stuff just constantly blocks your line of sight, leading to a lot of cat-and-mouse. Also leading to frustration.

    And as far as Warzone goes, I played 3 games and they were all in the same area. Is there just one map in the hopper at the moment?

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    huntad

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    @csl316: I've played the same map in arena 4 times in a row. When it came up for a fifth time, I dashboarded. The rotation is complete garbage right now. Not only that, but the amount of maps per mode are incredibly low. I've played 5 maps in slayer. That's it. It makes Battlefront's amount of maps seem very generous. As for the level design, yeah, it's not great. You're right about there being way too much cat and mouse. It's unbearably frustrating having to chase down every single kill because he/she sprinted/dashed/clambered away. Like I've said a bunch of times, Halo had a certain pace and now it's ruined.

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    Quipido

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    #13  Edited By Quipido

    Interesting, I am planning to get this game maybe sometimes next year (with the console) and I wonder if at that point it will be that much more impebetrable for me to join and be competetive at the multiplayer..? Looks like players benefit a lot from learning the maps. Oh well.

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    csl316

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    @quipido: I mean, I didn't play for two days and people got way better. Halo people will always get really good, but there's always a more casual player base that'll make it fun. So there should be lower-ranked players in matchmaking that you can hang with, especially if they keep supporting it with free maps.

    If you buy it in 2016 and play some Big Team Battle, you'll have fun. If you're trying to hit top ranks, then you'll probably be left behind.

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    Skytylz

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    #15  Edited By Skytylz

    @csl316: Yeah, they really need some unranked playlists that are more casual. Not really a playlist available to just mess around in. BTB will help at least.

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    Tonic7

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    #16  Edited By Tonic7

    @csl316: Could not agree more. All of the maps feel like they were picked apart by pros over and over and over (which, according to their vidocs, they were). It really shows. I don't think it makes them any better, honestly. Just muddled in a lot of instances.

    I'm thinking back to some classic maps like Beaver Creek, The Pit, and Lockout. Nothing in Halo 5 feels as good so far. Those were clean, simple, well-designed maps. I guess Coliseum is kinda almost there but it has about 4 layers high and feels too "squished."

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    Spitznock

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    #17  Edited By Spitznock

    @skytylz said:

    @csl316: Yeah, they really need some unranked playlists that are more casual. Not really a playlist available to just mess around in. BTB will help at least.

    ^^^ I second this. I don't always want to worry about rank, but I don't always want to play Warzone, either.
    As for the topic though: These aren't my favorite multiplayer maps by any stretch, but I think they're fine.

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    Nashvilleskyline

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    I've mostly played Slayer for about 12 hours in the last 2 weeks:
    I love the maps. They all mostly feel different and the different weapons spawns brings a lot of point of different points of interest in all the maps. They look and sound really great, especially the underwater and the metro station levels. The are small enough that you can get in the action in less than 10 seconds, there is a lot of interesting verticality creating nice opportunities for the new abilities such as ground and pound etc.

    Love it so far!

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    bluefish

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    For the record, I'm still really not liking most of the map design. Even after learning the layouts there are still far, far too many sightlines to almost any spot. I realize it's my opinion that says I don't care for it.

    Combine this with the (continued) direction of Halo 5 to move to more precision (fine aim required, quicker kills, longer distance firefights) style of play and that style of sightline-rich map design is only amplified.

    I loved the multiplayer in every Halo game. Literally I've been a big Halo fan since 2002 and have been happy to roll with changes in the series. Typically I love the campaigns and the 4v4. But Warzone is pretty fuckin bad in a lot of ways (see the Bombcast for a summation of my thoughts) and the 4v4 is the most twitchy, least tactical version of the game so far.

    Combining this with the questionable story/presentation elements in the campaign... I think this Halo game changed one too many things. And I don't know if I like it very much...

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    Nashvilleskyline

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    @bluefish: Sad to read that... it's the most fun I've had in a multiplayer game since Bad Company 2. My gamertag is Lynx67 if you ever want to play some slayer at some point.

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