Halo 5: Guardians is as near perfection that I have experienced in any of the Halo games. 343 Industries, the currently in charge of the Halo franchise, has taken the strong aspects of the games before and crafted one of the most amazing games I have ever played on any console. With excellent weapons, creative maps, and a new intense multiplayer mode, called War Zone, they created something that doesn’t lose interest as a gamer.
The game mechanics of Halo 5: Guardians is impressive taking several aspects of the franchise and learning what works and what doesn’t from other games. Everything feels polished and smooth to the touch and never feels out of place or weird. 343 also added a few new features including Spartan charge and ground pound which you will find yourself doing as often as possible because of how cool it feels and looks on your screen.
The only problem I had with Halo 5: Guardians is the story. Make no mistake 343 Industries has created a huge story around the game, but if you haven’t followed the other layers of the story you may become lost. The cover art and ads leading to the launch also makes it feel that Halo 5: Guardians is about both Master Chief and Spartan Jameson Locke but that isn’t the case. For the first time the story of Halo 5: Guardians is not about the Master Chief but instead it is about Locke and his fire team. Roughly 80% of the missions during the campaign is Fireteam Osiris, which never really sells the idea themselves as leads of the story. Locke and his team never really appear to have a desire or want of anything but instead simply want to complete the mission.
This concept of completing the mission isn’t a sign of weak character it is the sign of a soldier. Living next to a major Army installation I have seen the issues that expand when a soldier decides to desire his mission to benefit himself instead of focusing on the mission at hand. This aspect of the story stays true to its military roots and I’m happy it was included in the story. The Fireteam Osiris stays true to their military roots of real soldiers.
Blue team on the other hand isn’t flushed out in the story. To understand exactly who they are, you have to delve into the Halo lore. If you read the novel Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund or if you purchased the Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition or the Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition you received the new Fall of Reach animated film series. Either of those options will give you a great understanding of the members of the Blue Team. A lot of critics hate this aspect of the game, but I love it. I love the idea of expanding a game I enjoy outside of the console. It creates a deeper and richer game that if you are prepared before it starts leads for an amazing game.
In the past when you think about the Halo franchise, you always have to think about multiplayer. Halo 5: Guardians may be the greatest online multiplayer game I have ever played. It combines so many different aspects into a solid game that keeps you wanting to play on. One main reason, besides the game mechanics, is the addition of War Zone. War Zone is an intense online gameplay that adds every aspect of Halo into one massive map and truly goes to war. After spending hours playing War Zone I can’t think of many things wrong with it. It is creative and the perks system in place allows you to bring in massive weapons and vehicles when you need them the most.
In the end, Halo 5: Guardians is hard to simply call a game. If Halo: The Master Chief Collection was considered 343 Industries love song to the franchise, Halo 5: Guardians is the love song to the gamers who have loved Halo since the beginning and stayed truth to the franchise. That love from the team at 343 is felt throughout the game and is witnessed in every aspect of the game and stories leading up to it.