Released on October 27, 2015, Halo 5: Guardians has received critical acclaim for its outstanding graphics and gameplay. The “Warzone” mode has been praised by gamers and its online co-op campaign mode is being commended for. The lack of a split-screen functionality and an incoherent story is being criticized.
The first-person shooter video game is developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios. The game is the flagship franchise for Xbox since its inception in 2001. Halo 5 is the ninth addition to the Halo franchise. It is the second chapter in the Reclaimer Saga and furthers the exciting story of the Master Chief.
Halo 5: Guardian brings together the largest cast of characters that any Halo game has ever seen before with new and returning characters. Spartan II super-soldier, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 returns to Halo 5 as its primary protagonist. He is reunited with his Spartan-II unit – Blue Team. The team comprises Kelly-087 who is known for her incredible speed, CQB specialist Frederic-104 who is John’s second in command and Linda-058 who is the best sharp shooter in UNSC.
The game also features a second playable protagonist, Spartan Jameson Locke who is on the mission to find the Master Chief preceding the disappearance of the Blue Team and an unexpected attack over several colonies. The Fireteam Osiris accompanies Locke on his mission. The team includes Spartans Edward Buck-a veteran ODST trooper, Army engineer Holly Tanaka and Olympia Vale who is a Navy translator.
While Halo 4 saw the destruction of Cortana, in Halo 5, the grieving Master Chief receives a cryptic message from Cortana claiming that she has survived with the help of forerunner technology and is situated on planet Meridian. Disobeying all orders, John and his team set out to look for Cortana.
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Spartan Jameson Locke is ordered to look for the Master Chief and his team. After a series of cataclysmic events, John and Cortana finally reunite on the Forerunner planet Genesis where Cortana discloses that the Forerunner technology may have made her immortal.
The Blue Team soon finds out about Cortana’s unpredictable nature and her aim to achieve Galactic peace through coerced disarmament. Cortana imprisons the Blue Team in a Cryptum to avoid interference from them. Fortunately, Osiris manages to take the Cryptum from her before she departs and returns to Sanghelios with the Blue Team.
In Halo 5: Guardians, gameplay enhancements known as Spartan abilities replace the armour abilities which include:
- Thruster Pack – It is an enhanced version of previous thruster packs, and players can get an extra lift to their jumps from it.
- Ground Pound – While players are in the air they can slam down on the ground generating a shockwave.
- Slide – The print function from previous games continue, and players can use their momentum to slide along the ground.
- Smart Scope – This is an introduction to the Halo series where players can zoom in with weapons for accuracy. The feature is purely cosmetic for non-scope weapons.
The players gain a faster tempo with these Spartan abilities although aiming at enemies may become slightly challenging.
The heads-up display has returned in Halo 5, it was removed in Halo 4, so players can find out which weapons they have but are not using. There is no LAN support or split-screen support for this game and only X-Box Live account holders can play co-op.
The story of Halo 5 is deeply shrouded as it is only the second chapter to the Reclaimer Saga. The game focuses on the development of characters to strengthen the story line. While we already have a closer look into Master Chief’s history from Halo 4, the latest game helps us delve into his character through the perspective of outsiders.
Agent Locke is another character that gains much attention in the game. He was the star of Halo: Nightfall web series.
Halo 5: Guardians also brings new planets and locations to the gamers. The two separate team of players available for the gamers makes it even more interesting. The attempt of Locke’s team to hunt down the Blue team brings remarkable action to the game.
eSports tournaments held by Major League Gaming have featured previous Halo games and Halo 3 is considered to be the best competitive game with its outstanding gameplay.
Microsoft and 343 Industries have developed Halo 5: Guardians with competition in mind enhancing the gameplay capabilities and creating powerful characters. Microsoft had also announced the “Halo Championship Series” in 2014.
The intensity of the plot and the challenges of the gameplay make Halo 5: Guardian a thrilling addition to the Halo series. Gamers are bound to enjoy the new additions and explore the campaigns.
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Header image credit: “Halo wars-combat” by Source.