By Alexander Cole
Halo 5: Guardians has been Microsoft’s most hyped up game ever since releasing the Xbox One in November of 2013. The game was hyped for good reason because Halo 5 is one of the best games of the new generation of consoles.
Just minutes into starting up the campaign, the game treats you to some of the best graphics available on consoles to date. The visuals are crisp and refined all while running at a smooth 60 frames per second. Character models look extremely realistic and animations feel fluid with drops in framerate few and far between.
Aside from beautiful visuals, the gameplay throughout the campaign is extremely fun and challenging. While playing the game on normal difficulty, I felt myself experiencing the same struggles I would have if I were playing on the heroic difficulty in one of the previous games. The difficulty spikes are annoying at times but make the player think fast and find new strategies which is something the Halo franchise has been lacking. Much of the game’s difficulty is attributed to the new class of enemies and the game’s new villain.
All of the levels are unique and provide the players with gorgeous landscapes to explore. One drawback to the level design is that much of it is linear. The game forces you to take one specific road to the objective. However, there were a few times where there were multiples angles to complete the objective.
While the game’s story is quite intense and compelling, there were many times where the plot was left unexplained and characters were left uncharacterized. Due to the lack of characterization, I felt myself not caring that much about Master Chief’s new teammates. The same could be said for the members of Spartan Team Osiris.
Despite these little indiscretions, the campaign is simply incredible. The story takes the gamer into a brand new direction and provides one of the most compelling twists for those who have followed the game sinceHalo 1. The last third of the game makes up for the lack of development in the first two.
Halo 5 also excels in multiplayer. Ever since Halo: Reach, fans have been asking for a multiplayer experience that resembles Halo 3’s more simplistic style of gameplay. Those who wanted that will not be disappointed as 343 has brought back Arena slayer. The game mode starts you off with an assault rifle and a magnum. Then, it’s up to the player to control the power weapons and dominate the game.
For those who want a whole new take on Halo multiplayer, Warzone is the way to go. This 12v12 game mode is some of the most fun I have ever had with a Halo game. The Requisition pack system is extremely intuitive and doesn’t provide anybody with an unfair advantage. The gameplay in this mode is fast and fluid while also adding strategic elements into the mix.
Another great aspect about the multiplayer is that games are easy to find. The matchmaking process takes only seconds and I have not experienced any lag as of yet which has been a problem for Halo servers in the past.
With some of the best graphics and gameplay you could ask for, Halo 5 is a must buy for any Halo fan or Xbox One owner. I give it a 9/10.