Warning: the content written here contains spoilers and rants. If you don’t want to be exposed to such things then do not proceed.
So as you can see, I have planned to review Halo 5 Guardians now that it is out there. I’ve been playing it for the past 2 weeks. What do I think, unfortunately this game doesn’t get an A like I may have given previous games like Transformers Devastation.
I wish I had more positive things to say about Halo these days, but that’s becoming more and more difficult as the franchise moves forward and that’s mainly because of the lack of diversity and general direction it is going. But I’m not going to get into that just yet. So…..
So just like I did with the last 4 games, I’ll talk about the story first, then the gameplay, and then I’ll go over highlights of things I liked the most. This time, the story isn’t really centered around Chief as much as I thought it would be. In summary, Fireteam Osiris is hunting Chief and Chief is trying to find Cortana. I am still trying to put pieces together. It starts off with Osiris defeating Jul Mdama, leader of the Covenant Remnant and then they eventually track where Chief is going to another place. There they meet Warden Eternal, keeper of the Domain and her secrets. (more about him later) Now it seems that Chief and Blue Team reach the Domain and discover Cortana is there and Warden doesn’t want anyone to reach her. While Osiris is still looking for Chief they’re keeping an eye on the Guardians including one that shows up on Sanghelios, so we get to see the Arbiter again!
I tried to look past the whole thing about being a Spartan on Sanghelios once we got there, but at the same time there were still some disappointments. There was a female Sangheili that you talk to on the comm named Mahkee Chava but she never makes an appearance in person. Huge disappointment, I’ve been waiting to see female Sangheili for years and now I feel like I’ve waited all for nothing. It was still good to see the Arbiter though, but also the other issue I have is that the battle at Sunaion seemed to go by too quickly.
Finally this is the worst thing that makes the story not as great as I thought it was going to be. When Chief finally finds Cortana, she tries to stop Warden from blocking access and becomes the antagonist. I thought Warden was going to be the antagonist, and now she declares that all AIs will inherit the Mantle of Responsibility. The problem I have with this is, first off why make her come back and be the villain? There are certain characters that you just can’t do that to. She had so much better character development in Halo 4 and it also gave proof that she wasn’t perfect. Second, it seems like she’s doing the exact same thing the Ur-Didact intended (minus composing humanity). You just can’t replace the Didact with her, and this makes me think, why bring in Warden and it’s almost as if the Didact’s role in the story now played no part. Like what the hell? That is once again proof how badly treated the Ur-Didact was by 343.
I mean, I would be have been perfectly fine with the story being more like the Ur-Didact is still the antagonist, and Warden Eternal serves him. It was completely wrong to make Cortana a villain, just because it is.
Two last things to point out about the story before I move onto the gameplay. 343 definitely still lacks diversity beyond humanity. For instance when you come to that refugee camp run by Sloan, all the civilians there have different looks, but when you meet Swords of Sanghelios they all wear the same armor and look just like the Elites in the Covenant Remnant. C’mon 343 give us some more variety to all species, not just the species that we are.
Finally, why doesn’t Blue Team have any character development like Osiris? Chief didn’t seem to have much character as he did in Halo 4. Even though Halo 4 was poorly received by most fans but on the bright side of it, Chief is more you know……human in it and I actually liked that game’s story despite the Ur-Didact’s bad portrayal (although he still had some exciting parts when he came along) and lack of screen time. We never got to see the faces of the rest of Blue Team either. It’s as if 343 expects us to already know them, but not all of us have read those books. I only read The Fall of Reach. I still remember Kelly, Linda and Fredrich; however I read it years ago so don’t expect me to remember it off the bat and inside out. Regardless, Blue Team should have received more character development.
Onto the gameplay, it’s very easy to get the wrong concept of the micro-transactions. Like I thought it was best to jump straight into gold REQ packs until some articles prove that if you want to get the rarest stuff, you have to start at the cheapest and work your way up. So that’s what I’m doing now even after I bought a few gold packs. I suggest what you do is buy a bunch of bronze and then go with silver for a while. I’m doing that now in fact.
Right now there’s not much to choose from in multiplayer due to, what I think, is incomplete. There’s no Forge and only competitive multiplayer modes to choose from. Arena contains your typical game modes like CTF, Slayer, and Strongholds. I find Strongholds to be quite fun actually. Then there’s Warzone which is like massive competition where 24 players in total, capture areas like in Invasion to reach your enemy team’s core, use REQs to give yourself a boost and deal with enemies entering the fray and you get points for them. Honestly, Warzone is just too much for me as it’s time consuming if you want to rack up commendations on Prometheans and the Covenant. I would much rather have a PvE Warzone like Firefight where you battle wave after wave of enemies and then there’ll be a boss like Warden or two Hunters. If you want to take down Warden in this game mode, be prepared for frustration as you’ll get more upset with the people that kill you to kill him instead of him killing you.
Why can’t we have Action Sack or some casual game modes, or create a custom Warzone game? That would make things more fun for the casual side of the community, but sadly, 343 only listens to what the competitive people want.
Warden Eternal is a badass that’s for sure. I absolutely adore his voice and can’t wait to find out who did it. The sword he carries around is awesome as well. The only problem is, he is very annoying to fight. It’s very easy to not miss that sword when he lunges it at you. He has a typical weak spot, which happens to be on his back and you know what that means: you have to do the Hunter dance with him. Know how you go up to a Hunter, get them to charge at you, sidestep when they swing so you can hit them on the back. Do the same thing with Warden, the only problem is he’s faster than a Hunter! Still, he’s a pretty cool mofo despite being used by Cortana. I would rather have him team up with the Didact. If that was how the story was, then I think it would be much better than it was. McFarlane, please make an action figure of Warden next year, I would be so happy if you did! When that comes out, it’s most likely I’ll go to the nearest EB Games or Toys R Us to get it, or wait until someone sells it on eBay or Amazon in mint condition for a reasonable price.
Well that’s pretty much all I have to say about Halo 5, and unfortunately this game only gets a C from me. There’s a lot that needs to be added to make it better, but that doesn’t stop me from playing the game. I mean, I’m already at SR14 so why stop there? Yesterday I had some pretty good matches in Arena, one of them being Strongholds where I got 10 kills and performed best at reversal (which is kill an opponent who shot you first). But I’ve always been that person in multiplayer who goes for the objective, assists others, distracts opponents, etc. instead of one who gets the most kills. Everyone’s different.
Alright, that’s it for now. I wish I could give this game a higher rate in my books but not this time, still there are some things I enjoy about it, and I hope to get my rank up higher than it did in Halo 4, improve my skills and snag some rare goodies, especially the Warden emblem and the Didact’s Signet scattershot!