Halo 5: Guardians doesn’t disappoint

Master Chief returns to save the universe, but this time he’s the hunted

The Spectrum

Game: Halo 5: Guardians Review

Grade: A-

Studio: 343 Industries

To the joy of many fanboys and gamers, Halo 5: Guardians finally hit stores last Tuesday and did not disappoint.

With a beefed-up campaign longer than any before, it’s more fun with friends – as long as you all have an Xbox One console.

The fifth installment of Xbox’s titan series Halo 5: Guardians shows Master Chief in a position in which he’s rarely seen. Intent on saving the universe, he’s hunted by Spartan Locke and his four-man team of Spartans. With redesigned gameplay, it can be a bit rocky getting into the groove of the controls but once you get past that, you’ll have a hard time putting the game down.

Now before actual gameplay, you’ll be heartbroken to know there is no local play for the game. In other words, only one person is playing Halo per console.

Albeit, this is something that made Halo the favorite it is. It’s not an issue that will cause you to lose sleep with the new content and features that have been added.

With a 16-mission campaign, it’s easy to be drawn into the Halo universe, but this time you have a team of Spartans to watch your six.

His generation one Spartan family Frederic, Linda and Kelly – who make up the blue team – aids Master Chief. Edward Buck, an ODST member from Halo 3: ODST, played by Nathan Fillion in image and voice, Vale and Tanaka – the red team – back up Spartan Locke.

Throughout the campaign you switch between both teams.

With the added ability to be revived or revive your teammates, the battles can continue much longer – but that doesn’t mean the AI hasn’t changed much. AI this time around has seen a huge upgrade in both power and strategy, even on heroic difficulty. You will find yourself cut down quickly if you’re not careful.

You aren’t given new weapons as there are no new factions – you’re still facing the covenant and the prometheans – but the flood are nowhere to be found, eradicated in the Halo 3.

There are new armor abilities though – you get thruster pack jumps as a permanent addition – hovering while aiming down sights and a Spartan push that kills or breaks down most walls while sprinting.

The plot is an elaborate goose chase, with Locke’s red team chasing the Chief and Chief’s blue team chasing Cortana, who’s cured rampancy but has a new contingency plan for the universe.

Not to give too many spoilers for the end, but it’s readily obvious that there will be another one – there is no closure in its ending. Although, we are given a plethora of extra information in terminals and data pads strewn across the campaign.

We see online multiplayer for Halo 5 cut down with only six Arena game types comprised of team slayer and other objective-based games, but what is taken away in variety, we’re given warzone.

Warzone is a mixture of taking and holding bases, protecting reactor cores and fighting off formidable AI, all wrapped into 24-player hellstorm.

The gametype also doesn’t leave guns and vehicles lying around the map, so you can build up an arsenal of requisitions, which you can access in bases. To keep the game steadily growing in intensity, your performance will up your security clearance in-game, giving you access to your better guns and vehicles.

Overall, Halo 5 proves that the franchise can still put out quality product without compromising too much of what made the game immensely popular in the beginning. The campaign is immensely better with improved AI, giving great backup but even more competitive enemies. Warzone proves to be the most popular of gametypes, putting old school favorites such as team slayer and capture the flag in the shadows.

Kenneth Kashif Thomas is an arts desk editor and can be reached at kenneth.thomas@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KenUBSpec.