So with Halo 5: Guardians coming up to 9 months old I thought it would be a good time after all the initial buzz, fanboy love and critical reviews to sit down and give my thoughts on the game. Oh and to warn you in advance I will be discussing some major spoilers to the plot so if you haven’t played the game yet or at least haven’t got to the final levels then stop reading and go and complete it.
I purchased the Limited Collectors Edition of Halo 5 back in November just short of a month after it’s initial release. Primarily got that specific edition because I wanted the statue that came with it and I have to say it was pretty impressive. The detail put into it is spectacular.
Before I had got the game I had been keeping as up to date as I could with the Hunt The Truth podcast series which focussed on the uncovering the truth about Halo’s main protagonist Master Chief a.k.a Spartan John 117 which spanned from his origins to the main set up in Halo 5’s advertising which was Master Chief supposedly being a traitor. I was hooked since they started marketing the idea, I mean it’s always a risk to suddenly change the identity of a character you’ve spent most of your life growing up with. However I always like a good twist in a story. When I finally got hold of Halo 5 on Xbox One and started playing through the campaign I was enjoying it but was really struck by the shortness of the levels. With 15 levels in total (roughly the same amount in Halo 2) and 3 of them being ones where you don’t even fight, you just walk around talking to people I found myself not wanting to carry on playing the main Campaign mode so quickly. However for the sake of writing my thoughts about the Campaign I’ll continue writing rather than splitting several times between different parts of the game. Now to spoil it slightly there is no real mention of Master Chief being a traitor as portrayed in the Hunt The Truth series and confused me a lot. The only hint of him being a traitor is the fact that he and the rest of Blue Team (Fred, Linda & Kelly) go on a mission to find Cortana and disobey orders from high command. I am now left wondering why Hunt The Truth is there now but also whether elements of it will play into Halo 6 or any other future Halo titles.
Now the big thing which has caused a lot of controversy among the fanbase is Cortana returning as a villain restored by Forerunner sci-fi timey wimey things????? (I understand it… kind of). So I didn’t really have much of a problem with this twist, as much as I love Cortana as a character I think this is an interesting development and really leaves a lot of interesting conflict between her and Master Chief which I hope is expanded on a lot more in Halo 6. I do remember at the end of the Spartan Ops campaign in Halo 4 it sets up Dr. Halsey teaming up with Jul M’dama of the Covenant to cause trouble but I have read that it got resolved during the Halo Escalation comic series which I have yet to read.
One thing I was actually pretty miffed about was like most Halo fans the lack of Master Chief missions. As much as I found Spartan Locke an interesting character I wanted to play more as Chief himself. It sadly has left a lot of what Blue Team could have been doing out while playing as Fireteam Osiris so unless they release a comic series to tie up loose ends or explain it in a new game I just have to guess from here.
So overall the campaign I thought was good story wise, not perfect but good. I liked some of the new gameplay mechanics which are similar to Call Of Duty and liked the graphics and environments, especially Genesis.
I guess I could write about the multiplayer but I think that deserves a separate post on it’s own. Until then I recommend picking up Halo 5: Guardians but just don’t be surprised if you think you’ve rushed through the campaign in like 1 hour.