It has arrived. After what has felt like a very, very long wait Halo 5 Guardians is here and I’ve been playing it at pretty much every opportunity I have since launch. I haven’t completed the game yet, but I’ve put in a decent amount of time to get a good feel for the game so I thought I would give you a quick overview of my first impressions of what Halo 5 Guardians is like. Beware there may be some minor spoilers, but I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible.
As of right now, I’ve complete 6 of the 15 missions available in a little under 2 hours 30 minutes. I know that some people have had some gripes with the length of the campaign, but personally any single player FPS campaign that starts to go over 10 hours I feel usually starts to drag. As it stands it’s looking like I will finish in around 7 hours, which I think isn’t too bad a time – as I know I will always go back to play on higher difficulties and to collect all the skulls etc…
How is the campaign so far? Chief and Blue team are on the hunt for Cortana and as a result have gone AWOL. Locke and Team Osiris are tasked with bringing Blue Team back in. That’s the essentials of what’s going on. Sure, there is more to it than that, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
A lot has changed in terms of how the game plays from the previous Halo games, it’s instantly noticeable that the gameplay is a lot faster and more fluid with the addition of sprinting and the use of a booster pack that allows you to dash small distances. There is also the addition of aiming down sights (ADS) with all the guns – something that a lot of Halo fans didn’t want, or weren’t that happy to hear about. For me, I like the additions, sometimes with previous Halo games I would find it to be a little slow in places and I just wished I could run faster – now I can. With regards to the ADS, in most situations it doesn’t really give you any advantage and you can be just as accurate with hip fire, so I don’t have a problem with it at all. Plus you’re still knocked out of ADS when you get hit, so most of the time it’s easier to hip fire.
The missions I’ve played so far really have a great Halo feel to them. One early level in particular reminding me of the final escape missions from Halo Combat Evolved and the Halo 3 escaping the unfinished Halo ring. They certainly give me a lot of nostalgia which I love. As for the rest of the missions, they have been pretty varied so far with open battlefields, tight interior corridors, a few epic set pieces and a number of vehicle sections that I feel Halo is pretty well renowned for. All in all it’s been great fun and having the extra team mates accompanying you along that way has been a nice change too. Sure it’s made it a little easier, but the added personality from the other characters, I feel brings something more to the game – with Buck (Nathan Fillion) being a particular favourite of mine so far.
I can easily see myself playing through the campaign multiple times – as I’ve done with all Halo games, so that has to be a win right?
Visually at times it looks stunning, but then the next minute it can look pretty run of the mill. Personally graphics aren’t the be all and end all so it doesn’t really bother me that much. But I guess seeing the same amount of polish throughout the whole game would’ve been nice. The sound track and sound effects though, that’s a whole different story, they’re superb – as they always are. The score picks up in epic proportions right when you’d expect it too and hit’s all the right notes at the right time.
I’ve also been dabbling in the multiplayer – mostly Warzone at the moment, I have to say, it is fantastic fun. The Warzone maps are big, but not too big with the perfect balance of numbers of playing and AI characters. What I love most about Warzone is that you have multiple ways to win the game. You can capture objectives and defend them, or you can go after the number of AI bosses that pop up during the round. It is a great balance between PVP and a little of PVE thrown in. But with the PVE side of it, there is always that chance that an enemy team mate could come along and scupper your plans, it’s just another thing to think about and keep you on your toes.
I’m sure that I will be sinking a lot of hours in to Warzone over the next few months and beyond.
The only other multiplayer mode I’ve played so far was Team death match. To be honest, there isn’t really much to say about it, it’s TDM… Just like you’d expect.
To many games have been releasing lately with multiplayer issues, whether it be lag or server issues, but thankfully my multiplayer experience with Halo 5 so far has been seamless. No lag in games, and minimal waiting times to get in to games. Successful launch I’d say – and after the Master Chief Collection 343i needed a smooth launch.
All in all, Halo 5 Guardians has lived up to what I was hoping for.