Halo 5 Review

Written by Jake Tucker

November 9, 2015 | 09:34

Tags: #343 #fps #halo-5 #multiplayer #pew-pew #sci-fi #shooter

Companies: #microsoft

Halo 5 Review

Step away from the campaign however, and the game's multiplayer is strong as ever. Writing this review has been punctuated with several rounds of Free-For-All, even a quick trip to the pub where I enthused about the multiplayer with my bemused friend until it was acceptable to leave and play more.

The multiplayer is the type of lightning in a bottle that Call of Duty tried to capture with Advanced Warfare, with tense firefights, stunning plays and a real sense of mobility. There aren't many changes to the formula in the Arena playlists, although I've had a lot of fun with the one death and you're done Breakout mode.

The jetpack + mantle combo plays in here, bringing a lot more mobility to the game. This, combined with the ability to look down the sights of every gun in the game, creates an odd rhythm to the game. Looking down the sight slows you down, climbing slows you down. Like Burnout, Sonic and even Doom it's all about speed and this comes from momentum - losing your momentum makes you an easy mark for the other guys charging around the place.

Halo 5 Review

They both give you subtle advantages though. Slowing down to aim can let you put a bullet in a fleeing target, while clambering up onto a ledge can give you an advantageous position.

The real new addition to Halo's multiplayer is Warzone - poaching the best part of Halo's gameplay, bringing in a touch of the Battlefield series' conquest mode and rounding it off with a card based requisition system that is reminiscent of Titanfall's Burn Cards.

Somehow it feels better than the sum of its parts. Warzone is bigger, more expansive. Huge teams kick hell out of each other, and vehicles come into play. It feels like a great fit, although it's a very different game to the Arena multiplayer, transplanting the same frantic gunplay into a bigger space. NPC characters charge around protecting bases, with bosses spawning in occasionally to give you targets to aim for.

Halo 5 Review

It isn't going to be for everyone, but the fact Arena and Warzone are under separate headings means you can dabble as you wish. It's the most successful new addition to the game.

There's a big blow for local multiplayer though, as neither multiplayer nor the game's campaign mode allows split-screen play, something viewed as a series halllmark for a long time. It's not really a negative for the game, because it's impressive regardless, but it's an upset for people expecting a continuation of the feature.

The weapons across the board are a lot of fun although several in the same category are very similar - the storm rifle is the fast firing full auto laser weapon, the incinerator cannon is almost a spartan laser. This is okay, because due to the low amount of ammo you'll often have, you'll be using a lot of different guns. This is excellent because it means you're always changing weapons, getting your hands on new toys and pushing forwards.

The one new addition that really grates is the Spartan Charge- allowing you an instant kill even in multiplayer if you melee while charging - and it's airborne cousin, the Spartan Elbow, which allow you to crash to the ground, killing everything around you. Both of them feel suitably cheap, additions that add nothing but take away a lot of the smoothness.

All in all, it's the Halo game you were looking for and it's much better than you might have hoped. It looks good, performs well and the very occasional problems are just tiny wrinkles on Halo 5's hyper polished exterior.
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  • Overall
    85 / 100

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Overall 85%
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