Halo 5: Guardians is an ambitious statement by 343 Industries, proving to the world that it is not afraid to make big changes to the Halo universe or potentially risk alienating core franchise fans, for better or worse.
Campaign mode has been designed for co-op play, and is centred around two teams: Master Chief and his Spartan Blue Team, and newly minted Spartan Jameson Locke and his Fireteam Osiris. Chief is on the trail of Cortana, so Locke and Osiris are sent to haul him back, but things aren’t so simple. Guardians‘ story is good but has serious pacing issues throughout, it’s well-written but your extended time with Locke is nowhere near as interesting as the Chief’s journey.
It’s certainly entertaining to play through with friends, and thanks to the new suit abilities it’s a good laugh too. Fighting the remains of the Covenant and the Prometheans is every bit as fun as ever, with smart level design and challenging scenarios. Perhaps the only downside to combat is the reappearance of a frustrating boss throughout the final missions.
Warzone is also a fantastic new addition to multiplayer, adding layers of additional objectives for large pitched 12-v-12 battles, with progressive weaponry unlocked the deeper into a match you get. That ties into the controversial new REQ system, which turns multiplayer weapons into random cards you buy with points. Thankfully, this is only tied to Warzone, leaving Arena mode free for traditional multiplayer matches.
Halo 5: Guardians isn’t the best Halo game, but it goes a long way towards fixing issues many had since Bungie left the series.