GSY REVIEW | Xbox One Monday, October 26, 2015 | 8:01 AM

We reviewed Halo 5: Guardians

We reviewed Halo 5: Guardians

After completing the campaign of Halo 5: Guardians in heroic mode on our own (despite one co-op mission along the way) and after playing both Arena and Warzone modes in multiplayer, we can now tell you what we think about 343 Industries' new game. Again, we're sorry we haven't had the time and patience to translate the full review for you guys, but we hope the few videos we've added and the usual verdict and +/- section will suffice.

Verdict


Halo 5: Guardians is both the true descendant of its predecessors and a major step forward in terms of change in that 343 Industries managed to make Halo gameplay much more dynamic than it's ever been before. Everything the fans love about the series has been included: the vehicles (with a new one in the package), the more open environments (though not all of them are), the intense combat against multiple enemies (and English-speaking Grunts), the fantastic soundtrack, etc. It all screams Halo and it's really what we wanted the game to be in so many respects. That being said, hardcore fans will have to accept that some things had to change. There is a lot more verticality to the level design, which implied to have more agile and faster Spartans, and it all works very well, not just in the campaign, but also in multiplayer. Sure, Halo 5 could have looked even better, especially if the devs had decided to stick to 30 fps instead of 60, but hey, why should we complain because we have a perfectly smooth framerate? Even though we needed a bit too much time to really get sucked into the story, even though the ending left us a bit frustrated, it doesn't really matter because we have finally gotten the big epic battles we'd been longing for. Took you long enough huh Chief?


On the plus side


+ Smooth as butter
+ Some beautiful landscapes
+ Amazing soundtrack and sound design
+ Gameplay is fun
+ Level design is top notch
+ 4 player-co-op
+ The full cinematic experience
+ Higher stakes as the story goes
+ The next episode should be interesting
+ We want to know what happens next!
+ Dynamic and promising multiplayer
+ Longevity (multiplayer)


On the down side


- Concessions have been made for steady 60 fps
- Far away enemies are animated at 30 fps
- A few pop-up issues.
- Environments could be a bit more varied
- Covenant are too static
- Fighting the same boss over and over again
- Tank sequences are boring (always have been in every possible game)
- 3 missions out of 15 are not real missions
- Heroic mode is much easier with AI reviving you
- Campaign is rather short
- Requires to know the Halo universe (books and series included)
- Neither split screen (co-op/multiplayer) nor bots (multiplayer)

Co-op - Gameplay 1
Co-op - Gameplay 2
Co-op - Gameplay 3
MC - 1
MC - 2 - SPOILER
More Osiris 1
More Osiris 2
FPS Analysis
Warzone Assault - Array
Warzone - March on Stormbreak
Warzone - Escape from ARC
Warzone - FPS Analysis

All comments

Commented on 2015-10-26 08:34:54
which vids are safe to watch? or just the tagged contains spoiler?
Commented on 2015-10-26 08:37:07
I just read that the higher the difficulty option, the more (mini-) boss fights. Maybe at lower difficulty settings, you have to fight fewer bosses?
Commented on 2015-10-26 09:27:47 In reply to mbalazs
There are no story related spoilers except in the tagged video (where only an objective appears and can be considered a spoiler - for those who know nothing about the main plot). Note that all the reviews will talk about it, and the trailers may already have, it's just that we really wanted to say absolutely nothing about the story.
Commented on 2015-10-26 09:36:42 In reply to Driftwood
Great, thank you! Watching time then :)

By the way, that's why I try to avoid reviews, nowadays many of them containing spoilers. Good to hear that you are doing it right :)
Commented on 2015-10-26 10:34:48
Pre-ordered/loaded the game last night, excited to plow through the coop campaign with some friends. Also really interested in the warzone multiplayer since I apparently suck at twitch shooters now with my older age.
Commented on 2015-10-26 11:17:39
Short campaign? What the fuck...and here i thought the campaign was at least gonna be a lot longer than 4, which already was a quite decent length in my book. Would you say it's just as long as 4 or shorter actually? That would shock me.

Disappointing to read about static Covenant.
Commented on 2015-10-26 11:28:56 In reply to Moonwalker
It felt a tad shorter but it could be the same. It's just that it feels as if the story unfolds too fast.
Commented on 2015-10-26 11:30:44
I almost completely agree with this review except for the thing about bots. Facing bots solely in multiplayer doesn't seem... fun.

Did you guys feel that some cutscenes should have been gameplay? There were quite a few that I thought should have been and it almost felt lazy on the part of 343.

Playing with competent AI squad mates sucks the fear and tension out of the missions, on the plus side, you're more adventurous with trying new things such as chaining Spartan abilities together (which is very fun) and on the downside it's a case of "Whoops! I died again come get me LOLMYBADHAHA" you don't restart a checkpoint when you're killed unless it's a certain death like disintegration, exploding in a vehicle or a heavy attack from certain vehicles.

Just my two cents. Oh and campaign was about 8 hours playing through on Heroic, with small breaks in between.
Posted by scoobs0688
Pre-ordered/loaded the game last night, excited to plow through the coop campaign with some friends. Also really interested in the warzone multiplayer since I apparently suck at twitch shooters now with my older age.
Old age? Like 63?

I can't wait to get stuck into the multiplayer as that's where I feel 343 focused most of their efforts where Halo 5 is concerned.
Commented on 2015-10-26 11:33:10 In reply to Tiz
Posted by Tiz
I almost completely agree with this review except for the thing about bots. Facing bots solely in multiplayer doesn't seem... fun.

Did you guys feel that some cutscenes should have been gameplay? There were quite a few that I thought should have been and it almost felt lazy on the part of 343.

Playing with competent AI squad mates sucks the fear and tension out of the missions, on the plus side, you're more adventurous with trying new things such as chaining Spartan abilities together (which is very fun) and on the downside it's a case of "Whoops! I died again come get me LOLMYBADHAHA" you don't restart a checkpoint when you're killed unless it's a certain death like disintegration, exploding in a vehicle or a heavy attack from certain vehicles.

Just my two cents. Oh and campaign was about 8 hours playing through on Heroic, with small breaks in between.



Old age? Like 63?

I can't wait to get stuck into the multiplayer as that's where I feel 343 focused most of their efforts where Halo 5 is concerned.
haha no, but approaching my 30's and I have noticed my skills have fallen off a god damn cliff, especially console shooters for whatever reason. Can't do the thumbsticks anymore. I still destroy on PC w/ mouse and keyboard.
Commented on 2015-10-26 16:13:19
With regards to the animation, the 30fps compromise extends to teammates in PvE and opponents in PvP and the distance feels quite close to the player.
Commented on 2015-10-26 18:14:55
Played a few games of Warzone today.. im hooked! Heaps of fun and so fluid! Gonna be playing this a lot until Tomb Raider and Fallout hit..
Commented on 2015-10-26 18:49:35 In reply to scoobs0688
Posted by scoobs0688
haha no, but approaching my 30's and I have noticed my skills have fallen off a god damn cliff, especially console shooters for whatever reason. Can't do the thumbsticks anymore. I still destroy on PC w/ mouse and keyboard.
Really? I'm in my mid 30's and I'm pretty sure I'm the best I've ever been at FPS. That includes stuff like CS and Unreal Tournament. The age excuse is pretty weak. There are professional athletes that compete well into their 40's. It's just video games.

I'm still not sure I like this single player squad stuff. I guess it does diminish difficulty a little.
Commented on 2015-10-26 19:18:26
Scoobs - I think it has less to do with age and more to do whether you have more of a life.
Whether you're married, or have kids, or go to college, ETC

If you're a teen it's more likely that you just play games with friends with 90% of your free time because you don't pay bills or have obligations and responsibilities.

It's a weak excuse only due to the fact that people still devote a large part of their lives to games even beyond college. Which isn't a BAD thing. They just haven't reached the point yet where IRL stuff hasn't taken priority yet.
Commented on 2015-10-26 20:01:13
Is reviving also a thing on legendary?
This bollocks allready sucked the fun out of gears 3...
Commented on 2015-10-26 20:08:45 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
It felt a tad shorter but it could be the same. It's just that it feels as if the story unfolds too fast.
Well.....i recall one source claiming 343 said the campaign was twice as long as Halo 4. Sigh. It should at least be as long if you ask me.
Commented on 2015-10-26 20:17:41 In reply to Moonwalker
Posted by Moonwalker
Well.....i recall one source claiming 343 said the campaign was twice as long as Halo 4.
They said it was eight hours in the infographic they released a week or two ago, and that's not co-op.
Commented on 2015-10-27 02:18:24 In reply to GriftGFX
Yeah 8 to 12 hours, but i hear a lot of conflicting reports everywhere. Some folks on NeoGAF say it took them 12 hours on heroic, others talk about 6 hours and one even 4 hours. I will find out for myself soon enough.
Commented on 2015-10-27 05:29:01 In reply to Tinks
Posted by Tinks
Scoobs - I think it has less to do with age and more to do whether you have more of a life.
Whether you're married, or have kids, or go to college, ETC

If you're a teen it's more likely that you just play games with friends with 90% of your free time because you don't pay bills or have obligations and responsibilities.

It's a weak excuse only due to the fact that people still devote a large part of their lives to games even beyond college. Which isn't a BAD thing. They just haven't reached the point yet where IRL stuff hasn't taken priority yet.
Lack of time has a lot to do with it I'm sure. If i dedicated myself to it I could probably get to 80-90% of what I was as a kid, but I do feel like my reaction times are slower than they used to be.
Commented on 2015-10-27 10:14:17 In reply to Moonwalker
Posted by Moonwalker
Yeah 8 to 12 hours, but i hear a lot of conflicting reports everywhere. Some folks on NeoGAF say it took them 12 hours on heroic, others talk about 6 hours and one even 4 hours. I will find out for myself soon enough.
you'll always get a range of completion times. some people like to stop and smell the roses, look at textures, take screen shots, stare at a wall for an hour. others play normally, and others rush. i'd expect around 8 hours for a normal person. which is decent enough for an FPS.
Commented on 2015-10-27 21:00:39 In reply to KORNdog
Smells roses ... check ! achievement unlocked !

About the game


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