Halo 5 is the Worst Halo, But Still Fun
343 did right by Halo 4, imo. Multiplayer made a few changes, though, I never really played it much. I guess that’s telling. With Halo 5, while a fun game, it totally drops the ball.
No Kidding, There’s No Splitscreen
I brought my Xbox One to work because the guys at the office wanted to play. After setting it up I realize there’s no option to add in anyone else. I felt like an idiot. I’m usually the gamer that knows-it-all, but I missed this. And at home my son wanted to play with me. That’s what family’s do with multiplayer video games. That’s what I did with Halo 1. Halo 2, then Halo 3. ODST, Reach, Halo 4 – you know, something myself and everyone else is used to. What’s Microsoft’s reasoning for this? Everyone plays online because it’s more convenient – so, get another Xbox One and copy of Halo 5. Well, I don’t need to be buying a 2nd Xbox One for the house. I don’t need to be buying my son consoles on a whim. There was another excuse, too. That this was to achieve 60fps. I don’t know if they played their own game, but it does dip below 60 and most on screen characters run at 20-30 from a distance. It just looks bad. I would be fine with a solid 30. Look at Destiny.
Multiplayer Content is Missing
For multiplayer, you have Arena which is the standard Slayer and its variations. It’s fun. Few maps though, and nothing with vehicles. It’s cool – can’t complain much because this is core Halo with new mechanics. Then, there’s Warzone. Large-scale battles with vehicles and enemy AI! This is fun too, but is differentiated by Requisition which is used to buy vehicles. What’s that? Don’t get me started right now, but I’ll get back to it. Though, Halo is missing standard Halo multiplayer with vehicles. Remember playing Blood Gulch with a warthog and grabbing the flag? There’s no way to play a game like that. It’s either Warzone, where you hold points and buy vehicles, or Arena with its Slayer variations. That’s it. No Big Team Battle. I’ve heard others exclaim that’s fine, but then 343 Studios tells us that BTB is just coming later. So…the game is incomplete?
You earn points in multiplayer to by card packs. These packs have random items that you can then use in-game by purchasing them with points. Think of the unlocks in Call of Duty, except they are completely random. I’ve played hours of Warzone, but only have like 3% of the possible Battle Rifles. When there’s other modes to play, and then you think of the time needed to play to get enough points to eventually randomly get everything, it’s quite a lot of time. But that’s ok! Because right there in the menu is the option to use your real money to buy packs! Microtransactions, baby! That’s why 343 held off on BTB! They want people to see the only way to get the things they want quickly is to pay for it!
What a bunch of crap.
But What about the Campaign?
It took my bro and I five and a half hours to beat it. Out of all that time, there’s about an hour of cut-scenes and a few levels where you don’t fight – you just walk around and talk to people. Just three of the missions you are Master Chief. I described a pretty lame game, didn’t I? They messed up here. Like the game was only in development for a year. But, the levels where battles happen? They are pretty epic. They aren’t as long as levels in previous games where you’re driving all these vehicles and shooting things like crazy across a grand landscape, but the scope of a singular battlefield is pretty great. It just doesn’t happen so much.
And remember the marketing lead-up? The new Spartan, Locke. Hunting the truth. Giant metal monsters coming out of the ground. Well, it all led to nothing. They did not use Locke in any interesting way possible, nor were you Chief that much. The star of the show was Nathan Fillion’s character, Buck. The story ends. For me, not even really on a cliffhanger, but just like if you were to go home from work, eat, and then go to sleep. A simple routine with no real purpose other than to exist.
The thing is, Halo is fun. But with every new Halo Bungie/343 kept changing up the multiplayer and not really finding its place. CoD continues to overshadow it. So, this time Microsoft gives up and makes a micro-transaction-based multiplayer (Big Team Battle coming soon after they sell so many packs!). They don’t know what to do with the multiplayer they have, so how do you make the most out of it? Charge players – and make Arena an ESports spectacle so it gets that built-in marketing.
Where Phil Spencer picked up the broken pieces of the Xbox One launch and tried carrying it to victory, these remnants stayed behind. I want to hope maybe this game’s outcome wasn’t his decision, or that is was in a worst state and he made it better, but I feel like Halo is being treated poorly. With a lacking, short campaign, missing multiplayer content hidden behind micro-transactions, and no-splitscreen, this is really just the worst Halo I’ve played.