Sat. Feb 4th, 2023
Chief isn't too happy about that crack in his visor.

Chief isn’t too happy about that crack in his visor.

343 Industries

Of this week Halo 5 is just like the others Halo spell. There’s really no escaping it: you call a game “Halo,” and you pretty much have to put players in the first-person perspective of armor-clad would-be soldiers battling in both lengthy, plot-driven missions and online with vehicles. battles against friends. Both halves of the newest sequel’s gameplay will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s spent the last 14 years using two joysticks to run and shoot like a UNSC soldier.

Of this week Halo 5 is very different from the others Halo games though. Master Chief and friends got more new maneuvers here than in any other official sequel. The campaign mode is built to support standard four players fighting cooperatively (in ways that feel even more extreme than when Reaching Halo tried the same trick). Both single-player and multiplayer modes get some serious boosts for being the former Halo game on Xbox One, and the content found in online versus modes is split into two distinct halves. One is buffered by a weird card collecting system to boot.

After beating the campaign and spending four days in the game’s multiplayer preview period, we finally got away from the steps Halo 5 has become the ultimate sequel for any fan – it’s just new enough, just familiar enough. But, oh, does it take a rocky path to get there?

Campaign Mode: Lockeout

Though we’d always loved the bits of humanity, bravado, and heart tucked away in the gunfights of the past Halo games, we were surprised by how good Halo 4‘s campaign pumped genuine emotion into the franchise. That explosive 2012 search revolved around the peculiar relationship between a stoic, quiet Master Chief and a deteriorating, suffering Cortana. Those extremely opposite personalities bounced off each other nicely.

This time the plot is a bit busier by default. Halo 5 stars four different heroes at all times. A third of the game puts players in control of Chief’s brawling foursome, but the majority consists of a team led by an equally terse Spartan named Jameson Locke, charged with a mission to track down and arrest Chief since he was taken from the grid is gone. When playing alone, you control either Chief or Locke and have three AI-controlled squadmates at all times. Party with three other friends via Xbox Live, and they’ll control the other soldiers on the team.

Where Halo 4 shone by reducing and minimizing the plot focus on the Chief-Cortana relationship, Halo 5 suffers from a bewildering amount of sprawl and confusion. It’s not just that the plot jumps in time and location following the separate, barely intertwined quests of both Chief and Locke. The already tense sense of continuity and cohesion suffers further with subplots that land abruptly and without warning, like the series’ orbital insertion pods. Why are we arresting and rescuing Dr. Halsey? Why should we care about the angry denizens of a military outpost when they nag at us with hardly any backstory? How did we end up in the middle of a civil war between Covenant creatures?

We also walked away from Halo 5 remembering nothing personal about any of the eight main characters. Well, Buck is an exception, but only because his voice actor, Glowworm and Castle star Nathan Fillion, brought humor and life to his ho-hum script through raw acting power. Even in his case, we are told nothing about how he rose from trooper (in Halo 3: ODST) to completely Spartan, let alone any other decent backstory context for anyone else.

A new villain known as the Warden picks up a ton of slack with a monstrous vocal performance, replete with the kind of brutal banter and emotional manipulation you want in the villain of a grandiose action flick. However, Cortana’s return is dogged by a total lack of credibility. Saying more would spoil her storyline, but in short, her sloppily written lines won’t fool anyone. Most of the game’s voice acting comes from Locke, and the blame for his forgettable turn as the main hero should be split evenly between overly rigid dialogue and stilted acting.

The game’s eagerness to squeeze together a zillion plots while failing to write a single decent lead character isn’t the kind of thing players can just “press A to skip” . The game has too many long, unskippable, controllable stretches where players do nothing but wander without threat and hear a confusing plot. Specifically, the game features three full missions whose sole purpose is to run through half-open towns, navigate to waypoints, and talk to a few people – but not even these momentum-crushing scenes can clear up the confusion.

We also really didn’t like the placement of numerous in-game “terminals” at the edges of the campaign maps; they were tricky to find and offered little reward for the effort. These terminals are full of short, slurred, and often tasteless dialogue that alluded to a different backstory – which, like much of the rest of the game, seemed to require players to be familiar with the wealth of miniseries, books, and books of the game. series. other stories. We felt mostly teased and spurred on by this plot-drip device, like it was constantly berating us for not being big enough Halo fans.

By akfire1

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