Halo 5: Guardians has been out for a few weeks now, which has given us plenty of time to check out its sizable suite of campaign missions and online multiplayer offerings. This latest installment in the storied first-person shooter franchise is arguably the Xbox One’s most important game yet, leading an impressive holiday lineup for the console as Microsoft tries to catch Sony’s dominant PlayStation 4. While the Halo series isn’t as release-happy as some of its competitors, only coming out with a new installment every two to three years, the series has been around for almost 15 years now, and any series with that kind of staying power also runs into danger of losing its luster. So how does Halo 5: Guardians compare to other entries in the series? Well…that’s a bit hard to answer. 343 Industries has undoubtedly made up for their mishandling of last year’s disastrous compilation package Halo: The Master Chief Collection by offering a beautiful, polished experience, but they’ve also made some very questionable design decisions that hold the game back.
Consider the following our review of Halo 5: Guardians, which is almost simultaneously the best and worst game in the series. Yeah, we told you it was complicated.
10. Pro: Multiplayer Is A Great Mix Of New And Old
Halo 4 suffered from trying to be too much like Call of Duty, with 343 seemingly forgetting that people play Halo multiplayer because it’s Halo; if they wanted to play Call of Duty, they would just go do that. Luckily, the developer definitely listened to fan feedback this time out, as Halo 5 brings back the classic Halo multiplayer experience while adding in enough new elements to keep things fresh. Multiplayer is split up into two distinct categories: Arena and Warzone. This was a genius decision on 343’s part, as it separates Halo into its two most basic forms of online competition: small on-foot skirmishes with Arena and all-out vehicular mayhem in Warzone. Gone are the COD-style load outs; each player starts with the same weapons and either pick up new ones in Arena maps or call in the brand new Requisition power-ups in Warzone (more on those later). If everything keeps running as smoothly as it has so far, this could easily be the Halo game that you’ll want to keep coming back to for years.