Recently, Halo has witnessed a resurgence in popularity within the gaming community, especially in the scene of eSports. Since the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we’ve experienced a significant increase in the amount of content produced by Halo, with streamers such as Bitanga and Flamesword broadcasting their antics on a daily basis. However, with the revival of Halo’s reputation, will Halo 5 be able to live up to the current hype associated with it?
Halo is one of the greatest and most iconic game franchises to date. It has captured the imagination of a modern generation and has created an everlasting fan base. Although, at times the series has been accused of feeling stale and monotonous, each additional title seems to include a fresh element. As we approach Halo’s graduation into next generation gaming, I have already logged a substantial amount of hours into the Halo 5 beta, therefore I feel it is appropriate that I provide you with my initial thoughts surrounding the game.
Originally, once I had finished downloading the beta, I encountered a few server issues whilst in a fireteam, however, to my surprise, these problems were resolved efficiently, as opposed to the previous MCC multiplayer fiasco. As I headed into my first game, I really didn’t know what to expect, would Halo 5 retain the fundamental basis we’ve grown to love or had 343 Industries incorporated several innovative features? Turns out, the latter was true.
Immediately, within my first game of Slayer, I decided to jump straight into the action and rather promptly I soon realised I was moving unusually fast, I was springing! Yes, that’s right, you can now sprint in the Halo franchise by holding in the left analogue stick. A little thrown by this, I continued to move around the map, searching for my first victim, however it here that I made my next discovery, a rather frustrating one. While spotting what I initially perceived as an easy kill, out of instinct, I attempted to scope in with the use of my right stick, unfortunately, my efforts were in vain and before I could figure out what was happening, I was dead. I quickly realised that a significant amount of controls had been altered from the default Halo loadout, which I will go through now.
- *New Addition* Clicking in Left Stick enables sprint. While sprinting, it is also possible to reach a ‘terminal velocity', at which point you can tap Right Bumper to perform a ‘dash’ melee kill
- Aiming is no longer the Right Stick and is now assigned to the Left Trigger.
- Grenades have switched from Left Trigger to Left Bumper
In addition to the adjustments of the button layout, several new game mechanics have also been integrated into Halo 5. Players now have the ability to mantle over objects, use a thruster pack to boost from side to side, ground pound enemies from the air and knee slide while at maximum velocity to avoid shots or quickly narrow the distance between you and opposing players. With a plethora of new abilities, Halo 5 adds an entirely new dimension to manoeuvring around the map and therefore completely reinvents the game as we know it. In order to become the best, one must master all these new techniques, while combining them with the skillsets acquired in previous titles, such as ‘jump spots’.
Ultimately, I have enjoyed myself while playing the Halo 5 beta. The game looks and feels great at 60 FPS, the new weapons are aesthetically pleasing and handle amazingly well (with the exception of the new DMR, what is up with that recoil pattern?) and the new game mode, “Breakout” (Halo’s version of Search and Destroy) is refreshing and adds a great new dynamic to the series.
However, the main concern that I currently hold, as does most of the community, is whether Halo 5 seems to be taking too many pages out of Call of Duty’s book. Don’t get me wrong, CoD is a great series and many gamers enjoy both franchises, like myself, yet we love their unique qualities and hope they don’t begin to emulate one another. Nevertheless, I believe Halo 5: Guardians is set to be one of the biggest titles of 2015, successfully satisfying its high expectations.
If you are eager to watch some great quality Halo content, be sure to check out Flamesword (Optic Beard), who streams regularly on MLG.tv under the Optic Halo channel. Looking to improve your game? Take some tips from the Beard!
MLG channel: http://tv.majorleaguegaming.com/channel/optichalo
Let him know Pugster sent you!
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