Meta-review: Halo 5 (Xbox One)

Halo-5-GuardiansIn a year of pretty big exclusives, Halo 5 is by far the Xbox One’s biggest. The flagship franchise has been front and centre for Microsoft’s platforms since its debut at the launch of the original Xbox and though it is no longer with the original developers (Bungie – Now overseeing another shooter franchise, Destiny), Halo has proven it has the ability to evolve in some pretty expansive and fantastic ways. I will be writing up my thoughts on Halo 5 in the days to come, but my feelings toward it are for lack of a better word, extremely positive. Halo 5 is the best playing Halo game ever! It will be so hard to go back and play past entries after this game simply due to the incredible sense of speed and mobility this game gives you. You move with speed and heft – a force to be reckoned with. The game’s multiplayer modes are fantastic and various, and the campaign, while having some story hangups, is incredibly well paced and has you feeling like a true super soldier.

Indeed, looking at the reviews out there, it appears many agree with this sentiment. This is a must play game, but do not go into it expecting the most well written narrative adventure. Check out what the reviews have to say below:

haloswordGame Trailers: Halo 5: Guardians is a massive game that we intend to keep playing for the foreseeable future. There are parts that let us down, particularly the story, but it’s hard to feel too stung when there’s just so much fun to be had. Halo 5 has a lot to prove and it seems fully capable of doing just that. It’s a pleasure seeing the series in top form once again. (9/10)

IGN: In its 14 years, Halo has never felt so good to play. An updated arsenal and great new mobility mechanics give both campaign and multiplayer and modern touch without sacrificing Halo’s classic feel. It fails to introduce its new Spartan characters in a meaningful way, and the story does make some odd logical leaps, but it’s still fast, beautiful, and fun – especially with four-player co-op. Guardians’ multiplayer harkens back to the Halo 2 glory days with tons of balanced maps and fun modes, and the tactical new Warzone mode absolutely steals the show. (9/10)

The Escapist: It’s a shame that Halo 5‘s story is disappointing, because nearly everything else surrounding it is fantastic. The friendly AI definitely needs work, and there are a few too many enemy types that need to be attacked from behind in order to damage, but the level design is some of the best the series has ever seen, and the new abilities the player can use dramatically improve both the campaign and multiplayer. Throw in the robust Breakout and Warzone multiplayer modes and I think it’s safe to say that you could find yourself wrapped in Halo 5 for quite some time. (4.5/5)

Game Informer: If the last major entry represented 343 taking possession of the Halo house, this new installment shows it is ready to move the furniture around and make it their own. Some aspects of the game feel different than what longtime players have come to expect, but I’m happy to see a willingness to innovate. Despite some missteps, Halo 5 is an easy recommendation for the predominant moments during which the game shines. (8.75/10)

The Guardian: With so much at stake, Halo 5 needed to be a new perfection of old triumphs, or a landscape-altering revolution. In terms of its campaign it falls short of both of these ideals. Online, however, 343 has taken more significant risks, of the sort that first convinced Apple and Microsoft to place bets on the series. Warzone, in particular, is a kind of bold design that we almost never see in expensive FPS game-making any more. The next 12 months will reveal whether or not the wager will pay off. (8/10)

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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