As we all known, Halo 5’s campaign is despised by the majority of the Halo community. However, I feel it’s not given enough credit and is always the focus of negativity, so I’d like to show people all the good things Halo 5’s campaign has to offer. I’ll be doing this planet by planet in chronological order, so Kamchatka is first.
Kamchatka: The opening CG cutscene, while not an ideal prologue, was still a very entertaining cutscene, showing the Spartans power that reminded me much of the opening to the Avengers. The first mission also takes you right into the heart of the Covenant and Promethean battle, actually making you feel a part of it instead of taking side routes alongside the battle. We also get our first look at the Kraken, which was a crazy sight to see. Buck also makes his return, but as a S-IV. Many people seem to think that Buck acted like Nathan Fillion and not Edward Buck in Halo 5. However, I believe that’s just a result of him not being the leader of a team like he was in ODST. Speaking from personal experience, I know my personality changes whether I’m the leader or not. People say Osiris has no personality, but Buck had some very humorous lines, a few being “what we’re counting now?” and “well…crap.”
Argent Moon: We finally get to see Blue Team in a Halo game. Did they have a whole lot to do? No, but it was very cool to finally see them. The first cutscene, while not representing the elites as noble elegant warriors, represented Blue Team as a well-oiled machine. This was also the first time we hear the Trials play in the background of the cutscene and it was glorious. The mission itself is one of the best, with a good variety of enemies, weapons, and combat scenarios. My personal favorite is the Banshee space battle near the end, as there are several different fun ways to complete it. After 7 FPS Halo games, we finally see the Hunters as they were always meant to be. They actually “hunt” you thought the mission, form their bodies from worms, and display their pure strength by pounding on the glass in the elevator.
Meridian: This was our first time visiting a glassed planet and our first time actually riding (and climbing) a space elevator. I love how the architecture looks gritty and like it was just kinda put together with whatever they had. In the games, all we’ve seen of humanity is them united against the Covenant (except for the small insurrectionist comment in Reach). In the lore, the outer colonies actually despise the UNSC, an the Meridian colonists display that throughout the missions.
Sanghelios: What isn’t there to say? It’s beautiful. In the summer of 2016, I went Zion National Park in Utah and hiked through canyons. I can personally say that it was spot on to Sanghelios. The music also fit perfectly. I’m not exactly sure which instruments were used, but it sounds like a low-toned flute and a guitar that really fits the ancient, deserty, vibe. Not only were they amazing to look at, but the levels were some of the best halo 5 had to offer. Swords of Sanghelios is one of the best Halo missions of all time imo and the reintroduction of the Arbiter was badass as hell. The next “real” mission, Enemy Lines, also gave us the chance to defeat the Scarab’s muscular older brother, the Kraken. The highlight of the mission, the Kraken gave you multiple ways to board it, my personal favorite landing on the roof, then ground pounding down on a shade turret. The final mission, Battle of Sunaion, puts tot in the heart of the battle and allows you to finally destroy the last of the Covenant. It takes you away from the desert environment of the previous missions and brings you to a Kamino-esque city. The tone and visuals of this missions are just astounding. How could I go through Sanghelios without mentioning the best elite/grunt conversation we’ve had yet and the love poem dedicated to a certain female Spartan.
Genesis: Genesis is a very unique planet in my eyes. It had strange mushroomy flora and was very humid and foggy. While not having the best missions, it did have some cool moments like running down the side of a Guardian and being able to use the infamous Answer SAW against the Warden. Genesis also introduced the best character in Halo 5, Exuberant Witness. She wasn’t a cliche, but rather a naive, corky, and curious character. I actually like her more than 343 GS. We are also treated to a very emotional cutscene. Say what you will about the story and the villain, but I loved the cutscene where Cortana betrays the Chief. I found it so sad how he holds out his hand and calls out to Cortana, while she holds back a few tears and continues to walk away.
I’m sure I forgot a few things, so if you got some more, tell me.