H5 Beta (Early Access) Opinions

So as a member of the Xbox Preview Program, I got early access to the Halo 5 Beta. I only played for about an hour or so last night, but from what I played, I REALLY liked it. I’m comparing this not only to the original trilogy’s MP, but I’m comparing it especially to Halo 4 since we are now in the era of 343’s Halo. So here is my pros & cons list based on the short amount of time I played:

PROS:

  • Faster paced gameplay. Classic Halo has always been a little on the slower paced side of the spectrum. However, from what I’ve noticed, the faster paced play of Halo 5 definitely feels refreshing without coming even CLOSE to being a twitch shooter.- Balance. Comparing especially to Halo 4, this game in its beta is ALREADY feeling infinitely more balanced than Halo 4 ever did. Starting off with the AR and a pistol takes out the randomness. Static weapon spawns are back and keep the game in check. No more armor abilities takes even MORE of the randomness out of the equation and it feels AWESOME again. The new “Reversal” medal is also supremely satisfying.- Spartan Abilities. I’ve been skeptical about this ever since I found out what Spartan Abilities were. But man, these are not what a lot of people think they are. Sprint doesn’t break anything. I’ve noticed that sprinting is actually MORE likely to get me killed, and although it does help people escape sometimes, there’s really nothing wrong with that. Clamber is a welcome addition in my book. Some people may dislike this since it takes out the skill of trick or crouch jumping to get onto certain platforms, but ultimately I believe it will help overall balance. Can’t tell you how many games I’ve been in in past Halos where there have been areas of the map which are SUPPOSED to be inaccessible are accessed and camped and lesser experienced players have no idea how to combat it. But in most cases, it just increases movement, jump accuracy, and keeps the game moving for individual players at a good rate. Thruster pack is still a little iffy in my opinion, but it’s mostly okay. It allows for another level of tactical thinking to be added as well small boosts in regular movement. It really doesn’t help you escape firefights, but it can help you get behind cover quickly. Overall it’s not a bad addition. I can’t say much of Spartan Charge or Ground Pound because I didn’t get the opportunity to use either of them.- Spartan Chatter. Another thing I was iffy about, but I actually really like the Spartan chatter throughout the game. Especially now in the days of barely anyone using headsets or mics while playing, it’s nice to hear a bit of talking. And what makes it good is that they don’t say pointless things. They give important call outs, tell you when team mates or enemies have been killed, and best of all (imo) power weapon spawns. Now this is going to be something I’m SURE will be controversial, but in my opinion, it adds competitiveness to the game. Gone are the days of having to memorize weapon spawn times. Gone are the days of ordnance drops. Now, at 30 seconds to spawn, your “Team Leader” will alert you that “power weapons are spawning in 30 seconds!” with periodic reminders like at 10 seconds. It takes away weapon spawn campers, but teams can work together to hold down a zone around a power weapon spawn. The clashes this causes are awesome. Once these announcements start up, there’s a mad rush to get to the spawns and it is very pleasing.- Aesthetically Pleasing. Self explanatory. The game is gorgeous. The 60 FPS is flawless. I didn’t experience one sliver of lag during any of my games. Out of the 2 maps offered in the beta so far (Truth and Empire), Truth is my favorite, as it is a remade classic map and still plays very well even with the new additions. But graphically, everything is amazing.
    CONS:
  • Kill Cams. No explanation needed, really. Halo doesn’t need them. They’re very annoying, rarely add anything to the gameplay, and are currently glitched. It looks like every person is quickscoping you even if they’re holding SmartLink to aim at you. I don’t think I actually watched a full kill cam in any of my 50+ deaths. These need to go.- Menu Music. Not a gameplay thing, and I’m sure it won’t stay the same when the game is released, but still. The menu music doesn’t sound like Halo music, plain and simple.- Lack of Control Schemes. Again, this will likely be changed as development goes on so that more are added, but the default controller setup is a little difficult to get used to, and there aren’t a lot of satisfactory alternatives, in my opinion.
    So those are my initial thoughts on the Halo 5 Beta. I don’t have a lot of cons listed because, honestly, in the time I played there wasn’t a lot of bad things happening. In Halo 4, I’d find myself raging nearly every game from something ridiculous and out of my control. During the few games I played of the H5 Beta, the only thing I was getting frustrated about was people better than I was and beating me. That’s how it should be. Other than that, it was very fun and I’m glad I was among the first to experience Halo 5!

So far loving the beta BUT I have some gripes that are starting to irritate me.

  1. I am not like the overall “bro” feel to the game, I don’t need the limited into with the Spartans being buddy buddy and at the end giving each other the bro high fives. Also some of the in game chatter is pointless.

  2. The mêlée feels extremely stale and unlike Halo, its almost as if you have to be right on the the Spartan or even inside to get a hit on them

  3. The grenade bounce is terrible and its needs the traditional Halo mechanics

Those are my gripes and Microsoft I know you love your CoD but keep that shot out of my Halo if I wanted to play another generic CoD game Id go buy one. Keep Halo tasteful and project the overall master chief mentality onto multiplayer.