Gotta say, at the risk of being flamed, that technically and in terms of story, Halo 5 is a massive let down for me. Obviously just my opinion but Halo has captivated me for over a decade… until now.
Before I go on… I will say the Arena is a huge success and credit to 343i for that… but the rest of the package, well, it really isn’t.
Warzone and Big team battle look like garbage… the campaign has some great moments and some terrible ones… But what I find most shocking is that Halo 5 looks worse in almost every department than Destiny.
Now… this isn’t a 343i vs. Bungie post. In fact, I only mention destiny at all because it is in the same genre with similar gameplay goals and mechanics.
So let me explain: Destiny is nearly 2 years old. It’s released on last gen and multi format - meaning the team didn’t have the luxury of optimising for just one format. They also didn’t have finished console hardware for the majority of the game’s development… and yet, Destiny looks better than Halo 5 at every single point. Sure, you’ll say halo 5 is 60fps… but Destiny is 1080 / 30 without resorting to dynamic resolution… and Halo doesn’t need 60fps for campaign. It feels very much like they shot the game in the face in some parts just to have a 60fps bullet point.
I really expected 343i would come to Xbox One with a massive bang, just like they did 360 - pushing the format further than anyone else. Instead… it is a whimper. Where Halo 4 delighted technically, Halo 5 merely feels sufficient at best.
On top of this… the pointless shift in story direction when so much of the universe is unexplored, is completely baffling… along with laughable continuity errors:
(exactly why didn’t the Librarian just send Cortana to Genesis when she had her on Requiem if that was always going to be “the plan”?)It’s all so obvious now… We know who the enemy is, why they are doing what they are doing… Where has the sense of wonder and mystery gone? And for all the hype about the Guardians destroying colonies… you didn’t show that in the game once. When chief asks “how many people did you kill?” it feels flat - we never saw a single thing destroyed or anyone killed - just Guardians floating in the sky and moving slowly… which, I might add, is another technical sore point - at no point in the game do they look like massive objects in the distance, they look like small ones closer than you think, drawn to give the illusion they are big and far away (and if they really are huge models far away, you got something really wrong there).
All of which add up to me feeling Halo is being stewarded by a company that seems unable to deliver the full package… Halo 4 was technically amazing and had a great story and campaign… but the MP suffered. Halo 5 feels like they focused on Arena above everything else. And with the massive resources at their disposal and inside access to Microsoft tech, it is not unreasonable to expect the game to absolutely shine visually… especially at this point in the console cycle.
I’ve played less of this than any other halo as a result. And that is a really bad sign - Halo has been a main stay of my gaming life for years. Halo is faltering. Xbox is faltering.
343i the Mantle of Responsibility is on you - when are you going to pick it up?