My Halo 5 beta feedback

My first experiences with the Halo 5 beta have ultimately remained quite positive since deep down I had an underlying feeling that the matchmaking and connection would not work well as thousands of people began to flock onto the servers at one time. However I was shocked to find that I could actually get into a game quite easily, the only exception would be when someone leaves and you and your party are unable to back out during the “waiting for players” screen. The gameplay feels new but familiar and I have had quite a bit of fun in just the first 24 hours it has been out. So bravo 343.

So here is my feedback for the various weapons, maps, mechanics etc.

Maps

Truth

  • Not sure I like the fact that you can jump to the center platform from the bases just by going up on the balconies, jumping + thruster and clamber up on the ledge. I feel like you should have to either approach the platform from the towers or up through the center only.
  • Almost seems like there are too many weapons on the map in particular the smg and br spawing right beside each other at the towers. Maybe when more weapons are added it will be more unique though in the full game.
  • Should not be able to jump down the opening where the lifts are under the bases. At least not right in front of the lift, beside it is normal.

Overall I like the map with all the new routes and access points.

Empire

  • Feels a little cluttered at times and many gunfights in my experience have taken place in the tower where one of the snipers spawn.
  • Snipers feel out of place for a map such as this. I suppose they are limiting weapons for the beta but this has been addressed but others as well.
  • The ability to escape and recharge your shields is fairly easy since there are many paths and different jumps you can take. A good or a bad things depending on who you ask
  • Weapon spawns seem a lot more organized than “Truth” but again the sniper is just very unfitting.

Weapons

I can tell at a very early stage that Halo 5 is going for balance. No more will the BR be the sole weapon that people will need to either pick up or begin a match with. This is a good thing. There is no sense in making 1 gun the staple of an entire game and making every other gun feel useless. I am a big fan of the BR but I want variety and I found that I could get kills with any weapon depending on the situation. There are not many power weapons available yet but I’m enjoying it so far.

Assault Rifle

  • The range needs to be slightly tweaked.
  • The smart scope should be less affective especially since it doesn’t have any sort of scope to begin with.
  • Damage seems fitting (more on this later) but could be reduced if possible

SMG

  • Insane damage output at close and even medium range.
  • Range should be reduced even more than the AR, just not to the point where the gun feels almost useless.
  • Smart scope seems fine (since it has a scope)
  • Perhaps add more recoil so gun is less effective at longer ranges.

Pistol

  • Reminds of the Halo 2 magnum and the damage output it almost equivalent to dual wielding them in Halo 2 which is nuts
  • I often resort to the pistol over the AR all the time which I think shouldn’t be the case. Its a backup weapon for when your low on ammo, not a primary. It’s almost worthy of being a map weapon over a starting weapon.
  • Smart scope seems okay, but gets in the way a little.

Battle Rifle

  • Damage feels less than normal compared to other Halo games. (Take this with a grain of salt)
  • Smart scope seems less effective at long and medium ranges and the sight sort of hinders your view.

DMR

  • Feels very similar to the BR but seems to be a little more precise in my experience

Sniper Rifle

  • Only has one scope magnification??? More simplistic but less options on the battlefie…erm I mean simulation
  • Hit recognition seems very good…
  • Snapshots seem to be much easier to do but that may just be me

Prophets Bane

  • Awesome!
  • Speed boost seems acceptable
  • Makes you feel powerful yet at the same time easy to take down if your charging at an enemy when he sees you coming.

Grenades

Another gripe I have is the ability to just get bombarded by grenades. I get it, it’s always been a Halo thing. However it still seems a little excessive. What I do like is the ability to dodge and get away from them which has been absent from most other Halos. Chances are if I see a grenade coming I can dodge it if I have the ability available. Before if you were in a room with 2 enemies throwing grenades at you, you didn’t have a chance. This brings me to the next topic

Mobility

I think 343 has taken the right direction when it comes to bringing Halo 5 into the modern fps genre. Many Halo fans still wish to have no sprint and no abilities but in all honesty there is no way 343 would make it like the older games. There just simply wouldn’t be enough going for the game if you simply had the ability to move, aim and shoot. Nostalgia should remain nostalgia and they did that with the MCC. It’s an ongoing struggle with the MCC but its still there…

The sprinting feels solid as well as the clamber and thruster. The ground pound though I feel is the least effective. The only time I see people doing it is when they are in parties trying to prove they actually killed someone with it to their friends. I’ve done the same thing. I feel it to be a less natural part of the game but rather something you try and fail at many times until you finally luck out and get a kill. There are exceptions of course but for the most part it seems much easier to shoot enemies. It makes for some good laughs though!

Health

I agree with many posts that the rate at which you die from full shields is a bit high. Its a touchy topic though because in order to change theses sorts of things, many other things have to be overhauled as well like weapon damage, mobility and even how maps are designed. From what I’ve seen the damage from the BR and DMR seem right but everything else seems to kill you a little bit to quickly. This might be intentional though because the pace of the game has increase substantially. Halo always felt a little floaty because of the mechanics but that is what made it feel like Halo. The pace of action was slower back then therefore spartans took a bit more damage to be taken down. In turn, now that the pace is faster, they die a little quicker. It makes sense when you think about it but its just hard to wrap your head around it because its not what we are used to.

Do I feel you die to quickly? Yes. Do I know how to fix the issue? No. There are so many variables when it comes to this.

Spartan Victory Scene
I feel like this is a good idea it just seems a bit cheesy the way it was done. I think they need to look more like they have just won a battle and not scored a touchdown in football. Maybe incorporate some thruster movement or something that is a little more badass than fist pumps and waving.

Technical Issues
Just a beta so I can accept these, but if it could be updated that would be great.

  • Fix the “waiting for more players” screen and allow parties to back out if players aren’t able to found at a reasonable time
  • Armour colour is always pink
  • Textures in the Spartan Hub are always blurry and the shading seems to be really dark
  • Issues where you hit “X” to join either party chat or game chat from the scoreboard in game and you are unable to go back to party chat without going through the dashboard
  • Resolution seems to be sub par. Feels like its being player at 720p with quite a few jaggy lines and blurriness.

Spartan Callouts
I love that 343 incorporated these and it they are actually quite useful. I have much more awareness about what is going on around the map and it allows me to change my play style accordingly. If I know that the enemy just picked up power weapons (assuming I know what the power weapons are) I can try to avoid scenerios where I will be mostly killed by that specific power weapon. I also love when it notifies you when you team or enemies get sprees, double kills with certain voice prompts. Again it helps with balance knowing information you might otherwise have no idea about on other or previous halo games.

Audio
Another thing 343 is quite good at is the audio. I can’t really say I have any gripes towards what they have done. I’ve been using my A50’s and everything sounds lively. Not much else to report other than keep up the good work!

ADS vs Smart Scope

I personally don’t mind the fact they added smart scope but again it all ties into how the weapons behave with and without it. I still found it almost entirely useless in many cases because as soon as you start getting hit, it cancels. Chances are if you come up behind someone he will be dead when you get the first few shots on him with or without it. Range is the biggest factor. As for it being like the famous ads we’ve gotten used to over the years with Cod, it isn’t the same but simliar. There are video of the spread being more confined when you use smart scope but it doesn’t help with precision. To be honest I don’t even think hitting the head with automatic weapons deals more damage than the any other part. Correct me if I’m wrong on that. On top of that, I find it easier to shoot the precision weapons ie. BR, DMR and Pistol from the hip for more consistent headshots unless they are the farthest possible distance away from me. The maps currently are pretty small so we will see in the later periods.

My Final First Impression Thoughts
I’ve been playing Halo almost since the release of Halo:CE and I never been so excited for a game apart from maybe Halo 2 which I’m sure many people can say the same. The game play feels solid, fluid and most importantly it is FUN. The beta has played far better than I could ever expected for a game that is still almost a year from actually releasing. It’s absurd to think that this is even a beta when it plays as well as it does. The mechanics needs some tweaking but it almost plays as if it is a fully fledged release with limited options and features of course.

This has probably been quite the long read for those who read most of it but 343 are on the right track and we’ll still have to see what else they bring to the table to get more experienced with mechanics and how they envisioned the game to be played.

Thoughts?

Nice list OP.

The only place I disagree with is the kill times. I’m okay with them how they are, but I’d be okay with a minor change.

I’m glad you brought up the lobby issue. I don’t want to wait that long between matches. I usually back out before the intermission because it’s been faster to get a match that way for me.

Another issue is that, when you back out, you go all the way back to the main menu. I would prefer to be backed up to the screen where you choose the game-type.

Sure, it’s just a beta, but I think it’s best if we bring every issue to attention.