My personal review of Halo 5: Guardians (Spoilers)

Before I start my review, I would first like to say that I have been a big fan of Halo since 2007. I have played Halo before then, but not much (Halo: CE campaign as well as Halo: CE multiplayer on the PC.) I then picked up Halo 3 and enjoyed it so I went back to play the Halo 2 campaign. After that, I have been buying Halo games on launch ever since and playing non-stop. I also have purchased every novel as well as every comic book and have been reading through all of them. I have purchased the Legendary edition for Halo: Reach and the Limited edition for Halo: 4. I decided to follow tradition and purchase the Limited Collector’s Edition for Halo 5: Guardians ($250 bundle.)

I will state that I am most pleased with Halo 5: Guardians. I am a big Halo fan, so I always try to go into the game with a positive attitude. I thought that the campaign in the game was great, but a little misleading from Microsoft’s marketing team. I will go further into this in my review. However, I am disappointed with the multiplayer overall. I will first talk about the game itself and then go into details about the Limited Collector’s Edition. Let us begin.

Campaign
When I was waiting month after month for this campaign, Microsoft and 343 Industries kept releasing trailers for the game as well as doing the marketing campaign, #HuntTheTruth, to hype up the game. I was certainly hyped for this game for months. As amazing as the trailers were for the game and #HuntTheTruth, I was disappointed that none of these had anything to do with the campaign for Halo 5: Guardians. Master Chief was never marked as a traitor in the game like the advertisements put him out to be. Master Chief never even wore the cloak from the 2013 E3 trailer. I do not think the marketing team really knew what they were doing when they were constantly giving us the impression that Locke was hunting down Master Chief because he was a supposed “traitor”.

Now that I have that off of my chest, I will continue my review of the campaign. I thought the story was good, even though I expected something different. 343 Industries seemed to have made the same mistake as they did with Halo 4 which is that they make the campaigns more focused on the lore. For the casual fan base of Halo, this could make them a bit confused at points. For those who love to delve into Halo’s lore, the campaign loves to throw in lots of nice little hints and really just makes the campaign much more memorable. I feel that 343 Industries should tone down on making the campaigns focus on catching up on the lore so that everyone can understand what is going on the game and enjoy it. I enjoyed blasting through the campaign on Legendary and I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the entire game. One thing that kind of irked me about the campaign was the ending. The ending didn’t really feel like there was any closure. I think the ending may have been better if all that happened after Blue Team is saved is that they return with Locke to Dr. Halsey. Adding the parts with Cortana at the end really just made the ending a giant cliffhanger. All the ending did was make me wanting more and waiting impatiently for Halo 6.

I really enjoyed each of the characters in the game. Although some characters did not develop as much in the game as others, overall I enjoyed each character. I will begin talking about Fireteam Osiris members. Even though Jameson Locke is not a fan favorite in the community, I really do enjoy his character. I thought his personality was portrayed well in Halo: Nightfall as the guy who will risk his life to get his job done. His character amazed me even more when he risked his life to help save the Master Chief at the end of the game. Olympia Vale was a great addition to the Halo universe. My favorite thing about her is how she speaks Sangheili, such as when charging the Elder Chambers to save the Arbiter and she speaks Sangheili. I thought that was great. Edward Buck needs no explanation. After playing Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, we all know what he has been through. Edward Buck personally is one of my favorite characters and I find it even more amazing when he is now an integral part of the Halo story and just not part of the spin-off games. Tanaka, in my opinion, does seem as fleshed out as the other characters on Fireteam Osiris. I read her origin story about the glassing of Minab and I thought it was a decent origin story. Other than that, nothing else was really interesting about her. She didn’t seem to be as focused on in the game as the other Osiris members were.

Now about Blue team. Master Chief is already a developed character considering all that he has been through in the Halo: CE - Halo 4. However, with Kelly, Fred, and Linda, they were not really developed throughout Halo 5: Guardians. If you have read the books that featured Blue Team, then they would have been more developed for you by the time you started playing Halo 5: Guardians, but for those who are the casual fan base, it seems like bad writing to just throw them straight into the game with no explanation of who they really are, other than the fact that they are friends with Master Chief. The only mention of them being like family to Master Chief was when Locke was telling Fireteam Osiris about Blue Team. Also the fact that there was only 3 missions where you play as Blue Team, it does not really give any of the other members of Blue Team time to develop as a character.

Multiplayer
My overall experience in the multiplayer was bad. I will try not to rant in my posts but there are a few things that really irk me about the multiplayer.Before anyone decides to even bring it up, yes I am not playing well on this game but that is not the point.

The biggest thing that grinds my gears about the multiplayer is the compromise to sprint, where your shields can not charge back up while you are sprinting. I understand 343 Industries is trying to compromise to the players who enjoy sprint and the players who do not, but I just think it is a terrible compromise. Either take sprint out completely or keep sprint in where you can recharge shields while running. I just feel like it was a cheap method to please both parties but ended up failing.

Another thing that I do not enjoy in the multiplayer is the Spartan charge. I would constantly get Spartan charged and then sprayed down with an assault rifle, SMG, or just get shot in the head with the magnum. It doesn’t even help that radar range has been decreased from 25m to 18m in Arena either, which I will get to next. I understand there are ways to counter a Spartan charge, but they never seem to work for me. I even played in a Warzone match once, tried to thruster to the side, and the Spartan charge TRACKED me. How is that fair?

The radar range decreasing to 18m in Arena playlists was not a logical decision by 343 Industries. In a fast paced game like Halo 5: Guardians, having a radar that small is useless when you can’t even react to someone charging you by the time you notice them in the radar. If it was in a Halo game that didn’t have sprint, then it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Warzone has radars at 25m, why can’t Arena?

Because of all of the issues above, I am not a big fan of the Arena gametype. It just does not interest me as much as the other Halo games, and I have played a fair share of Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4 multiplayer. I even played Halo 5: Guardians for a week already (Took week off of work.)

Cont. 1/2

Cont. 2/2

Warzone I have more positive feelings toward than Arena. While Warzone is the more casual friendly game mode, it actually gets pretty competitive. I do not enjoy playing the game mode by myself, especially since your team would do poorly without proper communication, and if you play with a bunch of randoms that you got paired up with, you probably won’t do well. I usually lose whenever I search by myself, so I resorted to going to the forums as well as even Reddit to find players to join up with for Warzone. After playing with a full team of 12 and constantly winning, I don’t think I can ever go back to searching alone. I enjoy how there are several ways you can win, such as keeping hold of bases or taking out bosses. Overall, I enjoy Warzone more than I do Arena.

There are some positives that I like about the multiplayer though. I think the maps are well designed and they really put great detail into each map. Also, I enjoy the Spartan chatter in the game and how they would call out things, even though I don’t pay attention to them. I just listen to who I’m playing with. The one thing that I do enjoy more than Halo 4 is definitely the weapon drops. I love how they would be consistent and count down when the weapon would respawn instead of the random weapon drops that would happen in Halo 4. I also enjoy Arena with it’s same weapon starts as it makes the game more balanced than compared to Halo 4’s loadout system. Overall, there are some positives and negatives about the multiplayer but I just do not enjoy playing it as much as previous Halo games.

Limited Collector’s Edition Content
Overall, I feel like most of the money I spent was worth it, but there were a few things that I really did not enjoy about the Limited Collector’s Edition. I will start with the positives.

The Chief/Locke statue was definitely the reason I decided to get this bundle. I love the detail in the statue, although I was a little bit worried after picking the Limited Collector’s Edition up when I heard someone got a statue with Locke’s helmet piece off. To my surprise, I later found out that there was a secret compartment behind the statue that held Locke’s head inside, which made it interchangeable with the helmet. That explained the helmet being off when he got the statue. Overall, the statue is great.

The Fall of Reach: Animated Series was overall good to watch. I really enjoyed the little nod to Jorge that they had in Part 1. All of the key plot points they had was pretty impressive. The downside to watching this is that it doesn’t cover the events of the whole novel. It doesn’t even cover the Fall of Reach, which is the main battle of the novel. I started to suspect it wouldn’t feature every event of the novel when I discovered it was only an hour long, but for the events that it did show, it was pretty nice to watch. For those who never read any novels and wondering who Blue Team is, this is definitely the thing to watch.

The steelbook that they included was pretty impressive, although there was really no point in it since it came with a digital download. I know they offered the option to exchange a digital copy for a physical copy, but that could have taken longer than I would prefer and I wanted to play Day One so I stuck with digital. Spartan Locke’s Classified Orders was nice to include in the collection. After reading his orders, I had a feeling that Master Chief was not a traitor since after reading the orders, the UNSC was more concerned about getting the UNSC Prowler as well as their MJOLNIR armor back since it is UNSC property. The Dossiers on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris was interesting to look at, but really did nothing important since I knew enough about the characters already.

The only thing I did not enjoy from the Limited Collector’s Edition was the Guardian model by Metal Earth. I was excited to be able to display this Guardian model alongside my Halo: Reach statue and my Halo 5: Guardians statue, but unfortunately that will not happen. This model is a pain to build. After taking out the sheets of metal, and looking at the instructions, it doesn’t seem TOO complicated. But as soon as you attempt to remove the pieces, you know this is torture. The pieces of metal that keep the model pieces in place on the sheet are TOUGHER than the actual metal on the model pieces. I managed to get the first two pieces out, after bending it constantly trying to remove them. Once you manage to get the pieces out, you realize it is even harder than you have imagined before. The bending of certain flaps on the metal is extremely difficult, especially for those with large hands. It took me about an hour roughly to fold the flaps on the first two pieces and connect them together, and I even managed to break off one of the flaps which would have been part of the exterior of the model. It will end up looking terrible by the end from how I was going with it so far so I stopped. 343 Industries, this was a terrible part of the Limited Collector’s Edition and I hope you never put something like this again in a bundle.

Conclusion
Overall, I thought the Halo 5: Campaign was great, especially since I enjoy most of the Halo lore. The multiplayer is not as fun as I hoped it would be. I will definitely be going back to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for my Halo multiplayer. Finally, most of the Limited Collector’s Edition content was great! Please just don’t put another Metal Earth model in anything else though, 343 Industries. I beg you!

If I had to end up rating the game and the bundle out of 10, I would give the ratings as follow.

Halo 5: Guardians: 8.5/10 (Took some points off because of multiplayer. Everything else is solid.)
Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition Content: 8/10 (Took points off for that Metal Earth crap.)

Thank you for sticking through for my review of Halo 5: Guardians. Have a good day.