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Halo 5: Guardians

By on November 2, 2015

halo-portadaMaster Chief VS Locke …. or is it?

343 Industries take the Halo series to Xbox One in what should be the one game that will make Playstation quiver in it’s boots. Instead, it’s more of a stumbling block than a cornerstone in what has to be perhaps the worst Halo of them all.

Let’s start with the good – firstly, it plays beautifully. The action is smooth and swish and the combat makes it a pleasure to play. The new additions of ground slam, boosting etc. make you feel even more like a superhero and makes for some incredibly enjoyable moments.

The multiplayer is it’s golden star. A variety of modes that has taken note of the recent popular aspects of multiplayer modes on other games – notably Titanfall and Call of Duty. If you like Halo multiplayer, this is definitely a huge pull and is potentially worth the price for this alone.

However, I’m not a big Halo multiplayer fan and for me, it’s all about the story of Master Chief and this is where the game completely falls flat. In the campaign mode, the story is boring, nonsensical and full of characters that don’t seem to progress in any way, shape or form. It feels shallow and empty – which is a real shame as I feel that each Halo, as ridiculous as they become, at least felt not just epic in scope – but epic in character. Each game made you feel like one man taking on the universe, and somehow coming out on top, but essentially this is just about Master Chief tracking down Cortana and a bit of exposition about the Forerunners and other stuff I don’t understand.

The main epic tone of the previous games only comes through from these huge Guardians – their role I still don’t understand. If you were looking for Locke vs Master Chief and him being held responsible for his actions (as per upcoming Batman vs Superman) you’d be greatly disappointed. Essentially all it’s about is Master Chief has gone off to find Cortana and not bothered telling anyone he’s done so – so Locke has to track him down, and to Chief they just become a nuisance. It didn’t feel epic in scope and actually, with all the open world games around at the moment, I actually felt quite constricted – which I’ve never felt in a Halo game previously.

It also doesn’t help that the bosses are essentially the same person again and again. To the point where each time you see him, you groan to yourself that you’re about to have the same fight that you’ve already had on more than occasion before.

Also the graphics and artwork are rather tame. Halo is known for it’s sleek futuristic look, but here everything looks cheap and plastic. If you had told me this was a 360 title, I would have believed you. There’s absolutely nothing here that I feel warrants it looking like an incredible next-gen game and at some points, I thought it looked rather crap.

Unfortunately, the worst case scenario for a Halo game being run by another company is that it becomes a cheap, empty parody of itself – and that’s exactly what has happened. The story was terrible and soulless, the graphics are average at best and with a multiplayer being the only thing that holds it up, I feel it’s a rather disappointing game for what should have been a show stealer for Microsoft.

I can’t say I’m excited about Halo 6 and for one of the biggest franchises in gaming, for me this is a huge step backwards.

Rating: 5/10

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