Halo 5: Guardians Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Halo 5: Guardians. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
I've never been a "Halo guy." Sure, I've played each game of the series and I appreciate what makes them such a big deal but I've never been the type to stay awake playing hours of death match until all hours of the night. Until now. In terms of shooters, especially those released this year, Halo 5 is in a class all it's own. Mechanically it's incredibly solid and adding in an entertaining campaign along with the biggest multiplayer suite the game has seen to date and you'll see why the game is turning heads of even people like me. Halo 5 is unquestionably one of the best shooters of the year and the definitive reason to own Microsoft's new console.
Right from the moment you start Halo 5 you're thrown into the campaign in such blockbuster fashion it may even throw you off a bit and that's what the game unquestionably excels in - hugely satisfying battles. Every enemy I faced, every gun I fired and every vehicle I rode (well, most anyway) felt great and I never felt like I was at a disadvantage because I couldn't find my favorite gun. Those weapons that disappointed in previous games seem to have been made a focus by developer 343 and they're even great in the right situations. Weapons are weighted great and sound phenomenal, adding to what makes Halo 5's biggest moments so special to begin with.
One of the reasons I've never really gotten into Halo is surely the franchise's reputation as a multiplayer first shooter and though Halo 5 doesn't do much to change that, the campaign is entertaining enough, if not a bit misleading to warrant multiple playthroughs. Though series protagonist Master Chief is front and center on most of the marketing for the game, his co-star Spartan Jameson Locke is unquestionably the star of the show. You'll spend upwards of 80% of the game playing as Locke and his squad of soldiers, even if the marketing wants to make you believe that you'll be donning the iconic armor of Chief. It's not so bad since the soldiers you're around come to life pretty realistically with believable background chatter (Nathan Fillion's Buck is a highlight) and the campaign is filled with moments of such incredible spectacle that you'll surely be busy but I the moments with Master Chief are unquestionably some of the best moments of the game.
There's context here as well if you're willing to look for it enough. While most players will see Locke's squamates as just extra guns watching your back, digging a bit through the series' expanded fiction you'll find that these are some of Chief's oldest friends but the game doesn't do a great job in letting you know that and a few of the game's biggest emotional beats are softened as a result. If it's any consolation, Halo 5 let's you issue orders to these squamates much better than in previous games. Simple controls mapped to the d-pad like "shoot this enemy" or "shoot that turret" let you tell your soldiers what to do and they typically respond quickly and accurately. There were still moments where they just didn't listen but these were few and far between compared to previous games.
Of course though, Halo is and always will be a multiplayer first game, and Halo 5 more than delivers thanks to one of the series' most feature packed and well built multiplayer suites. The clear winner here is war zone mode which acts as a remarkable bridge between the campaign and the multiplayer mode. You'll still be competing against other spartans but Warzone mixes in mechanics from a slew of different modes and adds NPC bosses to the mix. I'ver made it clear in reviews before how I'm not a multiplayer gamer and when I try I lose terribly but war zone lessens that blow by giving myself and the other players other objectives to focus on, rather than just shooting me...constantly. The entire multiplayer suite is fun though and thanks to Halo 5's unique REQ pack system, even lesser players like me have a chance to perform huge comeback wins during most matches. Think of REQ packs as currency to spend in Halo, and you're free to spend them in most anyway you want. You can spend them quickly, unlocking bigger and more effective guns but you can also save them up to spawn giant vehicles like tanks, leveling the playing field for nearly anyone who needs a good boost.
Playing through Halo 5, I couldn't help but think of another space shooter...Destiny. It may seem bit unfair but Halo 5 is the game I wanted Bungie's ambitious shooter to be. I loved each location, the teamwork was remarkable and I loved nearly every weapon I laid my hands on. I know that they're two different games and I may be in the minority here but the fact that I cared about Halo 5's story showed me exactly what Destiny could have been and thanks to 343's take on Bungie's old franchise, I don't think I'm going back anytime soon. Halo 5 is unquestionably one of the best shooters available for the newest generation of hardware and if you're picking up an Xbox One this year, you need to pick this game up as well. Now, let's just hope we get a PC version sooner rather than later.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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