When you think of Xbox, usually the first game that comes to mind is Halo. This is the biggest franchise under the Xbox banner, one of the greatest first-person shooters in existence, and an undeniable blockbuster that manages to wow fans every time. So it’s only right that fans everywhere are excitedly awaiting the Halo 5: Guardians’ October 27th release date. We got a chance to sit down with some folks at 343i for a hands-off demo of the game, and what we learned was quite impressive.
During their presentation they broke down each of the three major components of the Halo 5: Guardians experience: campaign, standard multiplayer, and the all new Warzone mode. Each has received an unprecedented level of attention that enables all three components to feel like a complete Halo experience. No one thing is better than the others and all are absolutely massive in scale.
In order to make things a bit easier, we are going to cover each of the three components in their own section. Not only will this make it easier to follow, but it will also show just how focused they were on creating something that was new and can be loved by die-hard fans. We’ll also cover the differences between the red and blue team.
For years, the team in charge of Halo have wanted to create what is now Warzone, but were too restricted by technological limitations. That is no longer the case due to the power of the Xbox One. For the uninitiated, Warzone is a mode that takes everything great about the Halo series and throws it all together for one intense multiplayer session.
A 24 player battle (two teams of 12) set on the largest multiplayer maps (some more than four times the size of the largest standard multiplayer maps). But it isn’t just size that Warzone is bringing to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer experience. These are battles in every sense of the word. Not only will players have to worry about the enemy team, but AI enemies will also be on the offensive. These are neutral aliens who will not hesitate to eliminate any Spartan on the battlefield, no matter what team they are a part of.
To win a Warzone, your team must reach 1000 points or the destroy the enemy teams core. Points are earned by killing opponents, killing AI enemies, taking over one of the three control points found on every Warzone map (we’ll get to that shortly), and defeating legendary bosses. Pretty much anything that can be considered helping your team earns you a sum of points (with more important actions earning the biggest rewards).
Each map contains three points for teams to control. Not only do these locations earn points towards your goal, but they also provide strategic advantages. There are two bases on either side and a garage in the middle. Taking over any of these will cause new AI enemies to spawn, only this time they are marines that are on your side. These locations also grant your team access to requisition stations which are spots where you can purchase more advanced equipment to help you out during combat. You can earn requisition packs by participating in any of the multiplayer modes in Halo 5: Guardians. Some even get you specific, powerful tools of war. But, the developers managed to keep everything balanced by not allowing players to purchase powerful items from the beginning of the match. You will have to put in a bit of work before you earn the right to weapon up.
Once you have some more powerful gear, you may be able to take down one of Warzone’s more serious challenges: legendary bosses. During Warzone matches a notification will appear informing everyone that a boss has appeared. Now, a choice has to be made,do you take your team and defeat the boss for a whopping 200 points (that’s 20% of the necessary score by the way), or wait for the enemy team to attack and pick them off while they’re occupied? This sort of risk/reward scenario in the heat of battle adds some serious excitement to the whole ordeal and really cements the whole you’re in the middle of a war.
It only took a small taste of this new experience to nail the point home. Warzone is something special, and if you weren’t looking forward to it before, then you definitely should now.