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Halo splitscreen photo
Halo splitscreen

Halo devs will 'talk about' split-screen co-op for the next game


It's not supported in Halo 5
Oct 30
// Jordan Devore
Halo 5: Guardians dropped split-screen cooperative play, a series staple, in favor of maintaining a smooth frame rate. The game does support online co-op, but it's just not the same. We've grown so accustomed to going through...
Halo without shooting photo
Halo without shooting

Halo chief would 'love' a Halo without shooting


It can still be exciting without action
Oct 29
// Kyle MacGregor
I think we can all agree Halo 5 is great, even if the gameplay gets in the way of the story, but I still can't help but imagine a game in the series without all that pesky shooting weighing it down.  Luckily, it seems Ha...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Who wants a Master Chief helmet covered in crystals?


It's for charidee!
Oct 27
// Vikki Blake
Here's something I never thought I'd see: a Master Chief helmet covered with 25,000 Swarovski crystals. "A one-of-a-kind Master Chief helmet is up for auction for fans who want to own the unique memorabilia," states the eBay listing.

Review: Halo 5: Guardians

Oct 26 // Chris Carter
Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)Developer: 343 IndustriesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: October 27, 2015MSRP: $59.99 While Guardians may have a no-nonsense intro that places you immediately into the fray, it already assumes that you know a ton of the franchise's backstory. There's so much lore at this point, spanning comics, web series, and other shows, that it's hard to keep up. The basic gist this time around is Master Chief is missing, Jameson Locke is sent to find him, and the Forerunners are still the big bad of the franchise. Everything else in-between is kind of a blur. The campaign features 15 missions in all, and is heavily built around the concept of fireteams -- which means you'll have three other characters following you around at all times, ready to take orders by way of AI constructs, or as player characters. If you're going the solo route, you can order your team to move to certain locations, or attack specific targets. It's rudimentary at best, as the only command you have is a single d-pad stroke that does either of those two options, but it's very cool to see your team banter and blow enemies away by your side. Your teammates can also revive you if you're down (though there are still insta-kill mechanics and pitfall deaths), getting you back into the action faster. [embed]315608:60816:0[/embed] Halo 5 features linear, more Call of Duty-style levels, with the occasional miniature sandbox or mid-sized arenas distractions. What I like about the campaign mechanically is it's always forcing you to switch weapons (between the human, Covenant, and Forerunner variety), which constantly puts you out of your comfort zone. There are a ton of weapons in the franchise at this point, and it feels like 343 didn't skimp out or remove any -- so you expect somewhat of a learning curve. When it comes to the campaign though, nothing blew me away outside of a few select missions. The first five are table-setting affairs, as it stands, but even after you progress through those, the narrative  never really goes anywhere. The story is rather annoying in a way, as it relies heavily on past games to a fault. I really enjoyed the original tale of Halo: Combat Evolved, with the simplistic story of the conflict between Covenant and humans, with the Flood in the middle, but this "new" trilogy isn't really doing it for me. Sure, the action is spot-on, but the Forerunners aren't a compelling enemy, as far too much of their history is billed with mystique, and I couldn't be bothered to care about any of the cast members outside of a light amount of nostalgia for Chief.  I also had a few technical issues during my playthrough. There were some weird instances where progression didn't trigger and a door didn't open because there was an enemy stuck in a far corner somewhere. Also, on a few occasions my team didn't revive me even though they were right there, or outright refused to move or take orders. Guardians features drop-in drop-out multiplayer, which is great because the four-person campaign component never feels forced, but the lack of split-screen is an utter shame. For reference, it took me roughly six hours to finish the story on the standard difficulty setting. How does it play? So well that you'll often forget about how mediocre the campaign is. The gameplay has changed significantly, mostly due to new mobility options and the power to aim down the sights of your gun (also known as ADS or Iron Sights). Players can also press a button to boost, which works both on land and in the air, and hold the melee button to slam down to the ground, or press it while running to trigger a dash attack. It feels like a quicker, hybrid arena shooter now with all these changes. Warzone, however, is leaps and bounds more fun than the story. It's billed as a 12v12 mode that features a massive base tug-of-war, with enemy AI meddling on the side. In short, it feels like a bite-sized story mixed with multiplayer, and accomplishes most of the goals it sets out to achieve. For example, at the start of a match, you'll have to clear out your own base -- there's no downtime involved. From there, Warzone constantly throws things at you, from sub-objectives to boss fights, with plenty of PVP action injected for good measure. 12v12 is by no means a massive amount of players, but it gets the job done, especially when coupled with the aforementioned PVE mechanics. There's always something to do, and always players to kill. The large map size also brings something to Halo that really hasn't been done before, as they're roughly three times bigger than past locations in the series. Because of my time with Warzone, I've felt inspired to find a group of people to play with down the line. I think this mode has potential for some really memorable matches. There's a straight non-AI variation available as well, if you prefer that. So that's Warzone. On the other end of Halo 5's PVP component, you have Arena -- traditional deathmatch game-types across a handful of different modes. There's Team Arena (with CTF, deathmatch, and Stronghold variants), Slayer (FFA), Breakout (one life), free-for-all, and the classic SWAT mode (no shields, no radar), with promises of more playlists post launch. You can also create custom games online if you wish, with specific rule sets. Once you acclimate to ADS, it's basically the same Halo you've played many times before, for better or worse. The levels in Guardians are decently balanced, though. There's 15 at launch, and the pool is admirable, consisting of several different locations and layouts. "Plaza" is one of my standout favorites, as it's an entropic map that's vertically inclined, and both stylish and practical. There isn't one map that I've groaned at (outside of the Midship remake, which is a good arena, but one I've played constantly for over a decade), and if I was ever bored of the small to mid-sized layouts, I just went back to Warzone. As for the multiplayer experience as a whole, there's a strong emphasis on dedicated servers, which the game prominently informs you it's using during every matchmaking sequence. It's been smooth sailing so far, but if there's any changes we'll provide an update after launch. This doesn't factor into the review, but all Halo 5: Guardians maps (15 planned so far) will also be provided for free, presumably due to the sustainable funds generated from the microtransactions. Additionally, Forge mode will be released sometime in December. So how about those "REQ" microtransactions? They're pretty painless, actually. While they provide power-ups, such as single-use vehicles or weapons for Warzone play, they're entirely optional in Arena, and provide cosmetic upgrades (skins, and animations) or experience boosts -- think Mass Effect 3. You can basically choose to ignore the system entirely and still excel, or slowly accrue in-game currency to buy them. Either way, it doesn't really impact the experience as a whole. If it weren't for Warzone, Halo 5: Guardians would probably be somewhere on the lower end of the franchise spectrum for me. It's still a fantastic and well-oiled machine, but the story falls flat, and the shift in gameplay mechanics result in the loss of some elements that made the series so unique in the first place. Still, if you're looking to shoot some dudes online, Guardians is your huckleberry. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Halo 5 review photo
Master Chef vs. Locke from Lost
Halo really grabbed me back in 2001. I had just won an Xbox from a Taco Bell contest (no joke), and I was getting ready to sell it when a friend told me about a little old sci-fi shooter from Bungie. After playing H...

Halo 5 stream photo
Halo 5 stream

Streaming Halo 5: Guardians of Ga'hoole


First three levels
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
Halo 5 is out on Tuesday, so I'm streaming Halo in 15 minutes. Get Locke-d in! We're going through the first three levels of the game.
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

There's 'plenty of chance' Halo 5 could come to PC, according to series director


Nothing to announce yet, but it's hope!
Oct 23
// Joe Parlock
Ever since the dinosaurs went extinct, there have been three constants in this world: the sun will rise, the sun will set, and we’ll never see another main series Halo game on PC. After the frankly excellent port of Com...
Halo 5 music photo
Halo 5 music

Stream the full Halo 5 soundtrack this week


Composed by Kazuma Jinnouchi
Oct 20
// Jordan Devore
Lately, my background noise of choice for work has been the ocean. There are enough recordings available that you can afford to get real picky, real fast. I like the sound of distant waves crashing, not that distracting up-cl...
Halo 5 clans photo
Halo 5 clans

Get the gang back together for Halo 5's Spartan Companies


Clans, basically
Oct 19
// Jordan Devore
Halo 5: Guardians has clans, but that's not what they're called. They are "Spartan Companies." You can start your own group and recruit up to 99 others, or join an existing one. Either way. Each company has private forums, as...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's day one update is 9GB, still not as bad as expected


It comes in underweight
Oct 19
// Brett Makedonski
Like prize fighters, the heavyweights of the holiday release season all weigh in before their turn in the spotlight. And, they're called heavyweights for a reason, as their storage capacity requirements tip the scales more of...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

You'll need to be a good space marine to get all of Halo 5's Achievements


You got this
Oct 15
// Brett Makedonski
Halo 5: Guardians, imminently-releasing video game as it is, is in the final stages of showing off everything it has to offer. Traditionally, one of the last reveals is the Achievement list. This is usually because third-part...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Play Halo 5 before November 7, get fancy armour


You say armor, I say armour
Oct 13
// Vikki Blake
Planning on picking up Halo 5: Guardians? If you do, and play online before November 7, 2015, you'll get the Teishen Raikou armour set for nowt. That's British for "nothing". For free. Nada. Zip. And so on. 
Halo 5 microtransactions photo
Halo 5 microtransactions

Halo 5 is almost out, so 343's getting busy defending microtransactions


'THIS TIME IT'S GOOD, WE PROMISE'
Oct 12
// Steven Hansen
"It's not pay-to-win," "you can get everything in-game without paying," "balance," "oral doesn't count as sex." Every time a game with microtransactions is about to release -- especially if it's a big 'ol game like Halo 5 -- ...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Get free Halo 5 DLC for watching ten short videos


One REQ pack
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
Most microtransactions ask that you trade real-world money for small chunks of video game content. A Halo 5 pre-release microtransaction promotion doesn't require your money, however; it requires your time. Fortunat...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5 requires up to 60 GB of hard drive space


Bigger is better?
Oct 11
// Kyle MacGregor
It's probably time to start clearing up space on your Xbox One's hard drive. Halo 5: Guardians may have just went gold the other day, but copies of 343 Industries' upcoming shooter are already finding their way onto the stree...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Pretty good Halo marketing, Microsoft


Credit where it's due
Oct 06
// Brett Makedonski
A few days ago, Microsoft had a Halo 5 mural painted on a building in London. This video shows the creation process. It's nice, as these things tend to be -- at least as nice as possible when it's Master Chief's head sp...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's Forge mode is the 'biggest yet,' not shipping with the game


Coming in December
Oct 06
// Brett Makedonski
Halo has always had an active and creative community that loves adding its own twists on the series it adores. Since 2007, it has been unnecessary to look any further than Forge to find shining examples of this. The mode, wh...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

When Master Chief dies, humanity gets real sad


Or did he?
Sep 28
// Brett Makedonski
Whether it's true or not, ONI is reporting that Master Chief has died in the line of duty. It's not unlikely, as our helmeted hero certainly has had his fair share of bullets and grenades lobbed at him. Frankly, he's been pu...
Halo photo
Halo

Duh: Halo 6 is in development, according to developer 343


In the planning phases
Sep 25
// Chris Carter
Oh hey, Halo 5 isn't out yet, and it looks like Halo 6 is in development. This is probably surprising to no one, since this is how the AAA cycle is handled these days, though it's always interesting to hear an exact conf...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's grunts are so adorable when they're sleeping


Also, when they're trying to murder you
Sep 24
// Brett Makedonski
We've spent well more than a decade conditioned to abhor The Covenant. Every time we see them, everything immediately dissolves into an all-out firefight. There's no love loss at all. But, maybe those guys aren't so bad -- e...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Okay, this Halo 5 cinematic is cool


Blue Team is back
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
It's reassuring to know that I can still feel something while watching a Halo cinematic. This scene leads into Blue Team, the second mission of Halo 5: Guardians, which sees Master Chief and his crew clear out an ONI research facility overtaken by a rogue Covenant faction.

Halo 5: Guardians has some new toys but a familiar feel

Sep 23 // Rey Gutierrez
What they say. Set eight months after the end of Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians dives into the intrigue surrounding the Master Chief as he breaks away from the UNSC to uncover the truth of inexplicable events. Close on his heels, Spartan Locke, a legendary manhunter with Fireteam Osiris and a rising new star in the UNSC, is hunting the Master Chief to find answers of his own. Experience the most dramatic Halo story to date in a 4-player cooperative epic that spans three incredible worlds and a galaxy of war with itself. Halo 5: Guardians is evolving. What Rey & Kayla Like Visually, the game is vibrant. It's full of color pops, explosions, and beautifully rendered characters and textures. Takes full advantage of the Xbox One. Jumping and climbing/clambering allows you to explore new heights, gain better vantage points on enemies, and discover hidden skulls and terminals more easily than ever before. Your days spending 45 minutes trying to glitch jump that rock wall are pretty much over! Spartan Charge introduces a new melee mechanic. It allows you to break through certain walls and structures, sometimes as part of the storyline, sometimes on your own exploration to discover hidden rooms and pathways. Spartan Charge also acts as a one-hit shield breaker on enemies, amplifying close-quarters combat. Revive and Tracking, new abilities specifically for Campaign, allow you to call for help or aid fallen teammates, and always know where your objective is (which I ended up using quite a bit, due to the world feeling much more open and expansive). Listening to the Covenant chatter is always amusing. I spent more time trolling a Grunt waiting to hear what he has to say about the Master Chief, than actually following the campaign mission. Halo veterans may find the new 60fps off putting by removing the cinematic immersion of Halo (or junk in the trunk), but after getting acclimated -- Halo 5 is smooth, easy on the eyes and just pure joy to control, especially on the Xbox One’s controller, and fantastic use of the Rumbling Triggers. What Rey & Kayla Dislike Watching Master Chief take a knee and request assistance from a squad mate when he’s down will take some getting use to. It reeks more of Gears of War than a new gameplay enhancement. The all-knowing and all-seeing AI favorite, Cortana, has been replaced with a Master Chief who uncharacteristically talks too much. Your fireteam AI (Blue Team: Kelly-087, Fred-104, Linda-058) and fireteam Osiris are nonexistent for the most part and operate autonomously. They’ll aimlessly follow you around and partake in the firefight with generic “bro-chatter” that you’d hear in a Call of Duty game, and not nearly as witty, random, or entertaining as a UNSC Marine. But you can give your fireteam contextual commands like “Go To Location, Attack My Target, Use Turret or Vehicle,” even if they’re acting more like distractions or decoy for enemies. “Run and gun” is not a recommended strategy. Keeping an eye on your ammo (there's never enough ammo), bouncing around high vantage points (Ground Pound) to avoid enemies, and remembering which ability does what leads to a lot more strategy and thinking than most Halo veterans are used to. More Halo 5: Guardians Facts Three epic worlds, epic battle, and epic scale A gripping story full of new and returning fan-favorite character, and introducing enemies that will change the Halo universe forever. The ability to play through the entire campaign either solo or with up to three other friends online through seamless drop-in/out co-op on dedicated servers. Make your team a deadly weapon, by commanding them with Halo 5: Guardian’s Fireteam AI or team up with friends online and experience the story through the perspective of your Spartan teams. Expansive, complex battlefields designed to support more players, more enemies, and even more intense, epic-scale battles than ever before. Kayla’s final initial thoughts on previewing Halo 5: Guardians. "Tons of new abilities for campaign AND multiplayer that will change the way people play, but there’s still enough that feels true to the Halo franchise that OG players aren’t going to feel abandoned. Definitely some new game types that I know are going to suck every minute out of my days when it’s released. And of course I’m excited to see the storyline play out. We got a pretty good preview that sparked some feels, so I’m ready to see where they go with it! Is it October yet?"
Halo 5: Guardians preview photo
Meet Kelly, Fred, Linda, and John!
Master Chief, Cortana, Grunts, Elites and the UNSC, all names that should sound familiar to Halo fans and fans of gaming alike. Before we had "Guardians," there was just evolved combat in the original Halo: Combat Evolved, ...

Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 podcast 'Hunt the Truth' returns today


I'm probably too excited for this
Sep 22
// Mike Cosimano
Let's be honest with each other. Hunt the Truth, a Serial-esque podcast set in the Halo universe, is a marketing tool. It exists so people can get excited for Halo 5: Guardians. But you know what? It's actually fantastic...
Halo 5 unlocks photo
Halo 5 unlocks

Halo 5's multiplayer unlocks come in card packs


The REQ system explained
Sep 18
// Jordan Devore
Halo 5: Guardians will use digital cards to dole out weapons, armors, vehicles, animations, boosts and other unlockable items in multiplayer. We've known as much. But in a blog post this week, 343 Industries spoke about this ...
Halo 5 campaign photo
Halo 5 campaign

See how Halo 5's campaign is shaping up


'Framerate is king'
Sep 14
// Jordan Devore
The Halo 5: Guardians campaign won't have split-screen cooperative play (online co-op is supported), but it will run at 60 frames per second. Here's a slice, Swords of Sanghelios, in action. 343 Industries has employed a prog...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's multiplayer won't be a democracy


Or a cheerocracy
Sep 09
// Brett Makedonski
We've written recently about some changes in Halo 5: Guardians that fans will have to get used to. Another of those has surfaced. 343 Industries will be in complete control of what maps get played in multiplayer. Josh &n...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Watch the Halo 5: Guardians opening cinematic


Enough military speak to sink a fleet
Sep 01
// Joe Parlock
Halo 5: Guardians is on the horizon, and so 343 Industries has given us a peek of the game’s opening cinematic. It’s got your usual Halo stuff: Covenant, people in absurdly big armour, and lots of holograms. The ...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Master Chief won't be unmasked in Halo 5


Guardian his face
Aug 21
// Brett Makedonski
No one has ever seen the face of Xbox's most popular video game franchise. Master Chief's appearance is nothing more than a suit of armor. 343 Industries says it's staying that way for a while -- at least through Halo 5: Guar...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

343i: The problem with split-screen co-op is 'nontrivial'


Dev responds to #BringHalo5SplitScreenBack
Aug 18
// Vikki Blake
Halo 5: Guardians' franchise development director has hit back against criticism that the newest instalment of the shooter will not feature split-screen co-op play.
Halo 5 leak photo
There's a hole in my beta, dear Liza
The theme music from Halo 5: Guardians and shots of multiplayer menus (including Warzone, the new 12-on-12 mode) have leaked online following a recent update to this winter's now-defunct beta. Despite having concluded m...

I'm a big teen now! photo
I'm a big teen now!

Halo 5 first game in series rated T for Teen


Teen friendly, mother approved!
Aug 07
// Jed Whitaker
[Header image from DeviantArt artist Lazeedog.] Great news, teens: you can buy Halo 5: Guardians without an adult as the ESRB has rated it T for Teen, making it the first core game in the series not rated M for Matu...

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