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Halo 5: Guardians has left me oddly cold and worried

Nov 10 // Abel Girmay
Halo 5: GuardiansDeveloper: 343 IndustriesPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosRelease: November 2015  From the moment I sat down with Halo 5: Guardians, it was clear that the game has a big focus on player movement. If you thought Halo 4's universal sprint was blasphemous (again, you're wrong), enter a Halo game with ledge climbs, running melee's, air stomps, and slides. All of these new abilities are made possible by your thrust pack. Take the running melee for instance. When doing a normal sprint, your thruster will kick in after a few seconds, sending your spartan into a terminal velocity where your melee becomes a running charge that kills in one hit from the back, and your crouch turns into a slide. The ground pounds are similar to the air stomps in Crysis. To initiate a ground pound, you simply jump, aim by holding down the melee button, and a cursor will appear on any surface below, allowing you to smash down with speed. I do wonder how effective a technique the ground pound will be though, as the entire time you're aiming midair, you hover with the thruster pack, making yourself a painfully obvious target.  In exchange for the extra maneuvers, your shields take a hit, never recharging until you come out of your thrust-fueled abilities. It's quite the trade off, and after more than an hour of play, one that I still hadn't quite gotten the hang of. It feels as if 343 was trying to create some sort trade off between mobility and safety, perhaps even trying to find a middle ground between fans that enjoy sprint and those that long of Halo 3's slower pace. In any case, it led to many instances where I would feel like I was being punished for trying to escape a double team. One of the odder additions has to be the clamber system. Essentially a ledge grab and climb, clambering allows you to vault up platforms that are just out of reach of your standard jump. Playing Slayer on the map Truth, a remake of Midship, I must have killed and been killed three times trying to jump to the platform ring where the energy sword rests, as it was oddly just out of standard jump range. Finally, we had all wised up to the fact that the clamber was necessary to make it to the top. A relatively small, inoffensive change to be sure, but more and more I started to feel its implementation was forced. The issue I had with it is that most platforms that seem within jumping range are always just out of reach. Playing on a brand new map, Empire, I found many situations where I would expect to be able to make a jump, only to fall just short without the clamber mechanic. It created this weird chicken or the egg feeling where I'm not sure if clamber is the solution to a problem, or maps were intentionally designed to justify the mechanics existence. My time playing on Truth seemed to suggest the latter, as having this new ability on a well known map never opened up any new or interesting routes, or ways to interact with the map. For those of you who keep up with NeoGAF and its various leaks, you make have heard that Halo 5 has aim down sights (ADS). Well, yes, it does, and yes, ADS doesn't feel good in Halo. While there is no movement penalty, aiming down does narrow your field of view, as it does in all other games. The problem here is that aiming down is a feature that works best, and only in games where weapons by design are inaccurate from the hip, and guns are meant to kill almost as soon as you can land your cursor over an enemy. Halo games do neither of these things. Losing your field of vision with no significant accuracy gain is redundant, and at worst, I felt the narrow view caused me to lose my beat on an enemy. Frustrating in a game where it takes five head shots on average to score a kill.  So that covers the new mechanics, but what about the modes? Apart from Slayer, the only other mode available was the all new Breakout. In Breakout, you and your team of four take on an opposing team, racing to win five rounds. Each player has one life per round, is without shields (not unlike in SWAT), and starts off with an SMG. Their are only two Battle Rifles and two Assault rifles between eight players. It's quite a tense mode, and like Grifball or Zombies, can make for good bouts of quick fun. After I had finished my 90 minutes with Halo 5: Guardians it was clear that 343 wants this game to be more energetic, faster, and physically dynamic. I fear, however, that in their quest the good people of 343 Industries have changed so much that what's left can not be properly identified as a Halo game. That, in summation, is my problem with Halo 5: Guardians. The sinking pit-of-my-stomach feeling that I left with as I thought to myself, "This is not a Halo game." On a more hopeful note, the upcoming December/January beta the is earliest that a beta has launched in franchise history, and 343 made it very clear they want fans to help them make meaningful changes. So if you have an Xbox One and a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection (which you should because that game is amazing), participate, be vocal, and keep your fingers crossed for the next year. I know that's what I'll be doing
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Not my granpappy's Halo
I am not opposed to change. While certain circles of Halo fans find it popular to hate Halo 4, I've always appreciated what 343 Industries did with that game. Sprint was a logical next step to character movement, while loadou...

Holy smokes, we have TONS of beta keys for The Crew!

Nov 06 // mrandydixon
[embed]283541:56232:0[/embed]
The Crew beta photo
Get an early shot at this hot new racer
Your old pal Mr. Destructoid has stuffed his pockets chock full of keys for The Crew's closed beta, and he's giving them out to his favorite community! (That's you, in case you were wondering.) To claim your key, just click the big button below! Then just head on over to this page and redeem it there for your console of choice (PS4 or Xbox One). The beta runs until next Monday. Have fun!

Depth photo
Depth

The devil and the deep blue sea: Depth gameplay


I think the sharks may have the advantage
Oct 28
// Rob Morrow
Digital Confectioners' gruesome shark-'em-up Depth has been high up on my list of most-anticipated multiplayer games for a while now. I mean, who doesn't want to assume the role of a great white shark and reduce their friend...
GTA V photo
GTA V

Rockstar: There is no GTA V beta


Just a bunch of phishing scams
Oct 20
// Brett Makedonski
Rockstar thinks that maybe you shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet. In fact, it's so steadfast in that mindset that it added a page to its site disclosing that those GTA V betas that people are signing ...
Don't Starve Together photo
Don't Starve Together

Klei has generated two million beta keys for Don't Starve Together


They'll be giving them out in waves
Sep 24
// Chris Carter
Don't Starve Together is a multiplayer expansion that's set to come to the base game in the future. In anticipation for the release, developer Klei Entertainment has generated two million beta keys. First up for the beta...
PS3 streaming photo
PS3 streaming

PS3 users can mess around with PlayStation Now


5Mbps connection recommended
Sep 18
// Jordan Devore
Did you spend any time using PlayStation Now on PS4? Too pricey? More of us will have the opportunity to test out the open beta for the streaming service now that it's available for PS3 "in mainland U.S. and parts of Canada."...
Distance photo
Distance

Survival racer Distance speeds to Steam Early Access this fall


They had me at self-regenerating, bifurcated cars
Sep 13
// Rob Morrow
Seattle-based independent games studio Refract's experimental survival racer Distance will be coming to Steam Early Access this fall as an open beta. Until now, access to the futuristic arcade racer has been limited to a pri...
Elite: Dangerous photo
Elite: Dangerous

Here's the digital goodies you'll get if you pre-order Elite: Dangerous


An extra ship? Sure, that sounds good
Sep 12
// Alasdair Duncan
While there's no firm release date, you can pre-purchase a copy of Elite: Dangerous from Frontier Developments. To sweeten the deal, if you order now you'll get some digital goodies like an extra Eagle Fighter ship which sou...
Counter-Strike Zombies photo
Counter-Strike Zombies

Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies is out of control


It has 20+ modes, for reasons
Sep 10
// Jordan Devore
As previously covered, Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies is a real game. It's not out yet, but it will be out on Steam soon enough -- an open beta is scheduled to go live on September 23. I was already toying around with the idea...
Spacecom beta photo
Beta period lasts until September 11
Mr Destructoid has gotten his greedy little hands on some codes for the Spacecom beta, and he's decided to hand them out to the Dtoid community! (This is actually quite generous of our robot overlord. He normally eats things ...

PvE Campaign Beta photo
PvE Campaign Beta

Loadout devs tease update 5.0, PvE Campaign beta incoming


Four-player Campaign mode, rare in-game loot, and a new inventory system
Aug 27
// Rob Morrow
Austin-based studio Edge of Reality has just recently announced that a new four-player PvE Campaign beta will be available prior to releasing update 5.0 for its twerktastic free-to-play competitive shooter Loadout....
Elite Dangerous photo
Elite Dangerous

Watch this crafty space pirate avoid the cops in Elite: Dangerous


It's like Smokey and the Bandit meets Red October. In space!
Aug 26
// Alasdair Duncan
Remember kids, crime doesn't pay. That is unless you find illicit liquor floating in space and decided to slowly sneak into a space station without the cops seeing you. In which case, it very much pays. YouTube user Isinona ...
Grimrock 2 enters beta photo
Grimrock 2 enters beta

Legend of Grimrock 2 enters closed beta, LoG coming to iOS


Staying the course, Grimrock 2 will skip Early Access
Aug 23
// Rob Morrow
Almost Human games has recently announced that the sequel to its popular old-school dungeon crawler the Legend of Grimrock 2 is now officially in beta. Staying true to its word, LoG2 will be skipping Steam Early Access ...
Pillars of Eternity Beta photo
Pillars of Eternity Beta

Pillars of Eternity 'Backer Beta' available now for Windows


Well-heeled Kickstarter backers get an early glimpse of Obsidian Entertainment's RPG
Aug 20
// Rob Morrow
If you ponied up the money necessary for the Pillars of Eternity Collector's Edition, then Obsidian Entertainment has great news for you! Available now, through Steam, these select few can download the "Backer Beta" for the W...
LittleBigPlanet 3 photo
LittleBigPlanet 3

You might have a LittleBigPlanet 3 private beta email in your inbox


Go check!
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
Over the past few days or so numerous PSN users have been reporting that they have been granted access to a special private beta for LittleBigPlanet 3. The invites seem to be rolling out for "creative" people who have previou...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Your Destiny beta character is gone for good


We're starting fresh for the final version of the game
Aug 11
// Jordan Devore
Bungie has made the not-entirely-unexpected announcement that Destiny characters created in the game's beta will not carry over to the final version releasing on September 9, 2014. Here's designer Tyson Green explaining why t...
Steam Beta photo
Steam Beta

Which games are you hiding with the latest Steam Beta update?


Coping with bad decisions
Aug 10
// Rob Morrow
Where do you hide your pile of shame? If you're anything like me it's probably along some dusty, untraveled road on a moonless night, a quart of Evan Williams in your coat pocket, your trusty shovel in one hand and a newly-pu...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Namco's two-on-two fighter Rise of Incarnates enters open beta


May just have to check that out
Aug 08
// Jordan Devore
Rise of Incarnates is that Bandai Namco fighting game that's supposed to be like the Gundam Vs. series but sadly, unfortunately, without any Gundams. If Steven hadn't previewed it, I likely wouldn't be aware it exists, but I ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny had the 'largest console beta ever' for a new IP


4.6 million unique players
Jul 30
// Jordan Devore
Did you get in on the Destiny beta? I did, but only after access was opened to all. Managed to play for about an hour which, after the cut scenes and loading, wasn't enough time for me to get a true sense of how I feel about ...
Destiny beta ends photo
Destiny beta ends

The Destiny beta is gone forever, tell us your stories


Was it good for you, too?
Jul 28
// Kyle MacGregor
The Destiny beta was extinguished late last night, leaving us with six long weeks to carry a torch for the shooter until Bungie rekindles the affair this September. "Your mission in the Destiny beta is complete," Bungie ...
Destiny beta photo
Destiny beta

Bungie has just opened the Destiny beta to everyone


Provided you have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold
Jul 24
// Brett Makedonski
So far, the Destiny beta's been gated off from the public-at-large. Well, sort of. A pre-order would grant you access, and registering your code would get you even more codes, so it wasn't too difficult to find a way in. As o...
Beta back photo
Beta back

Destiny beta is back online a day early, opened up for Xbox


Get in right now
Jul 22
// Steven Hansen
Destiny's beta went down for maintenance yesterday. It was meant to come back on July 23, but it's back up right now, giving you something to do tonight. Me, I'm making ramen. Like, actual ramen, not an instant, 10 cent salt ...
Destiny Beta photo
Destiny Beta

Bungie shuts down Destiny beta for a couple days


Make sure to return to the action Saturday for some special loot
Jul 21
// Kyle MacGregor
You might want to cancel any plans you may have made to battle the Fallen over the next couple days, as the Destiny beta will be taking a respite until Wednesday.  "We are beginning the process of taking the Destiny beta...
The Crew photo
The Crew

Next week's PC beta for The Crew sounds fairly big


Roadtrip
Jul 18
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft's closed PC beta for The Crew will begin a couple days earlier than previously announced. It's now set to take place from July 21 - 25. What's going to be playable, exactly? A decent amount, considering The Crew's ma...

We have 10,000 codes for the Landmark closed beta!

Jul 18 // mrandydixon
Seven-Day Landmark Closed Beta Key Redemption Instructions Copy your key from Dtoid's giveaways page. Visit the official Landmark website and enter your key in the field provided at the top left of the front page. If you do not already have a Station Account, you will be prompted to create one. You can also log into your existing Station Account (or create one) via the handy links found at the top of the official Landmark website. Your seven-day closed beta access begins as soon as your key is registered. Game client download instructions will be given once you've registered your key.
Landmark Beta Keys photo
Go play in the sandbox
[Update: Codes all gone!] Our friends at Sony Online Entertainment have given us 10,000 codes for the Landmark closed beta to share with the Dtoid community! Landmark is a free-to-play, next-generation online sandbox game whe...

AirMech photo
AirMech

AirMech Arena starts its Xbox 360 beta next week


Closed beta kicks off July 23
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Oh, that's right -- Ubisoft and Carbon Games are bringing AirMech to Xbox 360 this year with AirMech Arena. The original browser-based release (which has since come to Steam) was good fun. It's real-time strategy, but instead...

We've got 5,000 keys for Organic Panic on Steam!

Jul 11 // mrandydixon
[embed]277822:54849:0[/embed] If you're one of our Huge members, you can click right here to claim your reserved key! All the rest of you can head on over to our redemption page and claim yours there. Then, just login to your Steam account, redeem your code, and start playing! Did you miss out? Think about becoming a Huge member! They get special access to codes like these, plus a bunch of other great perks. And best of all, you get to directly support the site you love! It's a pretty sweet deal.
Organic Panic beta photo
Be a part of the early access beta!
[Update: And just like that, the codes are now gone! Huge members, we still have a few of your codes left. The rest of you, I'll update the post if we can get more!] Our friends at Midnight City have hooked us up with 5,000 S...

Who wants a code for the Destiny beta?!

Jul 10 // mrandydixon
Did you win? Great! Here's how to redeem: Go to http://bungie.net/beta and follow the instructions. You must have a valid Bungie.net account, so if you do not already have an account, you must create one After you create or sign-in to your Bungie.net account, you will be asked to verify your email address before entering your 9-digit Destiny Beta code Once you have redeemed your Beta code, your account will be approved for Beta access Starting July 10, you must visit your account profile page on Bungie.net to select the platform of your choice Shortly before the Beta begins for the platform of your choice (July 17 for PlayStation systems; July 23 for Xbox systems), Bungie will email you your Destiny Beta code -- your Destiny Beta code will also be visible via your Bungie.net Account Profile/Redeemed Codes page, secured behind your login credentials
Destiny beta giveaway photo
We're giving out a bunch here and on Twitter
[Update: Contest over! Check your PMs to see if you won!] We've recently come into a hefty heap of Destiny beta codes, and we're going to hand them out to the Destructoid community! There are three ways to win: Comment in th...

Destiny beta photo
Destiny beta

Destiny beta hits PlayStation on July 17, Xbox on July 23


Three new editions also announced
Jul 07
// Brett Makedonski
We've known for a long time that there would be a Destiny beta this summer, we just didn't know any specifics about it. Now that information's available, and the dates are rather imminent, with PlayStation owners gettin...
Transformers photo
Transformers

Transformers Universe enters open beta this weekend


Can't be any worse than the movie
Jul 03
// Jordan Devore
I haven't paid much attention to Transformers Universe after it became something that more closely resembles a multiplayer online battle arena game -- albeit from a third-person perspective, like SMITE -- but looking at it no...

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