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Halo

Halo 5 update photo
Halo 5 update

Halo 5 now has Big Team Battle


And more customization items
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
With today's 6.2GB "Battle of Shadow and Light" update for Halo 5: Guardians, Big Team Battle is in. My old favorite! The eight vs. eight multiplayer playlist supports Capture the Flag, Strongholds, and Slayer, and it's playa...

Fear and loathing in Halo 5: Guardians

Nov 17 // Jed Whitaker
Anyone who knows me on a personal level knows I love Halo; I've played every game at or before launch, no matter the means necessary. While the hype train has been in full force for Halo 5 for months, I've stayed out of it. I hate getting hyped up only to be let down, and after the disastrous launch of The Master Chief Collection, I had little faith in 343 not screwing up Halo 5. At E3, I even purposefully avoided playing the build available there, though I had played and mostly enjoyed the beta earlier in the year. I say 'mostly' because it went from being fun and fresh yet familiar, to quickly catering to the screaming minority of MLG players that eventually lead to Halo 4's multiplayer being ruined when 343 heavily changed the balancing to favor the battle rifle, the go-to gun for wannabe eSports E-thletes. Suddenly the beta was all battle rifles, all the time, just like many of the game types included in The Master Chief Collection. I hated it. Almost every Halo game has launched with the default guns being assault rifles and the pistol, or something similar. The battle rifle was considered a power weapon that had to be collected from the map. Halo was a mad dash to obtain power weapons and to remember when they would respawn so as to grab them before your opponents. Not this starting with the best weapon in the game bullshit. Fast forward to just a few days before launch: I've avoided basically all hype and news regarding Halo 5, aside from thoroughly enjoying the amazing Hunt the Truth audio series. Then I slipped up and watched a video on REQ packs by GreenSkull, a popular Halo YouTuber. As much as I don't like microtransactions I have a thirst...neigh...addiction to opening blind packs of cards brought on by my obsession with Hearthstone. My hype meter instantly went off the charts. I couldn't wait. Midnight hits. My boyfriend and a couple of friends set out to finish the campaign. I typically play the campaign on the Normal difficulty, but my friends insist on playing on the game's hardest mode, Legendary. After about three grueling hours of dying, swearing, and respawning, the game freezes right at the end of chapter three for me. I can hear my teammates, and they can't hear me. They finish the mission. My progress doesn't save, and I receive no achievements. A nearby salt shaker falls, spilling salt everywhere. "Great! This new dashboard is a real piece of shit. It lags, games and apps crash, and I have constant issues with it. Somehow the Xbox One has managed to get worse since launch!" My friends sit in silence while I lament how console gaming has morphed into a bunch of hoops you have to jump through. "Remember back when gaming consisted of putting in the game, turning on the console, and pressing start? Those were the days. Now I have to update my consoles software, sign in to Xbox Live, install the game, update the game that just installed, open a party in a separate app, pray to a god I don't believe in that others can connect, and then I can play." Since then, the new Xbox One dashboard has gotten far better, but it doesn't change the fact that so much bullshit stands in the way. It is just me and my first-ever Xbox Live friend Kevin left now. Everyone else has gone to bed. It's getting pretty late. We decide to play some multiplayer, only to discover that my headset is cutting in and out. At this point, I'm still not sure if it was the software or hardware. I haven't bothered to attempt chatting since. I just yell into my Kinect, which works surprisingly well now, as if Microsoft has refined its voice functionality through updates.  After a few games of SWAT, which my friend is absolute shit at, we move onto Team Slayer, which my friend is also absolute shit at. "Kevin, we have played Halo together since the second game in the series. How are you suddenly so terrible?" He laughs. His laughter is one of my favorite things; it is contagious. Kevin heads to bed, so I decide to go back to completing matches to be assigned a rank in each of the online game types, starting with one of my go-to playlists, SWAT. In SWAT, there are no shields, a single headshot will bring opponents down, and you either start with a magnum or a battle rifle (one of the only times I don't mind BR starts). After ten qualifying matches, I am awarded the rank of onyx, or what was previously known as semi-pro in the beta. Onyx is the highest rank you can qualify for apart from being one of the top 200 players in each playlist; those players are ranked as champion. After achieving onyx in SWAT, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and get ranked in all the other playlists. Next on the list was free-for-all, because I'm a wolf pack of one. Free-for-all is probably my most-played game type across all of the Halo series because I don't have a lot of people I play with and tend to avoid making new Xbox Live friends for no particular reason. Even though I'm confident in my skills, I lost a few of my ten qualifying matches but still managed to achieve onyx. Then I set my sights to the all-new Breakout game type. I wasn't a fan of it in the beta, but perhaps I'd like it now. I got destroyed nearly every single match for my first few matches and managed to get carried for a few wins by my teammates. After winning my last few qualifying matches, I was feeling confident I'd be ranked at least in silver or higher. Nope. Bronze. Me in bronze, the lowest rank in the game!? The person who has played every game in the series at launch given the lowest possible rank!?!? Bullshit. I went to bed after angrily shutting off my Xbox One while cursing 343 and Breakout. The next day I finished getting ranked in the other playlists by achieving gold in Slayer and platinum in Team Arena. I couldn't stand that I was ranked bronze in Breakout, so I decided to torture myself some more and give it a go again. Turns out, I was hilariously under ranked.  "What a relief," I thought to myself, "but wow are these kids awful." My opponents and teammates were so bad, it was like competing with someone that had never played an FPS before, or like a young relative. They walked into walls, stared at the sky and ground, and were just all-around bad. I'm not saying this from a place of feeling superior, but the people I was playing with were clearly ranked correctly. Suddenly Breakout became fun. I'd hear people on my team cheering me on as they watched from the grave as I mowed down the remaining three players on the other team. This happened again, and again, and again. Eventually, I hit rank six of bronze, and the competition picked up a smidgen but would wildly vary between matches; some were a piece of cake, others were more evenly matched. Then it finally happened: I hit silver with a nice five-round sweep. I know it wasn't much of an achievement since I was grossly under matched, but I was thankful for it. Thankful for the opportunity to learn how to play Breakout without having much in the way of competition, and learning from my opponent's mistakes, as well as seeing the error of my ways in the qualifying matches. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I could easily get commendations for kills.  Breakout has quickly become one of my favorite game types, and not just because I win a lot, but because it is fun. I know a lot of Halo players aren't huge fans of it yet -- including the team that rage quit during the finals of a tournament recently by suiciding and afterward tweeted at the official Halo account, "I'd rather commit suicide on mainstage than play your shitty game type." But really, people should give it a chance. It might just grow on you. I'm sure I'll be playing Halo 5's multiplayer for some time, as it feels like one of the most balanced games in the series thus far. If you'd like the chance to hear me angrily swear from time to time while playing Halo 5, then be sure to join Destructoid's Spartan Company and prepare to be carried.
Not your dad's Halo photo
Or how I learned to love the Breakout
"Fuck this stupid fucking Call of Duty bullshit. Get your shit together, Bungie...er...343, whoever!" This is how my first night with Halo 5 ends, in a fit of rage after a kill-less losing streak in the game's new tepidl...

Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Oh Halo no: 343 flooded with reports of Halo 5 multiplayer rank resets


Fortunately, it doesn't seem permanent
Nov 11
// Brett Makedonski
Some who have dumped several hours in Halo 5's multiplayer over the past two weeks might see an unwelcome sight when they turn on the game. There's a chance that their multiplayer progress has been reset. That's the nightmare...
Deals photo
Deals

Can't wait for Black Friday? Xbox One gets free games & bonuses (updated)


Most bundles qualifying
Nov 05
// Dealzon
Update 11/8: We've updated the post to include freshly arrived Xbox One deals from Best Buy, Newegg et al. Currently the best bet is Microsoft's build your own Xbox One bundle deal, where you get AC Unity for free plus two fr...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's REQ Packs have already raised $500K for the World Championship


Someone has money to burn
Nov 04
// Jordan Devore
Halo 5: Guardians had the biggest Halo launch yet, according to Microsoft, "with more than $400 million in global sales of [the game] and hardware." It's the fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive. With that in mind, I've been cu...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5 grosses more on day one than Spectre in UK


7.7 million UK pounds, to be exact
Nov 04
// Vikki Blake
Halo 5: Guardians grossed £7.7 million on day one in the UK, Microsoft has announced. Halo 5 entered in pole position in the UK chart, selling twice as many copies as Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and twice as many as 343 Industries' previous Halo game, Halo: Master Chief Collection. 
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Buying Halo 5 at a military base nets you this collector's coin


Neat
Nov 02
// Chris Carter
Well, this is pretty cool. As it turns out, if you buy Halo 5 at a military base in the US, you can net a special commemorative coin with your purchase. The bonus was uncovered over at reddit and has since been independe...
Cortana not sexy photo
Cortana not sexy

Halo boss: Cortana 'not really nude,' appears without clothes to 'attract and demand attention'


Would not hold up in court, trust me
Oct 30
// Steven Hansen
343 Industries makes Halo now and so 343 Industries needs a way to explain Halo's Cortana with respect to its own design, intent, and ambitions. Accordingly, Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor offered GamesRadar a n...
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 primed for big sales photo
Halo primed for big sales

Microsoft man: 'Halo is to games' what 'Star Wars is to movies'


Pump the space breaks
Oct 29
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft must be pretty happy that for the second year in a row it has more big exclusives in its holiday lineup (what with Uncharted 4 delayed and the paid timed exclusivity for Rise of the Tomb Raider) than nearest competi...
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...

Let's stop pretending Halo 5's gameplay matters

Oct 27 // Kyle MacGregor
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE CUTSCENES END There is a way to add new systems to an existing formula without fucking things up. The best example of this comes from Killzone: Shadow Fall, which has these aerial drones called OWLs. These things can create energy shields, hack computers, create zip lines, and even inject your character with drugs. They're great! Kind of like Cortana used to be, actually. You know, before she died. Be warned: The words you just read may be considered spoilers. With Cortana gone, Master Chief has made some new friends IRL. Sadly, despite having corporeal bodies, they're all incompetent, often walking into walls or standing in the open getting shot at instead of following simple orders. They're also very bad drivers -- even worse than my uncle Ted, who once ran over the neighbor's cat backing out the driveway and ruined Christmas for everyone! There are other problems, of course, including some mundane boss fights, no local co-op, and tedious level design. Seriously Bungie, how many arenas are you going to lock us in until we kill all the enemies? There's more than one way to flatten a cat, you know. HALO 5 IS AWESOME Thankfully, the cutscenes do a visceral job showing what the Xbox One is capable of from a graphical point of view, pumping out a story that's every bit as good as big-budget Hollywood blockbusters like Vin Diesel's San Andreas and Jurassic World. After finishing the campaign on normal, I went back and tackled it a second time on easy just to see all the explosions and hear Nathan Fillion talk all over again. And now that the game's out, I plan to watch a replay on YouTube and do a quote-along. I really love Halo 5, even despite the tiresome gameplay. It's not that I'm not upset with the horrific friendly AI, the endless corridor shooting, and cribbed Call of Duty mechanics. I am. It's just between all the fun to be had gazing at cinematics and listening to audio chatter, some garbage gameplay is a trivial detail in a package sold for only full retail price plus tax and microtransactions. You're guaranteed your money's worth with Halo 5. The crap parts shouldn't meaningfully impact your enjoyment at all.
Halolz photo
Halo 5 rocks, except for the shooty bits
Halo 5: Guardians is a video game much like any other; some parts of it are real good, others not so much. Take the story, for example, this part of Halo 5 is pretty nice. There's a reason why we gave the game ...

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...
Deals photo
Deals

Halo 5: Guardians pre-order comparison breakdown


Perks and discounts on Guardians
Oct 22
// Dealzon
Hardcore Halo fan looking to pick up Halo 5: Guardians on its release day? For those thinking of pre-ordering, there are actually some interesting pre-order perks from several retailers. Lots of offers abound, but we're ...
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 Minecraft photo
Halo 5 Minecraft

Halo 5 will be invading Minecraft soon


On Xbox
Oct 20
// Chris Carter
Microsoft is only just getting started with the over-saturation brand synergy aspect of Minecraft. On October 23, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One editions of the game will host more DLC in the form of Halo 5: Guardians skins. ...
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 midnight launch event will be held digitally


No lining up needed
Oct 19
// Chris Carter
I recently asked a few GameStop employees and managers if midnight releases were still popular, and the common answer was "no." It's obvious that the chain (and many other retailers) has been ramping up its digital angle as o...
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

NASCAR unveils two Halo 5 themed paint schemes in real life


Yes this is real
Oct 12
// Chris Carter
I had to do a triple-take to make sure this wasn't a promotion for Forza or something, but yes, NASCAR has unveiled two actual real life paint jobs promoting Halo 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself will race No. 88, featuring...
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...

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