PSA: Halo 5 is free to play for Xbox Live Gold members

Shoot grunts until July 5

I don’t think I’ve ever played a bad Halo game. I have my favorites (Reach ODST), but I can see the merits in every installment. Even Halo 5: Guardians, which received a fine, if muted reaction, is still a well-made video game. When the low points in your series are just “good,” that’s an impressive batting record.

(Except for that one time 343 Industries bungled the easiest slam dunk in the history of current-gen remasters, but those games are still good! They’re just smothered by technical issues.)

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to judge Halo 5 for yourself so you can post angry comments on our review about how seven is too low/too high of a score, here’s your chance. Xbox Live Gold members can now download and play the full game for free until July 5, at which point you’ll have to pony up if you want to play more. The deal is ostensibly promoting the release of Warzone Firefight — an enormous unpaid expansion that Jordan covered last week. At first, I was confused as to why you’d need to promote something people don’t have to pay for…until I remembered Halo 5 has microtransactions. Now it all makes sense.

For us Americans, this lines up perfectly with our upcoming holiday weekend. Take this opportunity granted to us by the Founding Fathers, and wring every last drop out of this video game before you have to pay for it. (If you want to pay for it, the game is also 50% off.) Or, if you bought Halo 5 at launch, this is a fine excuse to hop back in while the servers are full of new players.

Mike Cosimano