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Halo 5: Guardians – how Master Chief’s world got its hooks into a Sony fan

Wednesday, 2nd July 2014 16:38 GMT By Dave Cook

Halo 5: Guardians is coming in 2015, and although VG247′s Dave Cook doesn’t consider himself a fan of the series, he’s growing keen on the Xbox One shooter.

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I’m not what you’d call a Halo fan or a person who’s been that bothered by the series, but that’s been changing over the last few years. I was a Sony fanboy in my youth – a despicable act I know – so I missed the whole Halo: Combat Evolved craze on the original Xbox.

While fans of Microsoft’s console were loving every minute of the first two Halo games, I was buried deep in the likes of Final Fantasy 12 and other PS2-exclusives. As the years went on I started to come around to Master Chief and his pew-pew ways.

Now I think about it, I’ve actually spent countless hours having a blast in Firefight mode with friends, we put a lot of time into ODST and Reach co-op, and I actually really liked the Halo 4 campaign. So while I’m not a super-fan I have to admit I’ve had a lot of fun with the series so far.

The reveal of Halo 5: Guardians has me really intrigued to a whole new level – a level I’m not entirely familiar with.

Here’s why:

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Halo 5 could be open world

At least, that’s what the rumour mill is suggesting. After playing Bungie’s shooter Destiny on PS4, I started to see the appeal in Halo going down a similar path. Don’t forget that many locations in Master Chief’s earlier adventures felt almost open world by design. Consider those long, vast locales that you travelled across in your Warthog, or the wide battlegrounds filled with Covenant vehicles and troops.

The template is already there for 343 Industries to craft some truly explosive and inviting play-spaces that invite the player to explore, think tactically about their approach, and wage miniature wars against hordes of alien attackers. I can’t hide the fact that Destiny has its hooks in me, so I don’t see why a Halo game made in the same fashion can’t be just as enjoyable. Bring it on, 343.

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Halo 5 already looks dark

I’ll be frank here; I understand why many of you like Halo. As an objective writer I can clearly see and appreciate that it’s a solid series with many wonderful things going for it. However, it felt too sugary for my liking, with alien designs I couldn’t take seriously, a pompous nature in places and a control mechanic that felt too floaty and odd in my hands. That was how I felt at the start, but this is now.

Halo 3′s story irked me. I had no idea what was going on by the end, but I was certainly more invested in ODST, Reach and Halo 4. In fact, I really enjoyed the darker tone of Halo 4 best, along with the interesting Forerunner world established by 343 Industries. There was a sense of menace running throughout the whole thing, and both the new enemies and their powerful arsenal felt right.

If Halo 5: Guardians can bring a more mature and darker tone to the table – and from the looks of Microsoft’s reveal trailer, it will – then I feel like I’ll really enjoy ploughing through the campaign. I guess this fondness of darker tropes comes from my love of horror games and – he said while coughing nervously – Call of Duty. Sorry.

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Halo 5 already presents us with a vital mystery

That, right there, is a new Spartan called Locke. He’s shrouded in total mystery right now, other than 343′s confirmation that he’ll appear in Ridley Scott’s Halo: Nightfall digital series. The lone piece of Halo 5 key art that exists poses several questions.

Who is Locke? Has he been sent to bring Master Chief in? Why is he taking priority above the Halo 5 logo? Why is Master Chief upside down beneath the text? Will Master Chief die in this game, leaving Locke as the series’ successor? Has Chief gone rogue? Why has he taken a journey to find himself? Where has he gone? What will he find there?

I like being teased with plots, and I enjoy using my own imagination to theorise like this. We also know that Locke’s loyalty to the UNSC will be tested, as he starts to question the motives of his commanding officers. This leads me to believe he’ll start off as a villain in pursuit of the Master Chief before siding with the jolly green giant in battle.

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It’s the first new-gen Halo

That’s certainly something to be excited about, even if you’re not a fan. Does a little part of you not at least want to see what 343 Industries can do with the franchise given all the time, resources and additional hardware grunt going into the project? Maybe it’ll be a transformative leap that forces us to re-appraise what the series means to us? Who knows, you may even become a true series fan after playing it.

All I’m saying is, it pays to have an open mind at times, and my mind is certainly ready to accept that Halo 5: Guardians could be an outstanding piece of gaming. It doesn’t matter what team it is, I always like to see what established studios can do with extra horsepower and the space to let their creativity run riot. That’s exactly what I feel we’ll see with this game; a studio unfettered and willing to re-write the playbook.

Halo 5: Guardians launches on Xbox One in 2015.

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19 Comments

  1. polygem

    To me Halo is the best fps series ever created. Still. Bungie totally nailed a formula here. It just feels so damn good to play a halo game…once you got used to the more slower approach. That said, I didn’t enjoy Halo 4 that much. Tbh, I am betting much more on destiny now than on Halo 5.

    #1 4 weeks ago
  2. OrbitMonkey

    I very well might have to buy a Xbox One console for the Master Chief Collection & this…

    #2 4 weeks ago
  3. fearmonkey

    Halo was great because of it’s “feel”. At the time when it was released, no one believed a console FPS would be any good. The PC crowd made fun of it but it stole everyone’s hearts soon. That you could bring a Xbox console instead of a PC and play at a LAN party was pretty amazing at the time. Not to mention the split screen LAN play, which allowed just a few Xbox units and alot of people to play.

    To me the series peaked with multiplayer on Halo2, every game after that was fun, but not as good MP wise. I didnt care for the last Halo game’s MP as much as I was hoping to, though I did enjoy the missions.

    #3 4 weeks ago
  4. bradk825

    It could very well go that way Dave. And I hope it does.

    I have a mild fear they could take a “back to basics” approach and present a very basic Halo game, but I don’t think they actually will.

    Locke appears to be featured int he Master Chief collection in same way. Based on the trailer it seems like they will use it as a prequel of sorts and show Locke studying the Master Chief prior to going after him.

    #4 4 weeks ago
  5. BrahManDude

    people seem tired of it but halo 5 looks interesting with the story and how 343 will change up the gameplay.

    #5 4 weeks ago
  6. Panthro

    @fearmonkey

    Halo 1 and 2 were on PC, they play better on PC to, I downloaded and tried them last year on PC for the first time, I don’t know who or why they would make fun of it, seemed pretty awesome when I played it.

    I played them solely on Xbox back when they came out though, the splitscreen multiplayer was amazing.

    #6 4 weeks ago
  7. marporte

    I am a console player mostly but I think Half-Life is the pinnacle of FPS with the small number of entries in the series it left a bigger impact on me than Halo, Resistance, Crysis, Killzone, Doom, Wolfenstien. I do admit that halo is one of the better FPS series out there. I was not a big fan of part 4 though

    #7 4 weeks ago
  8. polygem

    what´s the master chiefs real surname…right, it´s john.

    so who´s john locke?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke

    here you go.

    halo will take inspiration from empiricism, meaning that the story will focus on the backstory/ origin story / personal experiences of the guy who then became so well known as the master chief.

    thank me later.

    dr. polygem

    #8 4 weeks ago
  9. Spider Law

    Im buying a Xbox one just for the Halo Series. Nothing else.

    #9 4 weeks ago
  10. Opalauge

    I appreciate the work of Bungie and they redefined FPS on consoles, but I also think that 343 did a great job. Bungie was stuck (and they still are if you have a close look at Destiny). Sure Halo 4 wasn’t perfect, but the approach was good, the visual design was better in every aspect and you felt the passion for the series in that game.

    #10 4 weeks ago
  11. bradk825

    Most agree Halo is responsible for console FPS becoming mainstream. It’s true that a couple FPS were out before it (Goldeneye motherfucker!!!) but nothing took hold the way Halo did. Most of the levels were so replayable, the multiplayer was addictive, and it quickly became one of those games you had to have if you want to play with your friends.

    As much as I suck at Halo multiplayer (and I mean severely) I am so excited to get going on the Master Chief Collection this fall.

    #11 4 weeks ago
  12. OrbitMonkey

    @polygem , Nope. Locke os the dude in the wheelchair from Lost.

    He & the Chief are going back to the island.

    #12 4 weeks ago
  13. ManuOtaku

    @OrbitMonkey LOL, if only that would be the true lost ending, i couldnt be any happier, it would make more sense.

    As For Halo it keeps being one of my 3 gaming magical moments in gaming, alongside playing for the first time nintendo nes games, and diablo 3. i do love the series and i hope they can keep improving it. I did like a lot number 4, but not other halo game had the same magical moment as combat evolve, although i keep waiting optimistic, perhaps it is 5 turn to do it. Kepping fingers very crossed.

    #13 4 weeks ago
  14. antraxsuicide

    I’m really hoping for some Arbiter-type missions (a la Halo 2) with Locke. I liked how the gameplay changed a bit for his missions. And it did some great things for the plot.

    And how about some squad mechanics? Now that we’ve got Spartans in the UNSC again, it could totally work. That’d be a big feature to implement.

    #14 4 weeks ago
  15. polygem

    @OrbitMonkey

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NHeUmV6Yig

    #15 4 weeks ago
  16. polygem

    ^skip after 5 seconds

    @Manu: stop making me horny for diablo III on ps4 -thank you :D

    #16 4 weeks ago
  17. ManuOtaku

    @polygem hear you, but is difficult, such a great game, i got it for the ps3, but i will pick it again on ps4.

    #17 4 weeks ago
  18. Darkfield

    I played two Halo (1 and 3) games and I was like meh, after that I was completely over it. I have played better shooters, I certainly have played far better games. It is simply not interesting to me. But I’m not against fun, people around the world seem to love it, even though I can’t understand why but good for them they’re enjoying the franchise. I can’t see them doing anything to pique my interest.

    #18 4 weeks ago
  19. harr0w

    Halo is one of the best sci-fi universe’s created across all of its media. Any self respecting SciFi fan would and should love. Bungie have got there work cut out for destiny in terms of matching it like for like.

    #19 4 weeks ago

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