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Conflicted.

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    Halo 5: Guardians

    Rating: 3.5 – Good

    Conflicted.

    To me, to make a great game that has a single player and a story with lots of lore to understand and fully appreciate. Halo 5: Guardians is a lie, though a bad lie? The marketing of Halo 5 made everybody believe that we were going to experience a great story, one which may involve the defection of Master Chief from humanity to ??? This didn’t happen, we were given a game which failed to deliver on the promise from the marketing. Halo 5’s campaign is in my opinion a complete mess regarding its story and its presentation, though contains some of the best gameplay in an FPS campaign in a long time. Comparing to the original Halo trilogy, it just doesn’t compare, though I will say the campaign was for more superior than Halo 4’s campaign, though not by much and mainly so because of the gameplay.

    Do not try and put the story of Halo 5 together without looking into the lore of the Halo universe which is in different medium from books to film. Story aside, you won’t ever care much about the characters in the campaign. Everyone is boring and doesn’t add anything to the experience. The whole game you’re going to be questioning what is going on and who certain characters are and why they exist to help you. I will say however that the plot of Halo 5 is pretty interesting and while generic in many cases, it was a direction I didn’t expect Halo to take, though it is one I absolutely agree with. Not allowing the player to know absolutely everything that’s going on from just playing the original trilogy and the campaign of 4 really alienates the average Halo fan in my opinion.

    The artificial intelligence of your partners are the biggest flaw of Halo 5’s single player experience regarding gameplay. Your partners are delayed and act worse than A.I. from the best of 360 and PS3 games…which is not acceptable when the focus of the game is to use your fellow soldiers to take control of situations. Halo 5 has decided to go for quantity over quality. Whenever sandbox locations were used in Halo, traditionally they were large areas you could go around and explore, outside of the more linear levels of course. Halo 5 has an odd mix of linearity though multiple medium sized sandbox areas to do objectives in. This design was noticeable in small amounts in Halo 4, though it’s even more prominent here. Other than that, it’s typical Halo gameplay that hasn’t really changed much outside of a few differences in level design. The enemies are similar, a few additions, nothing major and that’s all it is, really.

    Halo 5’s multiplayer is horribly underrated, though also extremely cheap and easy to abuse with the function of MICROTRANSACTIONS! I despise microtransactions…though I am guilty of purchasing them in Halo 5 myself, I wanted more REQs! So REQs are essentially your disposable items which include powerful weaponry and vehicles as well as permanent items used in Warzone which are less powerful weaponry and other game changing (for the better) concepts. In traditional sense there are skins and cosmetic items in general and they’re in my opinion the key focus if you’re not interested in Warzone. The regular multiplayer modes are much more fair and do not rely on having lots of REQs from microtransactions.

    If you own an XBOX One, you have to own this game, it’s nonsensical to own the XBOX One and not have Halo 5: Guardians. Is it a system seller? No, if you know nothing about Halo, this game is not worth purchasing, and that’s why Halo 5 isn’t as popular as the other mainstream first person shooters. There’s no reason to get attached to the game as a non Halo fan, and no reason to want to get involved to begin with…exception is if you’re an XBOX One owner. A good purchase alongside Halo 5 is the Master Chief collection, though that’s for another review, another time.

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