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Halo 5: Guardians is a first-person shooter, the fifth main game in the futuristic Halo series. It is the second game in the Reclaimer Saga, a new sub-series created by 343 Industries after they took over development from original Halo developer Bungie. The game is set in 2558, eights months after the events of the Spartan Ops game mode of Halo 4. The game's story relies strongly on the player's knowledge of the lore, past events and spin-offs and does not rehash what has happened before.

The main campaign consists of fifteen levels that can be played alone or with up to four players online with drop-in/drop-out multiplayer and four difficulty levels. It is played from the alternating perspectives of two Spartan fireteams. The first one, the Spartan-II Blue team, consists of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, Linda-058 (sniper), Kelly-087 (scout) and Fred-104 (CQB Specialist). The second one, the Spartan-IV Osiris team is led by ONI agent Jameson Locke and consists of Holly Tanaka (engineer), Vale (pilot and translator) and Edward Buck (trooper). When playing alone the team mates can be issued commands to attack specific targets or to move to certain locations. They will also revive the player character when down. In cooperative multiplayer each player can freely choose and control a team character with specific skills and weapons. The game opens with the Osiris team eight months after the destruction of the shield world Requiem. They need to infiltrate enemy lines to extract the criminal Doctor Elizabeth Halsey who wishes to defect back to UNSC and has information about a new threat. Meanwhile the Blue team investigates the ONI research station Argent Moon that has been occupied by The Covenant. After a series of events the Blue team goes rogue, disobeying orders, and the Osiris team is ordered to hunt them down as a larger plot unfolds with the Forerunners as the main enemy.

The game has a linear design, with several open areas linked together, combined with scripted sequences. Although played entirely from the UNSC side the game is designed in such a way that the player often needs to use weapons and technology of the Covenant and Forerunners as well. During missions, optional collectibles such as skulls and mission intel can be picked up. The gameplay focus for this title is on faster mobility. Next to many different vehicles and turrets that can be manned by the team, the armor abilities have been replaced by Spartan abilities. They provide a thruster pack with a boost that can be used for omnidirectional movement both on land and in the air. A character can dash, quickly vault ledges and jump into cover. Sprinting is still present with charge and slide abilities, but shields do not regenerate while sprinting. A first for the series is iron sights while aiming called a "smart scope" in the game. Next to grenades and ranged weapons there is a melee attack and a move to slam enemies down into the ground.

The main new multiplayer mode is Warzone. It supports matches with up to 24 players, optionally combined with AI characters, as a tug-of-war with many missions in succession on a very large map. Other, more regular game modes are Arena (traditional deathmatch types), Team Arena (with variants of capture-the-flag, stronghold and team deathmatch), Breakout (one life), SWAT (no shields or radar) and Slayer (free-for-all). Optionally games with custom rulesets can be created and dedicated servers are used. The game has microtransactions with real money in Warzone for power-ups and single-use vehicles or weapons. There are also cosmetic upgrades with new (weapon) skins and animations, helmets, visors and emblems, and money can be used to pay for experience boosts to level up quicker. Almost everything can also be unlocked or gained through regular gameplay by earning enough of the currency.


Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One Throwing grenades
Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One This game features commedations, which I unlock in multiplayer. They give XP and/or RP bonuses when completed.
Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One Ah, I can change the armor type of my Spartan for multiplayer.
Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One Exploring the dark corridors

Promo Images

Halo 5: Guardians Other A New Dawn
Halo 5: Guardians Other Icy Cool
Halo 5: Guardians Other Top of the Food Chain
Halo 5: Guardians Other Gravedigger


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Critic Reviews

DarkZero Xbox One Oct 30, 2015 10 out of 10 100
IGN Xbox One Oct 26, 2015 9 out of 10 90
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Xbox One Oct 26, 2015 9 out of 10 90
Games Finder Xbox One Oct 27, 2014 8 out of 10 80
The Games Cabin Xbox One Nov 13, 2015 8 out of 10 80
Giant Bomb Xbox One Oct 26, 2015 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GameSpot Xbox One Oct 27, 2015 8 out of 10 80
The Game Hoard Xbox One Dec 08, 2021 5 out of 7 71
Destructoid Xbox One Oct 26, 2015 7 out of 10 70
The Jimquisition Xbox One Jan 20, 2016 6.5 out of 10 65


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Halo 5: Guardians is notable for being the first in the Halo series without any split-screen couch multiplayer option. An official statement says that any local multiplayer mode was dropped in favour of better frame rates.

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