This continuation of the Halo Saga sees you taking roles within two groups: Fireteam Osiris under the leadership of Spartan Locke and Blue Team under Master Chief John-117. Without giving anything away, Master Chief and his team go AWOL in their search for Cortana and it is up to Locke to hunt him down. It would help to be as current and up-to-date on the background and lore of the Halo Universe, as you are thrust in medias res without much backstory.
Graphics & Sound
Graphically speaking, the game is beautiful. Since the game was only being made for the current gen and not also the 360, the graphics engine didn’t need to be “dumbed down”. The graphics are definitely a big improvement over Halo 4—and pretty much every other Halo game before it. It even looks better than the HD remakes of the Master Chief Collection. The water effects are excellent—you can see ripples in the water as you splash thru it—but I’ve seen better. The cutscenes are fantastic, but that is to be expected as they are not something that is playable—I’ve never seen Nathan Fillion look better. The sound is also excellent, especially when played with 7.1 surround sound. Listening to the grunts chatter away is still funny as hell.
Playing the campaign in co-op mode is rather fun. I’m playing with my friend Anthony on Legendary and we’re about halfway thru the campaign’s 15 levels. I’m yet to play it with more than one other human player in my squad, but the squad AI does a good job—if not with some slight hiccups—in keeping up with and helping us human players out. Honestly speaking though, the features are something that could be improved, especially in multiplayer. 343 has decided to stick with the tried and true modes that have always appeared in this series, adding only the new Warzone and Warzone Arena modes—the only difference between these two modes and the other ones are the number of players per match and the use of items gained via the Req Pack system. With the Req Pack system, players purchase what amount to be booster packs that give access to better weapons, vehicles, and gear. These purchases can be made either via real-world purchasing or using Requisition Points that are gained via gameplay. These boosters aren’t a “Pay to Win” strategy. While you may have access to the boosts won via the Req Packs, they can only be used if one has high enough energy levels to afford the upgrade, energy that gained via kills or completion of objectives. There are only currently 9 maps to spread around the various multiplayer modes.
The game is fun and very enjoyable to play, especially in co-op mode. The Halo style of multiplayer isn’t my particular cup of tea—I’m more the BATTLEFIELD player—but it’s still fun. While I haven’t quite beaten the game yet, I’m sure that in the same fashion as every other game before it, it will end with a cliffhanger and setup for the NEXT game.
I give it 4 Spartans out of 5
UPDATE: We beat the game and I was right. #calledit