Master Chief has plenty of company in the epic Halo 5: Guardians
Craggy super- soldier Master Chief has been the face ( well, visor) of Xbox and the Halo series for over a decade, but times have changed. Today’s gamers expect more from a protagonist than spotless principles and some gravelly quips, and there’s the usual problem of impenetrability at this stage in the storyline. Developer 343 Industries’ solution? Make Chief a vigilante, then have hitman Locke ( played by Mike Colter) investigate him.
“Rather than create this über- expository cinematic for the story thus far, we wanted a narrative that was self- contained,” studio head Josh Holmes tells Red Alert. “By having a character like Locke, we can play the part of the [ layman] coming in and asking questions that new players might ask.”
Locke’s arrival affects more than just the game’s cutscenes: you’ll switch between his and Chief ’s perspective from mission to mission. Each protagonist is backed throughout by a trio of side characters ( including Nathan Fillion’s Buck) who are playable in online co- op – a bump in player headcount that has obliged 343 to craft bigger environments and a deadlier enemy cast. Foes range from old enemies the Covenant to the newer Prometheans. Ensemble story aside, Halo 5 brings a colossal new head- to- head mode, Warzone, which sees 24 players fighting not just each other but mobs of AI- controlled aggressors.
It all adds up to a fascinating deviation from formula, and 343 is understandably nervous. “It was a lot more challenging than we thought, and there were points where it didn’t feel like it was coming together,” confesses 343 co‑founder Bonnie Ross. “It’s a huge bet for us.”
Halo 5: Guardians is released on Xbox One on 27 October.
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