Halo 5: Guardians
Locke and load
released out now! Reviewed on Xbox one
With Master Chief AWOL shortly after the events of Halo 4, it’s the job of Fireteam Osiris to track him down. You control two separate heroes: Jameson Locke, leader of Fireteam Osiris, and Master Chief himself, who commands Blue Team on the hunt for rogue AI Cortana, who is… not quite herself. Both teams consist of four Spartan super soldiers, leading naturally to some (as-yet untested by us) four-player online-only campaign co-op and a well-balanced AI squad operation.
On normal difficulty they take care of themselves well, providing suppressing fire as well as distraction. On heroic or legendary difficulties, however, squad commands offer an extra level of control. Wide, tall maps facilitate team play, filled with special walls that can be broken through. You can even tell team-mates which vehicle to drive, which led us to a thrilling moment in which our Warthog was being pummelled by encroaching forces, only for backup to arrive on a Scorpion Tank and blow them all away.
This the fastest Halo yet. Your movement is more agile than ever, Spartans able to sprint indefinitely, slide on their knees, clamber up ledges, ram by performing a melee as they sprint, and briefly hover in the air if they aim while jumping. It’s almost like sci-fi parkour – combat in constant motion. 343 Industries really have skirmishes down to a fine art, layering up different combinations of weapons and enemies like a decadent trifle. No section outstays its welcome, with a constant procession of new experiences that refuse to be anything other than supremely fun.
And while returning players will have some idea of what to expect – the Warthog section, the flying level, the miniboss arena, the bit where a wave of small weak enemies charge and you one-shot them Doom-style – there are surprises in store. It’s pleasingly familiar, yet with enough new features to feel fresh. Let’s hope the online is as brilliant as it should be – when we finally get to play it… Ben Griffin
Firefly’s Nathan Fillion reprises his Halo role as Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, who’s part of Fireteam Osiris.
Your movement is more agile than ever
Time for the chicken dance.
“Spaceship spaceship SPACESHIP!”