Halo 5: Guardians is almost upon us. We played the new Breakout mode during the Multiplayer Beta, and discussed the new Warzone mode and the REQ perks that go along with it. What we haven’t seen much of is the Campaign mode. We know you can only play co-op via Xbox Live since local co-op will not be available, but that’s about all we’ve known up to this point. Now we can shed some light on a few more details concerning the Halo 5 Campaign.
The biggest change from the previous games in the series is the fact that Campaign is no longer you taking control of Master Chief and blasting away at your enemies. In past Halo titles you could play co-op with a friend or simply go at it solo. Halo 5 is all about the social experience, so even if you’re playing alone, you’ll have teammates to assist you.
There will always be four players in Campaign. You can still play by yourself, but you’ll have three computer-controlled allies fighting alongside you. This makes it easy for friends and strangers to drop in and out of your Campaign experience if you decide to allow for a bit of human assistance. The difficulty of the Campaign mode will automatically scale as players drop in and out of your run. The more human players you have, the more difficult the enemy AI will be.
You may automatically assume that heading into battle with three other human players will be far more advantageous than going with three AI characters, but that’s not necessarily the case. 343 Industries went to great lengths to create AI for the computer-controlled characters that will mimic a human player considerably better than we’ve seen in the past.
If you played Gears of War, you should have a pretty good idea of where the Halo 5 Campaign is heading. In Gears you could split up (sometimes you were forced) and flank the enemy. Halo 5 takes this to the next level by allowing players to split up so they can take the high ground, flank enemies and perform a variety of other combat tactics previously unavailable. With dedicated servers, players should think of the multiplayer Campaign almost like an instance in MMORPG titles. You’re in your own little world and you can have players jump in and out thanks to the flexibility of dedicated servers.
Shifting gears to the story, Cortana is gone. She moved to Windows 10, leaving Halo behind. She’s a career woman and the Master Chief wasn’t going to hold her back, clearly. Master Chief is back in Halo 5, which picks up eight months after the events of Halo 4. He’s hanging out with the last of the officially active Spartan-II units (Blue Team). Something goes wrong and Master Chief goes AWOL.
The other side of the coin is Spartan Locke and his team (Osiris), which includes Edward Buck, voiced and artistically based on Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly). You can see a bit of the back-story in the Halo: Nightfall series. Basically, Locke and his team are the people you call in when the Master Chief is unaccounted for. As you play through the Campaign you’ll switch between Master Chief’s and Locke’s teams.
The characters on each fire team will have unique traits and abilities. For example, on Blue Team, Linda-058 always spawns with a sniper rifle, while Kelly-087 has faster movement speed compared to the rest of the team. There will also be minor differences, such as the amount of grenades you can carry, the recharge rate of your thrust and things of that nature. While not directly having an impact on gameplay, the heads-up display (HUD) for each character will also offer a bit of variety. You’ll know which character you’re playing as just by looking at the HUD.
With Halo 5: Guardians releasing in only a few short weeks, it won’t be long before you can play through the Campaign mode. In the meantime, be sure to check out how Halo 5 stacks up against Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Star Wars: Battlefront, or find information on what’s changed from previous games in the series. We’ll have complete coverage of Halo 5 as soon as the becomes available on October 27, 2015.