Halo 5: Guardians is the second attempt by 343 Industries to make a new Halo adventure. While fans have their preference between which of the first three Halo games is their favorite, Microsoft and 343 are hoping that the power of the Xbox One and 343's diligence will change that perspective with the addition of Halo 5: Guardians on October 27, 2015.
During the multiplayer beta that took place over the summer, many Halo fans and newcomers alike offered their opinions and insight on what should and should not change before the retail release. 343 announced a slew of changes from the beta and most fans seem happy with that list. With Halo 5: Guardians now only a few weeks away from release, it's time to look at some of those changes and what players can expect from Halo 5 that either wasn't present in previous game, or has changed a bit since the last Halo title.
Movement has been a big focus of change for 343 Industries. The development team has adjusted the sprint ability multiple times before and after the beta, and it finally seems to be in a good place. You can run at a speed that's a bit slower than what it was in the beta, but you have an unlimited amount of time to run. The tradeoff is that your shield will not regenerate while you run. When you first spawn this won't be an issue as everyone will have a full shield, but after a firefight it will be important to determine if you need to sprint to get away from more enemies at the risk of dying from one or two shots, or if it would be best to take your time so you can replenish your shield.
Sprinting will actually be very important during firefights, especially in close proximity combat. The Spartan Assault (sprint then melee) will drop an opponent's shield in one hit. That's a huge advantage if you can pull it off and can easily lead to two-hit death combos that may remind veteran players of some pro-level tactics in previous Halo titles.
To avoid a Spartan Assault, or just be more mobile in the midst of a firefight, you can juke in either direction. The closer you are to a target, the more effective this attack is, but it can also work to avoid grenades and other attacks, or just allow you to quickly duck behind cover (almost like a manual version of the Gears of War cover system). At the very least, it's something that all Halo 5 players should get a feel for, as it can easily mean the difference between life and death.
Firefights have also taken a page out of the Gears of War manual by making suppressive fire useful in Halo 5: Guardians. Spartans now have a smart link between their guns and armor. This allows you to zoom in with every weapon in the game, but that ability comes at a cost. Any time you're hit while zooming in, you will immediately pop out of the zoom. That means suppressing fire can prevent an opponent from being able to get a clear shot unless they're going to 360 no-scope you (Doritos are optional).
Rounding out the list of additions and changes, the hover ability has seen some adjustment. Players have been able to hover through various means in other Halo titles. What's new in Halo 5: Guardians is the ability perform a Ground Pound after hovering. Basically, while you're in the air you can create a target reticule on the ground where your Spartan will land, with a fairly wide blast radius. This ability won't be for everyone as you are a pretty big target while you're hovering, but there's certainly a time and place for the ability.
Halo 5: Guardians still feels very much like previous Halo games, which is a very good thing. However, it's also nice to see additions from other popular shooters. There's even a point system that lets you earn cards for perks in some gameplay modes. If you didn't get a chance to play the Halo 5 beta, be sure to check out our Breakout strategies and stay tuned to Prima Games as we offer more in-depth coverage of Halo 5: Guardians.