Halo 5 – Multiplayer Review
*This is for the multiplayer only. To check out Matt’s thoughts on the Single Player campaign check out his review here:
Ok so now that I have had a good chunk of time with the Halo 5 Multiplayer in real world conditions I felt it was time to report back on what I have found. First and foremost I am more than happy to let everyone know that the network/matchmaking issues found in the Master Chief Collection are nowhere to be found. This game works straight away with no issues at all. 343 had little choice but to make sure this happened but it is nice to see anyway.
Multiplayer in Halo 5 is split into 2 distinct areas. The first area is Arena which is what most Halo players will be used to. It is Halo multiplayer at its most basic. Slayer, free for all, capture the flag and a few more modes make up what is on offer. I found myself instantly at home here with the old skills and movements quickly coming back to me. What I have always liked about Halo multiplayer is that it is skill based, there are not benefits from having unlocked different weapons. Everyone starts out with the same load out. This simplicity was replaced in Halo 4 to much derision from the community so it is nice to have the purity back for Halo 5. The maps all seem entertaining and well designed with multiple choke points and a nice risk/reward location for the big weapons. In all it is the Halo multiplayer that I have loved since Halo 2 and I am more than happy with that.
The second part of Halo 5 multiplayer is Warzone. This is where things get new and exciting as 343 have taken parts from Battlefield, Titanfall and a MOBA to create a unique multiplayer experience that can only be found in Halo. The game is played with two teams of 12 on enormous maps. Each map has three control points that the two teams must fight to capture. If all three are held by one team the opposition’s core is exposed and can be attacked for victory. The game can also be won by reaching 1000 points, with points coming from kills, captures and extra objectives. These extra objectives appear during the match and are usually in the form of named enemy AI characters that take multiple Spartans to bring down. These AI enemies are all worth big points so they are worth going after. Throw into the mix some standard AI grunts that protect home base and there is quite a bit going on in any single match.
What is perhaps the most interesting part of the mode is the requisition system, but it is also the part that can be exploited. While playing the mode I levelled up which gave me access to bigger and better weapons and vehicles. Purchasing these weapons however required two things, the first was that I had saved up enough energy playing the game to purchase it and secondly that I owned a card for the weapon. These cards are found in REQ packs that are earned from levelling up and completing various objectives. Where the exploitation can come in is that these REQ packs can also be purchased with real world money so if one of my opposition was willing to spend the coin, they could have quite a significant stockpile of great gear. This advantage is nullified somewhat by the need to earn energy in game to be able to use the weapons but there is still a slight whiff of pay-to-win in the system.
But apart from that slightly sour taste, Warzone is a unique mode that I can see myself coming back to again and again. This mode is made doubly fun with the addition of a few mates so I can see this becoming a great party game. Add to this mode the classic Halo style multiplayer of Arena and there is quite a lot to recommend about the Halo 5 Multiplayer experience. This is the dessert to the entertaining single player campaign making Halo 5 is the complete package that is sure to entertain almost every FPS fan out there.