*As a warning, this will contain some small spoilers about the game*
I had a good time with Halo 5: Guardians, taking the day off from anything to just sit in my lounge with the TV, 2 feet from me, playing the game in its entirety. That said, I had some issues with its execution and true intentions.
One of the problems with building up and hyping a game is that you have to deliver on that hype to avoid a bad taste in the mouth. Xbox pitched us a moral battle between The Master Chief and the newly introduced Spartan Locke. A fight that would see the two slog it out & ultimately make us question the sanity & loyalty of The Master Chief. This was backed up by some pretty damn good TV ads, posters, the great Podcast, Hunt the Truth and a # by the same name. Even the box art gives the impression that Halo 5: Guardians will be all about the conflict between these two Spartans. Instead, what we get is Locke & his team hunting the Chief for 1 mission… you heard me right, I BLOODY MISSION!!!
All that marketing & hype amalgamate in a standard mission which ends with Locke getting his arse handed to him by the Chief. The UNSC is then pretty damn quick to abandon the whole ‘hunt the Chief’ thing and instead Locke’s squad is assigned to help the Chief and take down the stories main protagonist.
While the story then continues in a decent way, with some of the best mission in the campaign following, it’s hard to not be let down by the vision of what could have been. 343 promised the biggest story yet for Halo 5 and they haven’t really delivered on that promise. That’s not to say that certain missions don’t have the epic feel around them. Certainly some of the levels felt more immersive than many other Halo games and Halo 5: Guardians actually has some of my favourite mission out of the series. Past characters make an appearance to great effect to bolster the story and make the Halo universe feel richer than it has been before.
It will be very interesting to see what 343 can do with Halo & The Mater Chief leading into Halo 6. 5 finished on a pretty big cliff hanger and with old friends reappearing it kind of feels like a plot we have seen a thousand times.
However, I am still so excited for the franchise to continue, and these issue won’t stop me from playing the games around 10 times over! 343 & Microsoft failed to deliver on their marketing this time round and straight pitched a story to us that the game doesn’t replicate. We can only hope that they learn from this, continue to keep up the great marketing work, but make sure that the game is in step with that hype.
What did you think about Halo 5? Did it live up to your expectations, or did you feel a little cheated that you didn’t get the game you thought you would? Let us know in the comments below!