Halo 5: Guardians – Review
Follow Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Halo 5: Guardians – Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Great visuals, Warzone
Bad: No local co-op feels like a huge mistake
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Even though we were able to quench our Halo thirst not that long ago with The Master Chief Collection, it was a given that we were actually waiting for the release of Halo 5: Guardians. Nonetheless, The Master Chief Collection was a good way to refresh our Halo skills, catch up with what you had forgotten of the story and prepare yourself for the grand battle against the guardians. We were certainly ready for the adventure at hand, albeit on our own, rather than with local buddy.



Throughout the story you’ll alternate between two characters, namely the all known Master Chief and the Spartan soldier James Locke. Both might have very different missions at the beginning, but it’s clear that their paths will cross soon after the beginning of the game.

Locke is charged with retrieving Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, who seemingly defected to the Covenant, the alien race that has been pestering humanity since the first Halo game. Of course, as expected, the Spartan team under the guidance of Locke succeeds in its mission and brings Halsey back to the UNSC. Nonetheless, whilst retrieving the doctor in itself is already a decent victory, the information she carries proves to be even more valuable, seeing it concerns the fate of not only the human race.

Master Chief (John) is exploring another outpost, and finds out that Cortana, his AI friend is still alive. She’s actually not only alive, but she’s also luring Master Chief towards her, as she would like him at her side, to fulfill her plans. Even though John was called back to be debriefed, he disregards his orders in order to find Cortana, as it feels like a very pressing matter. This causes the UNSC to call for Locke and his team to find John and his compatriots and find him back, safely.

Overall the title already suggests more or less that this game will feature a new entity and it does, but we’ll keep that matter quite vague. That being said, the story is also told in a rather vague fashion, providing just enough information to keep things interesting, albeit quite chaoticly at times. Nonetheless, by the end you’ll be decently up to speed, but a little more cinematic presence would have been nice, especially for a title such as this one.



Graphically Halo 5: Guardians looks amazing and shows that many other titles on the Xbox One can perform that much better. Everything looks sleek and realistic, given the setting, from the characters, the robotic enemies and the lush environments. As the environments tend to vary between cold steel space stations and other planetary bases from overgrown green landscapes, it’s quite fun they are woven together quite nicely. Nonetheless, a few downsides are to be found throughout the game, with the biggest ones of them being the water in many areas and the fact that you sometimes render into walls. The latter explains itself, whilst the water often does not even move or show any ripples when walking or wading through it. A few minor flaws in an overall good looking picture, but flaws that do take away the otherwise realistic feeling of the game.

Character wise, the facial features are simply amazing. Especially when you see an almost lifelike Nathan Fillion in the Spartan squad things get rather impressing. Other facial features of foreign species are astonishing as well, contributing to the overall atmosphere of the game.


Overall the sound does complete the graphical prowess, with the many explosions, an adventurous theme and the proper voice acting the game has to offer. Throughout the game there’s a sufficient amount of dialogue, be it in the cutscenes or one of the many battles you’ll experience during your playthrough.


Even though the music can get a bit overwhelming at times, it does set the proper mood. Sometimes it can drown out some of the dialogues from time to time, thus it is advised to turn on the subtitles in order not to miss a single thing. That being said, the subtitles do look quite horrible in their bright yellow font.


Just like the previous renditions of Halo, Halo 5: Guardians is a first person shooter with a heavy underlying science-fiction storyline. You’ll spend pretty much the entire game roaming around the preset environments or multiplayer maps vanquishing your foes to end up as the victorious party.

The campaign consists out of fifteen missions, which have a very different duration. Some missions can take a tad longer, even taking up to an hour, whilst others can last only mere minutes and are more a connecting cinematic or a bit of information you need to tackle the next objective at hand.

Although the campaign has a reasonable length, it’s clear that this installment was already betting a bit more on the online multiplayer modes than the other games as the campaign doesn’t even have a local split-screen option anymore. Whilst many will play Halo 5 online, removing one of its best and most fun features is simply moronic. In many ways the Halo franchise excelled thanks to its local multiplayer options or the fact that you could even have a local guest join you online during competitive play. Now, it feels bland and idiotic that the developers rather force you to play online, while you could be having fun with friends nearby. Even though this does not ruin the overall story value of the campaign, it’s simply one of the most poor decisions in a top franchise over the last few years, making this fifth installment feel like a handicapped version of the older games.


Nonetheless, putting our anger towards the removal of the local co-op aside, there are a few fun features the online world of Halo has to offer. Even though the Arena is pretty much the classic four vs. four brawl, it’s the warzone that brings something new to the equation. Even though this is pretty much a grand scale battle for 24 players, it’s something that makes the entire Halo feel even more impressive. Seeing you fight large battles in the campaign, it was actually quite natural to expect it in the multiplayer mode, even though we never stopped to think about it.

Other than that, everything feels and looks like Halo, albeit in a modernized jacket and the controls remain true to the other installments of the franchise. You’ll still have a few third person sequences when controlling turrets, driving or piloting vehicles and when carrying weapons that are too big to present you with a proper first person view.


Halo 5: Guardians shows that the franchise still has a lot to offer, certainly with the implementation of warzone for online competitive play. The story remains intriguing, with a massive cliffhanger at the end, but the removal of local play is actually one of those things that make this nearly perfect game just ‘great’. Halo fans will certainly enjoy this one and it is very much worth it to add this one to your Xbox One exclusive collection.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Halo 5: Guardians - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.