Microsoft has been positioning itself to have a very strong first party selection of games later this year especially when compared to Sony who recently admitted to having a sparser than normal first party selection due to the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End delay. With Forza Motorsport 6, a rumored Gears of War Remaster, Rise of the Tomb Raider and one of the most anticipated games of this year, Halo 5: Guardians, on the way this year, things are looking rosy for Xbox fans.
In this month’s cover story for Game Informer, a bunch of new information hit the internet including a feature which is brand new to the series but fairly commonplace in a different Microsoft owned IP.
According to the Game Informer story, Halo 5: Guardians will put players in control of squads, one for Master Chief and the other for Agent Locke. These players are AI controlled in single player or can be used by online players during campaign co-op. To better help players feel like they’re actually leading a team, new squad commands are being added allowing players to have AI-controlled squad members perform different tasks such as picking up weapons, attacking a target, or moving to a certain point.
The squad command feature goes further, giving Locke and Chief the ability to revive downed teammates, a move seen in other games like the Gears of War franchise. Fans playing alone can issue a command for a squad mate to run to the downed allies’ aid or the player themselves can rush in to help. Better yet, AI-controlled characters can rush to your aid and revive you as well.
Traditionally when playing with friends, the series has only allowed players to respawn after the zone was deemed clear of enemies. This new revival feature adds an interesting twist to that formula, giving players a faster option of getting back into the fight if revived in time, avoiding a potential loading screen as well.
Halo 5: Guardians looks to be a very ambitious title with branching story lines between series protagonist, Master Chief, and the new character Agent Locke, along with new gameplay elements previously mentioned. Outside of the multiplayer beta and the news that future DLC multiplayer maps will be free, there’s still a sizable gap in information about the online side of the game. Given the popularity of Halo multiplayer, 343 Industries has a lot to prove after the disastrous launch of last year’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
As E3 2015 is now just a few days away, Xbox fans can be sure that Halo 5 will get plenty of time in the spotlight during Microsoft’s E3 press conference and on the show floor. Expect loads of new content coming in the days ahead.
What’s your take on this news? Are you excited to see squad commands and the ability to revive teammates added to a series known for its traditionally lone wolf campaigns?
Halo 5: Guardians is set to launch for the Xbox One on October 27, 2015.