Halo 5 Review Round-Up: Weak Story, Amazing Multiplayer

By | 12 months ago 

The reviews are in for this year’s big Xbox One exclusive, Halo 5: Guardians, with praise for the game’s multiplayer component, and criticism directed at the story.

The most important exclusive this year for the Xbox One is without question Halo 5: Guardians. The fifth entry in the beloved franchise, Halo 5 is releasing virtually unopposed, with big exclusives for the Xbox One’s competing systems having slipped to next year.

However, while Halo would usually be a “sure thing”, this year’s entry is surrounded by controversy. For one, 343 Industries has decided to incorporate microtransactions into the experience, something that is typically a red flag for many gamers. Furthermore, 343 made the extremely unpopular decision to remove split-screen from the game, which upset many Halo fans, as split-screen has been such a key feature for the franchise since its inception.

With all that being said, what is the review consensus? Firstly, be sure to check out our Halo 5: Guardians review, but in the meantime, this is what everyone else has been saying about Halo 5:

Destructoid (Chris Carter)

“If it weren’t for Warzone, Halo 5: Guardians would probably be somewhere on the lower end of the franchise spectrum for me. It’s still a fantastic and well-oiled machine, but the story falls flat, and the shift in gameplay mechanics result in the loss of some elements that made the series so unique in the first place. Still, if you’re looking to shoot some dudes online, Guardians is your huckleberry.”

Score: 7/10

EGM (Jeff Landa)

“The continuation of a new Master Chief saga, the refinement and additions to multiplayer for casual and pros alike, plus a gorgeous presentation made possible by current generation technology—all add up to the makings of a FPS worthy of the Halo series’ best iterations.”

Score: 9/10

Halo 5 Guardians Screenshots

GameSpot (Mike Mahardy)

“There are problems with its story, though–not so much in what it says, but how it says it. Cutscenes end prematurely, character motivations shift on a whim, and I’m often confused as to what planet I’m on, or how I got there. This campaign is energetic and fast-paced, and seldom slows down to let you breathe. But it lacks the storytelling splendor I was hoping for with such a diverse cast of characters.”

Score: N/A

Giant Bomb (Jeff Gerstmann)

“There will certainly be some players who find that the specific omissions in Halo 5 are extremely disappointing, and you’ll see a rough edge or two, but all in all there’s a fantastic big-budget shooter in Halo 5 with lots to see and enough multiplayer options to keep you going for quite some time.”

Score: 4/5

Polygon (Arthur Gies)

“Halo 5 feels like it knows its obligations. The campaign’s narrative is likely to prove controversial, though its biggest sin may be its familiarity. Otherwise, Halo 5 excels under the pressure, providing one of the most welcoming, competitive, balanced and fun games of the year — and providing my personal favorite Halo multiplayer since the series began.”

Score: 9/10

Halo 5 Guardians Screenshots 3

The reviews seem to indicate that, in terms of multiplayer, Halo 5: Guardians is a triumph, delivering one of the best multiplayer experiences in the series to date. However, the campaign is not receiving the same glowing praise from every publication, with a lot of criticism directed specifically at its plot.

It’s worth noting that many gaming publications are withholding review scores until they’ve had a chance to see if the game’s multiplayer servers hold up come launch tomorrow. 343 doesn’t exactly have the best track record in that regard, with Halo: The Master Chief Collection launching with completely broken online multiplayer, but here’s hoping that Halo 5 avoids the same pitfalls when it launches tomorrow.

Are you picking up Halo 5 tomorrow, or are you saving your cash for a different big game coming out soon?

Halo 5: Guardians will be available on October 27th, exclusively for Xbox One.