Halo 5: Guardians continues the story of Master Chief, a biochemically and cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier. Covenant and Promethean forces are running rampart, but something else could be a much bigger threat. When Blue Team goes rogue to find Cortana, Fireteam Osiris is sent after them, but neither group fully understands what’s at stake.
Firstly, I played through Halo 1-4 with my boyfriend in local co-op and we had a blast! Master Chief is an amazing character as is Cortana, and the storylines were great. Cool weapons, challenging levels — what more could you want from Halo 5?
Then we started the game and realized there was no local co-op.
Never in my life had I — or my boyfriend, the hardcore Halo fan — even consider the fact that a Halo game wouldn’t have local co-op. Since I’m not going to buy another TV, another Xbox One and another copy of Halo 5 to be able to play, my boyfriend got the controller for this ride while I watched from the side.
Let’s get on with the game, then. (Note: I’m not talking about multiplayer or online co-op because those weren’t a part of my experience. This is about the solo campaign.)
In Halo 5 you have two playable characters: Master Chief from previous Halos and Spartan Locke. Both have their own teams of three AI characters: Chief’s Blue Team has Spartans Linda, Frederic and Kelly, while Locke’s Fireteam Osiris has Spartans Vale, Buck and Tanaka.
Unfortunately for the player, AI in this game seemed to stand for Artificial Idiots. The player can give the AIs commands by point & click. Point at the ground? “Take this position.” Point at a weapon? “Someone use this weapon.”
Then the AI shout “Solid copy!” and that’s about it.
Either they run straight into enemy fire even when they don’t have to, or they simply stand still. They rarely hit their target. The only thing they’re good for is getting the player up when he falls — except even in this case the AI loves to choose the route with ten enemies and five turrets and die before reaching the player, resulting in death.
Most of the time the AI was simply annoying, but the game was clearly designed for a group. When you hit a boss fight where it’s crucial to shoot the boss in the back, you need cooperation. You need someone to shoot the boss from the other side while you go to his back.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
Your AI friends are dead before you can reload. Even the legendary Blue Team gets reduced to puddles of blood in a blink. One of them once insisted on shooting distant enemies with a pistol even though she had a sniper too.
I think the AI wouldn’t have been such a huge issue if we’d been able to play together. The AI guys could’ve died while we finished the job, no sweat.
And even if you managed to push your way through all the enemies to the end, there were still problems.
Locke, for once. I couldn’t have cared less about him or his team. I’ve seen Halo: Nightfall which is a mini-series about Locke’s background. Still didn’t care. I’m not quite sure what it was about him that I couldn’t connect to, but every time a mission with him came on, I just wanted it to be over as fast as possible.
On the other hand I enjoyed Blue Team, especially their relationships. It was great to see them as a group (even though the AI pretty much ruined all their legendary-ness).
There was also unnecessary repetition. Sure, the whole game (franchise) is about running in and shooting a bunch of enemies, but when ALL the boss fights in the game are against the SAME enemy without any changes (except for additional copies), nothing changes. Some new mechanics or different bosses would’ve spiced it up a little.
The story itself was good but felt very short in terms of what we actually learned and what happened during the game. It didn’t feel quite as complete as the other Halos, even though 1-3 basically shared the same storyline. The sense of achieving something, completing something, was very small in comparison.
I won’t spoil it but the game also ended in a giant cliffhanger. Still, even that cliffhanger won’t make us buy Halo 6 if it doesn’t have local co-op and the AI remains the way it is.
With that assessment, I can’t give Halo 5 more than