The following article is Part 2 of KSI Jupiter 7’s review of the “Halo 5: Guardians” Beta. To see Part 1, click here.
Now that all the abilities are out of the way, lets talk about those gametypes. The gametypes that were featured in the Halo 5 Beta where Slayer, Breakout, and Stronghold.
Slayer is , well, Slayer. This gametype did not change as far as the gameplay aspect of it. They did, however, change the way scoring was calculated. Instead of the weird (and somewhat hard to understand when you actually calculated) point system that Halo 4 had, 343 went back to basics and set the scoring how it was in Halo 3. So one kill equals one point on the board, not one kill equals 100 points like in the previous Halo.
I will say that, with the new changes to balance and aiming, Slayer is much more team based than it has been in past Halos. Players can not ‘Lone Wolf’ it and take out four people with one life nearly as easily as they could before. Though I miss taking out a whole team with full health with my one life, I think this change is very much needed. Making Slayer a more team oriented game than an individual game, makes it a much more enjoyable and fair experience (if you have people to play with and make a team that is).
Even if you are playing by yourself, the game is still fun, but winning might not happen nearly as often as when you have a team who sticks together and communicates.
Breakout is the new gametype to the Halo world, in a sense. It basically felt like Halo 4’s Slayer Pro playlist meets COD’s Search and Destroy. Each team is launched into the battle, literally, directly across from the other team. The object of the game is the eliminate the other team each round.
To win the players have to win 5 rounds , not consecutively, and not best out of five but five full rounds. So if one team has won three rounds they must win another two to win the game, in the mean time the opposing team can make a come back if they win five rounds before the other.
As far as gameplay, players have no radar (like Slayer Pro) and only get one life per round (like Search and Destroy). It feels a lot like a very intense version of classic slayer.
Players have no radar and only one life so every move and shot are that much more important and crucial. It is a very team based game, but you also have to have a good strategy when the teams start to become uneven when teammates and enemies die.
Stronghold is a twist on the Domination gametype in Halo 4. There are three areas the players fight to control, and if you control two of those three you start getting points.
The team with the most points wins. Each team can take back or gain control over each of the areas, making stronghold the only non Slayer objective game in the Beta playlist.
Though it is only a slight twist on the classic territories gametype from Halo 2, it was nice to see that there will be more of the classic gametypes, other than Slayer, that players loved in the new Halo 5 : Guardians game.
The Beta featured many different maps for each gametype. The Slayer maps were Truth, Regret, Empire, Eden, Orion (forge made map), Pegasus (forge made map). The map that was displayed for Breakout was Crossfire, and the two maps for Stronghold were Regret and Empire. I will just go over all the maps, how they feel, if they are asymmetrical or symmetrical and how the compare to past maps.
Truth and Empire were the first two maps showcased for Halo 5 Beta. Truth takes place on a Covenant ship, an looks like a remake of the Halo 3 map Heretic. It has a very cool color scheme with a lot of blues and purples. The weapons drop on the map is very balanced and the map itself is pretty symmetrical, very much like Halo 3’s Heretic.
I though the play ability of this map was nice, though its not my favorite. This map has a lot of playable areas and various routes each player can take to get to the same spot.
Empire is a warm colored indoor / outdoor map with various structures the player can climb over or ontop of. This was the first map that I played and it really introduced me to the Clamber ability. With balanced weapon drops through the map, mostly precision weapons, the most played areas are sniper spawns.
One sniper is indoors in between the bases, the other is out doors, also in between the bases (just either left or right side depending if you are blue or red team). These two areas, especially the outside part, are heavily played not only for sniper control, but for map control as well.
Regret and Eden are, in my opinion, a slight variation of Truth and Empire. Regret is almost like the bright outside version or the dark indoor Truth map. I will admit that when I first saw this map I was disappointed that it seemed like they just took the same map but put it outside a sunny area.
Playing on this map more I realized that wasn’t entirely the case. Though Regret has a very similar feel and layout as Truth, the weapon spawns are not the same and the top middle area gives players a new way to experience the map as well as get to any other area of the map. This map is fun but I would say that out of the six maps released, it is my least favorite.
Eden, like Regret, is very similar to its counterpart. Eden is the dark version of Empire, but with giant catwalks running through the map. Even though these two maps are so similar, I want both of them. I also slightly favor Eden to Empire just because of the giant catwalks running through the whole middle of the map. This area give the map much more depth and usable height variation. This one would be my favorite of the four non forge maps shown off for the Beta.
Now during the last week of the Beta 343 release two forge map maps. These two maps where Orion and Pegasus, both of these maps are great. We have seen so many forge made maps that are unbalance, ok, or good at best. This feeling carried over a bit. One map was amazing the other was a bit broken. However, i did feel like they were truly original and not a spin off or remake of similar maps (like Dispatch and Relay in Halo 4).
I will start out with my least favorite of the two, Pegasus. Pegasus is one of the unsymmetrical maps of Halo 5. It has a bit of height variation and weapon spawns. However, though it was a really cool map, I did not like it that much. I felt that the rocket spawn was way to easy to cover from one bases perspective. One base would spawn to the left of sniper and directly across from rockets.
So all this team had to do was watch rocket spawn, rush sniper, and control the map from their spawn point. Despite the interesting idea behind it, I definitely felt that this map was unbalanced as far as spawn and weapon placement.
Now for my favorite map of the Beta and of the forge maps, Orion. Orion is a bright outdoor map with so many areas and height variation that it makes gameplay on it different and enjoyable every match.
Though Truth, Regret, Empire, and Eden are all very new and enjoyable maps, I felt that these maps were a little stale. Though never before seen and new they still felt familiar in a playable sense, unlike Orion. When I played on Orion it felt like I was experiencing a new type of map that I hadn’t really seen much in Halo or any other game for that matter.
This map has so many height variations, to the rafters the player can climb onto, to the rocky ground and pit. I am still realizing different entry ways and obstetrical that are present withing the map that I have yet to experience. I also believe that this map, the asymmetrical, is very balanced. It is balanced not only in terrain and weapon drop, but in spawns as well.
Never once when I played this map did I feel like I had a advantage or disadvantage. I even played a 2v4 on that map (two of my teammates left the match and the other one was AFK for a good five minutes) and I felt that I was still given a fair chance. We didn’t do to bad either, with a final score of 32 or 44. So this map definitely takes the cake in my book and is my favorite Halo 5 Beta map presented.
There were not many new weapons shown for the Beta other than the Prophets Bane and Hydra. However, a lit if not all the weapons got their design vamped. Two of the most noticeable design changes are the Rocket Launcher and the BR.
The Rocket Launcher looks very similar to the new Hydra weapon. It no longer has the big double barrels and distinctive rocket design that only Halo had. Now, it looks like a potato cannon. A giant green tube with a handle that your character sets on their shoulder in order to fire. I do not understand nor welcome this change.
The BR also got a face lift, and it is tolerable. If COD were to take the Halo 4 BR and put it in their game, this would be what it looked like. Though it’s not as drastic and unwelcoming as the Rocket Launcher change, it still should not have changed that much in my opinion.
As for the two new weapons, though cool, I feel both are unnecessary. The Prophets Bane is a weird and legendary type of energy sword that give you a slight speed boost when you have it draw and glows as bright as day. It has the same mechanics and the energy sword, with just a slight speed boost advantage for the welder.
Please note that this weapon is only currently available on the map Truth and does not replace the Energy Sword. The Energy Sword is still a weapon choice in Halo 5 : Guardians.
The Hydra is like the Halo:Reach Plasma Launcher and the Rocket Launcher has a baby. The Hydra shoots multiple projectiles at a player and can lock on , though I feel the lock on is currently broken (and doesn’t really lock on). The idea behind it is cool but for what they were going for the Combustion Rifler did a better job.
Also these new weapons looks and act so much like current weapons that I don’t think they are needed. At least with the Laser weapon, that was a completely new type of weaponry.
The last point I would like to cover is the ranking. I think the ranking as is / how it was presented in the Halo 5 Beta is garbage. It is not a skill based ranking system but a win tracker.
If you get 25 kills and 10 deaths but loose the game, even if its 50 – 45, you rank down anywhere between 12 and 22 points. If you win and get the same k/d then you get a whopping rank up range between 12 and 18. I have seen plenty of people who had a semi-pro rank with a negative k/d ratio as well as a bronze rank with a positive 8 k/d ration.
Though I am excited they have some type of system in place that isn’t how many games you played or point base like Halo 4 or COD, I feel having a ranking system like this is pointless.
Even though it was a little broken, the halo 3 ranking system was the best and if they want to get a similar experience to that, they need to change the system. Make the ranking more about player skill and less about winning.
Overall / Overview
I went over a lot of points and changes for this game review from new abilities, new maps and weapons, to ranking and menu options. Though Halo 5 : Guardians is still in the works and the Beta was only a vague representation of what’s to come, I think 343 is getting a lot of things right with this one.
The aiming change is amazing and the new abilities and general gameplay is groundbreaking. Though there are a few bumps with some maps, spawns, customization, and ranking, I feel this game is going to be amazing.
It will be the game the brings people back into Halo or shooters in general. I can’t wait for this game to come out, I know it will be a nice change for the Halo series and to the Halo fans.
This game will not only be great for fans and the masses but for KSI as well.
KSI News thanks KSI Jupiter 7 for her contribution and hopes to see future contributions from other KSI members.