Halo 5: Guardians

Eight months after the events of Halo 4, the Master Chief has reunited with his former SPARTAN-II comrades to form Blue Team. After they go AWOL on a personal mission, a team of SPARTAN-IVs known as Fireteam Osiris is assigned to hunt them down and bring back the Master Chief.

Overview

Blue Team in action.
Blue Team in action.

Initially revealed at Microsoft's E3 2013 Media Briefing, Halo 5: Guardians is a sci-fi first-person shooter developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios, set to release on October 27. 2015 on the Xbox One. The game is the 5th installment in the mainline Halo games. The game features heavily reworked audio and a new engine built for the Xbox One. The game's campaign and multiplayer will run at 60 frames per second. The game's soundtrack is composed by composer Kazuma Jinnouchi, who also worked on Halo 4's soundtrack. The game's creative director is Tim Longo, most notable for his work on the Star Wars games.

Gameplay

Campaign Squad Control

During the campaign playing will be taking over Chief's team, known as Blue Team, which is composed of legendary Spartan II's Kelly-087, Linda-058 and Frederic-104 or Locke's team, Fireteam Osiris, which is made up of high-tech Spartan IV's, including Edward Buck. A player, if playing alone, can issue orders to these AI controlled teammates. Commands including, highlighting and issuing an assault on enemies, picking up certain weapons, controlling turrets and driving vehicles. During online cooperative play, players will take on the role of the Spartan teammates, each with their own unique traits. If a player is downed during battle, teammates can revive them by standing over them and initiating a revive animation.

Spartan Abilities

Assassinations return from Halo 4.
Assassinations return from Halo 4.

As seen is past Halo game such as Halo: Reach and Halo 4, Spartan abilities make a return to the Halo sandbox but this time not tied to a load out. In Halo 5: Guardians all Mjolnir GEN2s are equipped with these abilities, making them available to all players.

  • Thruster Pack - The integration of a thruster pack solution offers much more dynamic mobility, including bursting in any given direction with a low recharge requirement after use.
  • Ground Pound - Used to launch down toward the ground from an elevated position and deliver a devastating blow to the ground and any opponents around. Is activated when jumping off a elevated position and holding melee from a brief period.
  • Clamber - An ability in the Spartan's agility arsenal. Clambering allows Spartans to climb up ledges normally out of reach.
  • Slide - Mjolnir GEN2's upgraded joints actuators allow Spartans to move fluidly through the environment, even coming to a sudden sliding stop in order to dodge or evade incoming fire.
  • Charge - A charge that uses Mjolnir GEN2's thruster pack, activated when a player builds up speed while sprinting and pressing the melee button.
  • Smart Scope - Included in every weapon, smart scope gives players a clearer line of sight.
  • Sprint - Now Spartan sprinting is standard, but this time tied a Spartan's shields. If a Spartan's shields are low, when sprinting they do not recharge.

Multiplayer

Battling an A.I. Forerunner Knight.
Battling an A.I. Forerunner Knight.

Halo 5: Guardian's multiplayer will run on dedicated servers to ensure the best connections possible. It features returning game modes as well as new game types. Multiplayer in Halo 5 can support up to 24 players over Xbox Live. The game features a skill-based matchmaking system, here players are rated into seven tiers of skill level. This system is based on wins and loses. Winning games will increase one's rank, while losing decreases it.

Gametypes

  • Warzone - A brand new game mode introduced in Halo 5. While not a replacement for Big Team Battle, Warzone features large-scale multiplayer gameplay, with up to 24-player support. This mode features both PvP (Player vs. Player), as well as PvE (Player vs. Environment). This includes A.I.-driven Covenant and Forerunner foes.
  • Breakout - 4v4 fast-paced multiplayer mode introduced in Halo 5. This mode pits 2 teams of 4 against each other in a small, closed maps. Spartans spawn with a pistol and an SMG but no shield. The TTK (Time to kill) in the mode is short, leading to intense showdowns. The objective is to eliminate the enemy team, or carry the flag found at the center of the map over to the objective.

Weapons

The confirmed list of weapons in the game:

UNSC Weapons

The charged up Spartan ground pound.
The charged up Spartan ground pound.
  • Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) - A mid- to long-range single shot rifle. Can take out a fully shielded Spartan with 4 shots to the head.
  • BR55 Battle Rifle - A mid- to long-range 3-round burst rifle.
  • Shotgun - Close quarters combat weapon.
  • Hydra - A new multi-shot rocket launcher; when using Smart Scope, rockets can lock onto enemies.
  • MA5 Series Assault Rifle - Traditional UNSC infantry weapon, this time with a Smart Scope zoom that gives players a much clearer line of sight.
  • Sub Machine Gun - A compact automatic weapon of lower calibre, the Smart Scope ability makes the spread tighter.
  • Sniper Rifle - Long-range power, the UNSC sniper rifle returns and appears as it did in Halo 4.
  • Rocket Launcher - Shoulder-mounted, high explosive weapon returns.
  • SAW - UNSC light machine gun returns from Halo 4.
  • Railgun - Returns from Halo 4, works identically, and holds 11 rounds.

Covenant Weapons

  • Needler - The Covenant rapid-fire weapon with explosive ammunition, returns with an aim-down-the-sights mechanic.
  • Carbine - The mid- to long-range Covenant semi-automatic rifle. Cosmetic change to scoping.
  • Energy Sword - The powerful melee weapon makes returns both as a regular weapon and a "legendary weapon" with the name "Prophet's Bane" - this being the sword that belongs to The Arbiter.
  • Plasma Caster - Fires explosive shots in an arc and can be charged up to fire at a distance.

Forerunner Weapons

  • Boltshot - Forerunner pistol equivalent, but does not function like in Halo 4. There is no shotgun fire mode; it instead fires two rounds at once with slight homing ability.
  • Incineration Cannon - Returns from Halo 4. Players can now charge up a shot, with longer charges yielding greater power. Battery-based rather than ammo-based.
  • Z-130 Suppressor - Forerunner equivalent of the SMG, fires much slower than previous version.

Releases

Limited Edition

The Limited Edition of Halo 5: Guardians delivers new digital content to enhance Spartan combat plus exclusive items all wrapped in a uniquely designed steel book. This edition includes the following.

  • Halo: The Fall of Reach – Animated Series
  • Guardian model by Metal Earth
  • Uniquely-designed Spartan themed SteelBook
  • Spartan Locke’s Classified Orders
  • Dossiers on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris
  • Xbox Live Gold 14-day Trial

Limited Collector's Edition

A premium edition of Halo 5: Guardians for collectors and Halo fans alike. The Limited Collector's Edition contains the Limited Edition as well as additional content including commemorative, numbered statue designed by 343 Industries. This edition includes the following.

  • Warzone REQ Bundle: 14 Premium Requisition packs
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach – Animated Series
  • Guardian model by Metal Earth
  • Uniquely-designed Spartan themed SteelBook
  • Spartan Locke’s Classified Orders
  • Dossiers on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris
  • Xbox Live Gold 14-day Trial

Digital Deluxe Edition

Exclusive to the Xbox One Store. The Halo 5: Guardians Digital Deluxe Edition includes the full base game, Warzone REQ Bundle, and Halo: The Fall of Reach – Animated Series.

Xbox One Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle

The limited edition console.
The limited edition console.

The Xbox One Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle features the following. The console release date is October 20, 2015. It includes a full game download code that allows players to pre-load Halo 5: Guardians prior to launch.

  • 1TB custom console and controller
  • Full game download of Halo 5: Guardians
  • Warzone REQ Bundle that includes 14 premium Requisition Packs
  • FOTUS-class armor and multiplayer emblem.
  • Guardian model by Metal Earth®
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach – Animated Series
  • Blue & Osiris team dossiers
  • Spartan Locke’s Classified Orders.

Pre-Release Marketing

Multiplayer Beta

Screenshot from the mutiplayer beta.
Screenshot from the mutiplayer beta.

A multiplayer beta for the game ran from December 29, 2014 to January 22, 2015. It was made available to purchasers of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The initial teaser revealed the multiplayer as a "next generation arena multiplayer". The multiplayer beta focused on the following.

  • Tight 4 vs 4 gameplay
  • Small map sizes
  • No customized load outs, everyone one on equal footing
  • 7 Maps
  • Team Weapon / Map Control
  • Spartan armour customizations

Hunt the Truth

The majority of the marketing surrounding Halo 5: Guardians has been around the notion that Master Chief is being hunted for reasons unknown.

343i created a weekly "webdramacast" in which a war journalist, Benjamin Giraud tells his tales of getting to the truth behind some unusual activities in the outer colony's. Currently it is now in season 2, taking us straight into Halo 5. (Hunt the Truth Tumblr)

Also in the vain of Hunt the Truth 343i released two teaser trailers.

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Spartan Locke Ad

  • In this trailer you see the perspective from Spartan Locke. In this advert it looks like Locke has taken out Master Chief, for reasons unknown.

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Master Chief Ad

  • Then in a twist you see the reversal to the prior advert. Now showing Master Chief taking out Spartan Locke.

A Hero Falls

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  • In this TV Spot we see a officer from either the UNSC or ONI telling the nations of mankind that the Master Chief has been killed. However, ONI Section Two Directive 930 establishes that a Spartan can only be classified as MIA or WIA to create the illusion that Spartans are immortal.

Launch TV Spot

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  • The final trailer to be released, before Halo 5 releases, shows Blue Team racing through a city toward what looks to be a Guardian. The narrator relates how Master Chief was the perfect soldier, but when his superiors lose control... they need to bring him in.

Soundtrack

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The game's soundtrack features an original score by Kazuma Jinnouchi. The soundtrack features a total of 39 tracks, the LP release features 13 tracks. The soundtrack is available through digital stores, as well as retail outlets.

  • Release Date: October 30, 2015
  • Published by: Microsoft Studios / 343 Industries
  • Composed by: Kazuma Jinnouchi
  • Amazon, iTunes

Disc 1

01Halo Canticles
02Light Is Green
03Kamchatka
04Return to the Fold
05Rock and Ice
06Argent Moon
07Scavengers
08In Absentia
09Meridian Crossing
10Unearthed
11Unconfirmed Reports
12Keeper of Secrets
13Cavalier
14Crossed Paths
15Untethered
16Skeleton Crew
17Siren Song
18Enemy of My Enemy
19Honor's Song
20Warrior World
21Covenant Prayers
22Cloud Chariot
23Sentry Battle
24Worldquake

Disc 2

01Advent
02Walk Softly
03Genesis
04Dominion
05The Trials
06Sentinel Song
07Crypt
08End Game
09Reunion
10Blue Team
11Jameson Locke
12Osiris Suite, Act 1
13Osiris Suite, Act 2
14Osiris Suite, Act 3
15Osiris Suite, Act 4
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