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Halo 5 beta preview [Game revolution] [Update: Big Screens]


Feb 25, 2014

Here's my impression after a few hours of play: 343 is trying to get the core back onside with Halo 5 while ensuring it has all mod cons. Halo returns to a level playing field while adding cosmetic iron sights. Halo returns to descoping while adding a Thruster Pack. It's a tricky balancing act, for sure, but I like what I've played. I was a tad worried that, bar Breakout, Halo 5 multiplayer is perhaps too familiar. But as the developers point out, we're only getting a glimpse of multiplayer here. There's more to Halo 5's PVP than arena.
The first time I played Halo 5: Guardians' competitive multiplayer it felt odd because I could zoom in and fire the Assault Rifle.

Ah, the Assault Rifle - the Mario of Halo's arsenal. The default gun, the classic all-rounder: good at close range, big clip, wide spread. And, in every Halo game, fired from the hip.

But in Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries' second Halo game and its first for the Xbox One, firing the Assault Rifle from the hip is no longer the only option. In Halo 5: Guardians, you can zoom in and use a scope for precise damage. What's going on?

343 calls it Smart Scope. Every gun in the game, the developers tell us, has it. That means you can zoom in on the Assault Rifle and all the other UNSC weapons I got to play with: the Magnum, the Battle Rifle, the DMR, the SMG, and, of course, the Sniper Rifle.

Let's remember that you've always been able to scope with the likes of the Pistol, the Battle Rifle, the DMR and the Sniper Rifle. But in Halo 5 Smart Scope makes this look a little different in that, visually, it's almost a Call of Duty-esque "aim down sights" animation.

But it's important to note that while Smart Scope looks like ADS, at the end of the day it acts like zooming in from past Halo games. So while there's more visual clutter on-screen, there's no penalty to mobility - a staple of Halo's run and gun gameplay for years.

Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer Beta - Eurogamer Preview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYW-wP4381g


Let’s start with two of the big ones that sound bad but, in practice, aren’t: ADS and sprinting. Yes, Aim Down Sights, that popular shooter aiming mechanic found in the Call of Duties and Destinies of the world that, for me, pulls me out of the game world. I tend to spend the whole time with the left trigger pulled and no time admiring the beautiful scenery around you (nevermind the lack of periphery and spatial awareness). It’s called Smart Scope here, and, as 343 creative director Timothy Longo put it, “All weapons in Halo 5 have some sort of Smart Scope.” Before you start breathing into a paper bag moaning, “They ruined Halooooo,” however, know that, among the three IGN editors who played Halo 5, none of us found it offensive. This is largely because you’ll get de-scoped if you get shot, similar to Halo 2. In the end, we were still playing the overwhelming majority of the game from the normal first-person view.
As for complaints? I have one, but it’s not about ADS or sprint. Instead, it’s the controls. I’ve fought a lot of things in Halo over the years: the Covenant, the Flood, the Prometheans, and other players on Xbox Live. But until I played Halo 5, I’ve never had to fight Halo’s controls. And yet here I was with my first taste of 2015’s biggest Xbox exclusive, and for a series whose calling card is its buttery-smooth feel, I couldn’t get past the fact that I felt like my Spartan-IV had been doused in molasses. I tried cranking the thumbstick sensitivity from the default 5 up to 7, and then all the way to 10, but to no avail. Unlike the other Halo first-person shooters – four of which I’ve been playing extensively of late via The Master Chief Collection – the gamepad in Halo 5 became a barrier between me and the game rather than a natural extension of my hands and brain. I couldn’t line up headshots, aim smoothly, or ultimately have as much fun as I should’ve been having. Several other first-time players I polled after the session felt similarly.


After spending nearly an hour and a half playing Halo 5 multiplayer matches, I can assure you that the new additions to the gameplay formula don’t ruin the experience whatsoever. Thanks to the care 343 took in balancing the new maneuvers, long time fans will probably have the same reaction and actually appreciate the changes once they get to experience them first hand. The changes do in fact stem from 343’s e-sports mindset for the game, and some of the new abilities have been in other competitive multiplayer games for years now, but in my opinion they do change Halo’s multiplayer formula in a good way and make it a bit more modern and adaptable for the burgeoning e-eports movement.
Final Thoughts
343 has done some amazing things with the Halo 5: Guardians’ multiplayer formula, and considering that the beta is taking place so early on in the game’s development, the level of quality is impressive and worth your time if you can get into the beta this December. The various gameplay changes introduced may sound jarring at first, especially to seasoned Halo multiplayer fans, but the balancing of each move helps to ensure that they can’t be taken exploited for unfair advantages. I personally like the ability to always run, and don’t see how it can ruin Halo multiplayer, especially when you consider that your shields don’t charge while sprinting. I also appreciated the new thrusts, as they greatly enhance your ability to take on foes in close quarter situations. I also haven’t mentioned that the AI will now talk to you and provide strategic information for when you’re playing on a silent team, which is also a nice bit of polish added to the multiplayer component.

The new maps all look fantastic and offer great ways to experience them, but the new Breakout mode is the true star of this beta and hopefully in the final build. Playing this match type is exhilarating, and it naturally lends itself to working as a team, which usually results in bonding with other players, a staple in Halo multiplayer since 2001. There’s nothing more thrilling than being a hero in this match type, especially if you can pull off a win against the entire enemy team by yourself.
Lots of info on the new maps and Spartan abilities - http://www.entertainmentbuddha.com/hands-on-preview-of-the-halo-5-guardians-multiplayer-beta-and-the-new-spartan-abilities/

From the moment I sat down with Halo 5: Guardians, it was clear that the game has a big focus on player movement. If you thought Halo 4's universal sprint was blasphemous (again, you're wrong), enter a Halo game with ledge climbs, running melee's, air stomps, and slides. All of these new abilities are made possible by your thrust pack.

Take the running melee for instance. When doing a normal sprint, your thruster will kick in after a few seconds, sending your spartan into a terminal velocity where your melee becomes a running charge that kills in one hit from the back, and your crouch turns into a slide. The ground pounds are similar to the air stomps in Crysis. To initiate a ground pound, you simply jump, aim by holding down the melee button, and a cursor will appear on any surface below, allowing you to smash down with speed. I do wonder how effective a technique the ground pound will be though, as the entire time you're aiming midair, you hover with the thruster pack, making yourself a painfully obvious target.
For those of you who keep up with NeoGAF and its various leaks, you make have heard that Halo 5 has aim down sights (ADS). Well, yes, it does, and yes, ADS doesn't feel good in Halo. While there is no movement penalty, aiming down does narrow your field of view, as it does in all other games.

The problem here is that aiming down is a feature that works best, and only in games where weapons by design are inaccurate from the hip, and guns are meant to kill almost as soon as you can land your cursor over an enemy. Halo games do neither of these things. Losing your field of vision with no significant accuracy gain is redundant, and at worst, I felt the narrow view caused me to lose my beat on an enemy. Frustrating in a game where it takes five head shots on average to score a kill.


Our hands-on time with the beta started out with a four-versus-four match of Slayer on the map Truth, which is based on classic Halo 2 multiplayer map Midship. The quick match gave us a chance to adjust to some of the new Spartan moves, like sliding and the ground pound. It also gave me my first chance to wield the Prophet's Bane, the Halo 5 take on the energy sword. The Prophet's Bane has an enhanced run speed and lunge distance, the developers told me. Most importantly, it still allows you to smack down enemies up close and personal. Next, we shifted over to Empire, a brand new map that takes place on a skyscraper, for another round of 4v4 slayer.

Finally, we got a chance to try our first match of the new Crossfire mode on the Breakout arena map.

In Crossfire, two teams of four fight to wipe out the opposing team before time runs out. Each player has one life per match. The first team to win five matches, takes the game.

The map we played on was inspired by real life competitive paintball fields, Lee said. To further amp up the action, Spartans have less shields in this mode, he said. Because the map is relatively small and slightly maze-like, the gameplay tended to be incredibly intense, especially when coupled with the new Spartan moves.

Game revolution
Players will notice quite quickly that first-person shooter mechanics not far removed from Call of Duty have drawn the competitive game just a little closer to the kind of quick reflexes and accuracy normally associated with aiming down sights religiously. Both mobility and persistent zooming, if you will, have received a range of enhancements that greatly speed gameplay with a new boost ability adding to the player’s options for escape in a difficult situation.

From the main menu, we could select from three maps each offering three different game modes. Standard team death match or Team Slayer, as its known in the Halo universe, set us down in a Covenant-looking and circular arena with a central bridge leading to a beam sword. Limited power weapons waited in the outer reaches. This map focused the group of eight Spartans we had into head-to-head battles with assault rifles, DMR rifles, and Halo’s ever-popular pistol. Using the Smart Scope with the DMR meant headshots, and lots of them, though return fire now brings players back out of the scope as it did in previous Halo games. With the added accuracy availed to players with Smart Scope, it can be panic-inducing to lose that extra sight even as you’re dealing damage and wearing down an opponent’s shield.
Big Screens:

Other Screens:


Higher quality images - http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2014/11/halo-5-guardians-multiplayer-screenshots.html

Halo 5 beta footage -

Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Press Videos:

Breakout on Crossfire

Slayer on Empire

Slayer on Truth (Midship remake)
Halo 5 Direct feed MP trailer
Thanks zakislam anyways

Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta Behind the Scenes (direct feed vidoc footage)

Sprint if old


Oct 18, 2012
I'd say the Beta in December (?) will address any confusion and leave almost a year for changes based on feedback. I like this release structure.

Sou Da

Jul 26, 2014
Was this the 9/10 "I am so fucking tired of shooters place"?

Also I really don't like how the smg looks now, it looks like a P90


Dec 8, 2006
It looks great. Scoping is back to normal. Have they mapped it to a different button or somethin', or have this lot not played anything but 4?


Jan 10, 2014
That thread with the leaked vids gave me an intense COD impression.

It was COD with a Halo skin.

Storm Raider

Sep 11, 2013
I was able to pull off a 3 kill streak which then rewarded me with a UAV. It didn't take me long to flank the other players using it, which then led to a 5 kill streak; an air strike!


May 22, 2014
Experience a new generation of Halo multiplayer in the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta."
COD is the new generation.

At least we're not being flat out lied to, I now actively know to avoid the MP part of the game. I will play SP and see if it's any good, but luckily having Halo 2/3 on xbox one now makes it all the sweeter once we realize just how bad Halo 5 MP is going to be.


Jun 14, 2014
343 basically was told directly by the fans that Halo 4 sucked so they made even dumber decisions. Unreal.


Apr 19, 2013
The images look new.

Again, not very fond of the gameplay. Also, it looks like Halo 4.5.
Yeah mirrors my impression... Doesnt look such a leap from Halo 4...

Maybe it'll look better in motion...and the gameplay impressions making it seem similar to COD doesnt make me happy either. Have to wait till I get my hands on...or a good video to judge it more easily..


Sep 21, 2013
Land of The Witcher

Not like this...

Yeah mirrors my impression... Doesnt look such a leap from Halo 4...

Maybe it'll look better in motion...and the gameplay impressions making it seem similar to COD doesnt make me happy either. Have to wait till I get my hands on...or a good video to judge it more easily..
It's beta that comes nearly a year before the full game. It has to look little rough.


Oct 23, 2013
If map control is back, I'm in. I don't care about ADS as long as it's just a zoom, and sprint is welcome, to me what made Halo 2 so much fun was the teamwork involved in strategically controlling a map and it's resources.