My thoughts and opinions on Halo 5: Guardians

My thoughts and opinions on Halo 5: Guardians – Transcript

Hey guys, this is Pyroteq and in this video I’m going to tell you about my thoughts and opinions on Halo 5 Guardians so far.

Halo 5 has been out for a few weeks now. I was in China for 10 days just after the release, so I’ve had to catch up before I could really give my thoughts on the game.

With the latest patch including Big Team Battle just released I figured now was a good time to let you know what I think of Halo 5.

To start off with I’ll just say Halo 5 Guardians is a good game and most of the time I’m having fun. I don’t want to come across too negatively, however you need to remember I’m analysing the game purely from a competitive point of view. There’s a lot of potential here for an amazing game – however there’s also quite a lot of things holding the game back, so that’s what I’m going to focus on as I want Halo 5 to be the best game it can be.

So, lets start off from the top and go through the things I immediately noticed once I had installed the game.

I’m not really happy with the user interface. I think Bungie had perfected the UI in Halo Reach and we’re missing quite a few options that previous Halo’s had, such as closed game lobbies, max player counts and others. I wish I could just see my friends list at a glance without having to go through sub-menus and I also can’t see which of my friends are partied together and if they’re currently in a game and how long it has remaining.

This is really annoying since I don’t know whether I start searching for a game on my own or if I should wait for them to finish what they’re currently doing. If Halo is to maintain it’s player population social tools are incredibly important so I’d like to see the UI updated and take more inspiration from Halo Reach which had a phenomenal user interface.

I’m also disappointed with the control options, we only have basic 1-10 sensitivity options and no custom button mapping.

While it’s true the Xbox One dashboard now supports button mapping and the new Elite controller is out, I think having it customised in the actual game is really important and allows you to do such things as un-map certain actions which you just can’t do with a generic option on the dashboard.

Apparently 343 is going to release an update in December which will address some controller issues but until we see it I’m not sure what to expect. It’s really a no-brainer to give the player the freedom to customise their controls in a competitive game and having a list of pre-set options just doesn’t cut it.

So what about the match making experience? Well, for the most part it’s pretty good, but when it doesn’t work it REALLY doesn’t work. I STILL haven’t been able to finish my placement matches for the Free For All playlist because I can never find games no matter what time I try. For the time being, I’ve given up. I understand FFA may not be the most popular playlist, especially in my region, but I think the inability to find a game so soon after launch is quite pathetic. Obviously there needs to be some adjustments made so that players can find each other more easily in match making.

I know some players ranked highly that struggle to find games in any playlist and resort to playing customs or Warzone, again, this is just an embarrassing issue for a game to have not even a month after launch. Something needs to be done urgently or players are just going to move onto other games.

The dedicated servers haven’t impressed me so far. I’m constantly having huge lag spikes that sometimes last for a minute at a time and I’ve seen many other players reporting similar issues. All my other games work perfectly and I’m doing diagnostics during the lag spikes and getting a ping of 9 milliseconds to Google and zero packet loss. These lag spikes always seem to happen at the worst times and it’s cost me several nail biting games so far. It’s incredibly frustrating to mount an epic comeback in a game only to lose during the last minute thanks to lag and this is another issue that will cause players to simply move on to another game if it’s not urgently fixed.

A lack of “good connection only” is also incredibly frustrating, especially for those of us outside of North America. 343 did previously state the option would be included in the game, however it’s missing from the final release.

I understand 343 wants to ensure we find matches quickly, however if I’m playing seriously I’d rather wait 10 minutes for a game than play on North American host which is basically a guaranteed loss 9 times out of 10. Give the power to the player to decide. If I’m playing FFA or Warzone where I don’t care too much about winning or it takes too long to find games I’ll happily play on higher latency. If I’m playing Slayer or Arena I’d much prefer to ONLY match up with players in my region to ensure a fair playing field.

I’m pretty disappointed with the map selection. The arena maps are pretty good for the most part, although nothing really stands out to me as an instant classic like Midship or Sanctuary. For the most parts the maps use quite a similar layout and similar themes and it doesn’t help that we have 2 maps that are remixes.

My biggest complaint with the maps however is the way 343 has falsely advertised their map count.

If you look at the map list for custom games, as of this video – you’ll see 19 maps listed under 343 Industries, however if you take a closer look you’ll see that 11 out of these 19 maps are just different Forge variants under 3 different Forge themes. Unlike previous Halo’s where Forged maps have been grouped together, in Halo 5 the maps are listed separately. Really, we only have 8 original maps if you don’t count Forged maps, plus 3 Warzone maps which we can’t use for custom games.

Considering Eden and Empire share many assets, as well as Truth and Regret sharing assets, this is quite a pathetic map offering in my opinion. I have no issue with maps sharing assets if they play differently, however I definitely have an issue with maps sharing assets when we’re getting less content instead of more.

We don’t get any real Big Team Battle maps, they’re all just Forged. I know that Forge in Halo 5 is supposed to be better than previous Halo’s, but it’s still Forge and Forged maps aren’t a replacement for REAL content. This really just seems like laziness on 343’s part, getting well known Forgers from the community to do their work for them and act like they’re being generous giving us free DLC when we’ve always been getting Forged maps for free.

We have no Terminal, no Sidewinder, no Water Works and no Zanzibar, just Forged maps featuring very plain textures and none of the cool gimmicks such as the windmill on Zanzibar or the train on Terminal.

Speaking of maps, I can’t mention them without talking about the absurd lighting in this game. I, as well as many others complained about the lighting in the maps during the beta to which 343 responded and said they would be toning it down. I don’t know about you guys, but after playing Halo 5, especially the new Big Team Battle maps I feel like my retinas are being fried.

The lighting in this game is cranked all the way to 11. Small lights give off more lumens than the sun and for some reason even the grass reflects light into your eyes as if all the blades of grass were just tiny mirrors. The lights are too strong, the bloom is overwhelming and the amount of glare is absurd.

I feel like every single light in this game should be reduced by 50% so I can play without feeling the need to wear sunglasses.

Warzone itself is pretty cool and it’s a nice change of pace when I just want to chill out. I’d like to see more points earned for killing enemy players though, since I think it’s a little ridiculous when I have the most kills on my team yet I’m near the bottom of the score chart. If it wasn’t for me getting kills my team mates wouldn’t be able to complete objectives so I feel like my contribution to the team shouldn’t go unnoticed.

I’ve enjoyed earning and unlocking REQ packs so far and as long as 343 doesn’t get greedy with the micro-transactions I think it’s a good system. One thing I didn’t like though was the fact that many emblems were locked away which means many players have the same emblem. Considering customising our emblems has been standard since Halo 2, I feel like emblems shouldn’t have been part of the REQ packs, or at least all the old emblems from previous games should have been available from the start to avoid so many duplicates.

So, with all that out of the way here’s my 2 biggest concerns with Halo 5 Guardians so far.

The first one is the weapon balance.

Halo 5 has some of the fastest kill times since the original Halo. The problem is, the weapons with the fastest kill times are the automatic weapons that require very little skill to use, while the weapons with higher kill times are the precision weapons that require a lot more skill without compensating the player for the risk involved in using them.

In a battle between 2 equally skilled players, one with an Assault Rifle and the other with a Pistol, if the player using the Pistol misses a single shot they will most likely die. Even if player using the Pistol does get the kill, if often leaves them with a slither of health meaning they’re an easy clean up for any other player.

It’s quite ironic that the pistol in Halo 5 is one of the hardest weapons to use in history of Halo, yet it’s outclassed by nearly every other weapon in the game.

The SMG and the Lightning Rifle kill so fast you barely even have time to react, despite the huge firing cone and autoaim on these weapons.

The automatic weapons also gain an advantage over the precision weapons due to the new movement mechanics. It’s too easy for players to escape unfavourable confrontations due to thrust and sprint. A player wielding an automatic can just thrust behind a corner to safety thanks to the longer kill times of the rifles. If the player wielding the rifle dares challenge them, the player with the automatic will mow them down in a split second.

I feel like every automatic weapon in this game needs a nerf and every precision weapon needs a buff. I don’t want to see automatic weapons completely useless, however a skilled player with a magnum should nearly always beat an opponent using an AR.

My other issue with the weapons is the auto aim. All across the board, even on the pistol the auto aim is too high. The biggest offenders however are probably the rifles given their range. While the pistol may kill faster than the rifles, the fact that the rifles are easier to use means that the rifles will win in an exchange most of the time simply because they will land more of their shots due to auto aim.

This should NEVER happen. The weapons should reward player skill, not the player using the weapon with the most forgiving auto aim.

The Sniper Rifle is also probably the easiest sniper to use in Halo history with a huge amount of auto aim making even the worst players look like MLG champions.

Many players in the competitive community are convinced the pistol is a great starting weapon, however they’re blind to its flaws. The pistol is unable to keep the sniper rifle in check and its outclassed by the rifles. On a map like Sanctuary a pistol would be next to useless.

For this reason I’d much prefer to see the BR or DMR as a starting weapon but with reduced auto aim to keep the skill cap high. I’d much rather see the pistol as a sidearm for when players run out of ammo for their primary weapon.

My other huge issue with the game is the aiming system.

It’s awful. This came as a huge surprise to me since I specifically mentioned in my beta review video that I liked the aiming and that it felt tight. It’s as if 343 watched the video and made the aiming worse just to spite me. It may even be worse than Halo 3, I don’t know whether to be mad or just impressed.

The aim acceleration kicks in too soon and the curve is far too steep. It’s not a gradual change like it was in Halo 1. One moment you’re turning slowly and the next you’ve done a 180 and completely overshot your target. The game also doesn’t feel as responsive as Halo 1. I’m not sure if it’s just a placebo or if there’s an added input delay due to V-Sync or something else.

An option for aim acceleration levels is an absolute must. I can still play ok, however I feel like I’m constantly fighting my controller and I’d play much better if the aiming was similar to Halo 1.

At the moment I feel like I’m playing a beta. The game seems polished for the most part, however it’s lacking in content. We’re still waiting for Forge and we have none of the classic game modes such as King of the Hill, Oddball and Assault, instead we’ve been given new game modes that no one ever asked for. Outside of Warzone we have no real Big Team Battle maps and the game is lacking in many social features.

That’s all for now, I’ll be going through some of the topics in this video in more detail in the near future. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video and if you’d like to see more don’t forget to like and subscribe.

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