With just months left to go before Halo 5: Guardians arrives on stores shelves to bolster the Xbox One’s sales and holiday game line-up, Microsoft’s 343 Industries is talking more about why it made the huge changes to the experience that it did. At the same time, a leak shows the impact of the studio’s changes.
343 Industries, the internal development team in charge of building the Halo 5: Guardians experience for the Xbox One, discusses the changes players can expect in a new video now available from GameInformer. Spanning roughly six minutes, it’s a pretty detailed deep-dive into the things the studio hopes will make Halo 5: Guardians stand out from its earlier Halo games and the titles made by now independent studio Bungie. Hours after that video first went up, a member calling himself Twin Tails posted a “Halo 5 Info Dump” at Neogaf, a dedicated gaming community.
The studio says that it introduced Blue Team plus Agent Jameson Locke and his Osiris Team of Spartans as a way to expand the core Halo game universe beyond the focus of just Master Chief John 117. Franchise lead Frank O’Connor says 343 Industries wanted to create a “deliberate contrast” for John 117, who’s dominated the overwhelming majority of the Halo universe thus far. Seeking to assuage the worries of fans, 343 Industries says they’re not trying to recreate John 117. Instead, Locke was created to give players a different experience because “there are things that Chief [John 117] doesn’t do.” New locations will complete the experience.
In the video 343 Industries also talks about why it settled on integrating different fire teams with the two main characters. The extra team members are there to support the player when they don’t have anyone else connected to their game for co-op. 343 Industries set out to create a game that would allow friends to seamlessly drop in and out of a co-op multiplayer experience.
Unfortunately, GameInformer hasn’t posted the video to its YouTube profile just yet.
That information dump at Neogaf provides the hard details about the game. Also included are some details that appear to be taken straight out of the game’s multiplayer experience. The information and images were posted yesterday and cover graphics and changes in the multiplayer mechanics.
Allegedly, the Incineration Canon from Halo 4 is back in Halo 5: Guardians; for maximum effect the weapon needs to be charged before fired. It’s now battery based instead of being based on ammo. The pistol is slower. Also making a return is the Railgun, Oversheild and Suppressor. Reportedly, the rail gun is identical to its Halo 4 variant, the Suppressor is slower at firing and the Bug Boltshot lacks a shotgun mode.
There are other changes to core mechanics, according to the leak. Weapons have blue outlines on them, making them easier to spot on the run in the faster-paced combat. The voice-overs that players hear as they’re playing along with their fire team is significantly reduced. The leak also says that “bro moments” are fewer. Specifically, there’s less “highfives” and congratulatory celebration when players win a match. Ground Pound, the ability that lets every Spartan leap off a ledge and use their suit’s jets to annihilate anything below them has a small blast radius. The Ground Pound ability is completely new to Halo 5: Guardians.
In the leaked screenshots we see some of the game’s weapons in the hands of a Red Team member in multiplayer. There’s no story mission here, but they’re a pretty good example of the graphics that Halo 5: Guardians can expect.
This being a leak, there’s absolutely no way to corroborate these details aside from Microsoft confirming them. It’s pretty unlikely that such a confirmation would come this close to the E3 2015 trade show next week. Elsewhere, Microsoft has said that Halo 5: Guardians won’t have offline split screen multiplayer. Multiplayer maps for the game will be free.
Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27th for the Xbox One. It won’t be coming to the Xbox 360.
Halo 5 Release Date
The Halo 5 release date arrives on October 27th, just ahead of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and in the mix of a busy fall gaming schedule.
There are three confirmed Halo 5: Guardians editions available for gamers to buy, stating with a basic Halo 5 at $59.99. There is also a Limited Edition for $99.99 and a Collector's Edition for $249. The limited edition includes special digital items and the Collector's Edition includes a commemorative statue.
It is possible to pre-order all the Halo 5 release options now. If you want the Limited or Collector's Edition you definitely want to pre-order as these items typically sell out before the release date.
Although unconfirmed, we expect to see midnight Halo 5 release date events at Microsoft stores, GameStop and Best Buy. There are no digital versions of the Halo 5: Guardians listed yet, but that is something that will likely change.