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6 Warning Signs for Halo 5: Guardians

Up until now, everything I have written regarding Halo 5: Guardians has been positive…well what if the game ends up being not that good? It is hard to think of it that way, because everything we have seen thus far has been excellent. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that could wreck this game, and in order to understand the games strengths to the fullest degree, we must try to identify its weaknesses. So without further ado, I present to you 6 warning signs for Halo 5: Guardians.

1. REQ System could backfire with pay to win in Warzone.
343 Industries has assured us numerous times that the REQ system will not be ‘pay to win’ in Warzone, and from what they have explained to me it looks like they will hold up on that promise. However, as much as they are going to assure something it may not be true. Halo 5: Guardians is taking a big gambol (…see what I did there?) in investing in microtransactions. It is either going to work brilliantly and raise a ton of money for the Halo World Championships, or it is going to break Warzone with players spawning Scorpions and Phaetons when everyone else just has warthogs… it is a real concern.

Hear me out – it looks safe to me. Theoretically, a player could spend a ton of money on Warzone packs and even though they have to wait for their REQ level to reach a certain stage before they can spawn their power-vehicle, them having that power vehicle, or plenty of them, in the first place compared to someone who doesn’t is at a major disadvantage. It will be very interesting to see how this system plays out – like I said previously it is either going to work brilliantly or fail miserably.

2. With Cortana finally out of the picture, how will 343 Industries handle Master Chief?
This is a major question – with Cortana finally out of the picture (even though she may still be in Chief’s mind, because…y’know…Chief be crazy now) how will 343 Industries handle Master Chief’s persona? What I mean by this is that Chief has always been driven by Cortana – in Halo: Combat Evolved Cortana was the voice that made everything make sense. In Halo 2 Cortana was the one who stayed behind to save the day. In Halo 3 Cortana was the one who Chief was trying to save the entire game as well as the one who held the answers to humanities salvation. In Halo 4 Cortana was the one who woke Chief up and led him to the truth about the Forerunners, and saved Chief from the Didact. Now that Cortana is gone, Chief has lost a literal half of himself. How will 343 handle that? They could either handle it poorly, or they could handle it with taste. Will Chief be mad? Will he be looking for something to fill the void? We haven’t seen Chief without Cortana in mind.

3. Will Locke be a good character?
Spartan Jameson Locke has been marketed as a direct contract to the Master Chief, who is now disobeying orders. When it comes down to it, you will be playing as Locke just as much as Master Chief in Halo 5. We know that Master Chief will be fun to play as, and we will be looking forward to his progression as a character, but what of Locke? The entire score of this game will depend on how good of a character Locke is and what he actually contributes to the story of Halo 5. If he is anything less than great, the game will suffer. Again, 343 Industries has placed a huge gamble on this. It is either going to pay off huge or kill off Halo 5.

Cool helmet and all – but how cool will he be?

4. Server Troubles may be an issue.
I have a lot of faith in 343 Industries with Halo 5 in general, and this includes servers. After the disaster that was the Master Chief Collection, 343 has to have a flawless launch to gain back the trust of the community. Do I think the launch will be perfect? Honestly, I do. But there is always a looming feeling that it might be a disaster again and if it is Halo is in deep trouble. Comparing this to the Master Chief Collection, it should already be much better. Instead of throwing 4 different Halo games made across 2 different platforms onto a newer platform and merging them all together, it will just be one Halo game made for this platform. It should be much better just because of the intricacies that are no longer present as they were in the Master Chief Collection. Also, as a side note, they somehow got the Master Chief Collection to basically work 95% of the time now, which is a feat of its own. I think that 343 has learned more than anyone on how to have a good launch because of this. Time will tell again, but a million+ people all crashing the servers at midnight is a big stress on any game. That’s why I play campaign first!

5. No Firefight…
This one cuts deep… and I know a lot of other people feel the same way. Firefight in Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach was a perfect game type. Taking Gears of War’s Horde mode and turning it Halo was brilliant and it worked really, really well. It is a mode where people can sink countless hours into without really stressing any servers, and they can play it solo, with friends, or with randoms. Honestly, after Halo 4 cut out firefight and the population died so quickly I thought that they would have learned their lesson and added it back into Halo 5. Think about it – firefight with a mix of prometheans and covenant would be a ton of fun and mix that with the new spartan abilities as well as maybe throwing in a REQ system similar to Warzone? It would be endless fun. This is a huge missed opportunity, 343, and the game WILL suffer because of this.

6. Call of Duty comes out 2 weeks later – population issues?
We have seen this before – Call of Duty: Black Ops II launched 2 weeks after Halo 4 in 2012 and the population all moved over. Now in 2015, Halo 5 is launching and 2 weeks later Black Ops III is launching. Will we see the same issues come up? Will support for the game die that fast again? 343 is banking on Halo 5 being so good that nobody will want to stop playing Halo – but honestly this is a huge task, especially since other games like Fallout 4 are coming out 2 weeks after. I think that 343 should have launched the game in September, or after Call of Duty, to make this work. They are gambling again, and it is either going to pay off and tons of people are going to play Halo instead of Call of Duty, or it is going to fail and lots of people are going to switch over again.

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