Top 10 Games of E3 2015

07. Halo 5: Guardians

The next chapter in the Halo game series -- Halo 5: Guardians -- is the direct sequel to Halo 4 developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios exclusively for the current gen Xbox One games console.

As befits traditions, the game tells its story in the first-person perspective, being clearly a shooter just like the previous games (well, most of them) in the series. Guardians will deliver the sort of story and game play that has long earned the series the title of the Thinking Gamers Shooter.

Set to be released on 27 October 2015 for Xbox One, and shortly thereafter - assuming that the experience is more like Halo 4's and less like the Master Chief Collection, heads will explode from the new point-of-view that unfolds in its story.

Don't take this the wrong way, we are not saying that the game or its story will be a bad experience. It would not have made this list at Number 7 - or heck, the list at ALL - if that were so. What we ARE saying however is that this is NOT your father's HALO! And it did not make the list simply because it is a HALO game. It earned its slot in other words.

What we mean by this not being your father's HALO is that while The Master Chief is present, his presence is more part of the carrot rather than the stick. What that translates to is pretty simple: John-117 has gone missing after a new series of colonial attacks and his AWOL status has turned him into a criminal as far as the fleet and the UNSC.

Tasked with tracking him down and placing him under arrest pending his Article 15 hearings - hearings plural mind you - that team consists of a mixed squad of Spartans who set out after the Chief when he goes places he was not supposed to go,

The primary protagonist is an African-American Spartan who is all business, leading a team that offers a mixture of strengths like Buck (Nathan Fillion), who brings his mix of quirky comic-relief and serious retrospective observations. The squad has a hard-charging female Spartan named Tanaka (a first) and supporting characters who bring their own strengths to play.

Our experience with the game causes us to feel it is important to emphasize that feature - that this is a team-based game play experience. Among the differences and what makes each important are their unique weapon load-outs and specialties, to be sure, but it is the voice-work that is part of the patter and basic interaction of the squad that really makes this mode shine.

That is important because a LOT of returning players are going to be thrown by this new squad-based focus. After all they play the HALO series because their favorite part is the face of the games - The Master Chief - and this time around his role is shared with this squad of new Spartans, none of whom we really know!

Before we go too much further into this, there is one element of the new game that has set teeth on edge and drawn the ire of returning fans like nothing ever has - including the bugs from TMCC!

During the H5 Beta Reveal when MCC launched the fact that the game would include micro-transactions was not a very well received reveal. Perhaps the wizards behind HALO 5 could have done a better and more complete job of explaining it?

The focus that drew all of that negative attention was a new currency called REQ Points that are earned during multi-player matches and are used to buy REQ Packs, which contain a variety of armor, weapons, and skins, as well as other kit that can improve your characters.

These REQ Packs can be earned for free when a player levels up, but what has the gamer fan base concerned is the fact that they can also be purchased for real world money when a player buys REQ points.

This is still a very much in-the-air issue because we do not know how great the impact will be on the players, or whether REQ will introduce boutique-style imbalances that allow players to buy a better game play experience. The jury is still out. Just saying.

All of that taken into consideration - new story, new squad-based protagonists, Master Chief in trouble, and some side-issues like micro-transactions - in the end when we stack on the fact that HALO 5 was built for the Xbox One, literally pushes the envelope of its hardware and capabilities in ways that no other games (so far) have done, and brings a solid helping of Master Chief and HALO story to the fans, and what do you get?

Why, you get our Number 7 pick for the Top 10 games of E3 2015, that is what you get!

Posted: 22nd Jun 2015 by CMBF
Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC,