After spending a number of hours in the Halo 5 beta, I’ve come to the conclusion that 343 wanted to modernize the game a bit more than Halo 4. Halo 5 uses a brand new movement system that bears some comparison to Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It centers around a ‘thruster pack’ that allows you to dash in whatever direction you choose, similiar to the exo-suits in Advanced Warfare. It speeds up the movement ten fold, making it the fastest Halo game to date. There’s a sliding stop too, but the most unexpected new feature is the stabiliser. Activated by holding down the left shoulder button, it allows you to automatically hover in mid-air for a few seconds, allowing you to pick off guys in mid-air.
It’s all a significant change for a series that has only steadily changed until now. Most veterans probably won’t like the changes, but I feel that it has changed for the better. Halo 5 also removes features, as well as adding them, and there are now no armor abilities at all. Introduced with Halo: Reach these replaced the traditional system of one-use items with persistent abilities such as invisibility and sprinting. In Halo 5, sprinting is no longer optional. If you want to survive, you’ll need to adjust to the enhanced sense of speed. The most baffling inclusion is the ability to ground stomp your opponents into submission. Straight out of Mortal Kombat, once your character has ascended into the air, you have the ability to pause, aim your body and then charge into the ground, destroying anybody unlucky enough to running by.
But the biggest change for Halo veterans is that Halo 5 now allows you to aim down sights (ADS), which has been a staple in games like Call of Duty and the more recent, Destiny. Much like any other first person shooter, if you hold the left trigger you can zoom in, and although this is portrayed as simply an enhanced version of the Smart Scope many fans are not going to see it in that light. You’re either going to love the addition or not, but it proved to be a much needed inclusion. The biggest thing that fans may be wondering about is, will the online matchmaking work. After the whole Master Chief Collection debacle, it’s a valid concern. I didn’t experience any issues with the matchmaking, and lets hope that it will carry over when the full game releases late next year.