Halo 5 Guardians is coming close to release, and Halo fans the world over are getting ready to see what it’s bringing to the table. To hold you over for the full release of the game, the folks over at IGN have released the first 18 minutes of the game, which should give you a good idea of what to expect when you get your hands on Halo 5 on October 27th.
The game opens up with Catherine Halsey, one of the most well-developed characters in the Halo lore, having her first interaction with Cortana, the AI that was modeled after her, and who was our companion throughout the first four Halo games. It’s also worth noting that they showed a brief glimpse of Halsey’s journal, which should especially tickle the fanboy-ism of folks, like myself, who got the Halo Reach collectors edition back in the day, which included the very same journal. This attention to detail and, yes, just a touch of fan service, should give you a good idea of how the team at 343 Industries is treating the Halo lore with respect.
The game opens up with a bang, having Spartan Locke (one of the game’s protagonists, along with Master Chief) and Fireteam Osiris (a name that seems to be yet another nod to Destiny, the incredible game that Bungie went on to make after Halo) being told that they need to extract Dr. Halsey from a place that’s been overrun by both Covenant and Prometheans. It starts out with an action-packed cutscene where the fireteam fights their way through the covenant, all while sliding down a snowy mountain. After the cutscene is over, most of the video is the game proper.
The game looks absolutely gorgeous, and the changes that have been made to the gameplay and general design of Halo 5 make it seem like a refreshed game. Things like the ground-pound that Locke performs, having your AI teammates revive you, and even changes in level design (there’s an instance where Locke melees a sheet of ice in the middle of a firefight, using the cave behind it as cover) all make Halo 5 look like it’s going interesting new places with the Halo formula.
On top of just watching the gameplay, we got to see a decent amount of dialogue between the members of Fireteam Osiris, and were able to get a feel for each of them. The chemistry they have feels natural, and all of the voice acting has me convinced that they’re all likable characters. Whether it be Nathan Fillion delivering his patented snark as Edward Buck, or Laura Bailey explaining how Olympia Vale learned Sangheili, the voice actors never missed a beat.
All-in-all, this brief taste of Halo 5 Guardians has done a good job of making me excited for the game’s full release on the 27th. It seems to be taking all of the right steps to revitalize a franchise that is coming up on its 14th anniversary, and might seem a bit dated to some. Let’s hope that the rest of the game can deliver on what this promising demo has shown off. Watch the first 18 minutes of the game in 1080p 60FPS below.Further reading: Halo, Halo 5, Xbox One