Teamwork and fun was the right mix for our first outing with Halo 5 as a group last Friday. A few of The Screwed Gamers crew in Scav3nger, mr cat 4 and myself, banded together to give Halo 5 multiplayer its first proper test, checking out Warzone and Arena. Prior to this, most of us who own the game, have played campaign or multiplayer on our own and anyone who loves Halo, should know that Halo is always better when played with friends!
After playing only one game of Warzone before this night, I could see how much fun it could be, though I didn’t enjoy it that much at the time. Similar views were held by others I had talked to, but we did find that having at least one or two friends teaming up with you, changes the experience quite a lot, and in a good way. Finally there was opportunity to coordinate and not just be another dot on the map with little ability to influence the overall result of the match! That said, I don’t know that I actually did too much to help as I played awfully (but every little bit helps right?). As a more casual gamer, I am still trying to understand the REQ system and how to get the best advantage with its use.
Our first match showed that coordination can make a difference after trailing for most of the game, we started concentrating better on taking out the AI bosses where you can earn huge points for your team. Before we new it, we had turned around a 200 point deficit to lead and win by about 100 points, as the other team lost their way and panicked to try and stem the bleeding. The next match saw our team dominate from start to end with a minor fight back from the other side half way through.
Next up was the new (to Halo) Breakout game type in Arena. One life, with three options; die, eliminate the enemy team or capture the flag. We did a bit of both, mostly dying with the occasional obliteration of the other team. It is an intense game mode, especially when you are the last man standing for your team – we had a few of those moments too. While there was frustration due to losing most matches, admittedly, we only started communicating and coordinating towards the end. I personally enjoyed it, but I also liked search and destroy in Call of Duty, and while these two games and game types are different, there is enough similarities to draw on. One thing is for sure, that it is a game of momentum well and truly.
We finished the night off with a few games of Team Arena which includes Slayer and some objective game types. Again it was a mix of everything, from us being totally outplayed on Strongholds, smashing the opposition in Slayer, through to an absolute nail biter of a game, where we lost by just three kills (47-50). Once again, we took some time to warm up and start communicating, but hopefully this will improve with every time we play!
It was (in my opinion) classic Halo, as the night and the game produced moments only Halo can, such as random splatters with a mongoose, double kills, suicides with rocket launchers to the face and close matches you can really appreciate as you play them. For me the most memorable moment from the night was not any of our convincing wins, or even the come from behind win in the first Warzone match. It was the nail biter in Slayer which we lost. Why would a loss be more memorable than a win? Because it was vintage Halo, where you can see how close the match is with minutes to go and have the ability to influence the outcome greatly. You feel the intensity build as both teams draw closer to 50 kills, where as in other games it can be all over before you realise what has just happened!
All in all, it was a great night, and we look forward to the next one as more of the crew join in!