For owners of the Halo: Master Chief Collection, week 2 of the Beta for Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta is now live. For our initial impressions on what was available in week 1 as well as the new gameplay mechanics, check Jack Dowson’s thoughts here.
Week 2 has seen the addition of a new mode and four new maps.
One thing that you will notice as soon as jump in to your first match is that it feels very different to other Halo games. Many of the new abilities feel like one of the armour upgrades in the recent editions of the franchise.
Instead of having to choose only one however they are all integrated. Personally, I enjoyed these changes and felt that they added extra depth to gameplay. However they do take away some of that distinct Halo feeling that has come with the previous games.
On top of the previously available Slayer mode, a new mode called Breakout has recently been added.
This new 4 v 4 mode has a very competitive feel to it. A key feature of this mode is no respawns, no mini-map and no shields. This makes you rely on teammates much more to watch your back, help you take down enemies and alert you to enemy presence. The objective of each round is to eliminate the enemy team with the first team to win 5 rounds winning the match.
While I liked the strong focus on team play which is great if you have a group of friends to play with, this doesn’t quiet work out when playing with random people online.
Things also fall apart when someone on your team quits mid-match. This puts your team at a massive disadvantage right from the start of each round. Also, the lack of shields takes away that classic Halo feel.
Two new maps, Crossfire & Trench, are currently available for this mode. The maps are very similar both in looks and layout.
Both are rectangular with each team starting on a different side. Many different structures litter the map which creates numerous narrow paths. There is a small degree of versatility with basically a top and a bottom area.
In Slayer Mode, two new maps, Eden & Regret, have replaced the existing maps.
Eden is a major variation on Empire map previously available. A few parts of the map are identical although the rest have seen a major overhaul which drastically changes the play-style of the map. The two power weapons on the map are the energy sword and the sniper rifle.
I enjoyed Eden much more than I enjoyed Empire.
Regret takes place on an alien structure that has been overrun with flora. I liked both the visual style and layout of the map. In some ways, the layout is reminiscent of the previously available map Truth. The power weapon on the map is new weapon called Hydra which launches out homing missiles.
As a long time Halo fan, I was very excited to get my first taste of what 343i has done with the first new Halo game on the new generation.
Despite some radical changes, I came away cautiously optimistic about Halo 5: Guardians. If you own Halo: Master Chief Collection, do yourself a favour and give the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta a try and see what you think.