It’s been over a month since Microsoft introduced Xbox One players to Halo with the Master Chief Collection, but now things have started to get real with our first hands-on experienced with the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer BETA. In the past few weeks we’ve gotten our fair share of footage of this BETA, but this weekend was our first chance to experience this content for ourselves, and see what 343’s next iteration in the franchise will bring us when it comes to multiplayer. NOTE: This preview gave players the ability to play slayer on two maps. The full Beta will give players multiple modes to test out and 7 maps. Due to the lack of these extra features, we can only comment on the modes and maps that were available this weekend.
From the first moment on it’s clear that Halo 5 covers both familiar and uncharted territories, and the core design of its gameplay reflects on this. Introduces as a return to form to Halo’s earlier arena-based multiplayer experiences, 343 gives us a product that will speak to pre and post-Halo 4 players alike. We were given the opportunity to test out the game’s Slayer mode, which consists of the simple objective to become the first team to reach 50 kills in a round. In these 4v4 matches, we were dropped into two compact maps, each of which is designed in such a way that the action always comes full circle, which effectively eliminates most long-term camping, and keeps the match interesting for its duration. The maps available were Truth; a remake of the classic map Midship and Empire; a map set in the midst of a skyscraper in the middle of a city.
We’ll start off by discussing the weapons, which have seem some significant changes and additions, which affect the gameplay in a significant way. Starting out; loadouts are completely gone. Each player starts off with an assault rifle, a pistol and 2 grenades, with the other weapons in the game being stashed around the maps as pickups. Each map also has a signature weapon, which is spawned on the field every time the timer ends. This way each player starts out as an equal to one and other, and you’ll have to find your weapon of choice on the field, should you not favour the assault rifle as your primary weapon. Weaponry has been rebalanced, and some weapon may feel a bit different from their earlier counterparts, and its subjective wether you as a player will find these tweaks positive or negative.