back to article Halo 5: Overhyped, but still way above your average shooter

Halo 5: Guardians marks a bucking of trend that would have you believe that a fantastic multiplayer experience in a FPS must come at the expense of the single player campaign. In many ways it’s testament to 343 Industries that the studio has kept to its guns and once again delivered an engaging campaign and deep online …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No split screen screen, ridiculously short single player (of which an hour is cut scenes) and if you want all the cosmetics it'll set you back about £600 in gold tickets or something like 500 hours play time online if you're really good.

    Nice try, could do better.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Split Screen?

      Time to dig out Goldeneye :)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. James 51 Silver badge

    The plot for Halo 5 is in the books, certainly not in the game. Just do our homework(?!?).

    Had a game on line and my team of people thrown together was destoried by the other team who were obviously a clan (that has been true for a while though about all on-line multiplayer games).

    Just glad I got it for £15. The single player campain isn't worth the full price and it's obvious multiplayer is where the development effort went.

    1. Kane Silver badge


      "The plot for Halo 5 is in the books, certainly not in the game. Just do our homework(?!?)"

      Umm, how about no? While I'm appreciative of an expanded universe for storytelling purposes, to separate the story content from the game whilst relying on a secondary medium to deliver said content smacks slightly of a cash in. If I'm paying up to £50, I expect there to be some engaging content, and not just in the *pew pew* stakes, and I shouldn't have to do some homework just so I know what's going on in the story.

      "...and my team of people thrown together was destoried by the other team..."

      I think you'll find the whole game has been destoried...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re: Wut?

          Outsourcing the story telling is lazy at best and incompetent at worst. 343 should have found a way to work it in. Understanding what was going on did help the cut scenes hang together though.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      re: my team of people thrown together was destoried

      They removed your stories? Bastards!!

  3. Joefish

    A 9 Gig patch for a brand new game?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A 9 Gig patch for a brand new game?

      Oh yeah, and it doesn't even ship with all the modes, those "will come later" what happened to shipping finished games? What mug pays £40 for a half finished product.

      1. jason 7

        Re: A 9 Gig patch for a brand new game?

        "what happened to shipping finished games?"

        There is a way around this! I gave up buying games for three years so now I'm gaming like its late 2012. The benefit is you know what the good games are, they cost a third as much and they are usually fully patched and working as originally intended when you install them.

        1. Matt 4

          Re: A 9 Gig patch for a brand new game?

          @Jason 7 Same. If it ain't in a steam sale I ain't getting it...

          Unless it's a Paradox Grand Strategy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A 9 Gig patch for a brand new game?

      Microsoft's ridiculous refusal to ship on multiple BluRay discs hits again. Couldn't fit it all on a 45Gb and if that means you must have the XB1 online just to finish installing, that was the plan before the great user rebellion anyway.

      More annoying is a solo campaign I finished in less time that it took to download, despite being a really bad player. Wasn't a lot of fun either and the graphics vary randomly in quality but the lack of anti-aliasing stands out almost everywhere. Solo seems to be just an afterthought added at the last minute.

  4. Brenda McViking


    4 and a half stars for a game that doesn't live up to it's hype? You should have given it 3.

    Artificially inflated reviews are what is wrong with the game critic community. I tend to only look at metacritic users reviews now. Looking at Halo 5, they give it the 6.9/10 it deserves rather than the "critic" score of 8.5/10. That puts it firmly in the "will buy when it's sub £20" range for me rather than "go splurge £50 right now, it's awesome."

    Reading the 0 star reviews (which tend to actually tell you whether the game is worth playing or not) the following becomes clear: There is no split screen or co-op, which means this isn't going to be a nostalgic "play halo with friends" experience we used to have. Campaign is short- 5-7 hours by the looks of it, lackluster and lacking any charisma, as mentioned in the article. Multiplayer is just like Call of Duty and sounds reasonable, but so-called "microtransactions" (that aren't anything to do with thousandths at all) make certain modes pay-to-win.

    Actually, reading your article again, you said most of this, but then covered it all up with a headline that made it sound like it was "above average." To me it sounds distinctly average - yet another franchise getting long in the tooth using prior glory to extract money from console gamers whilst providing them with the barest minimum of entertainment that they'll get away with. Sub £20, I might give it a go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rating

      You're not making this about journalistic integrity in games reviews are you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rating

        Well everyone knows there's none of that outside a handful of youtubers.

    2. wowfood

      Re: Rating

      I tend to rate out of 10, but I've never given a game 10/10. To me that would be gaming perfection and frankly I don't think any game reaches that level. The occasional 9 sure, but most games nestle on a 7 for me because they're above average sure, but by no means amazing.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Rating

        Games that score 10.




        Star Wars (Atari vector version)

        Although I may be showing my age (or the fact I've finished my Picade)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Rating

          >4 and a half stars for a game that doesn't live up to it's hype? You should have given it 3.

          It is possible for a game not to live up to its hype and yet still be helluva blast to play!

          Other reviews have suggested that Halo 5 is closer to Halo 3's on-line multi-player than any Halo game since... and that bodes well. Unlike Halo 3, Halo 5 has dedicated servers and not a peer-based system - so no 'lag cheaters', which is very welcome news.

      2. Archimedes_Circle

        Re: Rating

        ...most games nestle on a 7 for me because they're above average sure, but by no means amazing.

        How can most of anything be above average? I'm not trying to be overly picky, but I think this is part of the problem. People feel bad when they give a five, so they give a seven instead, and that becomes the new `average'. At the same time, the consuming public comes and thinks, `ooh, it's above average, maybe I'll pop out and purchase this wonderful experience of pomp and circumstance,'' when in actuality it really is just average.

        What we need to do is recentre the distribution after everyone has given scores, and see how above or below average a game is, using the average for each site to centre new scores, just like z tests work, if you remember your statistics. Then aggregate across the z-scores and you'll have a good determination of whether a game is, for the average website, rated as above or below their average rankings.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Rating

          "How can most of anything be above average?"

          Five is only average if you assume a symmetric distribution. Getting a very low score requires extreme incompetence on the part of the developer, so there shouldn't be many games actually released in that state in the first place - any game that deserves a 2 or 3 should be cancelled, not released. But you still need a place on the scale for the games that do get released in such a state. A sensible rating system, and one I think most people actually use even if they don't consciously think about it, would look something like this:

          1) Broken and unplayable.

          2) Will just about run, but that's the best that can be said for it.

          3) Extremely buggy, poorly designed.

          4) Still bad in most ways, but some people might actually play all the way through.

          5) Playable, but not really well made or fun for most.

          6) Has some good points, but too buggy/badly written/etc. to be well recommended. Probably enjoyed by people who are fans of the genre or series.

          7) Not great, but good enough to be enjoyed by many. Most competent but generic games will fall here, as will innovative but flawed ones.

          8) Really quite good.

          9) So well made that even people who aren't usually into this sort of game might enjoy it.

          10) Fucking amazing.

          Obviously on a scale like this, actual finished games by professional developers are unlikely to score below a 6 or so at worst. But if you therefore decide to remove anything lower than that and adjust the scale so 6 becomes the new 1, how would you distinguish between a mediocre game and a truly terrible one? Essentially, you don't want a scale normalised to the average quality of released games, but one in which all possible qualities have a place regardless of how rare they actually are in practice. No game should ever be released in a state where it can score a 1, but it's possible for it to happen so any review scale needs to allow for that possibility.

          On top of that, there's an additional sampling bias. People don't play or review all games. The region below 6/10 is not well represented because very few people are stupid enough to buy the games that would fall there, and very few reviewers waste their time on obvious crap that no-one is going to care about. Games that actually get reviewed are likely to score above average because that's a deliberately biased sample of the set of all games.

    3. Greg J Preece

      Re: Rating

      Are you surprised that a game review from El Reg - especially a Halo review - reads like a press release? The "reviewer" here completely glosses over the bullshit acquisitions system by praising how much it apparently adds to the multiplayer, whilst not once mentioning that it's a microtransaction-supported premium currency inside your paid-for multiplayer experience. The reviewer also completely fails to mention that basically all other collectibles previously available in Halo games are now hidden behind this premium currency, or that 343 actively mocked any players who might have a problem with how this would upset game balance in the name of cash whoring.

      That's OK, El Reg, keep acting like your game reviews are worth a shit.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In which case i'll hang of buying an XBO till after xmas, when the prices drop...

    And C4Eva releases some new news! ;-)

    1. D@v3

      Re: Oh..

      That's been my plan all along. Been saving up my nectar points, waiting for a 'good deal' to turn up, get the whole lot as close to 'cheap as chips' as possible.

      I've been a fan of the Halo series since the beginning, and have been looking forward to this one, but don't (and haven't for a few years) get enough use out of my 360 to have yet warrant the full price of an upgrade.

  6. SQL Monkey

    Decent but overrated

    I've always played the Halo games and was always getting this one. I have no complaints, but not singing from the rooftops either. Multiplayer is average and its not fun getting clan-spammed. The Req system is, well, a bit rubbish and Forza have implemented something similar (I see what they're doing to encourage us to play the game more - but this sort of "reward" system isn't me).

    Campaign is decent, solid, and classy enough (Elite's side-stepping your gunfire - ooh the nostalgia) but I would have felt ripped off paying any more than £35 for it. The lack of split-screen 2 player is poor as that means my son and I can't play it together as we usually do. I've not finished the campaign yet but if its as short as people are saying then.... that's disappointing. Any future "paid DLC chapters" I'll be giving a miss if that's the intent here.

    One thing you can say about Halo is that it always does what it says on the tin. Great graphics and decent campaign, story and cut scenes. The format is starting to show its age though. I'd have thought the first Next-Gen only Halo game would have delivered something with more "wow" factor to it. Especially since we've waited a few years. Oh well..... hopefully Halo 6 will deliver.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no split screen ....

    I would have bought an x-box for this if it had split screen. Father and Son bond while killing aliens..... sadly it's becoming increasingly difficult to play local coop games ....

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: no split screen ....

      You could always buy 2!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no split screen ....

        Except 2 don't work over a router without serious work.

        1. Brenda McViking

          Re: no split screen ....

          ain't that the truth! We have the BT Homehub 5 which is 10x more stable than the Sky router from 2014, but still gives 1x open and 1x moderate or strict NAT. We can generally use party chat, but joining each other in game is roulette, sometimes it works, sometimes not, usually requires a restart of one or both consoles to fix.

          All due to the fact that not one of the major broadband providers routers implement uPnP properly. You can't port forward because they use the same ports, and putting one console in the DMZ doesnt work either. looks like the only solution is buying a proper £3figure router. If any of you have ideas/workarounds/solutions let me know!

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Cuddles Silver badge


    "I was expecting intrigue and storytelling. Instead what’s delivered is cliché-heavy, sci-fi by numbers."

    It's a Halo game. This is not a series known for its original storytelling and interesting characters. It's always been a competent enough shooter (given the limitations of console controllers) set in a generic, cliché-heavy sci-fi world. Expecting anything else, especially based solely on adverts, is really rather naive.

  9. Avatar of They Silver badge


    There is a comment in there about online not having any issues yet, probably because most people have been buying the play station 4. (I know coat is already on)

    But no local coop play / split screen will mean at a LAN (and they still exist) people all have to go online which kills some poor guys Home internet (yes it happens)

    They do seem to want to kill social interaction with people in the same place and instead rely on stupid 14 year old kids who just shout abuse at you till you turn off the game or the voice, thus losing the theory of a squad.

    And Master chief was the main character, Lets be honest Halo was master chief versus the covenant, they went away in number 3 and now it was master chief versus some other dude and random splinter group of covenant, so now we have less master chief and even less covenant, the links get thinner. It is like James bond where instead he is in the background and Moneypenny is doing the action but on behalf of the French.

    Certainly smacks of milking it for all its worth.

  10. Somone Unimportant

    my son returned this game the same day he bought it

    He played through it in 3 hours, was very disappointed with the story line and could not understand why they had dropped split-screen mode.

    "Not enough horsepower to do split screen mode" - come on!

    So he returned it and got a full refund.

    Good on him for standing up for himself and hopefully sending a message to 343 that this release of Halo was extremely underwhelming.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: my son returned this game the same day he bought it

      Played through it in 3 hours? I'm guessing you don't mean he completed it in 3 hours?

      To do that he would have to skip about an hours worth of cutscenes which would have a serious impact on the story line!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: my son returned this game the same day he bought it

        If the game is reliant on non-interactive content to tell its story then it isn't much of a game.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: my son returned this game the same day he bought it

          "If the game is reliant on non-interactive content to tell its story then it isn't much of a game."

          Its by no means reliant on it... but if your complaining that the story line is lacking and you've skipped ONE of the main story telling mechanisms then I'd say its at least partly your fault.

          I went to the cinema to watch [INSERT FILM HERE] 2 ... not seen the first one, I also went for a dump for half an hour 25 minutes in... I had no idea what was going on... This is the worst film ever, not worth watching. :)

  11. Turtle

    Never Easy.

    "Halo 5: Overhyped, but still way above your average shooter"

    Well, we need to have some sympathy here; after all, it's very difficult to get the amount of hype just right.

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