At Microsoft’s E3 2015 press conference they announced Halo 5: Guardians will have a brand new multiplayer mode known as Warzone. I got to go hands on with it the evening after Microsoft’s press conference.
Warzone is a team based mode where both team wants to destroy each other’s core, but before they can do that they have recapture their own base from AI opponents, proceed to capture all the bases on the map, and then open up and destroy your opponents or score 1000 points.
You can get points by killing enemies, capturing objectives on the map, or going after certain AI bosses on the map like Hunters, Banshees, or Promethean Knights. This focus on fighting the AI and completing multiple objectives makes it feel a lot like a MOBA. Another thing that gives it the feel of a MOBA is the loadouts. As the match progresses your team levels up, as you level you gain access to vehicles when you spawn, power weapons, or the ability to swap out your weapons. So instead of spawning with the basic assault rifle and pistol, you can swap out the assault rifle out for the DMR or the pistol for a plasma rifle. This means as the match progresses you gain more options to fight against your opponents and the AI.
The focus on leveling and fighting the AI means less skilled players or players new to the game can actually benefit a team. While the more skilled players can score tons of points and help their team gain an early advantage or if they are losing complete objectives faster to gain the lead. I know in my session we were down by 100 points, but we killed a boss and then took a base we proceeded to gain a massive lead. These objectives can really win you a game because they had our core open and were about to win but we killed a Promethean ship and that got us 200 points and won the game for us.
Because of all this the battles feel just huge, this is the biggest a Halo game has ever felt it almost feels like a sci-fi Battlefield game that is how big the maps and matches can be. It’s really feels like a giant Spartan training session like the story says it is, rather than just random Spartan fighting in a weird constrained area for no reason.
Warzone is a nice change of pace from the normal Halo multiplayer, it’s accessible to more casual players and hardcore fans, has a great sense of scale and looks to be one of the many big innovations to the Halo franchise in Halo 5: Guardians.