The Halo franchise has had its share of ups and downs since Bungie departed from the series in 2010. 343 Industries took over the franchise then, releasing the well-received sequel Halo 4 in 2012. Following their success, the developer undertook the massive challenge of re-releasing all of the games in the series as a single package for the new generation of Xbox consoles. While the Master Chief Collection was an incredible value, the multiplayer components were plagued by bugs that sapped at fans' good will over the following months.
Now 343 is ready to get back in fans' good graces with the upcoming release of Halo 5: Guardians. The game marks a shift in the franchise, changing fundamental gameplay mechanics and expanding the Halo universe in an attempt to redefine the series. Multiplayer plays a key role in this, and the success of the multiplayer beta in December 2014 indicates that aspect of the game is just as enjoyable as ever. However, the developer is putting a significant amount of work into the story as well - and new details revealed about the upcoming campaign emphasize the scope of 343's vision.
Games Radar reports that the upcoming Halo 5 campaign is twice as long as the campaign in Halo 4. The players will travel to three separate worlds (Human, Covenant and Forerunner) and the storyline is split between two teams of Spartans. There will always be four Spartans running through the levels, but players will have the choice of playing the campaign entirely in single player with A.I. partners or cooperatively with friends.
Additionally, 343 indicated that the campaign had to be scaled back. The campaign was originally supposed to last three or four times as long as Halo 4's campaign. The reasons for the cutback weren't specifically stated, but it was likely an attempt to encourage players to finish the campaign and prevent them from burning out.
Depending on the difficulty level and whether or not you tackled the campaign cooperatively, Halo 4's campaign takes 7-8 hours to complete on average. That indicates that Halo 5 will easily have the longest campaign in the franchise as well as one of the longest first-person shooter campaigns in recent years. It will be interesting to see how many players actually complete the campaign and if those players go back to play on the Legendary difficulty.
If there's one shooter franchise that can support such a hefty campaign, it's Halo. The game takes place in a rich universe expanded through several mediums, including a series of bestselling novels. The developers have plenty of material to mine for ideas as they attempt craft an absorbing storyline. Taking time to explore Master Chief's past and his relationship to the other Spartans from the Spartan-II program alone provides plenty of interesting backstory to keep players engaged.
Halo 5: Guardians will be released October 27th, 2015 on Xbox One.
Source: Games Radar
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