It’s been ages since an entry in the Halo series lured me in with its multiplayer. I played Halo 2 obsessively with friends a decade ago, and custom modes in Halo: Reach’s Forge ate up several weeks of my life, but I’ve never had any real interest in playing Halo competitively for months after release.
That might change with Halo 5: Guardians.
It’s hard to say what it is about Halo 5 that has me desperate to go back for more. The new Warzone mode is certainly a huge part of that (which you can read about it my E3 preview from earlier this summer), but I think it’s more about how the game feels.
If you participated in the Halo 5 beta, you’ll probably recognize Empire, the map in the video above. During a preview event this month, I had a chance to play the classic Arena multiplayer mode for a few hours, but even after the allotted time had come to an end, the attendees were anxious to jump back on.
We played for over an hour after the actual event had come to a close, with 343 Industries developers joining in to show us the ropes (and kick our butts).
Halo 5 moves faster than any previous Halo game, which I think is one of the reasons that I’m enjoying it so much more, even when I’m getting annihilated. If you’d like to see an example of that, check out the Capture the Flag match below:
But the mode that had me physically shaking, to the point where I had to stand up and walk around the room once it was over, was Breakout. Two teams; eight players; one life a piece.
The match went a full nine rounds, coming down to a last second beatdown. So you know we had to have a rematch as soon as it was over:
As excited as I am about the campaign and the new Warzone mode, with its REQ cards and player vs. environment elements, the classic Arena multiplayer might be the first thing I jump into when Halo 5 lands on Xbox One on October 27th.