The very first demo I had a chance to play at E3 2015 this year was Halo 5’s new multiplayer mode, Warzone. It’s completely unlike the 4 v 4 Arena mode you’re used to, fusing player vs. environment elements with 12 on 12 multiplayer combat. If standard multiplayer isn’t dynamic enough for you, Warzone might be what you’re looking for.
Each team of 12 begins a round of Warzone in their home base, which has been invaded by enemy AI. Once you clear out the base, you can begin to roam the battlefield, looking to capture other bases, take out NPC bosses and patrols or fight the other team head on. It’s messy and chaotic, but unlike anything 343 Industries has ever attempted in the past.
At a preview event on Monday night, I had a chance to play Warzone with 23 other attendees. One of those attendees happened to be Wayne Brady. I can’t confirm whether or not he killed me during the round, but his red team did end up crushing my blue team, reaching 1000 points before we could pass 800.
Although my team lost, the round was a great crash course in Warzone. There are multiple ways to contribute – if you want to pick off members of the opposing team while they battle with the AI, you can do that. If you want to be a rogue soldier and try to tank an AI boss on your own, you can do that too. If you simply want to rush into battle and kill other players, that’s an option.
Another way that Warzone separates itself from Arena is how it handles loadouts. You’ll start the round with the standard pistol and assault rifle, but as your team racks up points, you’ll be able to acquire new weapons and vehicles through the mode’s requisition system: each of the bases has a terminal from which you can call your gear in.
Similar to Titanfall’s Burn Cards, Halo 5 players be rewarded with packs of rec cards for playing multiplayer modes. This will give you more powerful weaponry with which to storm the battlefield, but you’ll still need the requisite points in order to call the upgraded gun or vehicle in.
So despite the trouncing that my team received from Wayne Brady, I could still see myself becoming thoroughly invested in Warzone when Halo 5 launches on the Xbox One this fall.
For more coverage of E3, be sure to visit our E3 2015 event hub! We’ll have previews and more going live on the site all week long.