Halo 5: Guardians – Skulls, HUDs, Character Attributes, Fireteam AI, Co-Op Info

Josh Holmes, the studio head for halo 5 guardians made a blog post on HaloWaypoint talking about Halo 5: Guardians and in particular the co-op campaign – topics covered the fireteam AI system, characters, new mechanics, environment, and the decision behind dropping split-screen support. This marks the first in a series of developer blogs that will have contributions from the development team and cover a variety of different topics.


Halo’s campaign was originally built to be a single-player experience. When you joined a friend in their campaign session you were simply either a copy of the chief or the arbiter and his elites in Halo 3. You were joining along for the ride and helping to lighten the load.

This changes with Halo 5 guardians as it’s designed for co-op campaign from the ground up allowing for a new level of depth.

There are two distinct campaign modes – solo and co-op – each will have its own separate save file. As the leader of the co-op session you will play as the leader of each fireteam – Master Chief or Spartan Locke. From there, you can invite friends to take over the remaining 3 characters of your fireteam. Your friends can drop in and drop out with no interruption to the experience. If your friends leave the session, the AI takes over their character seamlessly.

Depending on which team member you are controlling at any given time, your perspective on the story may shift as you experience slight contextual differences in dialogue. It’s a subtle thing and the core of the story always remains the same, but it’s something 343 hopes will add to the replay value of the co-op campaign.

Any achievements, collectibles, or skulls unlocked during a co-op session are granted to all players present at the time. Yup that’s right, skulls are in Halo 5, and finding skulls returns as well!

As fireteam leader, you have the ability to give simple commands to your AI-controlled teammates. Simply point your reticle and click up on the d-pad. Commands include Attack My Target, Go To Location, Use Vehicle (or turret), Pick Up Weapon and Revive Teammate. In Halo 5’s Campaign there’s a new revive mechanic. When a player takes too much damage they go into a downed state for a limited time before bleeding out. During this time players can revive you. As a fireteam leader you can tell AI-team mates to revive a downed player. The AI will immediately attempt to do so, and may die trying. If a player dies before getting revived they will respawn once the team makes it to a safe location. If all players are dead, you revert to the previous checkpoint.

Also new is the Artemis Tracking system that only Fireteam Osiris members have thanks to their newer armor. It scans the area and highlights objects of interest. Weapon caches, vehicles, collectibles, narrative drops, and tactical opportunities like alternate routes which may contain collectibles or auto turrets waiting to be reactivated. Some alternate routes might require a Spartan charge or ground pound to break through and access the goodies inside.

Members of Blue Team will be less reliant on tech and rely more on their own experiences. So they’ll have to find these things on their own.

Throughout the course of the campaign the action will shift between these two teams. The Chief’s missions represent vital turning points within the story and pose questions the player will answer while playing as Locke and Osiris. Only by playing back and forth between the two teams will the complete story be told.

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Along with their differences in armor and tech, each of the 8 playable characters will also have unique HUDs which allows 343 Industries to convey a sense of identity and personality. Here’s a look at Locke’s HUD – which has aggressive lines that follow the curvature of his visor – and here’s a look through Linda’s HUD which have muted tones that reflect her armor palette and represent her enhanced optics. There are also subtle differences in attributes between the characters. Kelly is the fastest member of Blue Team, while Tanaka has increase motion tracker range. I’m really excited they’re incorporating some lore like traits into these characters and I’m really curious to hear what attributes the other characters will have.

Josh Holmes goes on to say that as a result in this heightened focus on co-op campaign the PvE aspects needed some tuning. Enemies are faster, more responsive, and generally more lethal. Many have been given new behaviours to make them more effective in dealing with a team of Spartans.

The scale of the campaign experience that 343 is delivering with Halo 5: Guardians is far beyond any previous Halo game. With co-operative play as a focus, it has meant creating larger spaces with multiple vertical levels and intersecting pathways. Teammates are encouraged to spread out and explore, seeking advantageous positions from which to support one another. This also means there are a greater number of enemies active in a given area.

Holmes went on to explain the tough decision to remove split screen support in Halo 5, stating it was one of the most difficult decisions they’ve had to make as a studio. But in order to move the Halo gameplay experience forward and deliver a true next-gen experience – tough choices had to be made to support the scale, fidelity, and focus of the best quality possible. Halo 5 is delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behaviour, and increase visual and gameplay fidelity. Split-screen would have compromised some of their ambitious goals and would have removed time and focus from building other parts of the game. So there’s the most in-depth reason as to why the feature was removed. Sorry guys, no amount of pointless hashtags or petitions will change this.


Halo 5: Guardians – Your Team Is Your Weapon

Halo 5: Guardians “A Hero Reborn” ViDoc Breakdown – Campaign, Weapons, Vehicles

In this video I breakdown all the new footage found in the new “A Hero Reborn” ViDoc by 343 Industries for Halo 5: Guardians (release at SDCC 2015). Story, characters, vehicles, vehicle skins, weapons, weapon variants, locations, secret areas, and more are revealed in this footage.

Halo: The Fall of Reach – The Animated Series Trailer – SDCC 2015

Experience the debut trailer for Halo: The Fall of Reach – The Animated Series. This three-act series tells the oft-shrouded origin stories of the SPARTAN-II program. Set during events both before and after the terrifying Covenant attack on humanity, the story will introduce viewers to the members of Blue Team and allow them to witness the pivotal moments that forged the legendary squad’s legacy.

Halo: The Fall of Reach Animated Series is included with purchase of the Halo: 5 Guardians Limited and Limited Collector’s Edition. Individual purchase of the series will be available a week after Halo 5 launches.

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Halo 5: Guardians ViDoc – “A Hero Reborn”

343 Industries announced yesterday via Twitter that they would release a new 12 minute long ViDoc for Halo 5: Guardians on IGN as part of San Diego Comic Con. This ViDoc, “A Hero Reborn”, gives us a look behind-the-scenes at Halo 5: Guardians and the development process as 343 Industries looks and plans to tell the biggest Master Chief story yet.

Halo 5: Guardians “Raid on Apex 7” Warzone Multiplayer Map Revealed

Today is the first day of SDCC and with it a new Warzone map was revealed by 343 Industries and Mega Bloks. Yup that’s right, Mega Bloks. The map is called “Raid on Apex 7” and it’s the biggest Warzone map revealed so far… which is interesting… since we’ve only seen one before. Regardless, judging from the size and scale of the mega bloks set, it does look massive.

Halo 5: Guardians Raid oo Apex 7 Concept Art

Halo 5: Guardians Raid oo Apex 7 Concept Art
They spent 16 weeks building the map; it’s made up of roughly more than 89,000 blocks and weighs half a ton.

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The map, Raid on Apex 7, is a based off the Halo: Combat Evolve campaign mission “The Silent Cartographer”. This is the second of the six Warzone maps that will be available at launch; the map revealed at E3 was called Escape from ARC. There will be an additional six Warzone maps released for free between launch and June 2016. Here’s the official description for the map.

“Clearing out the initial Covenant threats and controlling the Forerunner Spire in the center of the island is paramount to a team’s success and provides a central base of operations. If your team loses the Spire, don’t despair; players can use a system of caves or take to the beach to flank the base. Beware of the Covenant though, for they will not let you take this island so easily. They will counterattack and fight to retake their territory. Continue the push for control of the island and take out the opposition’s core… before you awaken something much worse.”

Check out the Mega bloks set over on Gamespot 

Halo 5: Guardians – FREE Promotional REQ Pack and Emblem

With the launch of the Halo Channel App for iOS and Android devices today 343 Industries told us how to get a FREE promotional REQ pack, which is guaranteed to contain a special emblem, for Halo 5: Guardians!

Halo Channel Mobile App

For those who don’t know, REQ packs contain Requisitions that are used primarily in Halo 5’s new Warzone multiplayer. They can contain weapons, weapon skins, weapon variants, vehicle skins, vehicle variants, assassination animations, stances, armor pieces, armor skins, emblems, and the list goes on.

Now 343 Industries just announced that the Halo Channel app is now available for iOS and Android devices. 343 told us via Twitter that “A Windows Phone version of the Halo Channel app is in the works and will be available at the launch of Windows 10 Mobile.

The Halo Channel was previously only accessible to those who owned an Xbox One console. Now to get the promotional REQ pack which will contain a special emblem for Halo 5: Guardians all you have to do is download the Halo Channel app on your platform of choice and watch any video. When you first download and open the app you’ll be prompted to sign in, be sure to sign in with your account that’s tied to your Xbox gamertag.

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Now if you’ve already been watching the Halo channel on your Xbox One you’re already on the list to receive the Promotional REQ pack for Halo 5. Of course, you’ll have to wait until Halo 5: Guardians releases on October 27th to receive the Promotional REQ pack.

Source: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/blog-posts/halo-channel-app-is-now-available-for-ios-and-android-devices

The Flood won’t be returning in Halo 5: Guardians

The parasitic enemies in the Halo universe known as The Flood, or simply Flood, will not make an appearance in 343 Industries latest installment Halo 5: Guardians.

In a recent Q&A conducted by Gamer Informer with Josh Holmes, Studio Head for Halo 5: Guardians, and Tim Longo, Creative Director at 343 Industries, Longo announced that the Flood would not be returning in Halo 5. However Longo did say that they have quote “other surprises in store.

The Flood did not appear in Halo 4’s campaign, however they appeared in a new take of the popular Infection multiplayer game type. With the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection the Infection game type for Halo 2 Anniversary was also updated with new Flood like characters.


Halo 5: Guardians will not have playable Elites

Another Halo game, and another installment without the beloved characters that go “wort wort”. It has now been said many times since E3, however the question is still asked anytime there’s an opportunity. Halo 5: Guardians will not have playable Elites. Spartans are the focus for this installment.

This is likely due to a major balancing issue that many veteran Halo fans will know. Elites and Spartans are very different characters. They have different sizes, posture, and hit boxes. This poses a problem in creating even play. Anyone who played the gametype SWAT knows how much more difficult it was to land a shot on a head of an Elite – let alone how impossible it was to do that when the Elite player had their back to you.

This news comes from multiple sources. Josh Holmes answered some Warzone related questions over on HaloWaypoint

Q: Will you be able to play as any type of character (ex: Elite, Forerunner, ext…)
A: Everyone plays as a Spartan in Halo 5 multiplayer. This includes both Warzone and Arena.”

This heartbreaking news for some was also heard during an E3 livestream with Funhaus/RoosterTeeth and most recently during an Q&A session with Game Informer on their podcast.