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Halo 5's giant multiplayer mode is fun for everyone — even for Halo amateurs

Halo 5's giant multiplayer mode is fun for everyone — even for Halo amateurs

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There's a lot to shoot in Halo 5: Guardians' large-scale multiplayer mode, Warzone. That's especially important if, like me, you're not as good at first-person shooters. Last night I had a chance to play Warzone. At times, it felt like I was playing a completely different game than everyone else — which is fine, because I spent most of the time jumping in a mech.

First, a little bit about Warzone: The 24-player multiplayer mode is a base-capturing firefight between two teams of 12 and several AI-controlled enemies that pop in at various times throughout the course of the match. The game starts with your team of 12 fighting Prometheans, the alien soldiers from the newer Halo games. Once you clear out home base, the focus moves to capturing all the bases on the map. I believe more AI-controlled bots showed up because I kept being told by the in-game narrator of incoming Covenant forces, but to be honest I don't think I saw any of them after the very beginning. Usually I was somewhere else on the map fighting the human opponents.

At every base you control, there are requisition terminals you can use to swap out guns, the power of which is based on the momentum of your team (or something like that; the tiers of weaponry changed several times throughout the course of the 12-minute match). You can also change these weapons after dying, or even hop into vehicles (which are also tiered based on momentum) ranging from the Warthog to miniature Titanfall-esque mechs and a few warplanes as well.

Finding weapons was never an issue, though. After five minutes into the game, the field was littered with guns, energy swords, and usable grenades to a near ridiculous degree.

There was always some shiny preowned weapon lying on the battlefield

The maps for Warzone are said to be four times the size of past Halo maps, but thankfully I never found myself running too far to find action. There always seemed to be something to do — an enemy to shoot, a catalog of guns to shop through, a vehicle to hop in and cause some mayhem.

Halo multiplayer has always been frenetic and chaotic, at least how I've played it. The game has never felt this big, though, and this accessible to some of the cooler stuff (no one's making a run for where the tank spawns, for example). There might be a bigger picture to Halo 5's Warzone — some nuanced strategy will drive the elite players into forming supergroups that decimate the competition. Maybe everyone else was playing that version of Warzone all along. I wasn't. I was just having fun with a laser cannon — but that's all I wanted.

Halo 5: Guardians launches October 27th on Xbox One.