Microsoft and 343 officially unveiled the newest mode added to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer experience during E3 2015, and I was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with it on the show floor. Warzone is a completely separate multiplayer mode found in Halo 5 that offers 12v12 PvE/PvP gameplay with a mix of traditional multiplayer game modes into one cohesive setting. Rather than just being a deathmatch, capture and hold, or defend type of multiplayer mode, Halo 5’s Warzone is a perfect blend of each.
Each team is tasked with defending a base power core, while also sending forces to capture various points on the map that can yield vehicle and weapon spawning benefits, as well as closer respawn points to the action. Both teams have AI controlled defenders to hold captured points, but there is also an enemy AI faction to deal with, which if destroyed, can yield additional points to a team’s score. For example, a badass Forerunner boss can appear during a match, and whichever team destroys him will get a massive boost to its score, which dictates victory once a set threshold of points are met. These encounters offer various strategies, with the obvious being to attack the boss and try to get more points, but players could also opt to pick off enemy combatants going after the AI boss to earn points and prevent them from earning the bonus.
These boss encounters are just one aspect of a Warzone match that players can focus on. If you like to be a defender or pick off enemies with a sniper rifle, there’s a place for you in Warzone. If you like to defend captured points, or go after enemy held locations, have at it. If you just want to go around and kill people, feel free to do so. The world truly is your oyster in a Halo 5: Guardians Warzone match.
Another aspect of Warzone that helps to set it apart from traditional Halo multiplayer gameplay is the requisition system. As you earn points for killing, or capturing and defending, you will net requisition points. These points can be redeemed at requisition terminals to give you more powerful weapons, or game changing vehicles like a tank or the mantis. This eliminates vehicle and weapon respawn points on the map, which typically entice campers to camp, or cause teams to just focus on one spot of a map to control the power weapon and vehicle respawns.
A Warzone match is won by hitting a pre-determined point total, but even teams that are way off the point lead can still win thanks to the power cores located in the main base of each team. If one team captures all enemy points on the map the opposing team’s power core shield will drop leaving it vulnerable. If your team can destroy the core before the enemy team gets the shields back online you win automatically. This mechanic allows for big time comebacks and scream worthy victories, which in the end is what we live for when it comes to multiplayer gaming. I appreciate the fact that no team is truly out until the last second, which is much different than traditional multiplayer modes with very clear paths to victory.
I personally found Warzone to be a treat in terms of how I like to play multiplayer matches these days. I love the freedom this mode offers in terms of how you want to play, so all gamers will find a niche to excel in regardless of skill and fast twitch abilities. The maps are massive, and the battles feel intense and busy. There’s something for everyone in Warzone, and skill level isn’t as great as a factor as it is in Halo 5: Guardians’ Arena multiplayer mode, so come one, come all, you will most definitely find your niche in a Warzone match.
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