Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Trailer Analysis – New Abilities, New Armor, and a New Vision?

Halo 5: Guardians‘ Xbox One beta trailer that debuted during Microsoft’s E3 2014 media briefing wasn’t particularly revealing, but there were a few things to pick up on if you were paying attention or looked deeper into what was being presented.

Clearly, the trailer wasn’t built on in-game assets, meaning we can’t quite take it as literally as we’d like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Halo developer 343 Industries were trying to hide anything. In fact, the footage might have given us all we need to determine the studio’s vision for the future of Halo multiplayer.

Next Generation Arena Multiplayer

I believe the first caption presented in the trailer, “Next Generation Arena Multiplayer,” is of significant importance. I think it’s 343′s way of telling us that they are embracing the roots of Halo multiplayer.

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Halo has always been an “arena” shooter at heart, but I’ve never quite heard it marketed that way. It’s also hard to ignore some of the more modern first-person shooter mechanics that have snuck their way into some of the more recent Halo titles, like the ability to sprint, for example.

What I think 343 is trying to tell us here is that they understand you don’t want Halo to become Call of Duty or Battlefield. Halo has it’s own legacy, and one that it can be damn proud of. Look at the arena presented below. This tells me 343 has heard loud and clear that players enjoy the more symmetrical arena-based map designs, though it clearly depicts similarities to some of the smaller and more popular arena maps included in Halo 4′s Majestic Map Pack. It looks like 343 intends to highlight the traditional arena multiplayer experience with the aesthetics of Halo 4′s art design.

Also, with Halo 4, 343 did experiment with upping the pace of gameplay, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Halo 5: Guardian’s multiplayer also adopted a faster pace and perhaps even increased movement speed. But that’s just speculation.

Update:

343 design director Bradford Welch told TotalXbox that “Arena means what you’d expect,” meaning, “Competitive focus, level playing field, map control.”

The map presented in the trailer is noticeably small in size, but I don’t think 343 will be giving up larger maps layouts and vehicle gameplay any time soon. This is just the studio saying, ‘Hey. We know want you want and it will be a focus for Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer.’

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343 is also taking Halo multiplayer to the next level with a two times increase in frames per second, which should ultimately provide a much smoother experience and more responsive controls. Dedicated servers, likely on hosted by Microsoft’s global server database, should also prove best for the game’s online experience. Better connections also lead to more accurate weapon tuning.

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New Spartan Armor

Spartans are sporting a new look. You’ll likely be able to customize yours to your hearts content, but here’s what the default armor set-up might look like.

You’ll notice that each Spartan is numbered (displayed on their helmet) which suggests Halo 5: Guardian’s multiplayer will once again act as a training grounds or even a sporting event for the latest wave of Spartans in training. Like Halo 4, we’re certain 343 will ensure multiplayer somehow fits into the fiction.

Note that you can also make out the return of the Assault Rifle and Magnum in some of the images below.

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It might also be worth noting that the Spartan on the far right in this last image is carrying a Magnum in his left hand, though his right hand is empty. It doesn’t quite confirm the ability to dual wield weapons, but perhaps it’s suggesting it? Maybe players can choose left-handed weapon set ups?

New Spartan Abilities

Say hello to a few new Spartan abilities, says the trailer.

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We’re certain there’ll be more than what was displayed in the gameplay footage, but here are three completely new abilities that we were able to pick out. They could very well be Armor Abilities that you must select in your Spartan’s loadout, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if 343 made these maneuvers available to all players by default.

Update:

Welch noted “Spartan abilities are player mechanics not loadout AAs”. They are “things that every player can do inherently with their Spartan.” (Thanks, Qal!)

Note that you’ll also see the return of the Battle Rifle in some of the images below.

Thrust Tackle

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Slide to Cover

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Ground Slam

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Weapons

The only three weapons we could make out from the trailer were the Assault Rifle, Battle Rifle, and Magnum, but we’re certain 343 will be introducing more than enough new toys to play with, especially if we’re going to see new enemy types in the single player campaign.

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Again, not everything may appear as shown in Halo 5: Guardian’s first multiplayer trailer, but as with any CGI movie, developers tend to at least showcase some of the features and mechanics that they do indeed intend to feature in the final game.

We’ve still much to learn about Halo 5: Guardians, but we’re certain a lot will become clear when you get your hands on the multiplayer beta, to which access is included in every copy of the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

The Master Chief collection drops this November 11, with the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta taking place December 27 to January 17.

What else did you pick up from the trailer? Anything I missed? You can watch the entire presentation for yourself below.

  • xHDx

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when they showed this on stage. I had it in the back of my mind, waiting for them to announce it and they did! I think for £40/$60, 4 Games and access to a Beta to another Halo is well-worth anyone’s money. Definate purchase for me. I expect Sony to follow with the same thing but with another franchise with legendary roots.

    • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

      Ratchet and Clank

  • Qal

    to clarify, it is NOT armor abilities.
    http://www.totalxbox.com/78092/halo-5-guardians-multiplayer-wont-have-armor-abilities/
    “according to 343′s design director Bradford Welch, there’s none of that sort of thing in Halo 5: Guardians for Xbox One.

    “Arena means what you’d expect,” he said of a reference to “next
    generation arena multiplayer” in the below trailer for the game’s beta,
    which begins in December. “Competitive focus, level playing field, map
    control. Spartan abilities are player mechanics not loadout AAs.” These
    abilities are “things that every player can do inherently with their
    Spartan,” Welch added, when pestered by Twitter followers.”

    additionally on neogaf Frank O’Connor said “The wording is confusing but it means. “features.” Using h2 as an example, new features would have been dual wielding and boarding.

  • Pingback: Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Trailer Analysis - New Abilities, New Armor, and a New Vision? - MP1st | Tech reviews

  • Devin Jackson

    In the title, “a new vision?” after mentioning the specific in game mechanics is a bit misleading.

    • Devin Jackson

      Made it seem like a literal vision from a visor or something.

      • http://www.xboxonedaily.com TheRedButterfly

        There’s this handy “edit” button for a reason…

  • Brandon Griffin

    I may be wrong but didn’t Master Chief collection kill any hype for this game?

    • Alex Melendez

      You are wrong.

      • Brandon Griffin

        :(

        • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

          Well, for series vets, more specifically vets for any one particular pre Reach game, yes its poissible. But the game is still quite a way out, and could face a delay. Its news like this maintains hype that it will go back to its arena shooter roots.

  • ZombieShot078

    I just want this and the Master Chief Collection inside me now

  • Ethan Currier

    HUGE thing that nobody pointed out. There is NO SCOPE on the BR. Could this mean weapon upgrades/unlock-able attachments? Also, these Spartans all appear to be wearing default armor, which suggests that they are low level. Could this be why the BR has no scope? They just haven’t unlocked a scope for that gun yet. Just like how you couldn’t even have the BR at all at the beginning of Halo 4. Just some thoughts…

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