Some of the mystery of the Halo 5: Guardians campaign was uncovered Tuesday as Game Informer began promoting its next issue featuring the Xbox One exclusive.
Much of the information merely confirms speculation that built up from the game cover reveal while there is some interesting new bits that show how 343 Industries is evolving the franchise’s gameplay.
As the Halo 5 cover reveal suggested, Master Chief will join his fellow Spartan II’s from Blue Team, Fred-108, Kelly-087, and Linda-058. Those that follow the expanded universe including the recent Halo: Escalation comics will already be familiar with John-117’s fellow Spartans, but they’ve never appeared in a game before. Their inclusion goes beyond just additional characters to put on screen though.
Blue Team won’t just be in cutscenes in Halo 5, they will also accept commands from the player controlling Master Chief. Commands are given by pointing at a target and pressing up on the d-pad to tell the AI team members to attack a specific enemy, pick up a weapon, use turrets, and where to drive the Warthog while the player uses the turret. This adds a squad-shooter element to the game which gives it some extra depth and is an obvious influence from new Creative Director Tim Longo who had the same role with the squad-based Star Wars: Republic Commando.
Meanwhile, the co-op side of the equation has one player controlling Master Chief while the others control a different member of Blue Team. All four characters aren’t carbon copies of each other though. They each have unique loadouts that match their specialty. For example, the expanded universe has established Linda-058 as the sniper of the squad, Kelly-087 is the fast assault type, and Fred-104 is an all-around Spartan but is known to favor a pair of combat knives.
This extends to Locke’s squad too, which has been dubbed Fireteam Osiris. Players will jump into the shoes of Locke in single-player and command Osiris. In co-op multiplayer, each member of the squad will have their own specialty.
Speaking of which, the video that accompanies Game Informer‘s reveal confirms that a pair of popular characters from Halo 3: ODST will return. Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) can clearly be seen in the following screen capture as Buck from the video, which uses in-game assets per Halo Franchise Director Frank O’Conner (via NeoGAF). Those that read Halo: New Blood will understand how he became a Spartan IVs and his transition to working with ONI.
The other two members of Fireteam Osiris were revealed in the Game Informer article to be Holly Tanaka, who made her first appearance in the Halo: Escalation comics, and Olympia Vale, who will be introduced in the upcoming Halo: Hunters in the Dark novel due out on June 16. This means that Buck’s usual pairing with fellow ODST-alum Romeo is not going to happen.
The story of Halo 5 is following the expected script that all the previous reveals and teasers have suggested. Master Chief and Blue Team have gone AWOL for some unexplained reasoned. Spartan Locke and Fireteam Osiris are sent to hunt them down. More details are still forthcoming.
What do you think of the new direction for Halo 5 in terms of gameplay and story? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Game Informer, Halo Waypoint]
[Edit: Updated article based on information from released Game Informer article that rounded out Fireteam Osiris and gave a description of at least one of the squad commands available.]