A new feature of the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer package that both Microsoft and 343 Industries were very keen to demonstrate, is the brand new Warzone mode. The mode centres on large-scale battles between two opposing Spartan teams on sizeable multiplayer maps. The enthusiasm for Warzone is entirely warranted, as from our hands-on time at E3, it delivers some of the best multiplayer action we’ve ever had in Halo.
The Halo multiplayer development team are still very much focused on the arena-style competitive multiplayer modes the game is traditionally known for, but they have also wanted to add a larger-scale battle mode for some time. Enter Warzone, a new game mode that ups the total player count to 24 and throws in everything you love about Halo, creating entertaining large-scale multiplayer mayhem. Opposing teams of 12 Spartans each fight for control of bases and to achieve a total of 1000 points in this unique PVP and PVE mode.
Unlike Halo‘s smaller team-based multiplayer modes, Warzone feels more like Battlefield‘s larger conquest modes. At the beginning of the match, each team deploys on one side of the map. Killing a few enemies opens the gates to the outside environment, where three bases wait to be captured and countless enemy AI standing in between. This PVE aspect of Warzone creates the sense of a much larger battle, with enemy Covenant and Promethean soldiers just as deserving of your attention as opposing Spartans.
Warzone allows players to obtain new weapons and vehicles via requisition stations. Simply approaching one lets Spartans choose their preferred weapons load-out when spawning. Over the course of the game, your team’s energy level steadily grows, unlocking access to more powerful equipment. Players can even gain access to the brand new Promethean Phaeton gunship and lay waste to the enemy Spartan team.
Warzone’s massive maps make opportunities for sniping and vehicular combat, while the confines of the enemy bases create tense close-quarter standoffs. Charging in to take control of an enemy outpost is a commendable tactic, but is as equally as important to leave a vanguard to defend your own base. Tactics and coordination play an important part in Warzone, especially in how the scoring system operates.
Killing enemies is always a reliable way of amassing points, but holding the majority of the three bases generally make for a winning strategy. Nevertheless, in this scenario the opposition can still swoop in and secure a last second victory by destroying the other team’s energy core inside their base. Players can also secure a hefty number of points be eliminating Covenant and Promethean legendary bosses that spawn during the game. These AI can absorb large amounts of damage but net you 200 points for successfully taking them out.
Halo 5: Guardian‘s Warzone mode is a very welcome addition to the game’s multiplayer suite. Fighting for control of three bases in this mammoth PvP and PvE environment was both highly entertaining and addictive. I can foresee myself investing countless hours in Warzone when Halo 5: Guardians launches exclusively on Xbox One this October.