- Halo 5 FULL INFO
- This is strictly top secret content that only the heads of the development team have access to. I cannot reveal my identity as I'll be in violation of my non-disclosure agreement, and would more likely than not be prosecuted harshly by Microsoft's legal team. Everything I'm going to say will be scrambled up as best as possible to ensure that I won't be traced back, as the standard policy for such content is to create different manuscripts for every individual who is permitted access.
- There are two things to note. First, everything I have was developed around Summer 2013, but I've been updating as I move along with the studio and their changes to the original plans.
- Halo 5 "Guardians" is only the first of the three parts of H5's story single player. The second is called "Salvation" and the third "Revelations". As of earlier plans, NOT current updated ones that I've managed to update myself, 343i and Microsoft planned to release "Guardians" as the first portion of the campaign, along with the mainline MP, and releasing the other two parts as game addons, or DLC. They may or may not be free. Closest example to this is Spartan Ops.
- However, since Phil Spencer was promoted to head of the Xbox division, these plans are being rewritten. There is a small conflict within the head staffers of 343i and the new management at Xbox on whether or not to release it as planned, or to include all three developed parts into one single game, all at launch. I can't say for sure which route is being taken since they announced Halo 5 as "Halo 5: Guardians", but with a 2015 release date. The original manuscript outlined a fall 2014 release. I do NOT have any info on any outside projects, like an H2A. My best guess is that there will be another Halo game project releasing the end of this year to delay Halo 5, probably H2A.
- So I'm not going to go too much in-depth with the story considering some stuff might get cut. There's so many little details, so I'll be as brief as I can, but I really don't know how brief I can be. First thing's first, you play as three characters throughout the entire campaign: the Chief, the Arbiter, and the character shown in the recently-released posted (no name atm). Remember, this is VERY basic. I have much more info on the MP than I do the story specifics.
- Beginning of the campaign starts with a glimpse of Halsey constructing the Forerunner-Spartan hybrid in a Forerunner assembly. Halsey dies during this sequence. You switch between Chief and Arbiter fighting against some small conflicts. You go to earth first, an urban city, then Sangheilios. This takes up around two scripted missions (missions are constructed to be MUCH longer in Halo 5, around 2-3 hours a piece, and if the three-part plan comes to fruition, the missions will be cut into smaller mission pieces), and you switch between characters in different situations every half mission or so. You then play as the unknown Spartan-Forerunner hybrid in a Forerunner chamber, and fight light enemies. Discover that the Didact is still alive, which initiates you fighting Prometheans. Play as the character for one entire mission until you finally leave the chamber to discover that you're on a Halo installation. Cut back to Chief and Arbiter (playing as Chief with Arbiter by your side) who discover another installation "piece". Chief thinks it's the Didact's return (it's not, instead it's the War Sphinx and the Forerunner "army" of monuments). Chief leaves Sanghheilios, Arbiter stays. Eventually Chief encounters the UNSC rebellion force. There's a huge missing piece between this and the finale which is: it concludes with an antagonist named "Dom" promising John's head after compromising the "installation" that Dom and his small army found first.
- Initializes with Dom's roots, showing where the Insurrectionist force began to form as the Covenant war came to a close. Dom had a different name btw, but chose to name himself Dom to promise Dominion over the UNSC and earth, eventually (Dom's real name will be revealed in a future novel). The moment he received word of his father's death (only a year into Chief's cryosleep), he had some kidnapped scientists (one of which worked on the Spartan program) build a suit of Spartan-like armor, used with salvaged Forerunner tech and materials. The script lists Dom's suit as "13 times stronger than Chief, but of great weight". Chief chooses to pursue the signal, but the UNSC denies it. He decides to go anyway, and is deemed an official enemy by only the Arbiter's troops since Lasky decides to look the other way in the matter. Meanwhile, the Forerunner spartan flees to find the Didact, but discovers that Chief is the key since the Librarian altered his genetic code. Ultimately he finds chief and makes his way there (there are no in-game specifics for this portion). Chief encounters the Ark, and gets captured by Dom and his Insurrectionist men. Chief flees the Pelican, and lands hard on the ground. Meanwhile, the Arbiter pursues Chief and encounters the Insurrectionist forces. Arbiter realizes that there's something bigger going on, and tells his men to pursue the threat while he returns to the Infinity to get help. Dom decides not to pursue and wants him "to be helpless". Chief's armor is severely damaged, and his visor is cracked in the fall (he is weaker since he went rouge). He discovers Dom's army and sees that he controls the War Sphinx and the "mini-Sphinx assembly". Meanwhile the Forerunner Spartan crash-lands near the ark, but Dom and his forces are there. Dom unleashes Promtheans that fight for him. You eventually make your way to the Sphinx assembly. Finally, you encounter Chief, and decide to work together (play as Chief in situations like these). You make your way fighting Insurrectionist and Promethean forces until you find Arbiter's forces who aid you. Finally, you make your way to Dom in a chamber as the Forerunner Spartan is fighting opposing forces on the lower decks. There is a boss battle in this chamber on top of the primary War Sphinx. You kill Dom, and flee in an Insurrectionist VTOL, destroying the War Sphinx, and the Sphinx assembly crumbles. The VTOL suffers damage and crashes, but Chief manages to land on an inactive and intact Scarab from Arbiter's now-dead forces. Flood forms appear from underground and attack. Make your way to one of Dom's main ships, finish off the infected Insurrectionists. As you make flight away, the UNSC Infinity appears.
- You begin as the Forerunner spartan among the ruins of the assembly. You eventually encounter Gravemind, and reason with him, finding a way to go to earth and warn Chief. Meanwhile, the Infinity, Chief, and the Arbiter arrive to earth to discover that the Didact has returned with dozens of carriers. Chief is on the ground with the Arbiter fighting the Promethean forces as the urban city, the same one you play on in the beginning of the game, erupts into chaos. Eventually the Forerunner Spartan finds Chief and tells him how to stop the Didact by giving him the leftover lifesource of the War Sphinx that he supposedly destroyed. Chief places the source into Cortana's chip. The final mission begins with Chief, Arbiter, and the Forerunner Spartan in Longswords fighting against Promethean ships, and Chief makes his way to the ship with the Didact. He eventually encounters the Didact, who is simply digitized and explains how he survived. The Didact then goes on to show Chief that he has Cortana within himself, and that there would be no way to save her by ending him. Chief then unloads the lifesource into Didact's admin panel when given the chance, pulls the chip out, Didact disappears, ships begin to collapse, and Chief escapes. The game ends with John on the ground, and he suddenly hears "Chief?" from what seems to be Cortana's voice.
- Important to note that NONE of this was changed since Fall 2013, and that's because I've been heavily playtesting MP since then. Plenty of this might have changed. I should also note that the single player is still in pre-alpha development, while the MP was basically finished as of Fall 2013.
- I should also note that the campaign missions are not completely linear. There are different side "quests" that are around ~20 minutes long. 343i said they're aiming for a 12-hour campaign, but with side missions and all it may end up being much longer.
- I'll begin by saying that playtesting began with around 800p, but just recently we were presented with a 1080p build. Both ran at 60fps. I can't say for certain what the final fps will be since these builds are running on Windows 8 machines.
- I've played over 20 hours of Halo 5 MP, and I also have access to every little detailed plan they have for the final version. It's been up and running, playtested since late 2013, and only keeps getting rebuilt with more included assets as it goes.
- First thing's first, custom classes have been completely thrown out the door. Everything that's been included in every Halo game is now customizable, from bloom to indicators like grenade indicators. Weapons now have individual tuners for many different things, along with bloom tuners, and you can even modify the fire rate. MP now contains both AAs and equipment, and every AA and equipment piece has its own tuner as well. AA's defaults have been buffed significantly. I can saw that most of our playtesting wasn't done around either though, as they aren't as essential to gameplay as before. Every AA and equipment piece from every Halo game is in Halo 5's MP, which includes Halo 3's deployable sentinel and invincibility equipment. Armor Lock is in as well.
- Firefight is returning, but it's now a gametype instead of its own gamemode. AI are now configurable for regular MP gameplay, as well as Firefight-related gametypes. The game now limits up to 8 players on a host-based system, but will go to 16 on a dedicated server system. Campaign has an 8 player limit now as well. 343i specifically said that they're working on ideas so that regular players can have access to dedicated servers in the standard custom games lobbies. The player limit MAY be raised to 24 or even 32, but the same was said about Halo 4, which never happened.
- Every gametype from every Halo game is returning. Unfortunately, not every weapon or vehicle will return, but there are many MANY more vehicles to choose from (i'll tell in a minute). Many of the Promethean weapons are being retired, and the DMR will no longer be in the game either.
- Vehicles are as follows from the top of my head: Scarab, War Sphinx (not the super-large ones featured in campaign, but smaller-sized ones), Grizzly Tanks, Elephants, Mammoth, Vulture, VTOL, Scorpion, Mantis (completely redesigned), Locust, Chopper, Ghost, Warthog, Banshee, Spirit, Phantom, Pelican, Wraith, Mongoose, and more. There are four unnamed Promethean vehicles, one is their version of the Longsword, one is an aircraft, one is something similar to the Locust/Mantis, and the fourth is a tank-like vehicle, but not nearly as powerful as the tanks of the UNSC and the Covenant.
- Let me not forget to mention that you can play as THREE different types: Spartan IV, Elite, and the third is unnamed, but basically the Forerunner Spartan design. What puzzles me though is that the in-game models look almost nothing like what was shown in that recently-released poster, which is basically just a Spartan. They are much taller but skinnier, and the heads are connected closely to the torso.
- MP will feature 1-50 ranking system, which I played on on a simulated system. The ranking system will be almost identical to Halo 3's, but with farther apart ranks. The spartan point system is returning for the armory, but has no affect on ranks. Armor effects are supposedly returning from Reach, but there are fewer to choose from and won't even be available to the general public. I have not seen them in any of the builds I playtested EXCEPT when I played with one of the employees. It was the simple red flames.
- Health will be an optional and customizable thing, but it will be a percentage instead of bars. You can change the recharge rate, how long you have to wait for it to recharge, how much of it recharges, the health-to-shields ratio, and so on so forth. Health is hidden by default, but most of the builds I played on featured it despite this.
- There will be 24 maps on the disc, or at least this is what is planned. All will have available Firefight-AI play. Four of these maps will be remade MP maps from previous Halo games, and two will be Firefight maps, for a total of six remakes. The only map I know that is returning is Guardian, which is a pretty obvious choice. I THINK Sandtrap is returning, but I can't say for sure.
- That's all I have. If I am outted, you will know.