Halo 5 Guardians Better Than Destiny

Things were always going to get a little uncomfortable when Bungie eventually got around to releasing its first post-Halo release. Look, we love a good headline as much as the next news-baiting dweller of the Internet, and we’d love nothing more than to be able to turn around and declare that  Halo 5: Guardians is Microsoft’s middle finger to Destiny, but that just isn’t the case. The truth is, while  Destiny does have its roots in Master Chief’s core gameplay and mechanics, structurally it is entirely different. Bungie has carved itself a new space in the shooter corner and, despite our reservations with  Destiny, the studio has done enough to let it stand side-by-side a new  Halo without cannibalising its old audience.


That isn’t to say there aren’t a few comparisons to be drawn, especially if you throw the spotlight on Halo’s new gameplay manoeuvres and abilities. The Spartan Ground Pound technique, for example, isn’t that dissimilar to the super-smash AOE Fist of Havoc attack that all Titan-class Guardians can unleash, especially if you unlock and equip the Death From Above ability. And sure,  Halo 5’s new melee bash attack has a similar instant kill effect on enemy players in a way that reminds us of the Hunter’s Arc Blade special… chalk it up to coincidence, right? Besides, in  Halo 5 you can hover in the air and fire down on unsuspecting enemies without them even oh, that’s right; Destiny’s Sun Slinger Warlock class can also unlock the ability to float in the air while aiming down the sights. Damn, what’s going on?

To be honest, it’s no surprise that  Destiny and Halo 5 share some similarities in the gameplay department. After Bungie left for the greener pastures of Activision, 343 set about re-defining Halo. For all of Halo 4’s problems, the intent was to make the series faster, more fluid and aggressive than before an element that we can see replicated by Bungie in Destiny. Destiny is, after all, superficially based upon Bungie’s work on the earlier Halo games it’s quicker and more aggressive than anything the studio created at Microsoft and, as a result, the two almost feel like alternate universe versions of one another.

At its core, Destiny is a subtle glimpse into where Bungie could have slowly taken and iterated Halo to over the next decade. While 343 a large contingent of which is ex-Bungie staff that worked at the studio while it wrapped up Halo: Reach and prepared for Destiny has taken a small step to altering the core Halo formula, Bungie took an almighty leap of faith with Destiny and its shared world and multiple classes set-up. Instead of splitting powers up between classes, ensuring you need to work together in tight fireteams, 343 imbued every Spartan with the most powerful and badass attack in the galaxy. The MJOLNIR armour upgrades means you don’t need to decide between Spartan Slide, Boost or Ground Pound you have access to them all, but your playstyle, skill level and boldness will define whether they appear in your  Halo combat rotation.

As Destiny looks to find its feet as Bungie continues to iterate and build upon the foundations it has laid,  Halo will look and feel similar in a few notable ways, but this will change. 343 is refining the Halo formula, not making it broader the focus on competitive gameplay, aggressive arena action and delicate strafing action means the comparisons will only dilute as Bungie releases more expansions and refine its broader concept.

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