by Jonathan Leack

The first gameplay ever seen of Halo 5: Guardians has found its way online. Although it isn’t high quality, thanks to being being off-screen footage, it has shown enough to make fans lose their cool.

The video in question (now removed) shows six seconds of Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer gameplay, featuring what appears to be a battle rifle and even an energy blade. What really stands out is the movement and gunplay. The footage clearly shows the player using aim down sight (ADS) to look through a red dot style of sight before taking out an enemy. The player then sprints and jumps down to a lower level.

It’s worth noting that the battle rifle has always had a zoom, although previously it would show a full screen perspective rather than this aim down sight style. It is unconfirmed if other weapons, such as the assault rifle, will have a similar system in place.

What has fans worried is how much it resembles Call of Duty’s formula. Truth is, Halo 4 is by far the most poorly received game by Halo fans. Many felt it lacked the soul of Halo, and took far too many cues from Call of Duty, although it would score very well critically earning an 87 Metascore rating. You wouldn’t expect to see that score if you asked those who spent time playing multiplayer what they though of it, though.

Halo 4 was developer 343 Industries’ first crack at Halo, and would make fans of the franchise lose some of their confidence in its future. While the studio would acknowledge the mixed reception from fans, this brief clip shows that it may not have learned too much (assuming aim down sight is in for all firearms). Halo fans have made it clear that they don’t want sprint or aim down sight.

A teaser trailer for Halo 5: Guardians showed that the game will have powers akin to Mass Effect. An ability where the player smashes hard into the ground causing area of effect damage around him was shown in the trailer, and there are sure to be more usable abilities. Since nothing else has been seen of this, we’ll have to see if it similarly causes uneasiness from fans after this week’s full reveal.

It’s tough to feel out exactly what all this means. I’ve seen a lot of hyperbole from gamers lately, acting like it’s the end of the world when a game is good or great instead of being one of the best titles of all-time. Nonetheless, the Halo franchise is in decline, and nobody wants to see it become irrelevant. Halo 5: Guardians will decide its fate, and that’s the truth. In the meantime, it’s only fair to let 343 do what it feels it needs to do to usher the Halo franchise to the next era. There were five Halo games with no aim down sight, and those served their purpose. It’s not easy to keep an IP moving along into the modern era, so maybe these FPS standards are necessary to keep it alive.

The full gameplay of Halo 5: Guardians will debut this week. A multiplayer beta will become available in December. All Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners will be granted access to the beta.

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