Halo 5 Warzone Firefight – First Impressions of the Beta

I’ve managed to sneak in a few games of Warzone Firefight, the  new co-operative mode added into Halo 5 and revival of the Firefight game mode from ODST originally, and Reach most recently. The mode is currently in a Beta state, with only one of the Warzone maps playable, but it has the entire five rounds for you to play with up to 8 people. Between servers being overwhelmed and Xbox Live having some issues, it was tough to find a game, but after 4 games I’m already excited to see the mode come out of Beta later this year.

Warzone Firefight, in it’s current state at least, is Firefight as you remember it with a little bit of steroids injected into it for good measure. It also adds in randomly selected objectives for each round of the proceedings, which makes things pretty interesting from the get go. There’s no taking bases at the start like a regular Warzone fight, so you jump into one of these new ones. Killing a certain type of enemy, killing a boss, defending a base, there have been a variety so far, and out of all the games I’ve played, not one has been the same.

Some objectives have repeated, sure, but in different Rounds, or with different enemies or bosses to kill. It’s an interesting way to approach it, and can lead to frantic defences or even your allies running around the entire map just to find the enemies you’re tasked with killing. It’s all scored as well, so there is a slight competitive aspect to it all, to see who can get the highest amount of points, kills or boss takedowns. (Currently, there is a cap to these points, and it is easily reachable for at least 3 players in the team.)

Of course, because it’s Warzone, you get access to the entire REQ system too. It pulls from the same pull as any other Warzone mode, so any items you saved up can be extremely useful here, and the right vehicle at the right time can be the most helpful thing you can do. It’s important to co-ordinate though, as too many people grabbing the same power weapons can be a bit detrimental. It’s a hard balance to strike, but at the moment, there’s not too much to worry about.

Halo 5 Guardians Warzone Firefight Focus Fire

Halo 5 Guardians Warzone Firefight Focus Fire

It’s fast paced and hectic, but the problem is each game is very short, only about 15 minutes at most. If you have a team that are doing well at killing enemies in a timely manner, the game is over just as you’re feeling like you’re getting into it. This is one of my biggest complaints so far. I’m having a lot of fun with it, but it feels a bit underwhelming when it’s over so fast. Adding a few more rounds in so the game can ramp up difficult a bit more could be a great way to resolve this, and it means you get an even better variety of objectives and bosses to encounter within each game. It’s a hard balance to strike, because it’s easy enough to die and become overwhelmed with enemies, and it feels like they’re a good number for the 8 players in each game.

Of course, this can all be sorted when 343 Industries listen to the feedback of fans during this time. Hopefully they’ll get a lot of useful data about how players are engaging with the new mode and can adapt and change it before it’s full release with all the currently available Warzone maps. Right now, it’s a fun distraction for the weekend, and it’s good to see what’s coming to the future of Halo 5. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, it could be a great time to hop in and see what’s new, as there’s been a pretty substantial update each month since the game has officially released.

Overall, I really enjoy what they’ve done with Firefight, and I’m eager to see what tweaks are made before it’s full release this year. I’m excited to see what it’s like on different maps and how the mode will change each time there’s a new series of REQs to test out. I’m certainly going to hop back in for a few rounds any chance I get this weekend, and I suggest anyone who owns Halo 5 should too.


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