I had some very fair issues with Halo 5 and one of those was the quality of the multiplayer maps that were present within the game. Still, I did find the overall package to be quite a solid experience and rated it accordingly to that with the review linked at the bottom if you want to check it out. Aside from that I thought it would be neat to do an article where I take a look at the multiplayer maps and why I find them to be rather dull. Traditionally Halo games have always had some of the most iconic environments that players battle across and even if you don't like Halo 4 it still had some georgious maps present within the game. With Halo 5 many of the Arena maps are largely the exact same with small differences or just generally boring. My favorite map within the game is Plaza which uses the verticality system perfectly while providing a unique space, but the map itself is nothing special.
With Halo 5 and all the crazy places you get to explore during the campaign I had thought that the multiplayer portion would also feature beautiful vistas or something of the sort. Many of the maps present are done with gray or plain colors and don't have a special setting to them. I know that strains were most likely made to accommodate Warzone among other things, but these maps are dreadful to an extent. I'd like to mention that before I really dig into things that this discussion excludes Warzone as those three maps are actually fairly perfect and more of a separate experience from the core competitive side of Halo.
If you're reading this article I'm sure you have played a Halo title at some point in your life and should know they have one of the most rich campaign and multiplayer experiences in the console environment. Each Halo game has always went forward to change up the multiplayer aspect of Halo and most do attempt to push the boundaries of online gameplay. The first Halo which was entitled Combat Evolved had some of the most massive battlegrounds I've seen along with some of the best asymetrical spaces as well which were constantly redone in future Halo titles. This was all done even before Xbox live was a thing and just for the local space. These worlds were huge and created some very vibrant spaces even despite the technology. There was an array of colors, environments and structures present in each which made them so unique. This trend continued in the other Halo games which featured large space with many more iconic creations to come. Some others to mention would be the creepy snow atmosphere of Halo 2' Lockout; Halo 3's Guardian with a misty dark space, Halo 4's Monolith which was a brightened sight to behold and even Reach's Powerhouse which had a unique circle design to it.
Assuming you were paying attention to the above maps you may have noticed that I picked the smaller spaces present within the titles for comparison as the Halo 5 maps are focused at smaller more intimate spaces. I imagine this was in the spirit of creating more competitive areas, but it left behind the charm of some slightly more expansive levels. None of the levels present within Halo 5 really have much area mass to them and they certainly don't have any unique atmospheres. Not to say they don't look different in appearance, but they really don't attempt to push the vibrancy of the places you are in. The Rig is a map that places you properly into a massive world by making the battle take place on just one small drilling space, but the level itself is just alright. It's actually one of the better maps in the game by my opinion, but it still just feels like another of the mix. From the beta the originally thought this game would have a huge roster of maps, but most are just variations of each other with slightly changes. Looking at you Eden/Empire and Regret/Truth which are basically the same maps with some slightly changes to what's on them. Those maps themselves basically make up half of the list and I'm going to include the Breakout maps into this since they're largely funky looking paintball arenas probably built in Forge mode. Again, not to say they aren't cool looking though the spaces themselves all feel the same and it's weird that mode is given seven differing maps despite being a slight variation so I imagine they're Forge created.
Furthermore when looking at these spaces it just seems like they didn't want to go all out to create a Forerunner space. We're only given one non-human new level to play in which was alright at most. I don't include Truth or Regret in there since it's just a re-imaging of Midship which has already appeared in almost every Halo game one way or another at this point. The levels in Halo 5 just don't seem to stride towards being unique or really out there arenas. While some aspects are neat and the levels are mostly fluid I would have liked them to take more risks in order to create better maps. It had always been special to love the feel of a map and then look outside it in complete wonder to the world around where you are playing. There should be no problems in creating intimate places for combat while still retaining that feeling of being a small part of a large environment. Perhaps in their goal of adapting to the new abilities they just didn't have the time to create this feeling or it could even be brought into the game with the future free DLC that will available. At this point in time I find the selection of maps in Halo 5 to be dull and mostly uninspired. I'll still compete across these spaces for the time I play Halo as I have to, but I won't be thinking about these maps down the road like I have with the other Halo games.
Check out our Halo 5: Guardians Review!