Armor abilities in Halo have always been a little contentious within the Halo community since their introduction in Halo: Reach, but 343 Industries is looking to take those armor abilities and not necessarily remove them, but completely revamp the way they are implemented and utilized in Halo 5: Guardians. One of the main issues armor abilities introduced was imbalance to the sandbox and unpredictable outcomes of engagement. Halo has traditionally had a balanced formula of everyone starts with the same thing, which got offset by these abilities and loadouts. Looking to re-establish balance to the Halo sandbox, but give players abilities that are fictionally based, 343 Industries is introducing Spartan abilities as a 4th element to the golden triangle: guns, grenades and melee.
Spartan Abilities are available to every player in the game right from the start as part of 343’s new Fair Starts initiative. There are no loadouts in Halo 5, but some of the Spartan abilities you will find familiar from previous Halo titles. The abilities given to all players offers new mobility by means of micro-jets on the Spartan’s back, which have a pretty low cool-down time of somewhere between three to five seconds. Each mobility option has been extensively played by 343’s pro team to make sure every option is well balanced in the Halo sandbox. While some of these may sound very similar armor abilities you have heard from in the past, keep in mind these are available to all players right from the start.
For anyone who has used the Jetpack from Halo: Reach or Halo 4, then you have probably used it to get up to other levels instead of taking the stairs or get those last few shots as you hover in the air. You’re not getting any additional lift from your micro jets, but if you’re up high and smart scope, you’ll get that familiar feeling of being able to float in the air, slowly falling down for about three seconds and trying to land shots from up high until you start barreling back down to earth.
I didn’t get a chance to execute this one, but I was definitely on the receiving end of this a few times. If you jump from a high ledge or level, look down and hold your crouch button, you’ll get this targeting reticule you can use to aim a quick thrust to the ground. Any direct contact is an instant kill and if you miss, there is about a three to 5 meter radius of splash damage. You only have about three seconds to choose your target and they can’t be too far out in front of you.
This one is pretty simple and has been adapted in many other first person shooters, where if you approach a ledge and you don’t quite make it, you can hit your jump button a second time to quickly climb up a ledge you wouldn’t normally be able to jump up to. Take for example on Truth, the Midship remake, trying to jump from top middle to one of the bases: if you didn’t quite make it, but are close enough to basically grab it with an outstretched arm, you’ll be able to climb up the ledge to your intended path. Quinn also mentioned trying to combine Clamber with crouch and spring jumping.
Thruster Pack is very similar to the armor ability in Halo 4 with the one major change that you don’t go out of first person view and you don’t loose the ability to shoot, throw grenades, melee, etc. It is still omnidirectional and can be used while walking on the ground or in the air. The thruster pack is very useful for getting quickly into a position for support, or in the case I used it the most, getting out of firefights. There were several times when I got out of the way of 2v1 and 3v1 engagements by using the thruster pack.
This ability takes advantage of the new micro-jet assisted sprint. One you hit top speed, you can hit your melee button and you’ll shoulder charge about five meters straight in front of you any unlucky player standing in your way. From the front, this acts like a normal melee, but from the back, is the same as an insta-kill beat down. I suggest using this only if you have the jump on the person, because trying to get to someone from mid-distance using this ability will just end up with you being a bullet sponge and by the time you charge them, will just smack you down.
Also utilizing the full sprint, you can hit the crouch button and you’ll slide into a crouched position to quickly dive into cover or surprise someone from down low.
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