A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Halo 5: Guardians is a sci-fi shooting game played from the first-person perspective. Using guns, explosives, swords, and their fists, players have to kill numerous enemies that are alien, robotic, and even human. The game also can be played co-op with friends or competitively online, and since none of this is moderated, there may be players who use offensive language. There also are in-game multiplayer bonuses than can be bought for real-world money. But parents also should know that though previous games in this series were not for children, this one is tamer and OK for teenagers.
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What's it about?
In HALO 5: GUARDIANS, Master Chief gets a message from his computer companion Cortana, whom he thought had been destroyed. In defiance of direct orders, he and his cohorts in Blue Team go after her, which prompts his commander to send Spartan Locke and Fireteam Osiris to go after them. What neither group realizes is that they're about to face an enemy whose actions could have dire implications for all life in the galaxy, human and otherwise.
Is it any good?
With the same great controls, epic narrative, and addictive multiplayer, this sci-fi first-person shooter is as engaging as previous games in this series -- which isn't to say Halo 5: Guardians doesn't have some new tricks up its armored sleeve. The battlefields in both the campaign (which can be played solo or co-op) and the new "Warzone" multiplayer mode are larger and have more verticality, which makes it good that you've learned how to climb up ledges. You also have a mini-jet pack that can send you flying, fist-first, into enemies, even if you're jumping down from one of those aforementioned ledges. More importantly, the game finally lets you look down the barrel of your gun for added accuracy the way you've been doing in every other shooter for years. As for that new "Warzone" mode, it has 24 warriors on huge battlefields completing a series of objectives that have you trying to capture an area while taking out a high-value target and trying to kill everyone on the opposing team. All of this adds up to, well, another in a long line of fun Halo games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about doing something wrong to do something right. Is it ever OK to disobey an order when you know following it is the wrong thing to do? Do you think Master Chief was right to disobey orders, or was he letting his loyalty to Cortana cloud his judgment?
Talk about violence. Master Chief and Spartan Locke solve problems through violence, but given that their enemies do the same, are they justified?
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