Halo 5: Guardians is a 2015 first-person shooter video game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox One. The fifth mainline entry and tenth overall in the Halo series, it was released worldwide on October 27, 2015. The game’s plot follows two fireteams of human supersoldiers: Blue Team, led by Master Chief, and Fireteam Osiris, led by Spartan Locke. When the former goes absent without leave to track down the artificial intelligence construct Cortana, Master Chief’s loyalty is called into question and Fireteam Osiris is sent to retrieve him.
343 Industries started to plan concepts and objectives for Halo 5 shortly after the release of its predecessor, Halo 4. In late 2012, the team set out goals for the game, including larger campaign and multiplayer areas. Like Halo 4, it uses motion capture for character animation. It features new abilities and character designs, but does not feature any offline capabilities or local networking. It has a game engine that scales its resolution to maintain a frame rate of 60 frames per second. Unlike the first four mainline games, this is the first and so far only mainline game to receive a “Teen” rating from the ESRB.
Microsoft announced the game at E3 2013. The game and its related hardware grossed over US$400 million in its first twenty-four hours and US$500 million in its first week, outselling the opening sales of Halo 4, which then held the best-selling record for the franchise. It is also the best-selling Xbox One game globally. Despite this, it had the lowest opening sales of any Halo game in Japan and the UK. Upon release, Halo 5 received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise directed at its gameplay, visuals, level design and multiplayer modes. However, the game’s single-player campaign met divided responses, with criticism directed at its story, writing, and ending. A sequel, Halo Infinite, will be released in 2021.