The next installment in the massively popular Halo series is almost here.
This is our first good look at the new game, and it looks like a lot of fun.
You've got a photo-realistic Nathan Fillion, which may come as a surprise.
Unless, of course, you've played any of the Halo games since Halo 3: ODST.
You've got skydiving super soldiers.
And you've got guns. A lot of guns.
This guy can punch the ground really hard, which looks awesome.
To sum it up: #SquadGoals
Here's some first opinions from BuzzFeed Tech's resident video game critic and Halo 4 enthusiast, Joe Bernstein.
To the extent that the computer-generated visual representation of plate-armored future soldiers with jetpacks plunging through an atmosphere as hovercraft explode around them in order to land on an ice planet where they will do battle with laser-sword-wielding aliens as a consequence of a never-ending war between space civilizations that may or may not result in the destruction of the universe must invariably please me, a conventional man who came of age in the brief period in which science fiction was codified as and confined to a series of marketable tropes for which I now feel a longing, as if for simpler times, I am pleased by the "opening cinematic" for the new Halo game, which is called Halo 5: Guardians.
What is an "opening cinematic?" First of all, it's an incorrect usage, because "cinematic" is an adjective that modifies nothing. It refers in this context to the part of the game that comes at the start, which looks better than the rest of the game, which the player cannot control, and which when done with skill, establishes the mood, themes, and narrative of the game to follow, not unlike the cover of a heavy metal album. Many bad heavy metal albums have good, evocative cover art. So do many good ones, although it's worth asking whether our retrospective knowledge of the quality of the album makes us read quality into that cover art. Who knows?
In this case, the "opening cinematic" establishes that humans and a race of comfortingly generic aliens called "The Covenant" still cannot get along, that someone of importance must be rescued, and that 343 Industries, the Microsoft nursery into which Bungie, which created the Halo series nearly 15 years ago, placed their enormously profitable baby, has not upset the cradle. What more can you ask for? It's the fifth one! It's loud and pretty and robust! People will be pleased.