Halo 5

Halo 5

Parent Approved Hero


    Appropriate Combat


      Constructive Language


        Spiritually Sound


          Family Safe


            Safe for Time and Money


              Positive Messages



                • There is no blood
                • Earned a Teen rating
                • Very engaging First Person Shooter


                • The only way to solve a problem in this game is to kill it
                • your character will massacre hundreds of enemies both in game and in multiplayer
                • Players are encouraged to ruthlessly kill: Kill streaks get you bonuses
                • online play means direct involvement with strangers
                • Little control over online forums, etc.

                Parents Need to Know

                Halo 5 is all about player combat. In the story line of the game use a range of weapons (pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, laser swords) to kill both human and alien enemies.  This game is graphically appealing, includes tons of gunfire, explosions, futuristic war machines, and death. The designers did remove blood from the game, yet the sheer body count still takes its toll. This game is not appropriate for younger gamers. Parents should be active in helping their gamer decide if and when online play is appropriate.

                Appropriate For: 16+                                            

                Platform: Xbox One                                                

                Rated: Teen

                Gaming Discussions: Keep the lines of communication open with your gamer.

                • What reasons might the game designers have for using aliens and not other people? Does killing an alien change the experience for you rather than a person?
                • We are reminded in Philippians by Paul to focus our minds on “whatever is true…right…noble…pure…” (Phil. 4:8). On a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, how does this game rate in light of this encouragement?
                • What is one way we can self-check to ensure we’re healthy in our gaming?

                Grade Details

                Parent Approved Hero: 5

                • Your hero fights for what he believes is good. His beliefs are not up for sale.
                • The characters you play as only have one way to solve their problems: Kill stuff.
                • There is no peace-making option: Violence is the only solution.
                • You are rewarded in multiplayer for killing well: Additional points and killing combos mean you get cooler and more effective weapons, upgrades, and armor.

                Appropriate Combat:  4

                • Halo 5 involves a lot of killing. If your character has a problem, killing is always the solution.
                • You will kill hundreds of enemies throughout the game.
                • If you play multiplayer you can kill literally thousands of other player-controlled characters in combat.
                • There is minimal blood-spatter, especially compared to previous Halo games. This is how it earned the Teen rating.
                • Players can commit assassinations: insta-kills against opponents by breaking necks or stabbing.

                Constructive Language: 5

                • use of mild swear words in the storyline: “a**”, “d**n”
                • online play will result in MUCH higher swearing from other players.
                • derogatory taunts occur in game: “I have copulated…with your genetic progenitors!”; “Your father was a filthy colo and your mother was a hole in the wall!”

                Spiritually Sound: 8

                • There is no specific religious conversation in this game.
                • There are aliens, especially the Prometheans and Covenant, who are part of an ongoing storyling that includes a religion specific to the Halo universe.
                • There is nothing demonic in the game. The aliens function just like the people, but with different cultures and abilities (the Covenant are more highly advanced technologically than the humans, for example).

                Family Safe: 6

                • Cortana shows up again, and she found her clothes! They went away from the Halo 4 look where she was basically naked. She is basically upgraded to the sci-fi version of cat woman
                • High level of violence.
                • Some swearing (see Constructive Language)
                • Other notes:
                  • Spartan Companies (http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/halo-5-guardians) are basically guilds for Halo. You can sign up to be a part of a group who wants the same things you want.
                  • Keep in mind: Kids will frequently play with strangers when using online play modes. As parents we are responsible for being a filter on the individuals our children are exposed to. Online gaming can make this tricky.

                Safe for Time and Money : 3

                • Microsoft is now pushing the use of microtransactions. Basically you can spend real-world money to upgrade your character. These started with three REQ packs being sold between $2 and $10. Now there are over 48 and they range from $3-$25.
                  • As soon as you add money to the equation, that changes the draw of the game.
                • Halo 5 added a multiplayer feature: Spartan Companies, communities you join for multiplayer. These function like guilds from World of Warcraft or similar games. These allow you to filter the people you play with, which is good. It also can increase the comradary and therefore the desire to play with these people; when you lower personal interactions you increase many of the concerns of gaming: Isolation, depression, loneliness.
                • Halo is a tournament game. Professional gaming is really a thing. I talked about this in my article on DOTA, it takes as much dedication as any other sport, and young people are being drawn in droves with no regard or limitations to the toll it takes on the rest of their lives.

                Positive Message: 3

                This game was not intended to send a message or be a role model. However, based on the actions of your main character, there is one positive you could draw from this game:

                • Sometimes doing the right thing means going against the flow.

                The predominant message of the game comes through your actions and focus around violence as the final solution. Do not look to this game for your moral compass.

                Alternative Games:

                Portal 2: Portal_2_coverThe first Portal is also a great option, although it is rated Teen, compared to Portal 2 which is rated Everyone. Portal 2 is an action-adventure game that has elements of fighting tied in with brain-teasing puzzles. This one is fun for the whole family.






                Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

                Lego_Star_Wars-The_Complete_SagaThis game costs about $20 and is worth all of it. Even for grown gamers, these games are fun. Legos come to life as you play your favorite characters and help overcome the forces of evil in the galaxy.