This is mostly to put things in perspective for you. When you are playing, you should try to strictly be ONE of these 5. Granted, you should never be the same one for an entire game; just know WHEN to be each one. I gave them each animals for a few reasons:
This was most common in Halo 1, and is still one of the most common playstyles for highly skilled players in Halo 2. Many of the less skilled reading this have instantly thought "I should play like a hawk! How do they play?!" I'll get to that in a minute, but remember:
A skilled player only plays as the hawk because he feels that he can rely on his good eye, and his good aim, to get him out of any situation.
Since the pistol was removed, you can't kill as fast in Halo 2. That means the spider, the wolf, and the vulture will ALWAYS beat a hawk if they are of equal skill.
Hawks, as you might have guessed, rely on their good eye and good aim. Hawks are the players who stand on top of the rock slope in Beaver creek with the sniper rifle and the battle rifle and just wait for you to poke your head out. To be a hawk, you have to be a good shot and aware of your surroundings (i.e. skilled), but to be skilled, you don't have to be a hawk. Remember that.
The bear is the brother of the hawk. Consider them the same in the sense that they both seek out others and destroy them, relying on reflexes and ability rather than strategy and cunning, but Bears are always more of a melee sort.
You'll find Bears the most in Rumble Pit games, and they'll be the ones rushing in with a shotgun or SMG/magnum, dropping people like flies and not having a care in the world, chucking grenades until, inevitably, they die.
Those that play as the Bear, and are successful, expect their death every time they go into battle. They deliberately set out for the largest groups, or the highest ranking targets, and just plow into them like a freight truck.
Their goal is not to kill and live, but merely to kill; that is what makes a bear so dangerous.
The spider is the most hated, and (generally) the most effective, of the five playstyles. If you have realized that all these animals were picked for a reason, you'll know that the spider is one that lays traps.
The Spider is the one who will run out, and assume the role of weakness, only to hide in a building at the last minute. Knowing they will be followed, they turn around and hold the shotgun and wait.
Spiders will wait with a sniper rifle, watching the rocket launcher or sword, just waiting to take out any who would dare step foot near it.
But just as in real life, if a Spider doesn't have his web, he is useless. Once you realize that someone is playing with the playstyle of "spider", start to second guess your instincts. Spiders -always- play by abusing your natural instinct. If you see him run away, be ready for a trap. If you haven't seen him for a while, assume he's waiting around a corner with a shotgun, or watching a special weapon.
Spiders are very passive, and generally win most head to head games.
The Wolf is the least common of the five styles, and that is a sad thing.
One thing that wolves know is that no matter how strong they are, no matter how fast they are, there is always the possibility that there is something bigger. They also know that it is easier to take down even the simplest of prey if you work as a team.
That is why wolves run in packs.
I have personally seen photographs of what happened to a moose after a pack of wolves got a hold of it. For those that have never seen a moose (I've only seen pictures, I live in Kentucky), they are freaking huge. A moose could easily kill six wolves individually, one after the other, no problem. But the small pack of wolves (so I was told, as six) killed the moose with zero casualties.
Wolves are team players. They don't "call the sniper rifle", they don't do what is best for their score, they don't go for the glory. But at the end of the match, the wolves share the victory.
In team slayer games, the wolves ALWAYS win if they are at least half the skill level of a group of hawks.
Most people honor the players who choose the style of Hawk; I, personally, and more impressed by a pack of wolves.
Vultures are carrion beasts. Kill stealers, cowards, weaklings, pansies, and downright no fun to play with.
At least that's what the opposing team says.
Vultures weapon of choice is the battle rifle, with sniper rifle in a close second.
Vultures are very similar to spiders, in the sense that they allow something ELSE to do the work for them. While spiders generally use some sort of incentive to sway their enemies (weak enemy, follow him... important weapon...), Vultures just wait and play it safe.
More spiders are crushed because their one shotgun blast they got off didn't kill the enemy than anything else. Vultures don't like that, and, unlike spiders, tend to fight at a distance. Away from explosives. Near a lot of cover with several escape routes.
Vultures are those that follow the weaker players in rumble pit games, or will sit up high someplace with a battle rifle, and not fire a shot until someone loses their shields. Vultures are crafty bastards, but generally don't win unless there is a lot of chaos going on, or a lot of teamwork on the vulture's team.