Halo Infinite may be the long-awaited open world installment from the Halo franchise, but fans have had varying reactions to the multiplayer and campaign. Historically, Halo has packaged its campaigns and multiplayer together, selling both modes within single price tag and periodically shipping additional downloadable content post-launch. However, Halo Infinite has departed from the 3 franchise standards by separating the two game modes and introducing a slew of recent mechanics and progression systems to each experience.
Halo Infinite takes place on Installation Zeta, where the Master Chief and Pilot Echo 216 face off from the Banished. Players explore the first open world of the Halo franchise, capturing Forwards Operating Bases (FOBs) and rescuing the scattered survivors from the wreckage of the UNSC Infinity. They're combined with The Weapon: an AI made to lure, capture, and destroy the rampant Cortana (Master Chief's former AI companion) and stop her attack against humanity and the UNSC. Multiplayer features the first Battle Pass system to enter Halo, alongside an accumulation of game modes and special edition armor sets that reference past games (such as Halo Reach).
Halo Infinite’s launch suffered delays during production but still released as an unfinished product in both modes. While players can continue to experience the full story of Halo Infinite and unlock the entirety from the multiplayer’s Battle Pass, key features present in past Halo games are missing. There are valid criticisms of both game modes, but with each readily available for approximately two weeks, a definite victor originates forth together.
Halo Infinite’s Multiplayer Needs Some Work
Perhaps Halo’s most memorable feature in multiplayer may be the ability for players to produce their own maps with Forge mode. Unfortunately, Halo Infinite didn’t include Forge during its initial launch and won’t get the game mode until sometime in 2022 (or perhaps even later). This is a severe blow to multiplayer’s longevity, particularly with the playlists and progression system the way it has become. Though players can continue to group with their friends and enjoy several popular modes (like Slayer and SWAT), other beloved activities are noticeably absent from the playlist selection.
Without Infection or Firefight, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer can’t benefit from the same longevity as previous titles. Additionally, the lack of Forge removes a key component of player ingenuity and creation. Previous Halo games proved players enjoy augmenting maps or creating their own levels on your own to match different purposes. Public or private lobbies can function to attract more players and retain a larger population. Without Forge and other missing features, Halo Infinite's multiplayer feels incomplete.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer isn’t the only game mode that’s missing some vital components, regardless of the game’s year-long delay from its 2020 release date. For instance, the Halo infinite campaign lacks the ability for players to enjoy co-op. Unfortunately, this development has become increasingly common for the game, with Halo 5 also not shipping having a local co-op function, despite its importance to the franchise and fanbase. Though 343 Industries confirmed the eventual inclusion of Halo Infinite co-op, its absence restricts the story’s replayability past the initial collectibles and skulls. As a result, content creators and casual fans alike cannot experience the game alongside their friends.
In its current state, Halo Infinite’s campaign is worth its $60 price tag, but multiplayer may have benefitted from receiving its very own cost or just being packaged with the main game. Following the disappointment of Halo 5’s story, Infinite provides Master Chief with the opportunity to experience proper character development and growth. The open-world for that sci-fi shooter also expands the game’s enjoyability with side missions along with a meaningful progression system. Halo Infinite’s campaign has set an impressive standard for future Halo stories but a new low for that franchise’s multiplayer.