Reviews

Halo Infinite Review

If we simply judged games by their title screens and menu music Halo: Infinite will be a 5/5.   If there’s something that 343 Industries nailed, it’s that.  Unfortunately, everything else about Halo Infinite leaves me with mixed feelings about this entry in the long-running franchise.  It’s hard not to feel nostalgic when playing a new Halo game.  If just for the music alone, it makes you remember happy times had with friends in an era for multiplayer games that paved the way for what we have today.  It can make you remember single player story and campaign highlights from previous games (and there were many).

It’s been some time since critics have dumped praise on this franchise

Any Halo game that releases needs to stand up to these monumental highs for Halo fans.  The issue is, Halo is a bit of a dumpster fire for Microsoft recently, and by the past few years, I am talking about since Halo: Reach.  That’s the final time that critics really dumped praise on the Halo game.  Since that time it’s been a slowly declining Metascore for the Master Chief and co.

The problem that Halo has had in my opinion is the fact that 343 Industries just hasn’t taken steps to the future.  Microsoft moves in weird directions using their most important franchise.  They sink copious amounts of time and development effort into things that add up to little more than one offs for your particular entry, never making or improving the core Halo experience.  That said, Halo Infinite isn’t as bad because the introduction with this review makes it seem like.  It’s a mixed bag in Halo Infinite.  The tried and tested gameplay that Halo fans want is alive and well here, so much in fact that Halo Infinite can feel antiquated at times, compared to these aforementioned other entries within the series where Microsoft (and Bungie) were breaking new ground for the whole gaming industry with this particular franchise.  The campaign for Halo Infinite is definitely an amalgamation of modern open world titles and first person shooters circa 2005.

Halo Infinite is a mixed bag

Halo Infinite is really a game with no identity, the type of  stuff you’d see from games that aren’t flagship exclusives designed to keep people loyal and purchasing consoles (or subscriptions).  It’s got unhealthy modern aspects of liberated to play games when it comes to using a poorly structured Battle Pass and progression system.  It’s had a large amount of Craig, meaning the game doesn’t look particularly good.  It’s had a first class multiplayer gameplay foundation to construct from.  It’s to not be conflicted when playing Halo Infinite.

Campaign

While multiplayer may have become the star from the show within the Halo series, this is one first person shooter having a story to inform.  Every Halo game has led in to the next one with a big ending you have to wait 5 years to get resolution for.  Halo Infinite isn't any different.  While we’re not going to spoil story beats here, 343 does tie several things up well, leaving this fan with a feeling of satisfaction that handful of these games have.  Halo stories have been hit and miss, introducing many characters along the way, but Infinite does a good job of covering enough ground inside a fairly short campaign.  That said, the structure of it is unlike any previous Halo game.  It’s a mixture of the traditional Halo experience, in being a linear first person shooter that takes players from narrative point to narrative point As well as an open world game.  It’s not particularly efficient at either at this time.  Shooters have certainly evolved over the past Ten years and Halo’s easy gameplay feels antiquated at times, feeling somewhat repetitive because the campaign wears on.  The biggest change you’ll get in the linear parts of Halo Infinite are boss fights strangely enough.  Interesting Banished baddies are introduced throughout the game and you’ll reach tangle with these higher-level enemies while you pass certain checkpoints within the story.  I’m not sure things i take into account the boss fights of Halo Infinite.  Using the game’s normal setting these fights were quick frequently, not feeling like a boss fight at all.

Boss fights and Open World Elements is this what Halo needed?

Alongside those boss fights, another new element may be the open world nature of Zeta Halo.  The series has always had sprawling maps where you’d fight your enemies, however this is as open world because it gets.  This isn’t one half step like we saw with Gears of War, but it’s also not something like Assassin’s Creed that has an excessive amount of to do at times.  There’s a number of different collectibles to find, in addition to optional activities in each zone.  Probably the most enjoyable aspects of Halo Infinite for me personally was the exploration that you could do with Master Chief, using vehicles or the grappling hook abilities Zeta Halo is fun to explore.  Almost nothing is not allowed when you’re on foot, the grappling hook or dash can get you just about anywhere.  What wasn’t built for Halo Infinite is the current vehicle roster.  I got an automobile stuck between geometry in the world a minimum of Ten times while playing this game.  Ghosts, Mongoose, Warthog… all of them seem to have weird physics… and that’s something you’ll notice across the board.. not only with vehicles.

But if you’ve played a contemporary open world game, you’ll be right at home here.  Taking over the Banished Outposts would be the main objective in each region.  Doing so will allow you to see what else is going on around you.  Taking a Forward Operating Base simply mandates that you kill all of the enemies in it and activate system.  When you do, you’ll acquire some Valor (more on that later) and you’ll have the ability to see the different collectibles and activities around you.  These are Spartan Locker locations (that provide you cosmetic items for Halo Infinite multiplayer), killing VIP enemies (for use of their weapons from FOB), UNSC that should be rescued, and more.  The open world is certainly more compelling than the easy missions, but it’s certainly not breaking new ground.  One of the bigger difficulties with the campaign is how disjointed it's.  There’s an enormous distinction between outdoors World and the linear missions.  While you do go back and forth between linear and open world towards the start of the sport, when you are as to the I would say is about 50 % way through, you’re basically on linear just for all of those other game.

Halo Infinite doesn’t go all in on its new features

It makes stacking up everything Valor appear to be a waste of time. Every action that you do within the Halo Infinite campaign will earn you this currency.  It enables you to perform some interesting things from the Operating base, like spawn weapons, vehicles, and recruit marines to battle alongside you (while in an automobile).  I thought for any second that perhaps it might be more compelling?  That completing these Operating Bases and the challenges in the open world might have some meaning… they don’t.  You can just run from story mission to story mission and you’ll likely be just fine if you would like the story beats only.  You don’t actually need the power-ups that much.  There are plenty of weapons to find and scavenge along almost every mission hanging around.

Like other open worlds, there’s plenty to gather.  Dastardly hard-to-find skulls are littered throughout the world.  Finding skulls in Halo Infinite is really a heck of the task given how many nooks and crannies there might be a wide open world. I stumbled across zero within my first playthrough.  Alongside that there are audio logs for the Banished and the UNSC to find out, there are Spartan Lockers to find, and Spartan Cores that you can find which let you upgrade your basic four abilities (Shield, Boost, Grapple, and Sensor).  But it all hits having a thud.  Certainly then when you are on the linear missions for the whole back half of the campaign.  Even if they are doing let you return out into the open world and tie up any loose ends there may be left on the surface of Zeta Halo, it seems like you’re building up this army for free ultimately.

Lackluster is a great word to explain what the Halo Infinite campaign is

I wouldn’t go as far as to the Halo Infinite campaign disappointing so much because it is just lackluster.  It doesn’t have many big moments.   It isn’t particularly impressive in terms of the visuals.  The combat is the tried and tested Halo formula, but the open world and talents just aren’t enough to carry your day away with something to become impressed with.  Still, for Halo fans there’s a lot to help you stay pushing through.  This storyline has spanned multiple real-life decades and some of the things getting obsessed with this entry in the series are long, long overdue.  That said, if you’re new to the franchise there’s going to be some parts of this game that are going to fly straight over your head.

343 walks the road of trying to be appealing to long time fans with it’s linear campaign segments while trying to bring the series to the modern era with it’s open world.  Like a first effort with one of these new systems it’s simply run of the mill.  For some games it may be acceptable… but this is Halo.  It truly feels like it ought to be more.  There just wasn’t ever a jaw dropping moment, if this game would’ve launched alongside the Series X you would almost expect that it is a state of the industry, a technical showpiece that pushes the new hardware to the limits.  Halo Infinite just never feels like the tent pole game it’s supposed to be.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer on the other hand, rocks !.  The core shooter gameplay is a few of the very best available.  We’ll get to a few of the sticky subjects surrounding multiplayer quickly.  The core Halo gameplay won't disappoint fans.  The mainstay weapons prove to be every bit as good as they’ve have you been.  The brand new weapons really are a bit of mixed bag, but nothing really moves Halo Infinite from that baseline degree of solidness when it comes to two players going one-on-one with comparable weapons.  There’s been that skill required in Halo that was just bit more than other modern shooters like Call of Duty which lowered such things as Time to Kill and shutting the skill gap from a large amount of players.

The core multiplayer shooter gameplay is a few of the extremely best out there

Even that old hands have something to understand in Infinite.  New power-ups happen to be added to this mixture that certainly alter the way that Halo is played.  Mileage will be different on these power-ups but adding that makes Halo Infinite the best Halo multiplayer title since Reach.  It all has its own place.  There’s a new grappling hook which can be used to zip round the battlefield.  Technology-not only to get objectives, weapons, you can grappling to higher ground, or grapple towards your attacker and cut them down with an Energy sword if you’re real good.  There’s a lift jump that allows you receive out of trouble when it's needed.  A stationary shield you can use to take tactical positions in which you can shoot from behind it but enemies have to break it down to hit you.  Lastly there’s a threat sensor, which may be accustomed to see enemies around the mini map and using a silhouette that you could look out of walls.  The brand new power-ups are fun, they work nicely plus they feel balanced.

These power-ups coupled the core weapon spawn system are a lot of fun, they create for really good matches.  It’s a multiplayer title in which skill factors in heavily to winning and losing, Halo Infinite could be the multiplayer game of the year if you’re judging it solely on its gameplay.  Whatever you’re into… smaller engagements of quick play, Big Team Battle, or Ranked Modes… there’s some variety of Halo multiplayer that’s likely to be enjoyable.  If you like that core shooting, it’s all fun…. in-match.

343 has their work cut out for them in tuning things at launch

Out of match, Infinite feels simplistic.  This is a multiplayer suite that's currently technically in beta, but it’s been released to anybody who really wants to play it.  The present status of all things surrounding Halo Infinite multiplayer is fairly poor and being worked on as the developers have received a ton of complaints regarding the Battle Pass progression, challenges, and rewards facets of multiplayer.  This isn’t the very first time Microsoft has gotten their hands caught within the cookie jar of monetization with one of their big releases.  Infinite is looking to take cues from Fortnite and other Battle Pass games by providing people challenges which unlock customization items.  There’s multiple problems here, actually.  Number 1, it’s geared all wrong.  You can’t be prepared to give players challenges that don’t push them to play the objective in objective-based modes and then force players to experience objective-based modes.  Every other match you’ve got people simply looking to complete challenges rather than playing the game to win.  Second, the rewards aren’t that great anyway.  They simply don’t have the creative freedom that Fortnite has.  They are fairly restricted to their Spartan armor motif with different color palettes plus some different modifications to that particular armor.  They’ve got some try to do.  Right now, people are playing the game since the multiplayer is excellent.  What will keep players playing is progression and keeping up with in-game events.  These things have to give you good rewards that make people want to play them, and will be offering good, competitive matches.

What’s also worrying is a lack of modes at launch for Halo Infinite.  You are really limited in the modes you are able to play.  Actually, probably the most popular modes altogether from previous Halo games aren’t present in the core playlists like Infected or SWAT.  I actually do truly wish the extent of issues with multiplayer was that the progression system needed fixing and they required to add in a couple of modes.  Unfortunately, it’s not.  One of the things that 343 is going to need to obtain under control and get in check quickly may be the cheating within this game.  Ranked players are certainly running into cheats at a regular cadence.  It’s fairly easy to spot them, they snap on to your face from over the map and something shot you having a Hard Light beam.  There’s definitely wall hacks and aimbots in Halo Infinite.  They might probably follow Call of Duty’s lead within their vigilance of pursuing cheats and banning them where they are able to.  It’ll never be stopped by they have to put up some type of roadblock to at least make it a little tougher for this to occur.

Halo Infinite is a best-case scenario for Halo Whether they can make necessary changes

All in most Halo Infinite multiplayer is really a best case scenario for that state of Halo.  After the delay I wasn’t sure what state we’d see multiplayer in.  From the gameplay standpoint, Halo Infinite multiplayer is way in front of both Cod and Battlefield as multiplayer games of the year.  An off-year for COD and DICE dropping the bag all over again has provided Microsoft a tremendous chance to capture shooter fans and for the most part they have.  They have to follow-up and fine tune these outside elements.  The Battle Pass, the progression systems, the rewards, it needs to have something to keep you wanting more.  If 343 can do that Halo might be able to keep players playing within the new year and beyond.

The Verdict

Halo Infinite is by no means a poor game, but through the standards set by other first party publishers, it’s average.  The campaign just didn’t do enough to generate much excitement and the new gameplay ideas they tried with the open world make the game feel more disjointed of computer must be.  Multiplayer is certainly what’ll help you stay coming back for more, IF a few of these egregious Battle Pass systems could be righted there are actual reasons to return.  Unfortunately, it’s another rocky launch for that Halo series and while some of the multiplayer and progression issues could be changed with post-launch patches, the dull, uninspired campaign can’t be.

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