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Halo Infinite Review: Week 1 · 1:44am Nov 24th, 2021

Alright, so last Monday, 343 Industries released Halo Infinite's multiplayer a week early before the official launch date of December 8th. Let's take a look at the various areas of the game, and compare them to previous titles.

Campaign: N/A / 10
Obviously, campaign is unable to be reviewed right now, but I've heard almost nothing but good things. By far, this is the portion of the game I am looking forward to the most.

Core Gameplay: 9/10
What they have absolutely, unequivocally nailed this time around was the Halo 'feel' of the core gameplay, which has always been "weapons, grenades, and melee". That triangle is the most intact it's been in years, although anything other than Ranked has considerable grenade spam due to everyone spawning with two frags, and friendly fire is off.

Weapon Sandbox: 6/10
Most of the guns here function very solidly, and fill their roles well, save for a couple outliers that are really struggling to find their niche. Some of the Brute weapons I find a little questionable, as with every new weapon, I ask, "what role does this weapon fill, does it replace a previous weapon, and why is this one better?"

And 'a 3D artist needed a job' is not an acceptable answer. The Ravager is absolutely useless, nerfed to the point where it is currently impossible to get a 3-star rating on the Weapon Drill. The Plasma Carbine is another borderline-useless weapon, and even more blasphemously, has replaced the ever-iconic Plasma Rifle in the sandbox. The Brute Shot is nowhere to be seen, nor are staples like the Carbine Rifle or pump-action Shotgun.

The ever-iconic Battle Rifle performs solidly, even with the cadence a hair slower than we're used to. The Assault Rifle is actually a viable weapon now, able to hold its own in most medium and short-range fights.

I'm hoping against hope that we can one day get to where Halo 5's weapon sandbox was at. Super Fiesta is still, to this day, some of the stupidest fun I have had in Halo multiplayer.

The vehicles are considerably more fragile than they have been in the franchise's 20-year history. They can only take enough punishment before power cores and engines overload and explode, leaving the occupant(s) few precious seconds to bail out. The Chopper has also been cruelly neutered from the beast it was in Halo 3 and ODST.

Abilities: 8/10
I can't speak for these too much yet, because I haven't gotten used to having them and using them so far. The grapple shot takes Spartan mobility to an entirely different level. The Threat Sensor pings enemy positions within its sphere of influence. Drop Wall gives you fragile cover that can give you an edge in an upcoming engagement. Thrusters work the way they did in Halo 4 and 5. I'm actually looking forward to how these are used and upgraded in the Campaign.

Playlists: 2/10
Halo Infinite launched without dedicated Slayer and Objective playlists. I really can't understate what kind of sacrilege that is to longtime Halo players. People that just want to unwind with some Slayer (Team Deathmatch) are constantly and consistently tossed into more strategic Objective gametypes, and vice versa. It is not good for either side.

It gets two points because the Fractured event that started today gave us a dedicated Fiesta Slayer playlist, and for the very first time, you can matchmake into a playlist where you, ironically, know exactly what you're going to get (Fiesta is completely random weapons at every spawn).

Challenges / Battle Pass / Monetization: 0/10
Ugh... And here we have either Microsoft sticking it's executive privilege where it seriously needs to piss off from, or someone from 343's Player Investment team needs to be fired and blacklisted from the industry. The Challenge system is wholly inferior to the offerings in Reach and the Master Chief Collection. Entirely too many Challenges are way too specific for what you have to do to get that precious experience to level up the Battle Pass.

Is it 'Get X number of Objective medals'? Nope. You have to kill an enemy flag carrier, or capture a flag.

Is it 'Get kills in a vehicle'? Nope. Kill 5 enemies with Ghost cannons or the Banshee's plasma bomb, or even a Wraith, which is very, very rarely seen so far. Vehicle and weapon spawns are not static either, they change from game to game.

A great deal of these challenges are irreparably disruptive to both objective and slayer gametypes. Instead of contributing to the team, you have players hanging back, looking for specific weapons, vehicles, or scenarios before engaging. The vast, vast majority of players encountered in multiplayer wear default armor and colors, as they cannot unlock anything of note on the free track until they've done hundreds of hours of play.

The monetization as a whole for this game is a complete failure so far, and 343 has done very, very little to correct it or alleviate our concerns as of yet. They absolutely need to give Activision and Epic a call for advice on how to put together a proper Battle Pass.

I cannot believe I just typed that. But I stand by it.

We're just in Week 1, and the best part of the game, the Campaign, is still two weeks out. I'm hoping a few of these issues are ironed out at launch, and that this is just a somewhat ugly beginning to what could turn into a Cinderella story for Halo.

Or it could be the beginning of F2P slowly costing Halo its soul in the long run.

Time will tell.

Comments ( 7 )

I honestly don't get why slayer isn't its own thing. What, are they afraid that the beta for Halo Infinite would become unpopulated if they split up the player base in the playlist?

Absolutely no clue. You'd think these conversations and questions would take place during development.

Honestly, seeing everything about how Halo's campaign infuriates me from a lore perspective like nothing else. If this is supposed to be a hard reset of the series, then I'll be fine with it, but if this is supposed to be a sequel down the line, I have a ton of problems. Also the idea of turning it into another sandbox game a-la Far Cry makes me cringe to my core, so I'm not hoping for anything on that front. At least the multiplayer is free and actually fun, though.

Why would you have a problem with it being a sequel?

Inconsistencies in the armor design (the fact that he's wearing Mark 4 armor yet it has overshields which wasn't implemented until the Mark 5 variant), and just the fact that I'd have to acknowledge that Halo 5 exists again. That game legitimately destroyed my passion for Halo.

I've heard nothing but good things.

Yes, Halo 5 is a shaky foundation, but at least that writer was sacked.

I'll give it a chance, then. But I'm going to have to wait on that, since I don't have a good PC for gaming at the moment.

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