Halo Infinite is the multiplayer shooter we want to play this fall
Halo Infinite is the multiplayer shooter we want to play this fall
And it seems to continue for a while
Written byRon Vorstermans on
Wednesday November 17, 2021 16:13
Here’s a sentence you read a few years ago never thought you’d read it: the first free-to-play season of the Halo Infinite multiplayer has entered beta. And here’s another one: Halo is good again. These are strange times.
But these are times we will all have to get used to. In a way, the free-to-play release of a Halo game is an iconic moment. Not because
the game is ‘back with a break’, but how. In the game industry, everyone is looking for the game, that one title that will pass as a platform. That title for which you might pay a fixed amount per month in the future.
Every major publisher wants a launch ‘super game’. Fifa, Call of Duty, and Battlefield are front and center to be transformed from recurring release to an ongoing content model. If you play big multiplayer games, the release of Halo Infinite is just a harbinger. Many will follow. And perish. Maybe that’s not what you wanted to read, but it’s becoming reality.
Fortunately, there is also good news in practice. Halo should last ten years according to Microsoft, and with this foundation I see that happening.
Bouncing (from pleasure)
Back to earlier this week. I’m playing a game of Capture The Flag in Big Team Battle (12 vs 12). It’s my first game of Halo in what feels like years. It also feels like an old-fashioned game of Halo. A very good game of Halo. A game of Halo 2 or 3, to be exact. And maybe a little Reach.I’m bouncing with a Warthog over beautiful green dunes, while i see a Banshee flying overhead, while someone catapults themselves towards the Banshee with the new grappling hook, while someone in the passenger seat shouts ‘faster, faster’ incessantly, while the smoke from the engine can’t disguise entering the enemy base one minute previously did not quite go as I had planned.
But it works. The Warthog sprint to the enemy base is a success, our team is leading 1-0 and the gunner who is blasting at the back of the Warthog actually gets a killing Spree.
Anecdotes are nice and nice, but the above mainly indicates that Halo Infinite is not even a bit like the Halo that developer 343 Industries had in mind with part 4 and 5. Halo Infinite has definitely looked at Call of Duty (and with it Halo 5) with the handling of some weapons, but otherwise Halo Infinite is very much Halo. But then a Halo that plays exceptionally well. An old Halo.
A good novel
The pistol you spawn with is a treat. The sound, the feedback, the flickshots: you could write a novel about it. The new weapons, including a hulking vehicle-piercing sniper and a target-seeking grenade launcher, feel like logical and chaotic additions to the familiar arsenal. This also applies to the new vehicles. The new Gungoose is exactly what it implies to be: a Mongoose buggy with a grenade launcher. You can even shoot Banshees from the sky with it.
Halo Infinite is especially very Halo, but then a Halo that plays exceptionally well. An old Halo.
The new gadgets are also very entertaining. At first you might think: what good is five extra dashes or some kind of sonic uppercut? But use them a little longer and you’ll discover that with that dash you can dodge snipers and your super strong Punch
can bounce grenades back. And then there’s that fantastic grappling hook, which even lets you pull the flag towards you in Capture The Flag. It must never disappear from Halo again. The Halo Infinite multiplayer may be in beta, but you can’t tell from the balance sheet. The game is very polished and above all nicely balanced. The Covenant’s weapons still feel a bit flimsy and the Battle Rifle lacks the punch and precision of previous Battle Rifles (or the Battle Rifle from Splitgate), but on both small and large maps, there’s not much else to fault. . On large maps chaos dominates, on small maps the well-known triangle between grenades, hitting and shooting dominates. It all feels and plays exceptionally well.
Looking at the game around the battlefield If so, there are a few things to criticize about the multiplayer. The free-to-play influences can be seen right away in the start menu, for example. There you can buy boosters to boost your experience points and level up the Battle Pass. It seems like a dirty way to make money, because the progression system to unlock cosmetic items is terribly slow at the moment. Developer 343 Industries has indicated on Twitter that it is aware of the slow progression system. It is reportedly being looked into. Then the next thorn in the eye: the playlists. Want to play a quick game of Slayer? That is not possible. In the main menu you currently only have a choice of two types of playlists, including Quick Play. Quick Play is a mishmash of familiar competitive modes: four versus four Capture the Flag, Team Slayer, Oddball, et cetera. You cannot select just one of those modes. That’s stupid. I don’t want an Oddball.
Now the latter does not necessarily have to do with free -to-play models, but it’s a bit weird that 343 Industries opts for such a system. The developer may want to ‘force’ the general public that plays free-to-play games to look beyond Team Slayer. For the time being, it is not out of the picture. Let the people choose for themselves. After all, they did that in Halo 2.
Is there anything else that needs to be done? Of course. And of course that also applies to support. The start of Battle Pass season 2 has been pushed to May next year. In the meantime, 343 Industries says it wants to focus on adding “events, items and other content”. We will see.
It’s hard not to get excited about this beta. Halo Infinite comes at just the right time. The Call of Duty series is caught in a sort of split between Warzone and the annual releases, while Battlefield struggles to satisfy both new and old players at the same time. Halo Infinite could have been in many ways like those games in theory. One that responds to trends with a battle royale, for example.
It’s good to see that 343 Industries has found a middle ground between old and new after two polarizing Halo games. With the faster and free-to-play Halo Infinite, Halo tries to grow with gamers, but at the same time remain authentic. Top: we didn’t want more.
Because it turns out: Halo doesn’t need a battle royale. What Halo needs is a handful of grenades, weapons that fire exceptionally well, vehicles that drive like butter in a hot pan, three really, really stupid teammates and maybe, on the weekend, a case of beer. With luck, that’s exactly what we get on December 8.
The first season of Halo Infinite multiplayer is now in beta Out on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. We played the game on PC and Xbox Series X.
Here’s a sentence you never thought you’d read a few years ago: The first free-to-play season of Halo Infinite multiplayer has entered beta. And here’s another one: Halo is good again. These are strange times.