The Halo franchise is one of the most iconic titles for the Xbox gaming community. And it is not surprising, because these games gave users an interesting storyline, dynamic gameplay with many mechanics, as well as fresh advanced graphics from part to part. The new Halo Infinite was supposed to be released at the end of 2020, however, 343 Industries studio postponed the release to the end of 2021, because after the first gameplay was shown, the community was dissatisfied with the state of the game. However, the creators themselves reported that development was difficult due to the situation with the pandemic, so the transfer was made.
But what do we have after so long with development? In this review, we will look at the single and multiplayer components of Halo Infinite, as well as analyze the new mechanics, as well as the gameplay in general.
Single player game
In this section, I will try to bypass any plot spoilers and focus more on the new mechanics and activities in Halo Infinite.
The game meets us with a cinematic, where the Master Chief fights with the leader of the exiled and, unfortunately, loses this battle, after which he is thrown into outer space. Is he dead? Of course not, because this is the Master Chief himself. After a while, a lone pilot finds him somewhere in space, and as it turns out, the Spartan is alive and has no injuries. During the dialogue, it becomes clear that they are next to the ring, which we have to explore in the form of an open world. But then the Chief remembers that he needs to pick up the Weapon (this is the name of the AI like Cortana), after which the whole storyline begins, which we will not talk about in order to avoid spoilers.
So, we find ourselves in the open world – the main innovation of Halo Infinite. But how is it implemented here? As in Far Cry in the classic sense. To progress through the story, you must capture outposts, small points with the ability to call equipment and obtain weapons, free allies so that they can help you in passing, as well as huge bases guarded by a large number of enemies with bosses. And I’ll tell you frankly, this is not a bad performance of the open world, but there are a lot of side quests with various characters with their own stories. Here you have only one goal – to clear the entire available world, stop the exiled and find out what happened to Cortana.
Also, for exploring territories and completing tasks, the new part of Halo offers a considerable arsenal of vehicles: from ordinary ATVs to tanks and Banshee fighters.
The world turned out to be not very big when compared with other modern projects. I would also like to see more biomes, apart from forests, edges and captured areas, exiled. But despite the size, the locations still sometimes seem empty. Yes, there is something to do, there are opponents, tasks, but returning to the topic of side quests, there is not enough of the world being filled with something alive. Instead, we received electronic diaries telling about what happened on behalf of already dead people or Spartans. Listening, of course, is interesting, but over time you just start to skip them.
Halo Infinite has a character progression system. After completing the activities, you get special modules that make it possible to pump skills, for example, a mobile shield, an environment scanner, a cat hook and others. During the passage, it was the last one that turned out to be most comfortable. With the help of a hook, you can not only quickly climb to hard-to-reach points or get out of the battle, but also pull yourself up to them and finish off with your fist. They can also pick up weapons from the floor when you run out of ammo, or even grab a barrel and then throw them at enemies.
But what about the graphics and soundtrack? Speaking of the graphics, nothing breakthrough and technological has happened here – the game looks pretty and nothing more. That is, playing in 2021 is comfortable, but a little more was expected from the flagship for the next generation consoles. But the sounds of the environment and music are on top. Orchestral motives during the passage of the main missions, the seizure of territories and battles in general, really help to feel the atmosphere of everything that happens. The constant shouting of the little nasty Unggois also keeps you busy.
The overall impression of the passage remained very positive. We got a kind of open-world sandbox, where we ourselves decide where to go, which activities to close and how to achieve our goals. However, during the main story missions, we are still sent to the corridor, where we need to destroy everything around, clearing the way to the boss. When it comes to bossfights, they can be as ordinary, boring and easy, or really addictive and require more attention to detail.
Halo Infinite multiplayer has become almost one of the biggest discoveries this year, and now we’ll figure out why. Perhaps we should start with the most obvious – the distribution model. Probably everyone already knows that the multiplayer of the new Halo part is absolutely free, and monetization is carried out only through the battle pass and cosmetic items. You might be thinking, “What’s so amazing about that? This is how every first f2p project works, ”and you’ll be right. However, do not forget that Halo is a huge franchise that is released on a paid basis and consists of a storyline and multiplayer parts. Why 343 Industries partnered with Microsoft to make this decision is anyone’s guess, but it won over many players who were not previously familiar with the series.
Halo Infinite offers a completely classic pool of modes: standard team deathmatch, capture the flag, conquering points, wearing a ball in the form of a skull, and more. The battles unfold in arenas in 4 by 4 format and large-scale 12 by 12 locations. On large maps, even vehicles are available to players and these battles reminded the good old Unreal Tournament, but on a slightly smaller scale.
Some controversy was caused by the local TTK and it is really very high here. However, do not forget that we are playing for powerful and armored Spartans, who, by lore, fell into worse troubles. From the point of view of the game itself, Halo Infinite turns out to be very logical: your character has armor and health. When you “shave off” the armor, then there is absolutely no difference you shoot in the head or even in the heel of the enemy, but when you inflict HP damage – you only need one bullet in the head to kill the enemy. Therefore, such a TTK makes it possible to answer those who crept up from the back or are trying to camp while sitting in a corner (which will never work out here).
Pleasing is the abundance of various weapons scattered throughout the map. Here you can play with conventional firearms, blasters, laser guns, rocket launchers, hammers, energy swords, a needle thrower and other crazy (in a good way) devs. Whichever mode you enter, you will always see fireworks from a variety of shells.
The multiplayer part of Halo Infinite is really good. At first, the high TTK is a little embarrassing, but later you understand exactly how you can quickly break the armor and quickly kill the enemy. There are more than enough modes and maps to start the game, so the shots will not make you bored. I do not recommend passing by the Halo Infinite multiplayer if you have long wanted to play a good arena shooter, with a sort of retro gunplay, while in a new wrapper.
To summarize, in general, Halo Infinite turned out to be a fairly good and smooth game. Yes, the open world is not perfect and this is more like trying out the pen before the next series of the franchise, but if you take all aspects of the plot together, we get a peppy retro shooter that is pleasant to pass in one breath.
Speaking of multiplayer, there is practically no fault with it. 343 Industries and Microsoft made the Halo universe available to all players for free. And it is quite possible that for some, this online shooter could become the main session game.