Lennon McGuirk examines the return of Master Chief
Halo Infinite was released fully on the 8th of December 2021 with an open world campaign building on the free to play, multiplayer beta that had already been released a few months prior. It marks a return to form for the franchise after the abysmal reaction to the previous entry, Halo 5.
The multiplayer is the quintessential Halo gameplay fans have come to expect from the series. It offers a variety of the usual game modes such as big team battles, oddball, and team squat. On top of this 343 have implemented the divisive battle pass system, starting with Halo: Reach themed cosmetic items and while it was originally a pain to level up in the battle pass, 343 have since fixed XP earning to a more acceptable albeit still slow speed.
Finding a game can sometimes take a while even on peak play hours, however I have had no issues with disconnecting or latency drops while playing. There is a slight problem involving cheaters with the occasional wallhack and the forced cross-play is a bit of a disappointment as a console player, however it is not frequent enough to completely ruin the game.
Guns like the Mangler and Hydra pack a punch and feel very satisfying to use
Halo Infinite offers just enough gun variety to make combat interesting and a training mode to get used to everything. Guns like the Mangler and Hydra pack a punch and feel very satisfying to use. The online maps, however, do not really stand out. I sincerely hope that 343 adds at least a few more maps before the first season of multiplayer is over as at the moment they don't really inspire any clever gameplay which is disappointing. If anything, the current maps simply encourage camping.
The single-player of Halo Infinite is the biggest pivot for the franchise. Taking up an open world, continuing story more so akin to an offline Destiny than traditional Halo campaigns. Another new introduction is the unique boss fights that Master Chief takes on throughout the campaign. Although I didn’t find the boss fights particularly challenging, they are all interesting and all provide nice lore dumps after you dispatch them. The map itself is full of new and different activities such as taking down Banished VIPs, destroying propaganda towers, or saving UNSC marines. I particularly liked the Banished VIPs as they provide a mini-boss level of difficulty and reward you with a new gun for each VIP you beat.
It’s an incredibly satisfying story with amazing performances all around, a particular stand-out being Jen Taylor who voices three characters. With numerous explosive set pieces that we have come to expect from Halo as well as plenty of twists, it is a thoroughly fun playthrough. Infinite acts as the perfect bridge for both new and old players to enjoy the same campaign all while trying to clean up the mess Halo 5’s campaign left behind. It’s for these reasons that I am giving Halo Infinite four Red vs. Blue episodes out of five.