Halo: Infinite! It’s finally just around the corner.
It seems like it was only yesterday that I was crawling through the tight corridors of the “Pillar of Autumn”, pistol in hand, ready to blast any covenant aliens that got in my way. Now, here we are, 20 years and 7 titles later (9 if you include the Halo wars and even more including Spartan Assault) and we are on the cusp of the biggest release since Halo: Reach.
Reviewing the story so far we are reunited with Master Chief. The game has been labeled a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, however, it is a “Spiritual Reboot” according to 343 Industries. After tracking down his AI companion Cortana, Master Chief is confronted with the fact she has gone rogue and he now has to stop her from enslaving the galaxy.
At the end of Halo 5 we were left with Chief preparing for pursuit and now we are introduced to Master Chief floating in space amongst some wreckage. We are confused for the moment about how he ended up that way, but we will have to wait until December for our answers.
This entry is going to be a turning point for the series, for better or worse. For some fans, any new entry in the series is met with open arms and 343 can do no wrong. For others (such as myself) the misguided decisions of 343 and Microsoft have made my affinity for this series fade. I played over 1000 hours on Halo Reach and similar numbers on Halo 4 but, Halo 5 left me sorely disappointed.
In fact, I stopped playing Halo 5 after one play-through of the campaign and a few multiplayer games. The game felt rushed and the unoriginal level and enemy design resulted in a tedious experience that I found myself rushing through. Enemies that were supposed to be interesting and challenging felt boring, annoying and more like bullet sponges than the advanced tactical aliens they were portrayed to be.
Fans have been quite vocal to 343 Industries about our concerns for the future of this series; and while I can appreciate the fact that it is impossible to please everyone, I hope they’ve listened to the comments and taken suggestions into consideration – Proverbs 12:15 says “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” which I think is quite appropriate here.
That said, Halo Infinite appears to be rising up from the ashes of its predecessor and is looking to be a refreshing entry into the Halo universe. Unfortunately, however, 343 announced there will be no co-op campaign at launch, which I believe is a major step in the wrong direction. Seeing as Halo: Combat Evolved was groundbreaking for this feature, and every subsequent Halo game has had co-op campaigns.
Gameplay from the E3 reveal and subsequent multiplayer flights have shown promising changes in both the flow of multiplayer combat as well as the overall campaign. Previous Halo games have sometimes felt like “Clear an area of enemies, move to the next area, clear that area of enemies,” rinse and repeat. In Halo: Infinite, however, the open-world concept and the increased mobility revealed through jet packs and the grappling hook are spicing things up.
There are some great additions to expect. We will be introduced to a new menacing enemy “The Banished” which debuted originally in Halo Wars 2. As well, the movement looks fluid and smooth, while gunplay seems fun and engaging. The multiplayer maps have been designed with multiple choke points allowing for tactical coordination with teammates and levels look multidimensional with familiar aspects which should please both old and newer Halo fans. Lastly, we will see a wide range of new weapons which should accommodate diverse play styles.
With these changes, Halo Infinite is shaping up to be an incredibly fun game. And I am excited for December 8th 2021. See you on the battlefield!
Joel Johnston; I am a husband and father. I’ve been playing video games for 20+ years. My favourite genres include RPG, FPS, action adventure, and survival games. My online alias is bobajuice and I primarily play on PC.