Halo Infinite Review - A Breath of Fresh Air
Halo Infinite is finally here. Well, the campaign is. After weeks of the multiplayer being available for all players to enjoy, the full game is now available. Following the Master Chief on another adventure on the Zeta Halo and against a brutal threat known as the Banished.
This review definitely could have been done earlier considering that the multiplayer is what most players care about and it has been available for about a month, but I wanted to see what the campaign would be like before ranking the game at all. And it is good to say that it was worth the wait.
Following Halo 5, I did not think the story aspect of the Halo series was going to improve for a while. But Halo Infinite has been a breath of fresh air in this department. Starting off with the narrative (no spoilers of course!). The narrative offers a really entertaining experience on most fields. The main story is the biggest attraction of course, and it is good. It isn’t overly complicated and it has some truly epic moments, and all around it’s just a super fun story to go through. It isn’t a mind-blowing plot, but it does the job and it does it well.
And the characters play a big part in the success of the story. The characters are all quite strong in this entry and are all written well. Big shouts go out to the Master Chief, the Weapon and the new villain Escharum, who all are really great characters in this entry.
An Open Ring
One of the biggest changes to the campaign though is its open world layout. This comes with its upsides, but also a few downsides that need to be mentioned. In previous Halo entries you would be playing through relatively linear level-based missions, in Halo Infinite you will be able to explore the Zeta Halo as much as you want. You can go into main missions whenever you choose or you can explore the world and do some optional objectives. Like taking over an outpost or rescuing a marine.
But this does draw in my first complaint and it is that these optional objectives are quite dull and repetitive. With every optional objective, you will be doing the same thing almost every time and it isn’t that exciting in that regard. Given it isn’t as bad as some open world games in this current day, but it isn’t that great either. The only optional objective that I slightly enjoyed was the hidden bosses that are spread through the world. Though these bosses are essentially normal enemies with larger shields, they do give some really cool rewards in weapon variants to use. I do think these are a great addition, but I will talk about them more under the multiplayer.
The main missions are mostly quite good, the majority of locations are really nice and exciting to explore, while also giving a very familiar feeling to older entries. The only exceptions for me are some of the missions that take you underground and into Forerunner facilities and tunnels, as these again get to feel a bit repetitive as you go on. Though they lack the beauty of the open world above, they really fit the theme and feels that they are designed to, giving them a very lifeless and cold feel.
The Upgrade System
The last point I am going to make for the campaign is the upgrade system. As you explore the world and go through missions you will find Spartan cores that can be used to upgrade different abilities. For example, you can upgrade your grapple to recharge faster or you can upgrade your shield core to make you a bit tankier. And this system works decently well, the upgrades feel worthwhile and have some great usage.
But overall, with the Halo Infinite campaign, I am happy with it. The campaign has a decent story tell and a great open world to explore. It does have a few downsides, with the biggest for me being the repetitive optional objectives. I am willing to look past this on some regards as they are only optional and can lead to some good rewards. Everything else I am content with, the story, the characters, the weapons (I’ll talk about this a bit more under multiplayer), the location and so much more.
I am sure that most of you reading this have already had a good feel for the multiplayer given that it is both free and has been available for a month. Though they have called the multiplayer a beta, it is essentially the complete multiplayer experience. And I think the multiplayer is very enjoyable, but as most of you have already seen it does have its downsides.
The Main Negatives
I am going to get the negatives out of the way first, starting with the poor progression. I am sure we can all agree on this subject, but the battle pass progression is just very slow and bad overall. The only positive that has come out of the progression so far is that attempts are being made to improve it. It was very tedious to rank up beforehand due to the lack of experience that you would get from games, no performance-based experience and lack of challenges. But with more changes being implemented, this problem is becoming less prominent.
And the other main negative is the microtransactions. These are simply awful as you are paying too much for far too little. Given some of the cosmetics may look cool, but it is not worth paying the high price for it. Some gear is locked behind paywalls and that is just a shame to see, and it is made even worse considering how much is being charged.
My third and final complaint is the lack of multiplayer content overall. This isn’t a major complaint; I just feel like there could be more. There are not that many game modes to play right off the bat, but what is included is fun to play. The maps are quite limited as well in this regard. I do find the multiplayer, game modes and maps enjoyable, but I just wish there was more.
Strong on All Fronts
After playing for a good while, I can say that the game modes and maps are all quite nice, though they are limited. Big team battle is a very entertaining game mode to hop into straight away and is an absolute blast. The ranked playlist offers a strong competitive stage for both solo and grouped players. And it all comes together very well to create a strong multiplayer experience. I do not have many complaints here other than that there isn’t a lot in terms of multiplayer content.
Halo Infinite brings quite a bit to the table, and though it may not be brand new, it still feels very fresh and entertaining. I am not a fan of repetitive gameplay loops and I am sure a lot of you aren’t either. And though this game does feel rather reminiscent of its predecessors, it still feels relatively fresh while playing. The multiplayer remains fun throughout the duration that you play and the game modes that are available are very replayable. And it is due to a number of factors like gunplay, new gear and vehicle introductions, new maps and much more.
A Variety of Weapons
The weapons play a massive role in making this game feel truly unique and exciting, and I think the weapons are mostly relatively good and viable. With a few exceptions of course, the pulse carbine is very weak as you can consistently avoid the shots and the ravager feels quite underwhelming in terms of damage. But almost all of the other weapons feel quite good when using them or have a purpose that can be useful in different situations. Like the disruptor, though its damage may be low it can be used to disable vehicles easily.
Weapon variants have returned also and they are really great to have. These are available in both the campaign and multiplayer and have some cool changes to them. Like the Volatile Skewer variant that causes an explosion upon impact rather than just being an ordinary skewer. And these make for some very entertaining moments in terms of gameplay and make you feel more powerful. There a few variants that I feel miss the mark and aren’t that good. Like the ravager rebound that just adds ricochet rounds. But having these variants available are a big plus and helps to liven up the gunplay.
These weapon variants are only available in custom games at the moment for multiplayer, and to use them you’ll need to go into custom games, then into mode editor and select “Arena: Slayer”. Then go into the sandbox options and turn on the weapon racks option, the power weapon pads option and the weapon pick up option. And then start your game up and look for the variants.
And I will quickly mention the vehicles and abilities as well. The vehicles all feel fine, I do not think they are anything special but they do the job. Obviously, you have your classic vehicles like the Warthog, Ghost, Banshee, Scorpion tank and more ready for you to get into. The abilities available are a bit hit and miss. The grapple is a big one for multiplayer, being able to hijack vehicles, traverse terrain quickly and more. Or you have the threat detector that just scans for enemies and doesn’t feel all that useful.
Overall, Halo Infinite is a very entertaining game that I would recommend to any Xbox or PC player. Both the campaign and multiplayer are enjoyable experiences that I feel the vast majority of players will have fun with. Every game has its upsides and downsides and Halo Infinite has been mostly positive for me. Obviously, the progression and microtransactions need sorting out but changes have already started to be implemented.
So, I am going to give Halo Infinite an 8/10. There is not much to complain about with this game as it is very enjoyable all around. And though I would love to give it a higher score than an 8, I think the shortage of game modes and maps does affect the replay ability a slight bit, but the game works very well with what it has. Provided that more content makes its way into the multiplayer, I will be delighted, but I am happy for now. I think the campaign is fine how it is and has a good story that most players will enjoy, while also making it unique compared to previous entries.
And for my conclusion, I think that is all I want to say. If you want to leave your own thoughts, then feel free to drop a comment below.