Halo Infinite is a first person shooter, developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released in December 2021.
The might of The Banished has attacked the UNSC. The Infinity has been destroyed, along with many spartans, marines, and many many more. That means even the most notorious Spartan, Sierra 117, also known as…Master Chief, has been defeated. That is until Echo 216 picks him up and brings him to safety! Woohoo!
The game starts off very hectic, and the story just throws you right into the thick of it. You have to scavenge parts off of a Banished ship to be able to get to the Halo ring. Only to eventually be tossed into a nice and tight open world. Though this didn’t compromise the story telling one bit. The story eventually slowed down just a touch, to let it all build, and ended off on such a high note, that through the last couple hours, I got choked up so much because of the writing and dialogue.
Even your side kicks this time around are a ball. You have Echo 216, a pilot who just wants to get the hell off the Halo ring, and out of the war, to his family. He tries to always be the voice of reason to Chief, but he always hits some sort of roadblocks. Then there’s The Weapon, who is basically the new Cortana. Hearing her try to jive with the Chief is just weird. She tries too hard and is always worried about the mission. I mean, so is Master Chief, but there’s no good comical back and forth with them. At least not like there used to be with Cortana. The Weapon also starts to see Master Chief at his lowest, and starts to truly understand his actions. This entry really gives more humanity to Master Chief, making him an even better character.
The one thing that easily annoyed me about the story though, is that 343 Industries side lined the Prometheans and Guardians storyline they were building up, for the sake of The Banished. It also expects you to have played Halo Wars 2 (which you should’ve done anyways) to know who and what the enemies truly are and what their motivations are. They do continue the story of Cortana and her slide into insanity, which is what brings such emotion to the story, but I truly wish they kept up with the previous stuff.
The gameplay on the other hand is superb. The game plays as an open world game, but the game isn’t a sprawling world. It’s composed of small and tight areas to explore, when compared to other open world games, whether it’s by vehicle, or the super fun grappling hook! Sure the world is filled with some things to do and some collectibles to gather, but it all felt like it served a purpose! There’s outposts to capture so you have fast travel points and restock areas. There’s Spartan cores, also known as upgrade points to gather. Cosmetics for multiplayer to find and obtain, and teams of Marines to save, that give you Valor points, which unlock different things at the outposts. Like new weapons, or vehicles to drive! You even have enemy captains you can kill to get their weapon variants, and you want these variants. I surprisingly found myself using most of the arsenal that the game provided me. Especially when I got the better variants! Every activity just felt like it served a purpose, as opposed to just making the game feel bloated.
Even the dialogue from the enemy grunts is fantastic. When they run around, or kill you, they usually have a silly quip that would make me chuckle. The brutes on the other hand were too serious for anything funny. Even when you kill them they usually let out a quick line or a silly scream. The gunplay feels even better than before. Whether you want to Aim Down Sight with your guns, or stick to the traditional hip firing mechanic, the choice is yours. I mostly stuck to the latter because it’s just how Halo works in all honesty.
When it comes to getting new abilities though, this is where I felt like my combat actions were stifled. As you progress, you unlock new skills or abilities, which as I said, you use Spartan Cores to upgrade. But my issue is that you can only have one active at a time, and it was mapped to the right bumper (R1 for you PlayStation folk) and there was no easy way to switch them. So I had to take my thumb off the sticks, hit the d-pad, and try to remember what ability was mapped to what button. But I had to first hit the right direction to pull up the selection wheel, which doesn’t pause the game. So I just stuck to using the grappling hook 24/7. At least I could zoom to enemies fast and melee them to death if I needed to. The grenades worked the same way. Hit the button to bring up the selections, hit the next button to actually get the one you want. So I ended up not caring what I currently had selected and would just toss them around like crazy. I just wish it was easier to access these things, or that the game would at least pause while you tried to select what you wanted for the situation.
- Tight Open World
- All Activities Feel Rewarding
- Exciting Story
- Bad Default Skills Mapping
- Sidelining Old Story
The campaign for Halo Infinite was a thrill ride. Between the right open world with rewarding content, and an emotional story, there’s so much here’s to enjoy. Never mind the entire multiplayer, but I didn’t play enough to have much of an opinion on it. I just wish they didn’t side-line the Promethean and Guardian storyline, but it’s still amazing with what they gave us. Go play it!
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