Halo Infinite Review – The Chief’s gone back to basics
+ Familiar Halo gameplay
+ Love Master Chief and the Weapon's interactions
+ Huge variety of guns and other weapons
+ Varied ammo styles
+ Grappling Hook feature is amazing
+ Open-world design
+ Fun and chaotic multiplayer
- Map traversal needs improvement
- Story is nothing special
- Slow progress in multiplayer without Battle Pass
What is Halo Infinite about?
Halo Infinite is a first-person shooter game developed by 343 Industries and is the sixth mainline title in the Halo series. Infinite sees the return of franchise marquee character Master Chief roughly one year after the events of the previous entry in the series, Halo 5: Guardians. Players once again play as Master Chief as he faces off against one of the toughest and most scary villains he has ever faced.
The game opens on the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) ship, Infinity under attack by the Banished, a mercenary group led by the fearsome Brute, Atriox. Master Chief faces off against Atriox but was ultimately defeated and thrown off the Infinity and into deep space. Master Chief was later found six months later drifting in space by a UNSC pilot and was subsequently revived.
After much insistence from the Chief, both he and the pilot race off to Zeta Halo which was found to have suffered massive destruction from an unknown force. There Master Chief finds the Weapon, an AI that was designed to resemble Cortana in order to capture her. The Weapon informs Master Chief that the mission was successful but failed to explain why she has not deleted herself as per the mission directives.
Master Chief soon finds out that Zeta Halo is now being controlled by the Banished and has awoken an alien called the Harbinger. The Harbinger reveals that she and her people, the Endless, were imprisoned on Zeta Halo by the Forerunners and have chosen to ally herself with the Banished to free the Endless. Master Chief and the Weapon then work together to stop the Harbinger from freeing her people.
Master Chief back to his best
Halo Infinite is pretty much 343 Industries’ attempt at bouncing back from the much-maligned Halo 5: Guardians. To do so, 343 has taken Master Chief and the game back to basics with many elements of the game harkening back to the older Bungie-developed Halo games. As such, what you get is pretty much just Master Chief and his AI taking on hordes and hordes of bad guys (and gals). While some might see this as the franchise taking a step back, others, such as myself, feel that this is the right move and celebrates what makes the Halo so beloved.
Not gonna lie, I was very confused as to when the game first started with the whole opening scene and all. I legitimately stopped playing the game for a second just to do a quick Google search and see if I had missed anything in between Halo Infinite and Halo 5: Guardians. Turns out the mysterious opening was by design to set up Halo Inifinite’s whole story arc.
By far this is the weariest Master Chief has ever been. You can definitely feel that 20 years of in-game history and lore is taking a toll on him and the way he reacts to things in this game really shows. I love his little interactions with the Weapon as well as the Pilot though I do feel that the story overall isn’t as great as I expected it to be. While leaps and bounds better than Halo 5: Guardians, the story can come off a bit convoluted especially to those who aren’t privy to the story of Halo 5 and Halo Wars 2 though I appreciate the fact that the game has a tighter focus on Master Chief and its core characters. The motives behind the Harbinger’s plans to bring back the Endless is a little iffy. Also, call me salty but I am still not happy with how Cortana’s story ended up.
Halo Infinite’s story campaign is by far the franchise’s most ambitious with 343 Industries putting Master Chief in an open-world setting, far different from the linear missions present in the past. This gives Halo Infinite a far more fluid approach to the missions rather than the rigid “Point A to point B” structure of past Halo games.
I for one welcome this style of mission approach as it gives you a lot more to do in the game in between the main missions. In saying that however, I do wish that the waypoint system is made slightly better as the waypoint can be slightly inaccurate especially when you’re looking for things like Spartan Cores or Mjolnir Armor Lockers. Also, the fast travelling system needs to be improved.
Guns, guns and more GUNS!
Combat is excellent in Halo Infinite. Not only does 343 Industries include a huge variety of weapons ranging from melee weapons to ranged weapons to power weapons, but there are also a variety of ammo types that can be used depending on your current combat situation. Each ammo type is strong against certain while being weak against others. Case in point; plasma type ammo is fantastically useful against enemy shields but terrible against heavily armoured foes. I love this varied gameplay as it provides a unique set of challenges in each mission and pushes me to strategise my attack on the fly. I also love the fact that because there are just so many guns lying around, I can just pick another gun whenever I’ve exhausted my current gun and continue the fight.
Enemies are also unique from one another as each enemy type more or else requires a different style to take down. For example, Brutes become increasingly aggressive when their armours have been taken down and Hunters are powerful enemies that require them to be shot at their weak point at the back or just plough them with immense force using power weapons to take them down.
Halo Infinite also features incredibly tough but satisfying boss fights that require you to be constantly on your toes. I remember one particular boss fight that drove me absolutely crazy trying to get through because it involved a strong Brute with a gravity hammer and a very tight space. Took me many tries before I finally managed to win the fight. You’ll face many similar boss fights that can seem quite unforgiving but once you get through it, the satisfaction is immense.
Possibly my favourite element in Halo Infinite that’s not just useful during combat but also traversing the game’s terrain is the Grappling Hook. I had an absolute blast zipping around the map as well as climbing up hills and mountains using the Grappling Hook. I haven’t had that much fun swinging around in a game since Marvel’s Spider-Man. During combat, the Grappling Hook can also yank a Fusion Coil to be thrown at your enemies or used to grapple onto an enemy Ghost and hijack it. Nothing looks more badass than seeing Master Chief zip onto an enemy Ghost, kick the Banished off its seat and gun it down with its own vehicle.
Multiplayer is an absolute blast
The multiplayer mode of Halo Infinite is an absolute blast (literally) to play through. I’m not a huge fan of multiplayer games but I have been playing Halo Infinite’s multiplayer with my brother and cousins quite often ever since it launched last year. Even though I royally suck at it, often coming in last in my team, I kept coming back for more just for the sheer fun and chaos. Combat and gameplay are pretty much the same as the single-player campaign but turned up to eleven.
The Arena modes are definitely where Halo Infinite multiplayer shines to me, the Big Team Battle modes are great too but for me, they are far too chaotic to play even. Arena modes have smaller teams, therefore, allowing for more intense and faster matches. Fiesta mode is a huge standout for me as it pretty much dumps you into a match with random weapons that forces you to think on your feet in order to get an upper hand. The best combo for me is to spawn in a match with a huge Gravity Hammer and beat the ever-living snot out of everyone.
If I have one complaint with Halo Infinite it’s definitely the game’s Battle Pass system. Progression is very slow if you opt to play without purchasing the Battle Pass. Even after you’ve done the weekly and daily challenges the EXP earned is quite low and will take you quite a lot of game time just to progress up a level. 343 Industries has implemented several tweaks that makes progression a lot easier and faster after user complaints but it still feels like a slog. I don’t necessarily mind this as I usually play just for the fun of it and am not too worried about progression but if you are you might want to take note of this.
Halo Infinite Verdict
Halo Infinite features great combat with a wealth of weapons as well as satisfying gameplay with enemies that deliver worthy challenges to constantly keep you on your toes. The story is a little lacking in some parts and I didn’t really care for the Harbinger and her plans. The change to an open-world setting is welcome but even so, traversing the map can be a bit of a chore and the waypoint and fast travelling systems need some fine-tuning. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode is insanely fun with many exciting modes thrown in but the Battle Pass system needs some changing for the better.
All-in-all, Halo Infinite is definitely the best Halo game 343 Industries has put out and for me, is up there as one of the best Halo games period. It doesn’t do much to change the tried and true Halo formula done so well by Bungie with the earlier games. Instead, 343 took what worked before and put it back in the forefront, sprinkling in some improvements here and there thus making Halo Infinite one of the best games I’ve played this year. And with that, I award Halo Infinite our Silver Pokdeward.
Thank you 343 Industries for providing us with a review code for this game.