“Halo Infinite” a Return to Form

Austin Lentz, Contributor

A new era of Halo is upon us. After waiting what felt like an eternity (six years to be exact) “Halo Infinite” is finally here in all of its glory. On December 8, 2021, 343 Industries in collaboration with Xbox Game Studios, released a new chapter in the Halo Series. We had already gotten a taste of the free online multiplayer which had been in its beta form and released to the public on November 15, but we still sat unable to control our favorite covenant killing spartan, Master Chief. 

343 Industries has been on the hot seat for what many would call “lackluster” games releasing “Halo 4 & 5” after taking the reins from Bungie, who had made all the previous “Halo” games in the series. Many of the complaints about “Halo 4 & 5” were that 343 Industries were trying to cater the game towards the “Call of Duty” fanbase in order to try and steal players from their community.

What 343 didn’t understand is that a majority of people who own Xbox consoles have them because of “Halo.” Catering a game towards a different group of people attempting to lure them away from “Call of Duty” instead of addressing issues that diehard fans had with the game is not a recipe for success.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was a bad gameplay video released by Microsoft as a way to show off the game and engine “Halo Infinite” was running on. The backlash against the art style and look of the game was too much for 343 Industries to endure. On August 11, 2020, The official “Halo” Twitter account posted an update on the status of the game, announcing the delay of the game until 2021. The disappointment many felt in the “Halo” community was insurmountable, later that year the “Xbox Series X & S” released without “Halo Infinite” despite the marketing for the game on every package of the console. 

Here we are now, writing this a week after the release of “Halo Infinite.” After playing the “Halo Infinite” campaign extensively, I can confidently say that “Halo” is back. 

The campaign of “Halo Infinite” has the same feel of “Halo’s” from the past most similarly to “Halo 3” in my opinion. The biggest change to the game comes from the introduction of the grappleshot. The grappleshot is an ability that is immediately unlocked from the first mission. Essentially, it allows you to whip around and reach places that would otherwise be impossible in previous games. It also allows you to launch yourself into other enemies if you grapple onto them. The only way I can explain what it feels like to someone who hasn’t played with the grappleshot and experimented around, is a combination of “Halo” and “Spiderman.” The feeling of whipping around an open world grappling onto tree after tree flying through the air with Master Chief to get to a new destination is something that I did not know I was missing in my life. The grappleshot is by far my favorite of the equipment abilities accesible to Master Chief. The ability to grab items and quickly escape from a dangerous firefight when your shield is down, is a welcomed change. 

Another large change to the game is the overall composition of missions. Unlike previous “Halo” campaigns, “Halo Infinite” is an open world masterpiece that I truly love. Throughout the halo ring there are spread out missions, some being the main quest, and others being side quests. Comparing the concept to other games with an open world it is nothing groundbreaking or brand new, but for “Halo” it is. The game reminds me of the “Far Cry” series, which is an open world game where you complete some similar tasks to “Halo Infinite.” 

The feeling of driving around an open world on a warthog with your UNSC comrades into a battle with the banished is unbelievably fun. The game feels as though it was made to be played this way. Master Chief on a mission to clear out an entire halo ring while liberating outposts and putting an end to the banished, is a dream come true. 

I have not yet finished the main missions, but I cannot wait to hop back in. If you are looking to play “Halo Infinite” (which I strongly recommend) it is a “Microsoft” exclusive, meaning that it is not available on “Playstation.” However it is free if you have “Game Pass Ultimate.” Co-op is not yet available for the campaign, but is expected around March with the release of Season 2 of multiplayer. 

If you are looking to play “Halo Infinite” (which I strongly recommend) it is a “Microsoft” exclusive, meaning that it is not available on “Playstation.” However it is free if you have “Game Pass Ultimate.”

— Austin Lentz

Until then, stay strong spartan.