With the release and my completion of Halo Infinite, my journey through the mainline games are finally complete. I still need to work my way through Halo Wars but that’s for another day. This journey has had its up and downs but sadly, for me, its been mostly downs. Let’s find out where Halo Infinite landed.
Reviewed on Xcloud
Halo Infinite was a weird ride for me. I started so high on this game, like 10/10 high and by the time I rolled credits I was very low. To say I was disappointed may be an understatement. Let’s start from the beginning.
The multiplayer had a surprise release and came out before the single player campaign. It’s been a while since I played a Halo multiplayer and while historically I never enjoyed it I was eager to play some matches. Surprisingly after a handful of matches, I felt I was going to really like this iteration.
It seemed to go back to its roots of what made Halo great all those years ago. Gone were the load outs and back were finding weapons in the map. It was refreshing to feel like I was on an even playing field with everyone in the arena.
I played a decent amount of matches and while I never got better at the game I did continue to have fun. After a few hours I just didn’t have the drive to play it but honestly, that was a me problem, not a Halo problem. This is a very well made and balanced multiplayer shooter that I hope to get back into at some point.
Once the single player campaign dropped I didn’t even think about playing multiplayer. I just wanted to continue my progress as Master Chief. The game started with an epic intro that got me hyped to keep going. After a very linear opening segment, you are then dropped into an open world.
To me, open world games have two stories. They have the story the game wants to tell you in their scripted missions and then the story that you make yourself with open world shenanigans. Unfortunately, both aspects missed for me.
With such a strong opener I thought this was finally going to be a Halo story I can grasp and understand but just like every other Halo game, I couldn’t follow the story. Bungie first and 343 now, they know how to tell a story that people care about but not to me. I like the worlds that get built but can never actually follow the ongoing narrative.
As for the open world, it’s not empty, but it’s also not packed. You can travel a decent distance without running into anything to do but at the same time your map is littered with different objectives you can take on. Running into mobs of enemies started out fun. I liked trying to get to the next story mission and having to shoot my way there but I quickly realized engaging in these battles was not rewarding. All it did for me was waste my time as I was trying to progress my game.
By the end of the game I had a loose grasp on the story as a whole but now as I sit here writing this I can barely remember major plot points. Nothing stuck with me. I love when a story stays with me for a long time after finishing. That is something Halo just has not been able to do for me yet.
The core shooting mechanics are just as good or even better than they have been before. All the guns still feel great and taking down covenant feels fun.
There was a major change in the core moment to moment gameplay with the inclusion of different gadgets you unlock going through the campaign, most notable is the grapple hook. This was one of the best feeling grappling hooks in modern video games. You can use it to traverse the area, or use it as an offensive ability and grapple to enemies and melee them. This was a welcome change and elevated an already great gameplay feel.
The biggest problem I had with the gameplay in Halo Infinite was the addition of the ammo boxes. What was great about the previous Halo games was when things got crazy you would just pick up whatever gun you can find and start firing away. I would always be running out of ammo forcing me to pick up any weapon which made me use a variety of weapons throughout the campaign. This did not happen during Infinite. There are a lot of ammo boxes scattered throughout the world and the levels. This made you find a couple of guns you are comfortable with and just keep using them. You lost the fear of running out of ammo.
Another welcome addition was the named bosses both in the story and in the open world. Halo has legitimate boss fights now, health bars and all. This did a great job at adding some difficulty and some much needed personality to the game.
The story missions themselves were mostly too long and also uninteresting. Almost every mission seemed to overstay its welcome and had me letting out a sigh of relief when it was over. I never felt excited that a mission kept going and I also never felt a sense of accomplishment when I finished one. All I felt was relief. Relief the mission was over. That’s not a good sign.
Halo Infinite has a great foundation for a multiplayer mode that should be around for years to come. The single player campaign is lacking in almost every aspect leaving me wanting much more from it. With long and uninteresting missions finishing up this game started to feel more like a chore than a game. I’m happy I played through this game but I won't be rushing back to play it again.
Final score 6.5/10
Halo rankings so far:
Halo 5: 9/10
Halo Spartan Assault: 8.5/10
Halo 4: 8/10
Halo Infinite: 6.5/10
Halo 2: 6/10
Halo 3: 5.5/10
Halo CE: 5/10
Halo Reach: 3/10
Halo 3 ODST: 2/10