Halo Infinite Flight Editorial
For the past few weeks, 343 Industries has been releasing flights for the upcoming “Halo” game, “Halo: Infinite.” It wasn’t until the weekend of October 1st to the 3rd did the flight become available to everyone that signed up, instead of just being invited through the insider program at random.
Being a massive fan of “Halo” since my earliest days of console gaming, it was with great excitement that I took to the virtual battlefield some 500 years in the future once more to get a taste of what the final product will look like.
It was not a disappointment.
Even playing on a “last-gen” console, the demo still ran rather smoothly. Everything was fluid, with no noticeable bugs at the time or game breaking issues.
If there is anything that needs to be addressed immediately in this article, it’s the graphical improvement of the game. Having granted a preview of campaign gameplay in the summer of 2020, one of the main issues fans seemed to have was the graphical quality of the game at the time.
Many complaints circulated around them appearing “plastic-like.” As of the most recent flight, those complaints can be officially put to rest. The game has taken on its own grit and ruggedness. The environments presented, ranging from an old town bazaar to a forest residing on a Halo Ring, all have remarkable beauty to them.
Riding on the back of that is the armor appearance. The design for the armors mostly harkens back to 2010’s “Halo: Reach,” which many fans regard as having the best armor customization and overall look. It’s a fresh take based on the game’s history.
It is also here that I voice my greatest complaint about the customization system: why change the color system?
In all past iterations, “Halo” has had a color palette where players can customize their Spartan’s primary and secondary colors. Now, it takes the form of “armor coatings,” preset color combos that’s very much like “Destiny.” To me, it feels like a step backwards in customization.
In terms of the gameplay mechanics, a lot has actually stuck around from the preceding game, “Halo 5: Guardians.” Truly a controversial title in the “Halo” community, I am personally happy to see mechanics such as climbing, sliding, and above all else the ability to switch vehicle seats without getting out make a return for “Halo: Infinite.”
The player plays as a Spartan, a futuristic super-soldier, so seeing the movement-based mechanics as well as the addition of things like the grapple hook really help maintain that idea of being just that: an eight to nine feet tall, 1,000-pound alien killing machine.
Additionally, another mechanic to return is the ability for all weapons to zoom in while firing. A relatively new game function, past “Halo” titles only had zoom for precision weapons, such as marksman rifles, snipers, and the magnum.
As of “Halo: 5 Guardians,” every weapon had a zoom. That being said, it was all just for the sake of zooming in and aiming better. The function didn’t actually improve accuracy, like in “Call of Duty.”
Diving into the gameplay, I was able to jump into the “Big Team Battle” playlist for a solid five or six games. It felt great. Putting the new deployable equipment as well as weapons new and old to the test against other players was a great experience.
As mentioned, the weapons present in this tech test were fun to play around with. The Skewer, a large shoulder mounted gun that fires a large metal spike, was a blast using it to pick off enemy vehicles and the occasional singular Spartan. It was a little particular about aiming when firing at a player, so accuracy matters with this thing.
The newest “loadout” weapon being introduced is the Commando. Being a fan of the DMR since its debut in “Halo: Reach,” I was a little upset to see it may not be returning for this adventure. However, the Commando, while a bit unwieldy at first, becomes a powerhouse the more a player gets used to it.
In short, it’s the “Halo” equivalent to a SCAR assault rifle – a 20-round magazine that packs a punch and can be both paced to maintain accuracy or just unloaded with reckless abandon by holding down the trigger. Truly, it was a blast to use.
The “Big Team Battle” mode itself is great. From the experience I got, and from the general feedback I’ve seen, it’s certainly the best the mode has ever been. It’s as classic as it is fresh, which is important.
I was personally a fan of the PvPvE “Warzone” mode from “Halo 5: Guardians,” but it seems that mode lived its life in its one game and now it's time for it to retire. That being said, “Big Team Battle'' has always been reliable, and its newest iteration is as fun as a player could ask for.
What makes it unique to its past incarnations, aside from new gameplay mechanics, is how it works with weapons and vehicles.
Guns, including loadout-type weapons, seem to not always spawn in the same spot match-to-match. While the assault rifle and the sidekick, the new pistol to the game, are the players spawning weapons, one may find that their favorite battle rifle is not always in the same spot the next game they load into.
As for vehicles, Warthogs and Mongooses are available at base, but throughout the match a Pelican dropship will swoop in and drop off some new toys like Ghosts, Banshees, Wasps and even a Scorpion tank.
Overall, the flight gives a very promising look at how the final product of “Halo: Infinite” is going to look. It’s a good mix between new and old, ideas from the past being returned and revised as well as some great graphics – the production of which seemed to not have a detriment on the gameplay at all.
“Halo: Infinite” launches on November 15, 2021 on PC and Xbox platforms.
Colton Pleslusky is a fourth-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Fourth-Year / Telecommunications