There is a mighty weight of expectations surrounding Halo Infinite, following two less positively received main entries and six-year wait since Halo 5's release. Thankfully, Halo Infinite’s free multiplayer relieved much of the concern when it dropped days before the game's official launch. It plays fantastically on PC, a weighty mix of classic and modern Halo that brings the past games' satisfying matchmaking experiences into the present.
The single player campaign that comes with the $59.99 PC game has its issues, but stands as a successful and robust reimagining of what Halo should look like in 2021. The writing is mostly strong, the story is compelling, and the cutscenes look great. A new open-world map design with optional map markers and collectibles, as well as ability upgrades including the brilliant addition of a grappling hook, breathes fresh life into a traditionally linear experience. Some map elements aren't new to video games by any stretch, but they're new to Halo, and work well. Halo Infinite is the franchise’s big chance to put itself back at gaming's forefront, and between the campaign and gripping multiplayer action, it's safe to say that Halo is back.Our Experts Have Tested 62 Products in the PC Games Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (Read our editorial mission.)
Despite the many years of buildup, Halo Infinite's campaign format remained a mystery, until, well, I launched the game and began playing. There were open-world expectations, but that can mean a lot of things in modern games. The reality is that Halo Infinite lands somewhere between a true open-world map and traditional Halo campaigns, and the result is largely successful.
First, the story. The game begins in media res, chaining off Halo 5's conclusion. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say up front that past titles' events significantly inform Halo Infinite's narrative. New players, or people who have forgotten past story beats, may be a little lost. This game’s events aren’t hard to follow in and of themselves, but the significance of Halo rings, Cortana, and the different factions can be confusing, and are frequently referenced.
The way the story is told—covering past events and the time jump after Halo 5's ending as character moments or reveals, rather than exposition dumps—helps alleviate this to a degree. You gain more clarity as you play, and a lot of questions are answered the further you go with a type of flashback or dialogue. Details about the current status of the factions and characters are provided through smaller comments (and audio logs you can find) rather than explicitly explained. It’s a more mature, grown-up method of storytelling for Halo, even if some of it is still relatively cheesy talk about saving the galaxy from bombastic villains.
That said, the narrative leans heavily on the series’ lore—Halo’s story has always been more complex and weirder than you’d expect it to be from the outside. Some fans are deeply invested in Halo’s lore courtesy of the series' games, books, and spin-offs (like Halo Wars), but I imagine that it will not always be clear what is new information to this game, who everyone is, or what event they’re referring to. It’s been a long time, and there are a lot of names thrown around. The story could use more exposition.
The game’s main villain, a hulking, shouting Brute named Escharum (who you probably saw monologuing in the game’s trailers) is a mostly one-note character, but he’s a fine enough big bad with some depth. Fortunately, there’s more going on than just fighting his Banished faction, as Chief uncovers the secrets of a new Halo ring, and deals with his own personal guilt, trust, and failures. There’s enough mystery to keep you invested in the narrative, and the cutscenes (particularly character models and lighting) are wonderful.
The dialogue between Chief and his new AI companion is the story's core, and the writing on display is one of the game's better aspects. It’s often humorous, but there's a particularly somber stretch that made me genuinely feel bad when her feelings were hurt. Her expressive facial animations help sell the moments, and only occasionally veer into the uncanny valley. The character is new and comes off as very innocent, which is a nice contrast to the other characters. The AI companion also provides a reason for Chief to explain things to her (and you).
Halo Infinite’s soundtrack also deserves praise, providing a mix of atmospheric exploration music, thrilling combat tracks, and songs and compositions that exist somewhere in between. It all sounds very Halo, particularly the vocal- and percussion-heavy tracks. The score isn’t trying as hard to be edgy as some music in the previous titles. I also mentioned the classic theme, deployed perfectly and sparingly in a few key moments to really get the blood pumping. There are great, new tracks too, composed by a trio of composers with a varied (and indie game heavy) background.
As a story, Infinite is definitely “more Halo,” and all that entails: Space drama, soaring music (I dare you not to get chills the first time the theme kicks in), and a little dialogue cheese. Still, it’s far more compelling than Halo 4 or 5. A lot of it sounds melodramatic, but that's also par for the Halo course. It's still a lot of fun, and feels more mature when needed. There are clear dramatic and emotional stakes (mostly earned, some moments less so), and fighting back from a place of defeat at the start of the game is satisfying.
The Halo Infinite campaign goes back to the roots, both in style and the fact that it takes place on a Halo ring. Is this a type of fan service to get players back onside after two disappointing campaigns? Possibly, though it is one that works, and feels closer to what people love about the earlier titles. That said, Infinite features significant new turns.
Unlike past titles, Halo Infinite isn’t just a sequence of story missions with cutscenes in between. The story missions are linear as in the other Halo games, often set in an interior location. You’re in the mission until you’ve completed your objective, and the scripted events finish. That said, you start a mission by actively navigating to it on the open-world map, a key difference from a chain of missions with a start and end. You can’t talk about the campaign beyond the story, though, without discussing this much-speculated-about map.
The game takes place on a small (relative to the full ringworld) slice of Installation 07, or Zeta Halo, one of the titular Forerunner constructs that helped the original game make its name. Once you’re out of the prologue area, the full explorable 3D map is revealed, which is of course new for a mainline Halo title.
Initially, the map may not look particularly large, and indeed it isn’t as massive as some open-world RPGs. I expected that another segment would be later revealed, but the region you’re first shown is the full area. Once you get a gauge for how long it takes to travel distances, the number of activities packed in each segment, and the fact that it’s punctuated by lengthy, instanced campaign missions (which are often interior or underground), you'll realize that the map is large enough.
So, what do you do on this larger map? More of everything. The map is your portal between campaign missions, but it's also fully explorable, with plenty to do. The most “primary” objective is capturing forward operating bases, or FOBs, which are scattered through the region and sort of control the area. To capture one, you fight off a modestly sized Banished groups and let your AI companion hack the terminal on the main platform. Once captured, marines show up, and Master Chief can order new weapons or call in a vehicle drop.
More and better gear is unlocked as you gain Valor for completing missions; this happens pretty passively, and you don’t have to “spend” it, it’s just a way of gating the better gear until later in the game so you feel like you’ve earned something. Capturing your first FOB and being able to order up a sniper rifle would feel a touch unearned, I think, so I like the concept mechanically (even if narratively, they really should be giving Chief their best weapons ASAP!). Think of it as improving the UNSC’s grip on the ring, able to offer you more support with a greater foothold.
These help you feel like you’re gearing back up to take on the next area, as their name implies, and the vehicles get you there faster. The next campaign mission is marked in yellow, but (unless restricted at that time by story requirements), you can wait to complete it and go explore the area. Eventually, completing a story mission means you hop into a Pelican and fly off to another region section where you’ll be stuck for a bit to advance the plot. Once you clear another FOB, though, fast travel comes back online, and you can jump back to another FOB to go after more map markers.
In addition to the FOBs, there are several other types of activities available on the ring, from collecting item to battling enemies to upgrading gear. These include Spartan Cores that you use to upgrade Master Chief’s abilities. You start with the Grappleshot (which has its own section below, because it rules), but the rest of the abilities themselves are unlocked during story missions. The Spartan cores can be spent on making any ability better—shortening cooldown, adding damage or another effect, giving an extra use of the ability, and more. You can also use them to improve your base shield capacity, ticking it up as you play to last longer in fights.
These RPG-like upgrade trees are fairly simple by modern standards, but effective, and all Halo really needs. This is a microcosm of how the campaign, overall, isn’t transformative or groundbreaking compared to modern titles, but still a smart and natural improvement on what past Halo campaigns have been.
Other map markers include intel drops in the form of audio logs from UNSC soldiers and the Banished. They expand the lore, and give you additional details about certain characters. I largely found these interesting, though as with most games I sometimes needed to stand there waiting for the audio to complete so I didn’t cut it off with some new in-game dialogue (you can replay the logs in your menu in any case).
These logs emit a beep to help you find them, and are usually marked on your map once you are in control of an area. The precise locations aren't always obvious, though. There were a few times I scoured in an area to uncover them, which was fine by me as it added to the feeling of exploration.
There are also larger keeps to assault, with walls and many more enemies than a FOB. These are fun to siege, much like bases in the other open-world games. You may be inclined to stealth your way through, as in other titles, but there’s no such option here—it’s Halo, and you’re meant to fight. Maybe one day, Spartan abilities will evolve to include a full stealth kit (the best you have right now is that the maximum Thrust upgrade grants you active camo for a few seconds after use).
There are also assassination target map markers. Your inventory includes dossiers on these particularly dangerous Banished soldiers, elite versions of the different alien species who have an especially violent or impressive service record. They are surrounded by other enemies, and have names and health markers, which is also new for Halo and very RPG-like (it's something you'll also encounter with the campaign's bosses). It’s fun to take them out knowing their backstories, and they reward your with a unique weapon. These are really just better versions of existing weapons with a custom look, but since you can then order them again later at a FOB, it’s a neat inclusion.
For the most part, the areas in between map markers or complexes aren’t too packed with activity, but you’ll usually run into a Banished patrol, or have to clear an area to fight the VIP target. The world isn’t exploration-heavy like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but more of an Ubisoft game format. There's a big open map, and you must clear all the markers. There aren’t nearly as many as Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed, though, and I mostly think that’s for the better. There’s enough intel and upgrades to gather that the missions feel good.
On the whole, this open-world map delivered on what it felt like to first land on the Halo ring in Combat Evolved, or the beaches of The Silent Cartographer. The reality was that those areas were limited and fairly linear, but Halo Infinite makes them a reality. Somehow, this campaign structure evokes the feeling of the original game, while also feeling wholly new and inventive for the series. It's easily developer 343 Industries' best work yet.
With the multiplayer receiving an early release, and test flights available before that, it’s not much of a review-day reveal to say that the game feels great to play. It’s still vitally important nonetheless, as Halo 4 and (to a lesser degree) 5 missed the mark on properly feeling like a Halo game. This was one of the biggest worries moving into Halo Infinite: In addition to a good campaign, can 343 Industries deliver the great game feel of Bungie’s Halo titles?
Halo Infinite handles like a mix between the original titles and Halo 5, faster than the former, but slower and weightier than the latter. You still jump high, punch hard, and have an array of satisfying and diverse weapons at your disposal. Halo’s sandbox—the developer name for the interaction of mechanics, weapons, and environment in a game—has always been its biggest hero feature, forcing you to use everything at your disposal to take out enemies designed to counter different parts of your tool set. Halo Infinite’s larger map is merely a way to enjoy this combat for a variety of reasons, in more locations.
This dancing rock-paper-scissors element is at its best in Halo Infinite. Encounters can be tough and thrilling on higher difficulties; in fact, some of the Heroic-level base clears and scripted encounters forced me to hot swap grapple and thrust to stay alive, particularly against Hunter enemies. The Battle Rifle is still my weapon of choice, but when you’re out of ammo, you simply pick up a gun from the floor and keep shooting. 343 placed ammo refill stations for the different ammo types throughout the world, so it feels rewarding to find one and keep your favorite weapon running.
The Grappleshot deserves its own segment here, the best single addition to the game. If you've already jumped into multiplayer, you know that it’s great fun to zip around the map, yank weapons to you, and hook onto enemies, but it’s perhaps even better in the campaign.
The best compliment I can give is that it instantly feels like it’s always been part of Master Chief’s kit, a natural fit for fighting and for the newfound exploration. Crucially, it has unlimited uses (unlike the multiplayer pickup version), a very freeing experience, and an upgrade makes it cool down even faster. There are times when you find yourself without a vehicle on your way to a destination, and zipping up a hill or through the trees is much more entertaining than hoofing it. In combat, you can knock back a Jackal’s shield, or use Grappleshot upgrades to shock or slam down on enemies. It’s also a great survival tool in the heat of combat, along with thrust, but is short of feeling like a cheap, get out of jail free card. When you’re against the odds, it just contributes to the Spartan power fantasy.
The game feel is perhaps even more important to the multiplayer, which we’ll get to below, but make no mistake: it makes the campaign a blast. If the combat loop wasn’t fun at its core, the new content wouldn't matter. It recaptures the Halo magic (as does the still-funny Grunt combat dialogue) while feeling like faster, more modern shooters. Picking off Grunts, fighting more difficult Elite enemies, and facing off against powerful hunters is as good as ever.
On the whole, Zeta Halo looks great, with some remarkable vistas. Up close, enemy models are certainly a notch above what we saw in the game’s infamous first showcase, and the environment largely look good. The past two titles, again, swung away from the series’ classic look to more busy and futuristic designs to mixed success.
The minimum requirements are a 64-bit processor and operating system, at least an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or Intel i5-4440 processor, 8 GB RAM, an AMD RX 570 or Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU, DirectX 12, and 50GB of available space. The recommended specs are notably higher; your PC needs at least an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or Intel i7-9700K CPU, 16GB RAM, and a Radeon RX 5700 XT or Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU.
I played on a high-end gaming desktop (Core i7 CPU, RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB memory) at 1440p and 165Hz, and the game felt quite smooth most of the time. The frame rate seemed to drop a bit occasionally in some cutscenes, but on the whole I experienced few to no bugs or interrupting technical problems, which is somewhat surprising for an open world game. I do expect it wouldn’t run quite as well on a lower-spec PC, but tuning down the visual settings should help.
I played on Steam, and my PC consistently pushed Halo Infinite's polygons at more than 100 frames per second (with the cutscenes dipping to roughly 80fps). Halo Infinite easily topped 130fps in interior locations, and hovered around 100fps in outdoor environments. Admittedly, I have a higher-end rig, so your mileage may vary.
The only real graphics-related complaint involves funky terrain issues at distance; the edges sometimes get fuzzy, as though the game is turning off anti-aliasing (I assume to keep performance running smoothly). This ruins the beautiful vistas. You can often see far in different directions at once, so I imagine some tuning was done to keep the frame rate up. I noticed this fuzz kick in closer up while using a vehicle, too, probably to maintain the frame rate while moving at speed. Otherwise, the frame rated remained high and the game looked sharp, and I doubt they would stay as high without this down-rezzing look.
I also think the big, metallic formations that make up the edges of the broken Halo ring, and the sides of some mountains, are there to reduce the need for well-textured terrain at a distance. These often drop off into space, and would look awkward if they were actual terrain.
I enjoyed my time with the campaign quite a bit overall, always interested in seeing where the plot was going next, and enjoying the moment-to-moment combat. As a longtime player, I acknowledge that I can’t un-bake my love for the franchise from my experience here. The title theme will always hit a little harder, the emotional stakes will mean more, and the at-times campy enemy design and dialogue is more charming than it may be for newcomers. The previous games are out there to catch up on if you need to, but it’s hard to replace the significance of this franchise for people who experienced it revolutionizing first-person shooter campaigns and console play since Halo: Combat Evolved on the original Xbox.
Even so, I took this into account when discussing the lore and plot complications, and remained objective when asking myself how fun it was to play. I genuinely enjoyed my time with Halo Infinite, and felt compelled to take down the enemy bases and targets, and go after collectibles. If there was a lot more of the open-world gameplay, I think the game would start to feel bloated and repetitive; after all, you are mostly engaging in combat against similar enemies. Doing too much starts to move the ratio away from feeling fun.
As mentioned, punctuating the map with closed-off story missions breaks up the open-world gameplay, and keeps the pace moving. Just when you tire of one, you can head off and do the other, something that many other franchises have used to their benefit.
Again, none of these elements are revolutionary on their own, and I somewhat understand if you’re let down after imaginations ran wild about the possibilities during this game’s long development cycle, even if 343 never quite made such claims. Still, each individual element adds up to something more than the sum of its parts: There’s meat on the campaign’s bones, and a reason for the open-world map to exist.
Unfortunately, there is no cooperative campaign option at launch. This feature is coming, and many people may wait for it, because experiencing the story with a friend is the quintessential Halo campaign experience for them. A series staple like that should have been ready after all this time, so it’s a fair criticism. I can also understand the much greater level of complication involved in having multiple players on this open-world map. Can they spread apart? How far? Are you pulled out of activities to join a story mission? Can the game handle multiple AI fights in different places? Do the enemies grow greatly in number for more players? All of this is a large technical and mechanical burden that needs solving.
Between the story missions and exploring a good chunk of the open world, the campaign took me about 20 hours to complete on Heroic difficulty. You could likely finish the story itself at an easier difficulty in 15-20 hours. That said, given that I wanted to finish the campaign to write this review in the limited review window, I did not 100 percent clear the map and optional content.
I could easily see the game taking 35+ hours to 100 percent clear, particularly if you play on a harder difficulty and have to re-try battles repeatedly. I left some bases uncaptured and collectibles unexplored to make sure I finished the story, so there are quite a few hours of play available. I could see Legendary difficulty providing a real battle that takes even longer, as fans have come to expect.
Crucially, the campaign conclusion more than teases more story on the way in the future. There’s no word on when or what that will be, but the events put other events into action, and given 343’s statements about Halo Infinite’s longevity as a game and platform, I would expect more story content to come to this title, rather than a next full retail release. Besides, the open map design and infrastructure is now there to add onto, expand, and serve as a basis to pad out more story missions in the future.
The campaign, of course, is $60 on its own—the multiplayer is part of the overall Halo Infinite offering and review here as one package, but it is technically free. Is the standalone campaign worth the price? Many gamers only see value in dollars to play time; I don’t think that’s an especially fair measure of the medium. I’d go to bat for the quality of the production values, writing, voice acting, soundtrack, and pure fun on display here.
It’s not a 100-hour RPG like many full-price titles, but in the realm of shooter campaigns, it offers at least as much as any, and is longer than a fair few. The reality of today’s market is also that the full campaign will be available with Xbox GamePass subscriptions for PC and console for no additional cost. This is realistically the way that many, if not most, will play this game, and it remains one of the best values in gaming.
I clearly have plenty of thoughts regarding Halo campaigns, but my passion really lies with Halo’s multiplayer. I’ll avoid going too deep on the importance of Halo multiplayer: Everyone who was around from Halo: Combat Evolved through Halo 3 can talk about how impactful this series was on the industry, and recount fond memories of local multiplayer and endless matchmaking rounds. I was 10 years old when Halo: Combat Evolved released, and in prime middle and high school gaming age for the golden age of Halo 2 and 3 matchmaking, so trust me when I say: I get it.
All of what I said earlier about Halo Infinite’s game feel applies to the multiplayer, too. Halo Infinite feels weighty, punchy, fast, and very Halo-like. It’s only after years away that you remember how distinct the Halo gameplay is; gamers who play a lot of other titles and didn’t play a lot of Halo don’t necessarily translate well without practice. The longer time to kill, BR battles (and de-scoping when shot), melees, etc., are all learned and absorbed skills, an institutional Halo knowledge, of sorts. Given the success Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has had since launching early, it seems to be resonating again with modern audiences regardless.
In terms of multiplayer action, the gameplay here is in even starker contrast to recent titles. Halo Reach began the divergence from classic Halo, but it was the last two main entries that started the series on a downward trend of popularity. Halo 4 was, bluntly, the worst-playing and least Halo-like title of the batch.
Halo 5, while its campaign was a let down, actually gets a bad reputation. The core gameplay was mechanically fast, sound, and fun, even if it plays less like classic Halo. I think 343 was onto something in that direction, and in many ways it feels even more modern than Halo Infinite. It wasn’t perfect, perhaps before its time, and the fans definitely wanted something that felt more like Halo. That said, I think the game would be a hit if it launched now. I am glad to see Thrust (a side-dash built into your kit in H5) at least lives on as pick-up equipment in Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite takes the modern sprint and jump-slide features and dials them back, moving up the pace from classic Halo without letting you cross the map or escape being killed at breakneck speed. You can still get caught out sprinting, so it’s a risk-vs.-reward situation, and the game's packs is supplemented by placing Thrust, Grappleshot, and non-movement equipment on the map as pickups.
A well-timed thrust can help you win a 1v1 fight, while crossing the map with the grapple quickly can change the course of the game. You can even pull an Overshield or Active Camouflage powerup, flag, or weapon to you from a distance with the grapple, which is a great design decision that can secure your team a win.
Nice smaller touches range from gameplay to production: The powerups are not activated on pickup, but can instead be held and deployed at a key moment when your team needs to push. You run the risk of getting killed and dropping it for an opponent to pick up, however. Subtle, suspenseful background music starts to build when one team is closing in on victory, and the reworked Oddball rules with rounds are a plus. The announcer for medals and in-game events are as good as ever.
The 4v4 maps are largely just okay, with one or two better maps (Streets, Recharge) balanced out by a couple bad maps (Behemoth, Bazaar), and some decent ones in between. Big Team Battle is not my cup of tea, but more casual players love these larger-team modes, so I’m glad they’re there. BTB really needs to spawn you with a ranged weapon (Battle Rifle, Commando) for such large maps, though. It is painful to race your teammates to the one or two scoped weapon pickups or otherwise have to fight with an automatic assault rifle over a long distance.
When talking multiplayer, I’m especially invested in ranked and competitive playlists, and closely follow the official HCS pro league. I enjoy a casual playlist every now and then, especially with friends, but my true grinding hours come from the old MLG Halo 3 playlist, Halo 5’s ranked playlist, and now the ranked Halo Infinite playlist. I hit the top rank tier, Onyx, prior to playing the campaign, if anyone wants my credentials.
This is to say that I think Halo Infinite is a great fit for real the hardcore crowd. The first few HCS tournaments have been a hit, and it’s an easily digestible and entertaining game to watch. In matchmaking, spawning in with Battle Rifles (BRs) and no radar is king for a competitive experience, and the BR feels great in this game, like a mix of the H2 and H3 BR. It’s the-go hardcore player weapon for a reason. The sniper, on the other hand, is less easy to use, but new weapons like the Shock Rifle are also powerful.
There is crossplay, and for PC players you can use either mouse and keyboard or controller. In the input debate, controller is still king in Halo Infinite, given the series’ console roots. M&K is viable in this game (better ranged/sniping, more fluid movement), but the aim assist on controller makes it a much better input for 1v1 BR fights, which take up the majority of the match.
I could go on with details I like, and offer commentary on the game's balance (Behemoth should be nowhere near ranked, debate over grenade spam from spawning with two in this game, the Mangler is too good). The bottom line is that the core multiplayer gameplay is a blast, and makes you plant to play “just one more game.” It’s one of the best-playing shooters out now, and crucially, feels like Halo.
On the down side, Halo Infinite has so-so matchmaking infrastructure, and some outright poor elements. The ranked playlist is good, but the rest are bare-bones. One “quickplay” playlist sorts all gameplay types into one list, with no way to choose the game mode you want to play. There are a limited number of options, and (for now) no irregular, fun classics like SWAT, Doubles, or Shotty Snipers, or even plain Slayer playlist. Fiesta mode (spawn in with any random combination of weapons) has come and gone as a limited time event, at least.
On top of that, the paid Battle Pass (which exists as a method of monetization since the multiplayer is free), is frustrating and not very generous. In other major free games (Apex Legends, Fortnite), a Battle Pass (BP) is sold, most often for $10 as it is here, to offer a track of rewards as you level up and play. These are usually cosmetic items like character and weapon skins, but in Halo Infinite's case, they include numerous armor pieces, color palettes, and visor tints for your customizable multiplayer avatar. On paper, that should work.
Despite having time to absorb how other top games are running their BP, 343 implemented an ill-conceived system that also comes down to a lot of randomness. The BP awards progress on the track via challenges, granting you XP when you complete a challenge—when you gain enough XP to level up the BP, you are granted a new cosmetic reward.
For example, it may tell you to win three Oddball games, or get 10 kills with a certain weapon, or something even more obscure. Since there is only one quickplay playlist outside of ranked (which is no place to be doing most challenges if you’re trying to rank up), you must hope that you're given an Oddball game, which may not happen for many games in a row since it’s random. Then you must win those Oddball games.
Although you can swap challenges, being forced to play a certain way is far from ideal. You do all that to unlock an armor piece for your customizable Spartan, but certain armor is tied to certain armor sets (or “cores”) that aren’t compatible with others. Similarly, the HCS pro team skins that are sold for real money only work with one armor core, and you can’t take the team skin color palette and put it on any armor you want.
Other games also reward XP merely for playing matches, but you only get XP from challenges in Halo Infinite. At least, you did when the game launched; 343 has patched in a band-aid based on community feedback, creating challenges that are simply “complete one game” to give you XP for playing.
This is clearly a temporary fix, and the developers have stated that they agree with players' concerns with the BP challenges and reward systems. It’s a bit silly given that the core gameplay is the real draw, but the monetized options aren’t ready for the limelight. Still, they were clearly influenced some of the game design. It’s fair to say if you’re going to offer microtransactions and a Battle Pass, they should be well thought out.
It’s always a developing situation; one section of fans got too heated in their criticism on these topics, and you can read a reply from community manager Brian Jarrard. The team agrees with these issues, and are seeking long term solutions. I mention this only to say that some of the criticisms I’ve described may not be relevant a few months from now, but they are real enough at launch for the developer to comment and commit to addressing them.
This is the flip side to launching a free-to-play, multiplayer component; the monetization and motivation for players to play long term must come from somewhere. As a hardcore player, I’d be playing with or without a Battle Pass, but it’s important to express that my experience is not everyone’s.
Developer 343 Industries nailed the franchise’s iconic feel with Infinite, and successfully brought Halo’s gameplay into 2021. This game is a platform with a ton of room to grow and improve—that’s the nature of live service games in 2021, like it or not. But make no mistake, the campaign and multiplayer are a lot of fun, and the latter is more justified in growing over time as a free-to-play component.
After a down period for one of the gaming industry's biggest franchises, 343 did the unlikely by creating a game that can stand up to Bungie’s original titles. The campaign is a successful evolution of what made the franchise a hit, and multiplayer is a satisfying and competitive addition (despite some UI and infrastructure issues). Halo has finally recaptured our time and attention. We hope it’s here to stay.
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Halo Infinite pushes the franchise forward with a deep, open-world campaign, and includes multiplayer modes that recapture the classic games' satisfying game feel and matchmaking experience.
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