Halo Infinite Review
Halo for me has always been about the amazing story, the lore, and the co-op. While its always had a multiplayer aspect to it, the story is what sticks with me most. When Halo Infinite was announced, I was unsure if it could live up to the original three titles that I loved. However, I was hopeful.
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Halo Infinite is set some 18 months after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. This time the focal point of the story is on Master Chief and his journey to find out what happened to Cortana. While searching for her, you will also need to stop the Banished, on Zeta Halo. When I first started the campaign in Halo: Infinite I was immediately left with chills right after the intro. It was not the start I was expecting, but wow, what a start! While I won’t spoil the campaign’s story, its structure is a mixture of open world exploration and linear combat missions. As you progress through the story you will come across some of the open world missions and activities.
One such activity is the Outposts or Forward Operation Bases. To capture these FOB’s, you will need to eliminate all enemies and activate the plinth on the FOB’s platform. Once captured you will then be able to use them as fast travel points. They will also reveal high value targets for you to hunt and USNC caches. These caches hold valuable components which you to use to upgrade your equipment. You are also able to call in vehicles and customise your loadouts. The FOB’s also serve as a rally point where UNSC Marines will join you on missions providing you with support.
There will also be some other USNC squads located around Zeta Halo that will need you to aid them. These will be located on your map and earn you some much needed Valor if you decided to tackle them before the next step in your story. Regarding Valor, this is a resource that serves as a mark of your progress in your battle against the relentless Banished. You can use it to call in resources to your FOB’s, unlock newer weapons and vehicles. It’s awarded for capturing bases, destroying Propaganda Towers, and rescuing marines throughout Zeta Halo.
Equipment and Upgrades
When you first kick off the campaign in Halo Infinite, Master Chief will have the Grappleshot from the start. The Grappleshot is a great tool to have for traversing across the map and reaching those heights to get the drop in on an enemy. It’s also handy to have for exploring those hard to reach areas that may hold some valuable items. However, new equipment can be found along the way as you fight off The Banished. Each equipment you find offers up something different and will best suit your playstyle. This gives you the freedom to play the game your way and choose your favourites. These equipment upgrades can vary from improving your shield strength, a threat sensor, or thrusters for a burst of speed.
To make the new equipment you find even more effective, you will need to find Spartan Cores. These Cores are scattered across the Zeta Halo as you explore it and can be found within the main missions too.
The Skewer and more
Halo Infinite offers up a mixture of old and new weapons for Master Chief to use. These range from his trusty MA40 Assault Rife to the Battle Rifle, which is a burst variant of the MA40. My favourite weapon so far is the Bulldog shotgun, which has great power and reload speed. Then there are the new kids on the block like Cindershot and Skewer. The Cindershot is like a grenade launcher that fires explosive shots that can be aimed and navigate around cover or vehicles. It works much like a cluster grenade and the splash damage has more of an impact rather than a direct shot. The best scenario to use the Cindershot would be against vehicles rather than infantry.
The Skewer is like the Spartan Laser rifle but much more effective. This weapon fires a harpoon or Skewer that can devastate almost anything in its path. You can aim from the hip or via its scope and will take out an enemy in one shot. It does have a slow reload time, so be mindful where and when you choose to use it. The best situations to use it would be to take out that annoying Jackal sniper upon high or a vehicle bearing down on you.
There are quite a few weapons for you to get your Spartan hands on and get to grips with. Each of the weapons on offer have their own strengths and weaknesses and continues the trend of your playstyle is your own.
The visuals in Halo Infinite from the first intro right through to the all-out warfare through the game are amazing! From the scratches on Master Chiefs armour and details on the weapons you use. The interiors of ships, Forerunner monuments and Outposts all look pristine, metallic, and the light dances off the floors and walls as you walk about these areas. Zeta Halo landscape is the opposite, where everything is lush and green in most of the areas. The rich environments are fully detailed brings everything to the forefront in terms of stunning visuals compared to previous titles. As you turn to admire the view in the sun, light bounces off your weapon making it shine. When shooting shock or plasma weapons, you are treated to a glow of blue or red particles exploding on impact.
Explosions, fire, and gun flare brighten the darkest corridors as you fight through hordes of enemies. Killing everything in your way is more like a lightshow of death and destruction as visuals and sounds merge in the heat of battle.
The score in the game is a masterpiece of melodic hymns and rocked out solos, that combine the perfect dance between the two. Each striking at the perfect time within a dramatic cutscene or adrenaline rushed battle. When in battle you can hear the cries of The Banished, as they scream in fear or when enrage and attack you. The voice acting in Halo Infinite is done well and the interaction between the characters that you meet are on par with that of a Sci-fi movie. In battles, gunfire sounds are deafening at times while wearing my headset, really immersing you into the fray.
Not All Perfect
While I loved playing Halo Infinite, it’s not without its issues. There was one major issue and some minor ones that occurred. The major issue I had was during The Conservatory mission and with my weapons. There are refill stations that you will come across that allow you to grab more ammo for your current weapon. I went to one of these stations and after restocking my ammo, it wouldn’t allow me to use any weapon or equipment. I could not reload, shoot, or throw grenades and the only thing I could do to fix it was to get killed.
The other issues I came across were minor but noticeable. Issues like The Banished getting stuck in the environment or falling through the level as you are fighting. The issues I came across could be isolated and not everyone may experience them (I hope). However, I feel it’s worth noting as when they happen, it is a WTF moment.
With the issues put aside, one big grievance I have with the campaign in Halo Infinite is that there is no co-op. The option that was present in previous Halo titles has been removed and we may not see it until May 2022. This is due to this issues that the team had in implementing it. Hopefully it arrives in a future update sooner rather than later, but not having it at launch is a big factor.