Is Halo Infinite Good?

How do we know if a game like Halo Infinite can be a good time?

Halo Infinite’s open Multiplayer beta released on November 15th, 2021 and received over 20,000,000 players at launch; that’s bigger than even Halo 3’s launch!  Since I started playing Infinite, I’ve essentially logged on  everyday, and I believe I’m qualified to tell someone (you) who’s never played whether or not it's worth their time. I’m going to be covering a whole lot of stuff, from weapons and equipment all the way to customization and community. While it may be a lot to take in, you’ll still be able to get a good grasp of how the game is. Let’s get started.


1. Customization

Keep in mind, these are only options for just one of the cores!

Halo Infinite has a very expansive customization system. If you were to pick up the game right now (the multiplayer is free), you’d load in as a spartan, which is a genetically enhanced super soldier, and be able to fulfill that deep, ape-like desire  to move at superhuman speed. But, before you’d load into a game, you would naturally gravitate towards the game’s armor hall. At least, that’s what I would do. If you are, in fact, like me, you’d find a bunch of different “cores” to choose from. 

There are some that would be considered a more “classic” Halo style, such as the Mark V[B] and the Mark VII, and some others that look as if they’re from a completely different game! For example, there’s the Hazmat core, making you feel like you’re fighting in a nuclear wasteland, the Yoroi core, which evokes a Samurai in a retro-futuristic Japan, and also the Eaglestrike core, that gives off a sort of steampunk soldier in the First World War vibe.

In total, there are 8 cores to choose from, and each comes with around 20 free color coatings to choose from. There is also room to customize vehicle models and weapon models, as well. With this many different helmets, chest pieces, shoulder and knee pads, hip/waist attachments, wrist attachments, and visors to choose from, in addition to tricking out your wheels and weapons, there’s easily thousands of combinations to choose from, if not millions.

Unfortunately, the bulk of cosmetics for your spartans are unlocked by opening your wallet. Seeing as Infinite’s multiplayer is free to play, it makes sense. This is how they pay their developers. The drawback to many free-to-play games is that the majority, if not the entirety, of their revenue is dependent on a silly little cosmetic catching your eye. The store, which refreshes twice a week, has fair prices that offer a solid amount of swag. Additionally, there’s a quarterly-ish battle pass that offers over 100 rewards for just 10 bucks. But, for players with more time on their hands, Infinite offers semi-weekly events with their own mini, and free, battle passes, as well as a weekly cosmetic reward. So, if you don’t have the money, but you do have the time, you can get your spartan looking swaggy for cheap.


2. Combat

Good aim isn't everything! Even the butts of Battle Rifles do damage.

I could talk about the customization option in Infinite all day. But, while I love it, it’s not what got me to log over 400 hours on the game. This game has gotten a lot of criticism over its network issues, and a lot of it deserved. But, the combat, when it works, is some of the most pure, first-person-shooter fun that you can have.

The mechanics are fairly simple; you can walk in any direction, look in any direction, crouch, melee, sprint, slide, use equipment, throw a grenade, and shoot your gun. On these building blocks, you can make the game as simple or as complicated as you want. If I really wanted to, I could boot into a game and play without sprinting or jumping and have a great time. I could just focus on my aim and positioning and play like I’m a member of a SWAT team. Youtube content creator Dodds McFodds has a video series where he does just this. Or, if I felt extra demonic, I could just sprint and slide out into crossfire and fire at the enemy team like Tony Montana.

The sandbox that you have at your disposal in Infinite is quite balanced and fun to use. The game has a little over 20 weapons and about 8 equipment items and it’ll be exhaustive to cover them all, but I can demonstrate the balance of the game’s sandbox with what I consider the most important of them.

One of the most unique things about Infinite, is the use of equipment. Some of the most interesting to use are the thruster, which helps you evade gunfire and turn a losing gun fight on its ear, the repulsor, which lets you fly high into the air and force enemies back as if you were a Jedi Master, and the Grappleshot, which allows you to swing around the map and surprise your enemies like New York City’s favorite wall crawler. The newest addition to the sandbox is something called the Quantum Translocator, which allows you to travel through portals and outsmart your opponents. But, perhaps more importantly, the weapons play a role in the balance of the sandbox as well.

In many game types, you’ll often start with a combination of four weapons: the Battle Rifle, a skill-rewarding three round burst weapon, the Assault Rifle, a spray-and-pray gun that is paramount to the identity of the Halo franchise, the Sidekick, a snappy pistol that acts as a welcome friend to the Assault Rifle, or the Bandit Rifle, a semi-automatic rifle with a satisfying pop.

However, when running around the map, you may find yourself looking to gain an advantage over the enemy. There are many interesting weapons you can scavenge about the environment, including the Bulldog, an angry pump action shotgun that shreds enemies, the Commando, a semi automatic machine gun with a thirst for headshots, the Needler, a pink-clad alien gun with a rapid, homing fire, and the Plasma Pistol, a green gun that shoots relatively weak blasts but offers a powerful, shield stripping blast when charged up.

After scavenging what you can around the map, you may find yourself drawn to a chokepoint within the map that houses a handsome weapon on a golden platform. These are power weapons, and control of them can change the flow of the game, and make losers into winners. On those points you can find weapons like the S7 Sniper, a weapon simple enough in function as it offers addicting, one shot headshots to its user. The Skewer, a one-shot-kill with the loading speed of a revolutionary musket, is a shoulder cannon that shoots a high speed metal spike at the less perceptive. The last two, notable power weapons are the Shock Rifle, which offers a three burst lighting bolt that zaps those in it’s way, and, of course, the M51 SPANKR, or more simply, the rocket launcher; I’m sure you can imagine what it’s capable of.

The last two that I think are worth mentioning are what I consider to be the more wacky weapons; the Energy Sword, and the Gravity Hammer. The former, is a striking blue, two-pronged blade that kills with a near 10-ft lunge and a one hit kill. The latter is just a big ass hammer, one that lets you evoke the first incarnation of Super Mario as he claws his way to save his love from Donkey Kong.


3. Replayability

The UNSC needs you! Season 4: Infection comes with plenty of new things to do.

When Infinite released in 2021, there wasn’t a whole to do other than grind out a set of challenges for the weekly reward. As an early adopter, I can say with absolute certainty that this sucked sometimes. There were some weeks where I would grind out all of the challenges in one day and have nothing to work for. Other times I’d be stuck on some of the hardest tasks ever and be forced to just stop playing. However, Season 4: Infection just released on June 20th, and with that came a highly coveted progression system. Youtuber UberNick did the math, and if you’re someone who averages 2,000 points a game, or 20 kills, you would need to play 4,660 games, or earn 9,319,351 XP, to plow through all 270 stages and achieve the rank of hero. If you’re like me, and average less than 20 kills a game, maybe you should hurry up and join me in the slower grind.

    Thankfully, for us scrubs who can’t destroy the enemy every single game, leveling up is still quite rewarding. Watching a little counter judge the way you played is very addicting, especially when considering the nameplates, emblems, and other rewards that that 343 plans to add throughout the progressions system. Even if you spend the entire game getting farmed for kills, you’ll always walk away with a little bit of XP points to reward your time.

    Playing Ranked Arena completely changes the game, though. If you become bored with playing casually, and really want to see how you stack up, you may want to hop into some of the ranked playlists. There are no rewards for losing in ranked playlists, and it turns Infinite from a game that can often just be about running around and shooting your gun, into a calculated chess game, where intimate knowledge of weapon timers, spawn control, and overall map positioning is paramount to the success of your team.

    Like I mentioned in the customization section, there are weekly rewards that are attained by completing a set of challenges. If the reward is less favorable, it can disincentivize consistent play time, but, in the same fashion, a super cool reward will make completing challenges extremely rewarding.

Additionally, 343, the developer of Infinite, rotates playlists in and out on a weekly basis, which allows for fresh and dynamic matchmaking experiences. One week it’ll be something like Team Doubles, where you and a buddy can see how you stack up against another duo, and the next week it may be Team Snipers, where you’ll need a quick crouch input and a steady aim.


4. Updates and New Content

Halo Infinite is better with friends. Mount up!

     When the game launched in 2021, developer 343 had trouble finding a stride in terms of consistent updates. Season One was 6 months instead of 3, and Season Two was extended to 10 months. While I was disappointed, I still played, and ultimately, was rewarded with the current state of the game.

    Each season now lasts 3-4 months, and usually comes with quality of life updates throughout its duration. Each update brings with it new store content, free, earnable content, and new battlepasses. Often new sandbox items are included, like new guns or equipment, and additionally, new modes are added as well.

    343 also premiered something in Season 3 called the Combat Workshop, which allows for the community to play a new playlist for two weeks, complete a survey based on it, and vote whether or not it should stay in the game permanently.


5. Sound Effects

Here is that crunchy Assault Rifle in action!

    Infinite’s sound effects are crucial to the immersion the game offers. Sometimes you’ll be sprinting on a hectic, ravaged battlefield and hear the dirt crunching beneath you as you reposition. Or, you can hear the clang of clean metal as you pace or slide around in an ancient alien structure.

    Vehicle and weapon sounds are excellent as well. The burst of the Battle Rifle crunches like an apple, and the looming zooms of high flying vehicles like the Banshee let you know exactly when someone is swooping in to drop a bomb on you.


 6. Multiplayer

Maybe if Mr. Orange had used the threat sense on his belt, he wouldn't have gone this way.

    In general, Infinite’s plays very well. The guns sound great, and the sandbox compliments the movement. Back in 2021, the game started off strong, with that record number of players I mentioned in the beginning of this piece. Unfortunately, the game was often plagued with networking issues; people getting shot through walls, gun jamming, and wonky melee registration, among other things. Thankfully, the game has become more stable, and 343 worked hard to make it so. Unfortunately, the player count has dropped pretty significantly, so if you play often enough, like I do, you’ll see some of the same people.

    That’s not to say that there’s no player base. No, it’s quite the opposite, in fact. There is a committed community of players, many who play competitively or for fun. I truly don’t think there’s been anytime I wanted to play and couldn’t.

    Something that is very specific to the Halo series is the Forge mode. Infinite’s iteration is very powerful, and allows determined creatives to produce developer quality maps. Some are built for wacky game modes like Splatter Monkey, in which large objects like trucks, oversized spools, and bodies are flung at players whose only objective is to survive, and others that look like maps that could’ve launched with the game. Regardless of what is made, though, you can always explore whatever you want with the custom game browser. It is incredibly easy to get together with friends and play exactly how you want to.

    What’s really special for Forge map makers, though, is that there is always the chance to get their maps put into matchmaking. Every few months, 343 will choose 3-5 community maps and create a playlist centered around them called Community Collection. The maps that perform the most positively will become regular map rotations in standard matchmaking playlists.

    While the matchmaking side of Halo Infinite has taken some big hits, it is by no definition dead, and still provides a home to a lively community.


7. Graphics

Catalyst, an arena map release in Season 2, has one of the most memorable ambiances in Halo Infinite.

    There are some very stunning visuals in Infinite. Each map contains a different aesthetic, whether it be themed around the metallic and piercing blue ancient Forerunner technology, or the battlehardened bases of the United Nations Space Command, the vibes of each map are greatly heightened by the game's graphics.

    Unfortunately, for PC players like myself, graphics will have to be sacrificed for quality of play. If you want your game to run at 120 FPS, you’ll have to turn down essentially all visual specifications.


8. Balance

Halo's top minds are hard at work to ensure that you get a positive KD.

    In terms of how the weapons and equipment play off of each other, it works well. Each of these weapons I’ve described in the previous section, and those I’ve left for you to discover on your own, each have their own place in the sandbox. The Battle Rifle can go toe to toe with the Bandit Rifle, the S7 Sniper can match the Shock Rifle, and the Gravity Hammer is often an equal match with the Energy Sword. I can latch onto you with the Grapplehook, but you can send me flying backwards with the Repulsor, giving yourself time to strike. If you jump into Infinite today, you could have fun with any sandbox combination available to you.


9. Story

Here is the man himself, John-117, looking as good as he's ever looked!

    Infinite’s story is, unlike previous Halo games, open world. You drop into the campaign as Petty Officer Master Chief, John-117, the most recognizable green man in perhaps all of gaming, on Zeta Halo, an ancient weapon disguised as a ring planet. The world around you is very expansive, and it’s very easy to meander into the depths of the ring, fighting random aliens and looking for unlockable cosmetics. The ring is occupied by the Banished, a rogue group of aliens hungry for human blood. You must slowly liberate the UNSC from the chains of your foe and build up your forces strong enough to reclaim control of the ring.

    While the visuals are absolutely stunning and the story is compelling, one of the coolest things about the campaign is that you get to upgrade your weapons and abilities. If you play long enough,, you can, for example, upgrade your Battle Rifle to shoot faster, or get a Grapple Hook that stuns enemies.

    What is also nice is that, while there is a drive to complete the main story, there are small side quests and items to unlock along the way. If you’re a completionist, you’ll have a ball completing the game 100%. It’s also very accessible for both new FPS players and seasoned veterans. Easy mode makes you feel like a god, while Legendary mode makes you feel like everyone else is a god. In addition to difficulty adjustment, there are little skulls you can collect about the game that can make the game harder or wackier depending on each one. For example, there’s one that removes aim assist, one that gives headshots a confetti explosion, and another that removes the heads up display. 


10. Overall Fun Factor

I'll give you $1 if you can tell me what the hell is going on in this photo.

    Halo Infinite has a little something for everyone. The sweats, the casuals, and the completionists can all find their own home within the game’s offerings. Sliding far and jumping high and shooting other super soldiers is a great way to spend a free evening, especially when the sandbox is fleshed out and balanced and the community is so dedicated.

    There are so many ways that you can play the game and tailor the experience to fit your play style. You can create your own maps, you can pimp out your Spartan, and, most importantly, you can express yourself skillfully. If that’s not fun then I don’t know what is. I can say, confidently, that Infinite is worth your time.


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When I'm not writing my thriller novel or articles about games I love, I'm losing 1v1 BR75 fights on Live Fire. When my ping is lower, I win them.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Halo Infinite, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Skater XL
Top 3 Favorite Games:Assassin's Creed 2 , Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout 4

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