January 21, 2022

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Halo Infinite Review

Below is the script for my Halo Infinite Review that I posted about a week on YouTube. Please like the video if you can and subscribe to YouTube channel, that will really help me out!

Introduction to Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite was not originally a game I was interested in. After playing the first two games of this franchise I kind of let it slip out of my mind. And there are various reasons for that. Originally Halo was hyped for offering a semi open-world action shooter set in a remarkable sci-fi setting. After 3D graphics started making leaps throughout the mid-90s Halo was the first of a new generation of games that offered a cinematic action experience.

While the original Halo did have flaws, mainly the repetitive gameplay, it was nonetheless remarkable. Yet the franchise never managed to reach its former heights. Halo games became more famous for their multiplayer gameplay more than anything else. And that is a shame, the setting inspired by the book Ringworld by Larry Niven offered the potential for great space opera.

Back to Halo

Now Halo is back with the sixth main game in the series, Halo Infinite, that seems to harken back to the spirit of the original. Available for Xbox Series X/S and PC I became thirsty for a no holds bar single player campaign as the Master Chief. Developed by 343 Industries Halo Infinite focuses on truly offering what the Halo franchise has to offer. I think the developers succeeded at that, but there are always some caveats.

Once again, the gameplay is set on a mysterious Halo structure built by the Forerunners. Once again, the Covenant are the enemy, though they are actually the Banished – a faction of the Covenant. This time the map is divided into areas that can be fully explored through the use of vehicles that are both ground and airborne. Master Chief is not accompanied by his trusty sidekick Cortana, she was destroyed prior to this game. She is instead replaced with Weapon, another A.I. that helps Master Chief unravel the mysteries of the Zeta Halo and what the Banished are up to.

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Gameplay

The gameplay of Halo Infinite feels very familiar to anyone who has played this series before. The gunfighting is something I can only describe as extremely smooth, there many weapons to select from and they are all very controllable. Although I initially favored UNSC weapons over those from the Banished, the latter do work better in some situations. Halo Infinite sports a semi-open world. Clearing out basis of grunts and others will earn you progress, both with regards to the story and Spartan cores. I enjoyed how most objectives on the map were integrated into the story.

It is not like Assassin’s Creed or any other of the open world games in which clearing out objectives is done with no mention of the story. That said, despite the smooth structure of the game and clear progression markers there is a downside. A lot of the gameplay is repetitive. After clearing out just a half-dozen basis I felt like I had done it all before. A similar experience I had, with the original Halo game and its immediate successor. As such at times I had to force myself to clear a base to make progress and not just continue with the story.

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Not an easy game to play

I will say this, Halo Infinite is not an easy game to play. While grunts are funny and easy to kill the same cannot be said for any of the other opponents. Jackals are irritating because of the shield they carry. If you do not clear them out their fire combined with more deadly opponents encircling you will be the death of the player – a lot as was in my case. However, if you keep at range, you can significantly reduce a base, though Banished troops will deploy reinforcements over time.

Vehicle gameplay is mostly OK. Most vehicles have been shown in prior games and the quick travel that comes with is appreciated, though I did struggle with the controls of the tank.

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Graphics

Much has been said about the graphics of the game prior to release. It was one of the reasons why it was delayed for about a year. While I think Halo Infinite is gorgeous to look at it is not the best I have seen. But it is all relative. For a semi-open world, the graphics are wonderful. However, the environments can be somewhat repetitive even if textures and special effects are excellent. That can make it difficult to judge how well the game looks. A lot of the time the environments also look a little sterile, that is a trade-off with the worlds size, I guess. I had hoped for more novel forms of flora and fauna. Finally, I think the cut-scenes are very well done and give a cinematic impression.

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Final impression on Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite is a very solid game. I have played the single player campaign on PC and it has been a wonderful experience, though for me it does rely on high dose of nostalgia. Halo Infinite is also a very expansive game, while the story may be a little short there is a lot to explore and blow up. Yet, I do not think this is an RPG shooter like Deus Ex despite the system of upgrades. While cool the upgrades to the Master Chiefs suit never seem to matter that much. It would have been better if there could have been some Metroid elements: such as backtracking unexplored areas. While the atmosphere is there, I do wonder where the franchise is going, the story does feel as a rinse & repeat of the original game.

I enjoyed Halo Infinite for its sci-fi setting. Without a doubt the Halo world is an incredible structure and there were plenty of times I was just staring at it in awe. I do recommend this game. It feels like something I will play again in a year or so just to immerse myself in this world. As such I am also looking forward to the Halo TV series coming out next year.

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