A long time player's thoughts on Halo Inifinite

I played for about 10 hours yesterday and wrote down my thoughts as I played. A lot of this is going to sound rude and that I’m upset… Well, I put money down on this game so I’ve earned the right to be a little jaded. There’s a lot to go over, so let’s just start with the things before you even get into a game and go from there.

  • Can’t skip the intro movie

I saw it once, very cool. I don’t need to keep seeing it. Please let me skip.

  • Lack of gamemode choice

This is egregious. I can’t believe it was even released like this especially when you have the MCC to go off of. I HATE objective games (even more so in this game, but we’ll get to that) and would rather just play slayer all the time, and yet for some reason this is the first Halo game where I can’t do that. Seriously? No FFA, no SWAT, no infection, no BTB Heavies, no snipers, no king of the hill… you know… staples. I sure hope it’s coming because this is embarrassing for a franchise built on a variety of gamemodes and choices on what to play.

  • Interrupting matchmaking

I noticed when you hit the search button, it begins a countdown that you MUST sit through before you do anything else otherwise it will stop searching. Why? Again you had MCC to go off and you could be flying through menus the second you hit the search button. Talk about a step back.

  • UI is unintuitive

Navigating between menus (especially in customization) is oftentimes a chore and sometimes confusing. It’s hard to even explain just how bad it is, but all I can say is it’s not fun. Customization is painful having to go through so many menus. The way Reach did it was fine… even MCC is easy enough. I just don’t understand why you made so many steps back. If something works, just leave it as is functionally and give it some new paint.

  • Lack of information and the After Action Report

As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell what your ping is. Why?

The AAR is abysmal when you compare it to previous titles. No killed most or killed most by, no top medals, no option to cycle through people (which is also lacking the MCC for some god awful reason), no Tool of Destruction… fill this out, it’s all stats I want to see. I also want to see my accumulated medals and lifetime stats. You had this on the MCC, why is it not here? I’m probably going to be saying this a lot in this thread so I’ll just say this here. You had half of this stuff in the MCC and have had YEARS to transfer these things over and yet they have either been left out intentionally or forgotten… I don’t know which is worse. Figure it out, and fast.

  • Customization

Navigating the menu aside, the core system is something I simply can’t get behind. This is yet another regression. I want to be able to mix and match ALL of my armors and have color options for primary, secondary and tertiary. I have used specific colors in every Halo prior and this is the first game where I literally can’t do that… I purchased one of the Esports sets since I really like the dark black and gold colors and when I went to go and put it on my customized armor I realized then that it was impossible… immediately regretting my purchase. Now in the future, if I want to use that color scheme, I HAVE to use the kit, I can’t mix and match… incredibly disappointing and made me reluctant to purchase more cosmetics in the future. The options for customization feel incredibly limited. Also the Reach Recon/ODST helmet doesn’t have the UA/HUL… add that s*** yesterday.

  • Battlepass and progression

Apparently this is a hot topic, and rightfully so. Despite there being 100 tiers, there’s surprisingly little to actually unlock considering how many customization options there have been in previous titles (FOR FREE)… And the speed at which you unlock things, makes this even more painful. I would have rather paid for multiplayer and had actual options, than suffer this nightmare of a slog.

  • Challenges

I appreciate that there is a variety that can be obtained from natural play, and most aren’t impossible to complete, HOWEVER… Get rid of “Win match” challenges. It is infuriating when trying to accomplish these kinds of challenges in any game when winning isn’t necessarily based on YOUR skill. I’ve played days on Halo where I’ve finished top of the leaderboard on both teams and still lost match after match consecutively. Not to mention specific gamemodes THAT YOU CAN’T CHOOSE TO PLAY. Get rid of those, please. Get rid of vehicle challenges if you’re going to go with the current BTB set up (which we’ll get into, believe you me) I have TWO Banshee challenges and have seen the actual vehicle drop maybe a handful of times… of which I have not been able to actually get in the banshee to even attempt these challenges. Get rid of these challenges. I also have a challenge for 10 kills with the M247 HMG and I’ve only seen that weapon spawn on one map and when I get kills with it, it doesn’t count. Toss it or fix it, please. And while we’re at it, challenges should just be an accessory to boost XP. The bulk of your XP should be through playing matches, earning medals, and getting kills.

So now let’s jump into the actual gameplay stuff.

VEHICLES

  • Banshee

This thing is not fun to fly. I got my hands on it twice (before my challenges lol f me right?) and it just feels really floaty and unresponsive. The Banshee Bomb also leaves much to be desired. I think increasing the radius and/or damage dealt would go a long way. It is also made of paper… buff it please.

  • Chopper

It’s slow, flips constantly, and the primary fire is useless. All you had to do was bring it back how it was, instead it fires arched projectiles at a fire rate of 1 per decade. Up the fire rate (significantly) and damage and get rid of the bullet drop. Also speed it up and stabilize it a little better.

  • Wasp

I think the Wasp is in a really good place. It has just enough health and deals an appropriate amount of damage. The only things I would maybe suggest is to increase the lock-on range/speed for missiles and up their travel speed a smidge.

  • Ghost

Perfect. Don’t touch anything.

  • Warthog

This is pretty good too. I think it’s a little too fast so maybe bring the speed down a little bit. Also maybe a little slower to accelerate. The turret could use an increase on turning speed, but the damage output is fine. As a final thought, it needs a little bit more health. I feel like it goes down just a little too quickly in most situations.

  • Rocket Hog

See above, but add: needs to do significantly more damage and radius. I think it firing one rocket at a time slowly is pretty good, but it just seems to underperform by a huge margin compared to the regular hog when this one should be an upgrade.

  • Razorback, Mongoose, Gungoose

Fine as far as I can tell, I don’t use them a lot. The Mongoose might turn just a little too fast. You can turn that thing on a dime and while that is useful, I wouldn’t expect an ATV with a 10 ton Spartan on it to do that.

  • Scorpion/Wraith

In the 10 or so hours I’ve played, I’ve seen them a total of twice lol… neither times did I get to use them. Would be nice if I could form an opinion on one of my favorite vehicles, but it seems you are adverse to fun so… cool, thanks.

  • Gauss Hog

There is no Gauss Hog… this is irredeemable.

In general, it is difficult to tell how damaged vehicles actually are. We’ve had vehicle damaged states since Halo CE where it was very clear how much juice you got left in this thing. Why is this a problem here? Also the self-destructing vehicles is dumb and a hinderance when trying to complete challenges. Just have them deplete their pool and blow up (just like every previous game!)

Here’s the meat on the vehicles section. GET RID OF THIS TERRIBLE VEHICLE DROP SYSTEM. The whole point of BTB is to have a mix of vehicle and on foot combat THROUGHOUT the match. The whole reason I became so attached to BTB in previous titles is BECAUSE of the vehicle combat. This drop system has completely neutered what BTB is supposed to be about and is incredibly poorly implemented. Both sides don’t always get the same drop and by the time things like the Banshee or Scorpion are supposed to show up, the match is already over. They drop too infrequently for the number of players on the map meaning that unless you’re camping that spot, you’re not going to get your turn for matches, multiple. This is especially frustrating when you have challenges specific to certain vehicles. If they don’t drop in your match because it went too quick, you’re SOL. If you weren’t at the right spot on time, you’re SOL. If the enemy got it but your team didn’t, you’re SOL. It’s not fun and doesn’t make the ends of games feel more chaotic when none of that stuff ever shows up. I have two solutions for you though: 1. Increase the drop rates SIGNIFICANTLY and make it completely random what vehicle is going to drop and have both sides receive the same thing. or 2. Vehicles spawn at the start of the match and continue to respawn throughout… you know… LIKE HOW EVERY SINGLE OTHER HALO GAME HAS BEEN!!! I don’t give a single flying f if what you have is part of some artistic design choice or whatever, it’s not fun. Fix it.

WEAPONS and OTHER

  • Hit Reg (Currently playing on PC with KBM)

It feels like hit reg is all over the place in this game. I’ve been playing Halo since CE and I’m no stranger to FPS in general. I’m consistently able to place either at the top of leaderboards or close to the top. But I have been struggling to get kills in this game. Nothing feels fun to use when I feel like I can’t kill anybody with anything. And yet I feel like I die in half a second. I have no problems with ping or latency on other games, even in the MCC so I’m not sure if this is just server issues or if there are genuinely issues with hit reg. Shots where they clearly should have hit just do nothing or long delays on when people actually die. I don’t know, but it’s not great.

  • Scope glint

Get rid of this. I’m so sick of modern games all having this lens flare garbage when zoomed or scoped in. Of course I know this will never happen because children and casuals need to know when they’re getting scoped on, I still think it’s an incredibly dumb mechanic that has no place in Halo and hasn’t been in previous titles until you lot at 343 took the reigns.

  • Random weapon spawns

I can’t even begin to tell you how annoying this feature is. This needs to be removed and have static weapon spawns for each map. If not even just for the sake of balance, for meeting challenge criteria. Just bad.

  • Grenades

I get that moving different directions will affect how far your grenade goes, but I feel like it’s impacted a little too much. The distance needs to be more consistent with minor differences based on movement.

  • Recoil

The recoil on everything in this game in nuts. Previous Halo’s had recoil, but it didn’t make your whole screen shake all over the place. The BR feels like it’s loaded with 50 cal rounds and don’t even get me started on how unwieldy the Commando is. How are you supposed to hit anything with that from any range? Stuff is just too bouncy and nothing feels smooth like previous games. Not fun to use just about anything.

  • Hydra

Does not do enough damage. I’m ok with it having a small radius, but Jesus, it does not do the job. Also, whoever decided that locked on shots should do less damage needs to be fired. Also the person who programed the tracking on the rockets. It’s darn near impossible to arch it around obstacles, which is something I greatly enjoyed in Halo 5. It should be 2 missiles for Spartans locked on or fired from the hip. It shreds vehicles pretty good… almost too good, but I think it’s ok for now.

  • Spike Grenade

If you’re standing directly on top of it, it doesn’t kill you. Make it kill you.

  • Oddball/Flag

Remember when I said I HATE objective games? Well now they’re EVEN WORSE as you can’t one hit melee with these items. Double U, Tee, Eff?!?!!? WWWWWHHHHHHYYYYYY?!?! FIX THIS YESTERDAY!

  • Melee

Melee in this game seems incredibly inconsistent. I’ve hit people with no shields and they don’t die, I’ve been insta-killed at full shields. Sometimes there’s a lunge but then others I go nowhere and just whiff the air. I don’t know if this is all related to hit reg or what but melee is straight busted in this game.

  • Bulldog

It’s trash. Bring back the old shotgun and ditch this garbage. It’s not satisfying and does nothing even at point blank range.

  • Stalker Rifle

I really like the idea of this gun (and is probably the only gun I find fun to use), but I think it needs to be a 2 shot headshot, 4 body. It’s treated as a sniper but it just doesn’t have the damage behind it. I’ve found people are able to get out of the way too quickly before you can finish them off with the 3rd shot or more depending on where you hit them. I’d be ok with decreasing the fire rate or the amount of shots until you cool it off, but it just isn’t quite where it should be.

  • Shock Rifle

Similar to the Stalker, it just doesn’t feel like it’s up to par. Not really sure what can be done about this one as I understand it’s use, it just doesn’t feel good to use. Maybe either increasing the fire rate or changing it to a beam weapon with a more damage over time playstyle. Have it be like the beam rifle from Reach but instead of lots of damage, just reduces shields and stuns vehicles.

  • Sentinel Beam

A slight increase in damage and a little more range and I think this weapon will be in a good place.

  • Radar

25m at minimum. People move too fast for it to be 18. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be running around just to have somebody pop out from some random area and be right on top of me before I can even do anything. And it’s not because I don’t check my radar, it’s because they didn’t show up. It’s too small, especially for BTB. Up it to the standard 25m or more. And make it bigger on the HUD.

  • Audio

It’s borked. Cuts out at random times, odd sound effects, etc. Somebody needs to take a look.

  • Shot directional cues

For whatever reason, it is very difficult sometimes to tell where you’re being shot from. This is something I’ve not had issues with in any other Halo game, but for whatever reason it’s very difficult to tell here. I’ve seen a few other people post about it so I know I’m not the only one who thinks this, but I honestly don’t know how you would fix it. Something to look into I guess.

My last point of topic is map design and the lack of content.

I don’t really enjoy small team stuff so I’ve only played a handful of matches on those maps, but all the maps suffer from something I’ve noticed a lot of games do since maybe Black Ops 2 era. There’s so much clutter and too many entrances to defendable positions. It’s really weird to have there be simultaneously too much open space and not enough. The biggest offender of this is Deadlock. This map is horrendous and not in the least bit fun to play. It is both too open and too much clutter with a million ways to get into areas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll be engaging an enemy off in the distance to be shot in the back from my own base or from another side of the map at a different angle. It’s circular nature makes it so you can shoot anywhere from all sides. It’s a BAD map and I’ve just been leaving matches as soon as it comes up… which is almost every match for some reason because it seems like it’s a 75% chance to get it (remember when map voting was a thing, you know giving your players more choices and freedoms in how they play games… Pepperidge Farm remembers). Fragmentation is another great example of this bad map design, while not as egregious as Deadlock, there’s still so many side passages and mountains everywhere, but yet you’ll still be shot from halfway across the map. It’s more annoying than it is fun to play. The only map I’ve had any semblance of fun playing is Highpower. While not a great map, it is a good map. There are three lanes to go down with both sides being relatively symmetrical. It’s good for vehicle play and plenty of areas to defend and shoot from without having people come at you from all angles. My only recommendation would be to give both bases a starting sniper and replace the center sniper spawn with rockets or a Banshee. You’ll notice that most of the classic Bungie maps that people liked or became classics were symmetrical maps (with elements of asymmetry) with a good mix of vehicle and power weapon combat, generally three lanes to fight in, and open but defendable points of interest. Somewhere in the last 15 years or so, people forgot how to make good maps, so if someone involved in map creation reads this… you maybe write some of this down on a sticky not or something… or better yet, do some research and figure out what it is that made those other maps great and make something with that in mind. At any rate, the lack of maps to play on is almost unforgivable as well as the fact that they all have similar biome sets. There is a severe lack of variety in this game… a variety of everything really. This is the most barebones Halo game I’ve ever seen and I would be willing to excuse it if all the parts that were there functioned properly… but this game is a hot mess.

One thing I would like to see added is scaled down models of UNSC and Covenant spaceships that you can look at and rotate around like how you have the weapons and vehicles now, but just something to add some flavor. I’ve always wanted to get a really good look at the UNSC Savannah from Reach or the Pillar of Autumn or Spirit of Fire. Would be cool to see that here with some of the new and old ships that seem to be making appearances.

Overall, I’m a little disappointed with Infinite. I just don’t understand how you can have something like the MCC just cranking out usable data on what people enjoy, what they don’t enjoy, systems that work or don’t work… and come out with… this. So many reinventions of the wheel that didn’t need to be, so many creative decisions that just aren’t fun if you think about it for more than not at all. Wasted time, wasted effort, and worst of all, wasted potential. I hope if somebody reads any of this you take some of it into consideration… because this is a franchise that I care about, that I’ve grown up with… I don’t want to see it abandoned or taken advantage of for a quick buck. I know this game can be great, I just hope you at 343 want it to be great too… because right now it really doesn’t look like it.

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