The Location Variety in Halo Infinite is very much lacking. There are three main environments in Halo Infinite. One is the Banished Architecture, one is the Forerunner Architecture and the final one is the American North West Pacific Biome. This, personally, I think is a great shame as I think that the game suffers from a lack of visual variety. I partially understand the difficulty of trying to make more diverse environments within the same environment due to the constraints of the Open World, however, 343 could have done so much more in the location variety than they actually did. They could lakes and swaps that connect to the main environment. There was the possibility of a drained ocean with nought but rivers at the sea floor due to the destruction of the ring causing the drainage of those oceans (yes, I do love that section in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands). Natural Underground Formations such as Caves and Ravines. War torn terrain and UNSC ship crash sites. Overgrown ancient stone ruins. All of these could all be interconnected in the open world alongside the three I mentioned before. In addition, they could merge these all together in cool ways. Perhaps a Forerunner structure that’s been overgrown with corroded walls with water flowing into them. Perhaps a large lake with a banished stronghold in the centre that’s polluting the water around it. These could all be done in future Campaigns.
I found the open world aspect made the NA biome less repetitive. I loved the variety in the landmasses even though it did look lacking in biome diversity.
But the Forerunner architecture was positively grating by the end; it gave me headaches. I was so glad to get the campaign over with, which isn’t how you want to end a game.
I did not personally have a problem with it, but I understand where you’re coming from.
However, it will be a letdown if this special Certain Affinity mode simply reuses zones/islands from the campaign overworld instead of completely new environments.
The lack of biome diversity has me torn, to be honest. On the one hand, since the ring islands are contiguous, it makes sense that they’d be of the same environment type. I like that they look and feel contiguous, like you’re actually on a discrete section of ring. On the other hand, the visual variety suffers some from it. With how gorgeous Behemoth looks with the mix of sand and Forerunner architecture, I want to see something similar to that in the campaign. Snowy environments and Flood blightlands would aso, IMO, look awesome with the new engine and modern graphical fidelity. I do hope similar things are added via DLC at some point in Infinite’s lifespan.
The single biome was nice looking, but it was still just a single biome. Hopefully they will expand it to add more biomes like we seen in the other games that featured a Halo ring. I would also like to go to an intact part of the ring so there isn’t any hexagonal pillar spam, they may look nicer than they did in the 2020 demo, but they’re still an eyesore and overused imo.
Activities in the open world just seem to come in the form of world bosses, taking over bases, rescuing marines, and finding collectibles. I can also explore this open world, and I’ve tried. But the desire to continue just wasn’t there, other games do this type of content so much better, so I’ll stick with those.
This is an open world game made by a developer who doesn’t specialize in crafting open worlds and it shows. They went over a small checklist for a vapid open world experience and considered this good enough. =\
I did like what we got, but at the same time they could have easily implemented in important story areas being on separate locations to the ring. Or even simply make some of the scale grander. After all if you have a desert plateau it could be pretty large, or a crashed vessel could be an entire section. There’s no canyons you’re ever stuck inside and there’s no snowy areas either. I would think it wouldn’t be hard to make the story bring you to different parts of the ring through teleporters. I guess what I miss is parts like two betrayals, the library, guilty spark, silent cartographer. I miss the areas like Truth and reconciliation where you are way up high and looking over massive flat plateaus way off in the distance. I don’t know what halo infinite does wrong but it just makes the ring feel much smaller and less important.
Regarding contiguous landmass, tho, they can still give us different environments. Like caves, swaps and lakes. Then you can have some creative lisence when considering that the ring is falling apart, so you could do some things with that. How about a transition from the more forest type stuff to sand could be done by having one part of the ring crashed into another. Or you could have a drained sea with that being the sandy environment.