As we all knew previously, the colours of your Spartan cannot be fully customised (because how else will they pad out the precious “Battle Pass” with items if they cannot add preset shaders as unlockables?). However, with the Infinite beta two pieces of brand new news about player customisation have been buried:
1. Not all armour parts will be available for all armour cores (unlike with Halo 3, Reach, 4, and H2A where any unlocked armour parts could be placed on any Spartan in any combination).
2. You will no longer be able to properly customise your emblem.
The former (lack of full armour customisation) is just a poor regression in functionality to be honest. If the same pieces of armour are present on different armour cores but then you have to unlock them individually for each core then that would confirm that it is all about padding out the “Battle Pass” stuff.
The latter (lack of full emblem customisation) is buried in the new Waypoint app beta, in Halo Infinite > Customization > Profile > Emblem Form.
Sure, you can select a different emblem, but they are all presets, for which you cannot change the background nor the colours of the emblem. Given the details and colouring of the emblems in the beta, one of two scenarios is likely, either you will not be allowed to customise emblem colours (and backgrounds), or you will only be able to select from a few custom presets. Again, a regression in functionality in comparison to previous titles.
So, here’s where things get crazy. Are you wondering why the player cannot change their emblem in the main game itself, and why the default emblem for all players is a monochrome number “1”? It is likely that this was specifically done so that most players would not catch onto this change, but the more dedicated players who also downloaded the Waypoint app beta would still test out the emblem changing functionality. That’s very underhanded, and yet exactly what I have come to expect. By obfuscating the functionality behind the app, complaints from the community are decreased. In addition, making the default emblem a monochrome number “1” does not expose the fact that the emblem colour customisation is not present in the title. In fact I would not be surprised if emblems were used to pad out Battle Passes and other unlock/progression systems in the title.
For a game which is being advertised as being all about player expression and letting the players express themselves how they want … It really isn’t, it is entirely about how 343/-Yoink!- want players to express themselves, by removing what was basic functionality in previous titles as a means to pad out Battle Passes. It is crazy that the latest current public build of MCC allows players to express themselves far more (and far better) than the newest Halo title. Sure, 343/-Yoink!- can make whatever corporate-speak response they want, but they really are trying to sell a regression of features and functionality as being something good, which is just isn’t in any way.
Inb4 “But you don’t have to change your armour, etc”. True, but if armour customisation were not a viable means of monetisation (via direct purchases or purchasing the privilege to grind for them A.K.A. Battle Passes) then they would not have gone this route with the customisation of armour.
Inb4 “But you don’t have to change your emblem”. True, but previously it was nice to be able to do so, and you had far less chance of having the same emblem as someone else.