Halo Infinite Impressions: Bittersweet

My history: I’ve been playing since 2001 (Halo: Combat Evolved) but I didn’t get into its MP until Halo 3 (2007) and been playing off and on ever since. When I first saw Halo Infinite I was sorta cautiously optimistic but after actually playing it for myself I’ve found it to be drastically superior to what I expected. I’m going to go over a few really interesting/important aspects to Infinite and why I feel its great and then I’ll tear the game apart for not having everything we want at launch.

Weapons: The bread, the butter, the thing that makes or breaks basically every shooter ever made. Weapon design in Infinite is probably the best its ever been. Whether it be the Dynamo Grenades (10/10 give that dude/dudett a raise) the Commando (interesting long range auto weapon) or the Skewer (Snipe but without hitscan and great against vehicles) I was nothing but impressed by the new weapons they added this time around. Old weapons still feel awesome and although I’ve ran into some minor balancing issues (AR is basically a pickup weapon in terms of power these days lol) I just feel that this is Infinite’s strongsuit. To add to this point one of the things that Infinite does differently from other Halo’s is that they have weapon cycles. So in one cycle you’ll have BR’s spawn in a certain location, whereas the next time you might have Commando’s, it may not be genre defining or anything but I feel this is an often overlooked aspect of Infinite.

Vehicles: Although I have not had the privilege or the pleasure to use every vehicle (damn hogs, taking all the banshees/tanks for themselves) I’ve found that the steering has wayyy too much drift and that they all just feel less responsive than I’d like them to be. I was having extreme difficulty going through narrow corridors or even just not flipping over, now I may not be a professional Halo driver or anything but I don’t remember a Halo game where I’ve had such difficulty going from point A to B in a vehicle. Halo Infinite happens to have lots of anti-vehicle weapons/abilities this time around so I believe that they overall won’t be as strong as they have been in years past.

Maps: Seem pretty down to Earth to me. Reminds me most of Halo 2 map design honestly, lots of gritty and plain looking environments but a key difference here is that these maps are filled with clutter (tons of furniture, animals, etc.) which is far different from Halo 5’s super smooth maps. Recharge/Bazaar/Live Fire I thought were pretty awesome in their own ways, Behemoth is cringeworthy but I think its meant for CTF, Fragmentation is a garbage BTB map but for Strongholds its solid. All the maps so far don’t appear in any way shape or form to be as competitive as the ones in Halo 5 were, this is not to say that they have zero potential for competitive play, just that I doubt we’ll see every single map that Infinite comes out with be in the pro leagues, that is all.

Equipment: One of the biggest criticisms/speculations about Infinite was that the equipment was going to be insanely unbalanced OP garbage that ruins everything from map flow to awareness and so on. I’m happy to say that Infinite has incredibly well balanced equipment, although the Repulsor/Grapplehook are extremely powerful in the right hands they only give you a set amount of uses and I just find it disingenuous to pretend that Halo 3 had well designed ones when things like the energy drain or recharge could easily lead to overkills and wipe whole teams with far less knowledge/effort. I don’t think it is outlandish to assume that all the equipment we’ve seen so far will make its way into competitive in one way or another, Grappleshot in particular I see being a tournaments wet dream as it could lead to some absurd highlights and upsets.

The Conclusion: Infinite has some of the best weapons, maps, heck ideas that Halo has ever had. I don’t think its insane to believe it’ll be more popular than Halo 3 was in its heyday. has tons of fun and just interesting design choices that I could see making the game a must play for years. When I first heard about Infinite I was not even remotely impressed by it, but I was seriously desperate to play as much as I possibly could throughout the whole preview. There is, however, one major flaw in this otherwise exceptional work of art. Having no Forge (and to a lesser extent Co-op Campaign) until months later is a huge and simply painful pill to swallow. Months of time wasted, tons of amazing maps not designed, you have entire communities (Grifball, Esports, Custom Games, etc.) that are almost assuredly in need of this and I fear that Infinite won’t hit its full stride until many months (if not a year) past release. I seriously wonder if this will kill off Infinite’s success or if the game will recover.

The Hype: its been YEARS since I can confidentially say we’ve had a good Halo game, in the coming months you will see Halo Infinite blanketed in tons of players you’ve never seen, never heard of, that were playing CoD or Fortnite or whatever, many of whom are PC players, many of whom have never even played a single Halo game before; all of them are going to jumping into one giant experience and the big question is if they’ll enjoy their stay or if they’ll move on to something else. Infinite makes some bold decisions; like being a Free-to-Play game, not having a Battle Royale mode (they’ll probably cave into pressure, lets be real here) scrapping some of their previous ideas/modes (where’s Warzone?) so the game could frankly end up being a massive disappointment to 343i/MS but if Halo survived Halo 4’s launch I’m confident this series will probably flourish under Infinite.