Halo Infinite multiplayer has been a lot of fun. I’ve played approximately 3 hours of the game on PC and I would gladly play more of the full version and recommend it to my friends once it comes out. I see a lot of value in this game.
Compared to past Halo’s, this one feels very balanced and like a lot of attention has been put on how it plays. Generally, I find Halo Infinite to successfully captures Halo’s spirit while still delivering modern and accessible gameplay. Infinite retains that “chess match” style of FPS gameplay, where rotating is slow and your mobility options are limited, which will often lead to a situation where you will die and you know fully well that you are going to die seconds before it actually happens (as opposed to suddenly, like in many other games). Sandbox style space marine VS space marine gameplay -with moon jumping.
The weapons feel very balanced and generally I can’t really point out anything that seems to lack purpose. In past halo’s, one gun tended to render the entire arsenal mostly obsolete except a few power weapons, such as the BR in Halo 2/3 or the DMR in Halo Reach. They effectively avoided this design philosophy, which I enjoy and appreciate. I like how scoped weapons give you a glare when aimed at you, which is thematic and gives you an opportunity to counter it. Halo Infinite feels like a very deliberate game.
The color system feels very limited and unrewarding as far as I’m concerned. In previous Halo games color customization was completely unrestricted. I can see that this system shown in the beta has the potential to give colors that are more complex and varied, with perhaps different patterns, tier rewards, etc. But the current system provides less value to the player than the past I think to players. I am sure that a middle ground could be reached between satisfying player expression and the “skins as rewards” system. Although personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal either way.
Melee lunge rang feels too long in my opinion. Often, close range engagement turn into who melees first. Melee feels like a really cheap way to kill someone, as it is very effective and relatively low risk, making so that close range engagement become a toss up for the player with less health, irrespective of clever use of cover or aim.
The HUD feels a little too convoluted and cramped and a lot less intuitive that it could be. This is my main criticism. Almost all of your tactical information is cramped into the bottom right corner. Dispersing this info, especially the grenade and gadget count would help massively with clarity. Often I am not even aware that I am carrying a gadget because of how tucked away the icon is. The fact that you have to scroll through grenades too just to see which grenades you have is very unintuitive. Halo 3’s HUD layout design solved these problems effectively. Also being able to customize each individual element of the HUD would also go a very long way (size, placement, opacity, etc.)
I find the menus weirdly confusing, especially when for example selecting game modes. Hard to explain, but I find them really hard to read. I had this same problem with the Master Chief Collection. I find that you have to “get used to it” in order to effectively navigate the menu. I don’t have this problem with other titles, even when I’m fresh to the game.
I found myself whishing for a map several times, especially when playing BTB. A map you could access while playing (by for example pressing “M” on the keyboard) showing map layout, your position, where different weapons drop, vehicle drops, blue/red objectives, teammates positions, etc. Would be very helpful with giving players a better overview of the game, understand what is happening and make better tactical decisions. It would also bridge the gap between low and high skill, as information is readily available.
I found myself whishing for a “free-look” option when driving certain vehicles, especially the Scorpion Tank. It would help to better assess a situation without having to turn the entire turret to do so, for example by pressing and holding CTRL while turning the camera
I do think that certain power weapons/vehicles wouldn’t work so well in competitive game modes, such as the gravity hammer on small maps and the Scorpion Tank, which in the hand of skilled players are effectively free kills with little counter-play, diminishing the “competitiveness”. But I am not entirely sure.
In conclusion, I like this game. It plays like Halo but modern. I will keep playing this. My main criticisms relates to the UI design and how you access information, both in-game and while scrolling menus. Otherwise there is a strong foundation here for a lot of fun.