There are a lot of complaints about the game. Most of them about the predatory cosmetics. However I firmly believe that the real reason people are complaining so heavily on the grind, the cosmetics, the overpriced nature of the store… is that there isn’t a lot really to do in this game besides grind.
There is a common argument against people doing so called, “whining” (disingenuous word it is) because back in the “good ol’ days” people would play Halo for the game itself. It was fun, and fun enough carried the game and cosmetics were a small part of that supplementary fun.
I’m here to argue that the reason people are so focused on cosmetics being a grind, that the game itself feels grindy, is because of two reasons which play into each other.
- The game doesn’t have enough content to really keep people entertained when we’ve all played hundreds or thousands of slayer/objective matches before. Halo Infinite is solid gameplay but it isn’t anything truly new. It plays like a mix of H3/5. Personally I don’t find that bad even if I still think sprint/slide ruin the flow of the game and it’s maps. (hopefully we get a playlist without any of these movement options the maps are certainly built to work without them) I’m not against repackaged previous halos. I just realize Halo 3 needed forge/theatre/customs games options in order to really differentiate itself from Halo 2. Halo Infinite also needs those sort of new ways to play the same type of gameplay.
We don’t have anything new to play. It’s just the new maps, some new weapons that arguably are sort of fluff and for a revamp of the sandbox don’t really strike out their own niche strong enough. (I’m looking at you disruptor pistol)
It FEELS like a grind because the game IS a grind. It’s just playing the same game modes with the same three or four gametypes with a sandbox that I would argue is weak! There are customs, but sadly a lot of us I feel no longer have the friends to play with that we used to. Making friends in this game is frustrating as an experience as well. There’s no more party up system, no more post or pregame lobbies, and adding people on steam for me is disruptively difficult as I’ve lately been just doing gamepad only matchmaking and I noticed players don’t even show up in recent players list. Nor can I just add people without going through extra steps. This is likely because of steam but my account in-game IS my old xbox live account and I assumed I’d be able to add people in-game because of this. The community feel is gone.
- I personally am now in the camp that we aren’t supposed to (or at least not for a long while unless we keep badgering them) get more game modes besides events. IT IS baked into the monetization that the game modes, the vehicles spawns, the weapons… all of it randomized. They DON’T want you to play the game with more options because that takes away from the impact that challenge swaps have on the challenge system. Said challenge system is there to create a grind. You can’t escape it when the game modes will be limited in order to facilitate said grindy challenge system designed to tire you out from playing matches you don’t want to play in order to complete challenges. I’d like to take the time now to state that, unfortunately after realizing this, 343 likely WASN’T miswording their statement on post dec 8th content. (they stated something along the lines that we have just about exactly what the game will launch with already despite being labeled as beta) This is how the game is designed to be. This how playlists are going to be going forward unless they drop this tactic that is cheapening the experience and all about frustrating the player base into purchasing challenge swaps. I could theoretically be wrong but given everything so far including the recent update today with cash shop and event pass I don’t believe that to be the case.
That being said I personally don’t even want to grind ranked, not because of challenges or because of the same few game modes I can’t pick myself, but that my experience so far has been frustrating.
- The match making is unbalanced horribly because 343 gives out diamond rank and high plat to people who lose or do bad most of their games… this leads to horribly lopsided match after match even when playing on solo/duo ques where it still feels like I’m going up against whole four man teams while being with lower ranked randoms. Even the games where it’s the opposite and I’m slaughtering with my team it doesn’t do anything but stress this fault to me. I don’t enjoy 90% of the games being one sided. It takes away from the feeling of Halo 3 that I described this game giving me. In fact it leans too heavily towards the unfairness and boring grind I felt in the short time I played Halo 4 before realizing it was terrible. This cheapens the feel of the game. We can’t even (to my knowledge) tell whether at onyx or diamond if we are matching with people who even reached said ranks regardless of whether they were placed into the right rank after placement matches.
- The spawns can be awful , and while I know spawns will NEVER be perfect there is such a problem with people spawning behind you or on your objective. You can clear the enemy team out but they’ll be right back to fighting you with little delay because of the spawns being so bad. It doesn’t help they can sprint or slide back to your position again anyways. It’s all just adding up imo.
- Melee registration is messed up . Sometimes you have to hit people more than twice. Sometimes you miss when you shouldn’t because of player collisions.
- Shot registration and many of the precision weapons feel off. BR’s sometimes seem to favor people based on connection advantage too strongly and sometimes YOU get the advantage. (shot around corners where the bullet follows you which I personally wasn’t 100% sure of happening until I DID IT to others, too many shots to kill, inconsistent damage to people that should be one shot or close to it, etc) Bloom on pistol seems like an odd choice given the connection and shot registration issues. Commando is just bad in nearly every situation.
- The sandbox is refined in terms of weapon COUNT but not in PRACTICAL USE … weapons seem redundant like the Heatwave and Commando. I’d love to go into this but it will have to be a different post due to length of this one.
- Grenades are seemingly broken in that the splash damage is too high, and that they often have falloff damage that is inconsistent or worse you can die to grenades behind cover or around corners! I can’t even tell if this is the damage system or the fault of dropped data packets, host issues, connectivity, etc… maybe the host machine sees players in different positions than the player is actually which is due to my next point…
- Theatre is down right broken! You either have inconsistencies in your gameplay footage where you see things differently than they played out, or in my case and for others as well, theatre literally is not in your game as a feature! So in order for me to test all of the issues that have happened… well I just can’t actually. So when I feel like a grenade killed me behind geometry or around corners beyond just what I can see I’m not even properly able to assess this and then record and report this issue…
One last thing as an unrelated topic, but it makes me wonder, is that I am unable to even play as of today. Every two seconds my character teleports half a second back in time essentially which implies I’m not properly connecting to host servers in each game. I’ve tried resetting, I’ve tried different playlists, etc and none of it works. It’s persistent and I am basically incapable of playing the game. This leads me to wonder now if this isn’t related to other issues that I’ve and others have experienced with shot registration, grenade damage, melee issues, etc. Now this could arguably be where the beta comes into play however whether they manage to get it fixed remains to be seen. They have A LOT on their plate to get this game in proper order. The gunplay is solid it just lacks content and stability in networking it seems.
It’s a long post and I wouldn’t blame you for not reading but I’m rather frustrated that I don’t see enough discussion around any of these points. Because of theatre being inaccessible to me as a feature besides the first day (where it went I have NO idea) I’ve been simply trying my best to question people in game and ask them about issues and concerns they’ve had as well. Especially given no one wanting to seemingly talk about problems like these here due to more glaring issues present like the BP/MTX/ETC. People seem to have the same issues I’ve been experiencing especially in ranked it appears.
It’s rather disappointing that so much was held off and I would say for reasons that really are terrible monetization attempts. If 343 does add a lot more playlists at launch I would see it as a win for those who have been discussing this point so hard as I don’t believe 343 intended to give us so much variety at first. They’ve been slowly experimenting with this rotation of playlists system since Halo 5 but all the more reason to implement temporary game types due to needing to pressure players into spending. The playlists are also designed to draw in bursts of player activity and this is a really lame way to go about it. It’s going to have the opposite effect and I hope they decide against this sooner versus later not everyone is going to stick around or even come back just because they decided on fixing things. I don’t believe Halo Infinites gameplay is that good where I see myself giving 343 another big chance.
What about you?