This weekend is going to be a great one. I will have the privilege to introduce one of my friends to Halo 2; An experience that he missed out on as a kid but is excited to enjoy at last, as an adult. Having shared entries in the franchise countless times with other friends and family, I know what an immeasurably fun experience it is going to be. And we had every intention to follow this journey, beers in hand on the couch, towards its culmination - a play-through of Halo Infinite, which is the best campaign entry since Halo Reach.
I’m a Halo fan through and through. I got my first xbox in 2002 after hearing at summer camp how much fun my friends were having playing “Halo” together. In the years since, Ive bought xbox systems first and foremost because of Halo. Ive bought every single title, played the campaigns countless times, purchased and read the books, bought the Reach legendary edition so I could have the collectibles, joined Halo gaming communities so I could have a more competitive online experience, bought xbox elite controllers so I could be the best I could be, and poured over Halo lore and new info for Infinite on youtube, up until this very day.
Despite my devotion, Halo Infinite’s history as a live service game has been a painful one to watch. Multiplayer has been utterly excruciating to endure. The only redeeming feature of Infinite is a remarkably good campaign, almost universally lauded as the best since Reach. I thought 343i understood the value of that campaign. Yet there have been more and more concessions with every communication from 343. Even so, I never could have believed that the one thing I was counting on - the ability to play this wonderful campaign with a friend right next to me - would be snatched away in exchange for vague promises of a better live service experience that I didnt even want. I bought my xbox series x on a lie - a broken promise by Bonnie Ross and others that the same mistake made in Halo 5 would never be repeated again. I was willing to wait - but for it to be completely abandoned?
I feel hurt and betrayed. I thought Joe Staten would have understood the value of experiencing a story together with friends and loved ones, which he himself put so much of his life into creating - but sadly, it seems not. So this is the last straw for me. When I get home from work, I will be uninstalling Halo Infinite, and will not reinstall it or any future Halo title from 343i until they give us back the one feature that I believe Halo was truly built on - couch coop/split screen. I hope that others who feel similarly will take action and make it clear to 343i that this is the last straw for them too.