To be honest with you, I have never played any of the previous Halo instalments. Despite how popular it may be among the western players, Asian players were mostly spending their time on PlayStations and PCs instead of Xbox. The Xbox consoles only take up about 3% of the Asian console market share says a lot. Even if Halo has a PC version, Counter-Strike is the number one FPS game in our region, especially in the South-East Asian countries. If you’re here hoping to get an insight into how does the Halo Infinite campaign stands up against its predecessors, perhaps you’ve clicked on the wrong link. Nonetheless, I will do my best to share my personal opinion about the game.
Halo Infinite’s launch was a great success whereby gamers flocked to the free-to-play multiplayer mode for a taste of fast-paced objective-oriented team battle. Plenty of our local players were introduced to the Halo franchise after trying out the game. In this quick review, we won’t be touching on the multi-player aspect of the game but solely focusing on its single-player campaign mode. If you’re interested in the multiplayer mode, the game is available for download over at Steam for free.
Halo Infinite Single Player Campaign
As far as I know, Halo Infinite has introduced quite a number of new gameplay features – prominently the open-world map which is not seen on the previous Halo games. While we were not directly get thrown into the Zeta Halo ring and let loose, the first few segments of the game were taken place in the closed area which serves as a tutorial while setting up the story.
Cinematic & Initial Story Telling
Let me just start it off with my complaint about the game, the storytelling. You see, not everyone has played the entire Halo series and certainly, not everyone has been following the story. If 343 Industries wanted to bring in new fans and players into the franchise, they should’ve at least given us a nice intro for its prequels and world setting before dumping us into the Banished spaceship. I had to guess my way through the tutorial what really happened to the UNSC and what is really going on. In the end, I just don’t bother and gun through everything in my way.
My colleague especially mentioned Master Chief’s new weapon – the Grappleshot. While I’m not too sure about the hype behind it. Frankly speaking, I think it is a fine addition. As a Just Cause fan, grapple shot is nothing new to me. You can use it to grab weapons and items from a distance or use it for fast travel or dodging attacks in style, like a Spiderman. I was really hoping I could abuse the grapple shot but the cooldown makes you think twice before trying to use it.
Before we set our feet onto the Zeta Halo, we had our first boss fight with Tremonius. It was an interesting encounter as it requires you to take a strategic approach before you can take him down. We had to make good use of the grapple shot to dodge his shots while taking down his minions as they are extremely annoying with the shields and “homing” bullets. Fortunately, Tremonius is not summoning any more backups which makes the battle easier than expected.
Once we left the Banished fortress, we were introduced to the open-world aspect of Halo Infinite. Our first mission? Take out all the Banished and reclaim the USNC operating base. Except I was oblivious to the message as I was in awe of the scenery in front of me. Armed with the battle knowledge and weapon know-how (thanks to all the weapons lying around on the floor), we manage to take down all the enemies in the region and reclaim the Forward Operating Base (FOB).
Then what comes afterwards is the introduction to the various aspects and objectives you can do on the map. It is basically like having plenty of side-quests hanging around in the region trying to pull you away from your main objective. That is pretty much how open-world games are designed. Perfectionists would certainly do their best to complete all of them. That would easily take up hours.
What I really like about this is that the more FOB you capture, the more USNC personnel would spawn on the map. They would actively join Master Chief’s conquest to capture the next target of interest. Even if they’re just bots, it feels good to go around shooting the Banished with a gang. Especially if you drive a vehicle, they would all hop on and go on shooting any enemy insight.
Wonky Driving Experience
Then here comes my next complaint – the driving experience is worst than any shooter game I’ve ever played. No matter what vehicle I’m driving, be it the Scorpion tank or the Mongoose ATV, they all felt like driving a boat. I’m not sure if you get what I mean, the tyres don’t seem to have any traction on the ground and they are constantly sliding around as if there’s no gravity. The end result? Nauseating driving and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason why the USNC marines kept dying when we arrived at the enemy checkpoint.
Judging the game from the various standpoints, I can see why Halo Infinite manages to capture so much attention. Putting aside the fact that its multiplayer mode is free-to-play, the real attraction point is the gameplay experience being easy to adapt to and fast-paced. While we’re not really reviewing the game from its multiplayer aspect, the gameplay and controls are actually the same as the single-player campaign mode.
Even though this is a sequel for the Halo franchise, I hope the storytelling could have been better especially how crucial it is to reel in more young and new fans into the Halo universe. I think it is the main weakness of the game because as a new player to the game I could hardly feel anything about the characters. It lacks the character and world-building that is so important to make the player feel at home.
Apart from that, the gameplay experience has been pleasant, particularly how interactive the open world feels while you’re taking down FOBs and rebuilding USNC step by step. If you’re a fan of open-world, futuristic alien shooting games, you should give Halo Infinite a try, perhaps it will spark your interest to learn more about the Halo universe.