Halo Infinite came out at the back end of last year to critical praise and consumer concern. A “proper” Halo campaign in an open world which was largely a triumph in my opinion. Some fantastic story pieces, exploration within the Halo universe and some cool boss fights. Yep, Halo Infinite has a lot going for it, especially if you already have Xbox Gamepass, where it was just added to the offering on day one.
So yeah, good stuff coming out of the Halo Infinite release!
Prior to the release of the campaign, came the free-to-play online multiplayer. This is where things get a little less rosy, although to be fair, it’s some excellent Halo action. Good maps, it truly “feels” like Halo, with modern additions like the grappling hook, and alternative pickups to deploy as you go around.
Season 1 was received with incredibly mixed reviews. The battle pass was a little bit shit. Unfortunately, 343 Industries seemed to have misread the room. Experience and progress were initially very slow to earn, daily objectives and weekly objectives that weren’t very rewarding. The way that Halo Infinite cosmetic rewards have been built is a little odd, too. Colours only for specific armours, armour cores that need to be procured before you can use paints, all kinds of nasty stuff that, frankly, they shouldn’t have gotten wrong.
I’m a massive Halo fan, I even liked Halo 4 and 5 for what they are. So I was surprised just how much the cosmetics/battle pass system irked me. 343 really swung a miss, and it turned me away a little. Season 2 is the change for redemption!
Season 2 – Lone Wolves
Here we are! Season 2 in Halo Infinite. A really lovely Halo game that I’ve never really had issues with playing, it’s largely been a great experience.
It’s worth noting that 343 Industries made efforts to improve experience and progress, changing a lot of the minor niggles everyone had. But the core problems still existed. I just don’t like the armour core system.
Season 2 then, what’s fixed? What’s been introduced, and what remains?
New modes, maps, battle pass and events to tackle. That’s exciting stuff! And I’ll be honest, I’m a fan of the new maps, and the new “Last Spartan Standing” mode. This is good stuff, for free. I’m not a Halo Infinite apologist (it’s just a decent online shooter if we’re all being honest), but I’m definitely happy to be playing again.
Last Spart Standing is 12 lone wolves, all fighting to survive. You have 5 lives and just need to keep going until you’re the last man (sorry, Spartan), standing. So this isn’t a team-based mode, you’re not worried about letting the side down, you’re on your own, and I would say it’s better for it. I’m always trying to be a team player, so having the chance to only have myself to blame is great.
Halo Infinite introduces Breaker and Catalyst as new maps. They’re decent, although most of my time seems to have been spent this season on Breaker, playing Last Spartan Standing. Breaker is a little too big for 12 solo players. I definitely got lost a lot to start, and only survived because I couldn’t find anyone to fight for a while.
Is it better?
Such a broad and loaded question. Is Halo Infinite better? Better how?
It still plays fantastically and feels truly like a great Halo game. Multiplayer, particularly Big Team Battle, is still great. But for crying out loud, 343 Industries haven’t changed enough of their battle pass system. Rewards for the daily challenges are still weak, and sometimes, if I’m being really honest, the challenges are a lot of effort for not a lot of reward.
I’m playing a strong modern Halo game and I love it. But I’ve never disengaged from experience gains and potential rewards in a game so hard. I love the variations of Spartan armour from all the other games. I have earned so many over the years, they hold a special place in my gaming history. Halo Infinite still holds this sense of wonder and joy for me, and it’s no secret that I enjoy a good battle pass and daily challenges.
I can’t quite believe it, but I’m comparing Halo to something like Fortnite and Fortnite just seems to have the monetisation down in a much more engaging and rewarding way. Halo Infinite is a far better shooting experience to be clear.
Solid gameplay, nice new modes and maps. Season two is decent. But I really wish that if they’re going with the free-to-play model, they would get it right.
One caveat is that if you previously bought the season 1 battle pass but didn’t finish it, you can just re-select it and continue to progress on that. That’s a fantastic model to adopt! So credit where credit is due.
Halo Infinite is a great gaming experience and I’ll argue that until I’m blue in the face. But unless something changes with the money-making model (something I’m genuinely willing to pay for if they get it right), I’m going to keep bouncing off it.
Let’s see how the season goes and review it in a couple of months’ time, eh?
For more opinion pieces like this, click right HERE.