Halo Infinite Multiplayer Review
343 Industries made Halo fans a pleasant surprise by releasing multiplayer Halo Infinite a month earlier than release date of game, designating it a beta version.
With the release of the campaign, the network part officially acquired the status of a full-fledged release, well, after almost a hundred hours spent in multiplayer, we prepared a detailed story about all its advantages and disadvantages.
For the first time in the history of the series, the network mode is separated from the single mode and distributed according to the shareware model. And such a solution, in addition to the obvious positive moment in the form of a minimum threshold for entering the game, has a number of problematic points that raise questions. Let's start with paid content. Spending money in Halo Infinite is offered in two directions: this is a Battle Pass, which contains a progression system and opens access to various elements of cosmetic customization of your Spartan, and the opportunity to purchase your favorite ruffles directly in the game store (although the assortment is limited to what is presented within the current week).
The Combat Pass has hundreds of unlockable levels, but it remains extremely poor in rewards, because of the 166 different awards presented this season, 60 are various experience boosters and weekly challenge replacement cards. At the same time, the remainder is divided into shaders for coloring the combat suit, various elements for one of the two sets of armor (which, by the way, are not interchangeable) and numerous emblems and icons. As a result, at least for now, it will take quite a long time to collect the necessary amount of cosmetics, sufficient to effectively stand out.
The system of progression and gaining experience raises even more questions. And it's not even that the levels are earned exclusively through the performance of weekly challenges, often forcing one or another style of play – in this direction, based on feedback received from the community, the developers began to work very quickly and already now this system has received a number of important changes. The problem is that this model is not focused on teamwork and the desire to win the match. The game absolutely does not take into account your personal and team successes during the game. It doesn't matter if you won or lost, tried to carry the flag in the appropriate mode or ignored it, focusing on stuffing frags – the game doesn't care. The main thing is whether you have shot the conditional five frags from the needler necessary to close the challenge or not. As a result, I personally have many times encountered inappropriate behavior of players who giggled at my request in the general chat to focus on the goal of the match and answered in plain text that they were not very interested in it. Win or lose – you will get a fixed amount of experience per game at any outcome.
First of all, this problem concerns the Social playlists of the game. Ranked matches partially change the situation for the better. Yes, the amount of experience you gain does not change, and the progression of the combat pass is still tied to challenges, but at least to advance through the ranks, it is important for you to show yourself on the good side. And if in the previous games of the series only victories or defeats were taken into account, now whether you get closer to the new rank or move away from it depends, among other things, on what exactly you did during the match. Thus, even a lost battle can not only not throw you back much, but also completely replenish the progress bar to the coveted increase. This approach has a positive effect on the game, making you sweat to the last, even if the outcome of the battle is initially predetermined and is not in your favor.
These problems could have been a verdict on the new project, if not for the fact that at the basic level of the game mechanics Halo Infinite was given to glory. This is still an extremely exciting, demanding shooter that has absorbed the best of the early parts of the series. Infinite is still based on three "whales" that form the basis of the gameplay equally - shooting, the use of grenades and melee. And each of these elements has a whole bunch of nuances that are vital to take into account when you enter a firefight. Different types of weapons often have unique application specifics. For example, energy causes serious damage to enemy shields, but becomes less effective when shooting at unprotected targets; the four types of grenades presented in the game have different damage type indicators - plasma grenades and Brutus grenades cling to enemy armor, and shock grenades are ideal for disabling equipment. Even such a banal thing as a melee strike has its own characteristics, such as the need to know at what level of charge of the enemy's shields a butt poke will finish him off, different hand-to-hand attack speed for different types of weapons, as well as, in special cases, increased impact damage with certain trunks. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg. In Halo Infinite, even veterans of Halo network battles may have to figure it out, let alone newcomers. However, the latter may be repelled by such a detailed system of relationship between the mechanic.
But Halo Infinite also has problems at the level of basic mechanics. They by no means ruin the game, but for users who are trying, so to speak, to dig deeper in an attempt to better understand everything, they can spoil the experience. As an example, we can cite a number of changes in the balance of the gunplay, which led to the fact that, say, a shotgun is now not a narrowly focused melee weapon, ideal for repelling an attack with an energy sword, but just another melee and medium combat weapon that has lost its individuality. Some melee attacks are incorrectly registered, and it happens that a blow to the face is perceived by the game as a fatal blow to the back. Well, there are technical problems - for example, the low tickrate of game servers, which is why death after you have already gone around the corner is not uncommon in the game.
It is also impossible not to note the strange decision of the developers associated with the separation of matchmaking by type of input devices when implementing crossplay between PCs and consoles. In ranked battles, you are free to choose whether the game will pick up opponents for you only with a gamepad, keyboard and mouse, or without restrictions (in each case, qualification for rank and further progression takes place separately). So, if you agree to search without restrictions, then there is no problem - you are going to join a team with friends of up to four people and go ahead. But if you still indicate that you want to pick up opponents only with gamepads or a keyboard and mouse, then for some reason the game immediately puts a limit on the size of the team – no more than two people. That is, if you want to play three or four, you will be forced to play in the general mass of players with both gamepads and a mouse. But the most surprising thing is that the advantage is not at all on the side of adherents of traditional PC peripherals. Halo Infinite gives a clear preference to the owners of gamepads with its aiming assistance settings, which has already been proven in the vastness of the network by comparing the average accuracy of users of console controllers and users of a mouse with a keyboard.
Another problem is the low content of game modes. At the moment, the game features four playlists: a quick game in 4x4 format, a battle of large teams, rank battles and training with bots. Everything is clear with the latter, and we will not take it into account. Each of the remaining three playlists is a mix of different game modes: traditional sleer, capture of the flag, capture of territories and holding of the skull (in the case of BBK, holding of the skull changes to a mode tied to the capture and delivery of power cells to the base). This approach has two serious drawbacks at once. Firstly, it is a small number of modes themselves. Where is FFA (each for himself), where is SWAT, where is Infection, where are the bomb and Griefball modes? These are all the traditional modes for the series that were previously available from the release. In addition, even that small set of modes available in the game now is inseparable. That is, for example, you cannot play only "Sleer" if the rest is not very interesting to you.
Since the third part of Halo, Forge mode has been an important component of the network component of the games in the series – a powerful map editor that allowed gamers to independently design multiplayer arenas, the best of which even got into the rotation of the maps of the main playlists. And this is a great way to create a variety of game content along with the traditional release of maps by the developers themselves. Unfortunately, Forge is not currently represented in Halo Infinite, and, according to the developers, it will be released no earlier than May 2022.
Halo Infinite multiplayer is not a bad game, if I may say so. This is an exciting and highly competitive gameplay, in which there is always room for personal growth and honing game skills. Unfortunately, in the current state, the game has a number of both serious and not so serious problems. Given the distribution model, as well as the openness of developers to public opinion and criticism, there is no doubt that it will only get better, and the problems of both the technical plan and the content of the game will be solved. However, at the time of release, it is rather an excellent preparation for future development, rather than a full-fledged and finished product, which were the best parts of the Halo series.