How the Open World of ‘Halo infinite’ Can Change The Game for Better and Worse
Were you blinded when you first saw Zeta Halo? Paralysed, dumbstruck? You won’t know the answer until December 8th because Halo infiniteisn’t out yet. But I have finished the campaign , and did a thorough rummage through the open-world section of the ring. I would like to share these ramblings with all of you.
Let me introduce you to Zeta Halo, the Good and The Bad.
THE GOOD – Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), and Banished Outposts
Halo Infinite – This is peak Halo. This game’s sandbox is the best in a long time. There are many FOB bases around the world that must be returned to the Banished. These base battles are essentially ‘copy-and-pasted’ with only a few variants of the baddies that make them stand out, but there is enough variety in what the player can do in these battles.
The weapons you receive are not as planned out as the Halo game’s standard level structure. To make it as satisfying as possible, developers pick the enemies and weapons they place in each level. But here, you have the tools you need to find the Forward Operating Base or the FOB that spawned. This forces you to look at your gear and consider who you should attack first. You could try running in with a Gravity Hammer or Bulldog, a fast-firing shotgun, while Jackal snipers are threatening you from afar. Or you could hit an Elite with a Pulse Carbine for more range.
Banished Outposts are more custom, and have different versions of “blow up those three things” or “open these doors to push these buttons”. This mechanic is not fun and it’s just as frustrating as the one on The Maw in 2001 on Combat Evolved. These fights are more complex than the FOB ones and last longer. This allows you to change your approach as new enemy types appear. Banished Outposts can be compared to mini-versions of Firefight. They’re structured very differently but offer up that similar extended-battle-in-one-location vibe that comes from the beloved (and missing from Halo Infinite) mode.
There are many options in the sandbox, which can make even the most basic copy-and-paste scenario feel new and exciting every time. You won’t be using the same loadout every time you go in.
I don’t think Halo Infinite campaign is terrible. In fact, Dean’s review shows that he believes the exact opposite. It’s 343 Industries best Halo campaign to date. The problem is that the majority of main campaign missions are set in Forerunner or Banished structures with very few moments outside the real world. The developers made this decision to prevent any unplanned open-world variables from interfering with the choreographed cutscenes.
This means there is no Halo CE Silent Cartographer, nothing that feels like walking to Sword Base from Reach or firing rockets at Scarabs off the backs of Mongoose like in Halo 3. The set-piece moments are small and do not break free from a dungeon-esque environment. One sequence stands out, but it’s more about pointing players to different areas on Zeta Halo to have your own fun and get to as many points as you want. Although it works, it isn’t the bespoke, well-planned moment Halo fans love.
Although the open-world is wonderful, it cannot match a well-crafted set piece, especially when there are narrative beats.
For a hearty laugh at the Halo Infinite multiplayer, check out Halo Infinite wins & failures below. Continue reading below.
The Good Exploring is Genuinely Fun
This may not be applicable to everyone. As a child, I explored every corner of each Halo campaign level to discover all that was possible. Every little secret that fans find online would intrigue me. I spent so much time in Forge, digging beneath Sandtrap to solve the mystery of the eggs and recreating the Stairway to Heaven . I feel like I am reliving those strange moments of wonder by just walking around this Halo ring.
I found a UNSC outpost that was abandoned and madeshift at the top of a high-rise of pillars. You could find decent UNSC weapons, a variety of shooting targets, and rope rappels that explained how the marines reached such high altitudes. These little touches give the world a more human touch.
Another time, I was in a remote area of the ring that is higher than the rest of the world. I discovered a small hole in the rock and found it. I was able to sneak through and found a Forerunner door that led to a loot room full of valuable weapons.
There are audio logs that tell the story, skulls to locate, captured troops to rescue, and Banished propaganda to destroy, but they feel like an addition to the ring. Although it’s not as large as Far Cry orAssassin’s Creed open universes, the fun of exploring new areas by flying in a Wasp, Banshee or other means opens up a whole new world.
THE BAD– No Co-op. YET
It is more about 343 allocating their time elsewhere. Getting what they need right for launch in open-world games isn’t an easy task, but it is very frustrating not having it there right away. Split-screen multiplayer is the hallmark of Halo, as well as campaign co-op. My 20th birthday was a memorable moment in video gaming. I was allowed to drive the Warthog through the second level Halo Combat Evolved. It’s a shame that we don’t have this option.