Review in Progress: Halo Infinite

Posted on December 6, 2021 by David Rodriguez

Listen to this Article:

  • 9.2/10
    Total Score - 9.2/10


The story of Master Chief and Cortana is riveting, the Banished make excellent enemies and the multiplayer is the most fun I’ve had since Halo 3.

Developer – 343 Industries

Publisher – Xbox Game Studios

Platforms – PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X

“343 has done a fantastic job of spoiling

Master Chief is back.

Halo Infinite has finally arrived. The story-line and the direction of its plot and characters have made big leaps from previous games that 343 have created.

Master Chief an what feels like a UNSC resistance force are back on Zeta Halo.. With new characters mixing with the Chief and a story that goes to places a Halo game has never ventured into.

Stoic, seamless cinematic moments occur in a fashion resembling Phantom Pain and God of War. The new approach to cut-scene direction lends a cinematic flair and weight not seen in a Halo title since Reach. The story has weight. Decisions will be made, an what happens with all of these characters will stick with you long after you’re done playing it. This is all helped by the games fantastic visual and world design.

“The Chief is back in his most personal story yet.”

Characters are the standouts, with great animation and amazing performance capture brings them to life. Zeta Halo and the world building performed with the art direction and style is fantastic. Banished structures and ships fused with the original Halo’s classic ring design. New characters, such as Escharum, the Pilot, and your new AI “The Weapon” are fantastic additions to the Halo universe. Each of the three bring something new to the table, and watching their stories unfold alongside Chief is great.

The composition is perfect, with another fantastic score layered through the entire experience. Not overly reliant on the classic theme, but perfect for the stoic nature of Chief and the open world he finds himself in. Lots of cues that build from the original games score are here and used to perfection. The sound design is excellent as well, with special attention being paid to the incredible voice work performed by the Banished enemies and Marine allies.

Every weapon and grenade has a distinct sound and feel. All of the audio design lends itself to the campaign and incredible multiplayer. It’s vital, as weapon sound can help prepare you for the next corner in arena multiplayer or taking out high security Banished outpost.

“A new AI codenamed “The Weapon” will help guide Chief.”

Halo Infinite’s game play is absolutely sublime. The Halo sandbox and top notch A.I lend themselves to spectacular moments in between the set pieces. Equipment and the grappling hook finally help Chief feel as lethal in real gameplay as he comes across during cinematic story moments.

The equipment system is a fun way to handle progression, by letting you invest in equipment based on your play-style. Missions where you get to go an hunt specific targets is very satisfying and the various gun variants themselves are all pretty fun to use.

Actual gun play an basic gameplay flow feels unchanged despite the games different structure. Enter an area, try to use stealth, take out of Elites with some grenades until all out chaos breaks out and it becomes a scramble. New enemy types and the Banished themselves are a bigger and better version of the Covenant.

“The first MP season is themed after the legendary Halo Reach.”

Banished weapons are specifically powerful and great to use in a hectic firefight. The Cindershot is a standout, with lobs of hardlight that can ricochet and disintegrate large amounts of enemies at a time.

Likewise, in the free to play MP, these weapons are great additions to the sandbox. Each weapon, aside from the Ravager feels potent. The UNSC suite of weapons is largely the same, with the new automatic Commando rifle filling a void the DMR left behind. 343 has already said that new seasons will bring back more weapons from older games as well.

The MP is fantastic. 343 has finally nailed the classic Halo feel with a modern movement system that doesn’t lose the essence of Halo’s trademark multiplayer feel. Big team battle also returns, with 12 vs 12 adding a heightened sense of chaos when power weapons and vehicles are in the mix. A ranked mode, full crossplay and bot support help create a solid foundation to build off.

“The energy sword is as fun to use as it ever was.”

Not all is perfect, as most of the problems with Halo Infinite are the same issues that they have already spoken at length about. Mostly centered around the Battlepass, XP and challenge system. A lack of slayer playlists is felt, but I vastly prefer having mixed quickplay as a default.

343 has already committed to several changes before the Holidays, and much more once the New Year begins in earnest. Standard Halo features such as co-op and Forge, are missing in action and may not arrive until mid 2022 the earliest.

Missing these features certainly stings, but this review is to reflect on the game as it is right now, not what it may be in the future. Time will tell when it comes time to change the challenge system, or what type of modes and playlists the core game is updated with. I will update this review as changes are made to the core game and multiplayer features in the upcoming weeks.

The core gameplay, open world campaign structure and fantastic multiplayer are great right now. Not three months from now, or seasons later. The story of Master Chief and Cortana is riveting, the Banished make excellent enemies and the multiplayer is the most fun I’ve had since Halo 3. If this is the baseline, I can’t wait to see what will come to Halo Infinite in the future.

Share Everywhere!

David Rodriguez is a former writer at Rectify Gaming.