Halo has had a rough time of it lately. With the launch debacle of the Master Chief Collection on consoles, the lacklustre response to Halo 5: Guardians, and the year-long delay of Halo Infinite, 343 industries sure could catch a break.
Luckily, it seems that the delay has paid off. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is releasing this year, will be free-to-play, and is looking stunning in every showcase so far. After revealing gameplay during the Microsoft E3 presentation, the developers conducted a deep dive into how the Halo Infinite multiplayer will be different.
Here’s how the Halo Infinite multiplayer looks to be a perfect modernisation of the classic we all fell in love with.
Equipment is back, but not as you know it
One of the best parts of Halo multiplayer is the moment to moment sandbox gameplay. Encouraged further by the inclusion of the player creation tool forge, Halo’s sandbox mechanics allow for the unexpected to happen. No two matches are ever the same, and that’s why we love it.
In Halo Infinite, 343 have taken that idea and run marathons with it. By adding new physics to certain items and implementing new mechanics entirely, the matches seem to be just as creative as we remember.
Let’s look at some examples. Equipment has been a staple of the series for a number of years – remember when sprinting was only possible via an equippable item? The items return with Infinite with some familiar faces and some new ones to play with too.
Active camouflage makes a welcome return, allowing you to dance around your enemies without them ever knowing. A new addition are deplorable shields that seem to have breakable panels on them. In the overview trailer, these shields are used to block off choke points with enemies using the smaller panels to shoot through.
What’s great about the new equipment is that, if players don’t use it before they die, other players can pick it up from the ground. That means you can go through one entire life while picking up and using several different pieces of equipment.
It’s all about that sandbox gameplay
Another new addition to the sandbox mechanics is accurate vehicle degradation. Targeting specific areas of vehicles will now break bits of them off in a more realistic manner. For example, the trailer shows how one Warthog is missing a wheel and that the handling of the truck is affected because of that.
Add the grapple hook mechanic into the mix and Halo Infinite is shaping up to be one heck of a sandbox experience. As it’s not just a movement gadget: the grapple can be used to pull items like Fusion Coils, weapons, even other equipment towards you.
The end result is that Halo Infinite looks and feels very much like the classic arena shooter we’ve come to adore, but modernised in all of the necessary areas without going overboard.
Player progression plays a huge role
That theme of modernising a classic continues to the player expression. Halo has always allowed players to be creative and charismatic in its online customisation. You need only look at Halo Reach highlight clips to see neon pink Spartans running amok to prove that point right.
Infinite takes this to the next level. Every single detailed armour piece can be swapped out and combined into a completely unique player Spartan. Details like prosthetic limbs and alternate body types will make this Halo one of the most inclusive, too.
It’s all backed up by a new Battle Pass system that’s breaking the mould by having them not expire. Purchasing a Battle Pass means you can work towards that content at any time in the future – there’s no time limit and you’ll never miss out on content. 343 is taking the new normal for monetisation and taking it further with players firmly at the centre of its attention.
On top of that, there will be no randomised loot drops or loot boxes to speak of. There won’t be a separate store front where you can purchase content up front. None of the extra content will be gameplay based – it’s all entirely cosmetic. From our perspective, it sounds like other developers should be taking serious notes.
It welcomes new players and veterans alike
Perhaps best of all, Infinite really sounds like it’s tee-ed up as the perfect Halo game for everyone, new players and veterans alike.
Included in the multiplayer will be a training mode called the ‘Academy’. It’s a place that’s intended to act as a boot camp for new and learning players to get to grips with how a Halo game works.
There’s various weapon drills and movement tutorials to get newcomers up to speed. 343 even says that it will teach players some of the niche language terminology that might seem commonplace for long-term fans but will no doubt be completely alien to newcomers.
With Halo Infinite set to act as a platform for all future Halo content, it makes sense that 343 would put a lot of work into the on boarding experience. After all, the more people we can convert into the Halo fandom, the better. It’s always great to have new team members to fight with, or opponents to fight against.
What do you make of the Halo Infinite multiplayer so far? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: 343 Industries