Halo Infinite's campaign fell a little short with some gamers, but what does it show for the future of Halo?
*A spoiler-free look into Master Chief's latest adventure*
Halo Infinite's campaign according to google clocks in at around 10 - 12 hours in length "depending on how much exploration you do" however to me it felt a lot shorter. Don't take that for me saying I didn't enjoy it because I actually did. Quite a lot actually!
When our story opens with The Master Chief taking a royal beating I knew instantly we were going to be introduced to someone a little different this time around. We're so used to seeing John-117 being the one handing out bullets in a not so friendly manner that I was shocked to see this kind of intro. But it serves its purpose perfectly. At this point in his life, The Chief has taken a beating, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
His connection with the new characters is a wonderful dynamic. It takes the lone soldier aspect of John and forces him into a close circle of friends. A family unit that he seems to be trying to shake out of early in the story which actually reminds me of the way the T800 is viewed in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
"You can't just go around killing people...", "Why."
Master Chief and Echo 216 (The pilot is known by the Pelican crafts designation) don't see eye to eye in more ways than one. The Chief is a literal killing machine standing seven feet tall who is ready to "finish the fight" no matter the cost where Echo 216 just wants to escape. He's scared and for good reason. The Brutes, Elites, Jackals, and Grunts are killers... And in his eyes, he isn't armed with the knowledge, the backup, or the weapons to do anything about that. He sees Master Chief as an impossible figure to live up to. But maybe a little bit of that armor's green paint will rub off and leave him with a scuffed piece of hope.
"I'll be safe? Safe?! I haven't been "safe" since I found you! I found you, remember? You were out there on your own and you'd still be out there if it wasn't for me! I thought I was going home!"- Echo 216
A gripe of many players is the lack of classic weapons in Halo Infinite. Many of the weapons from previous games are missing entirely such as the original style Shotgun, Carbine, Magnum Pistol, and Plasma Rifle to name a few. Where I agree that they were missed and I did wish I could stumble upon one of the classics now and then I do think it was time to move forwards and start creating new weapons. Halo Infinite is such a change of pace and direction with its game, combat, and movement mechanics that it was the right time to take a look at the weapons behind us and think about what comes next.
As a pure crystallized piece of speculation, I do think that we'll see some classic weapons return in the later seasons of the game as we explore new areas of the Zeta Halo Ring. This also is why, in my mind at least, the reason that we didn't see different weather-affected areas of the ring. Many, including myself, miss the snowy areas of Halo as they always added a little of that Metroid Prime Phendrana Drifts vibe that is a favorite of mine. There's something about snowy exploration that just makes you feel cozy, right?
Speaking of snowy exploration it has been one of the highlights of this game to actually explore. Something that has been very prominent over the past few years in the gaming industry is how many franchises have looked over at Nintendo and copied their homework. In a good way obviously...
Let's take franchise A and multiply it with Breath of The Wild. Let's take the square root of franchise B and find the length of its Breath of The Wild side.
This has to be something other people have noticed right? So many games have taken huge (we're looking at you Genshin Impact) inspiration for the way the game world works and added their own character to it. But it works! I and many others are happy about it. Climbing a mountain just to see what's up there and finding a little Arbiter Doll definitely has a charm I needed. Also, no one I've seen has mentioned this yet! Was I the first to find it?
Being able to find hidden things like the above, or old caves leading to Forerunner structures is something that Halo sorely needed. It makes the player feel like they discovering more of a universe that they already love! There are things we could do without like learning that Brutes can have an equivalent of Covid-19 with the way Escharums coughs and splutters down my headphones but it doesn't detract from the things I like about this game.
My final thought on the game, and you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned our new blue sidekick just yet, is that I love The Weapon. I felt very American just then. Weird.
She is a wonderfully acted new "version" of the Cortana character we'd come to love and eventually miss. Through her new eyes of wonder, we get to explore the Zeta Halo and Master Chief as a character. She's adorable, witty, caring, and not afraid of giving Chief a bit of a talking to when he's done something wrong. Without spoiling things he does. He makes mistakes in this game, but because of our time playing as the character and knowing what he's been through we know in turn why he does what he does. At the end of the day, humans make mistakes. And his is human.
Play the game and feel free to let us know below what you thought or jump into our Discord and we'll continue the chat over there!