Halo Infinite Campaign Preview
It’s been ages since I picked up a Halo game. It’s nothing personal. I’ve just slowly strayed away from Master Chief over the years. Yet, Halo offers up some of my fondest gaming memories. I still recall lining up outside my local EB Games for hours in the rain waiting to snag that special edition copy of Halo 2. Not to mention all those Friday nights when we’d geek out and have ridiculous Halo Lan parties. It was glorious chaos with TV’s, pizza boxes, and network cables everywhere. I miss those days. Needless to say, it feels great to be playing Halo again. Halo Infinite is exactly what I needed.
Granted, this isn’t the final build for Halo Infinite. My impressions are limited to approximately 5 hours (the first 4 missions) of the single-player experience. I’ve played much more than that, but I’m not allowed to tell you anything beyond the first four missions. You’ll have to check back when our review goes live early next month.
The Chief is Back, Baby!
I’d love to tell you more because what I have played so far feels absolutely fantastic. It’s an impressive technical achievement for 343 and I am struggling to find anything flawed with this campaign, so far.
My biggest takeaway has to be the amount of freedom I have when it comes to navigating my way through ‘Zeta Halo’, where the campaign takes place. Previous Halo experiences have always featured sprawling levels and a (mostly) linear experience. That isn’t quite the case this time around. Sure, you get a core story experience and those trademark massive levels are back. However, Infinite has an open world feel, where I was able to complete missions at my own pace and within my own playstyle. And I love it.
Sure, you can burn through the main missions, but you’d be missing out. Infinite’s campaign is deep, has plenty to offer, tons to do and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface.
Nothing Else Matters
Story-wise, the campaign is set approximately 18 months after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. You’ll play as Master Chief who is back from the dead, desperate to find out what happened to Cortana and prevent the world’s main enemies, the Banished, from taking over Zeta Halo. There is a little more to it than this with plenty of new faces in the mix, but the story has me hooked and I am looking forward to seeing how this journey concludes.
The experience has a familiar but fresh feeling. Fans will feel right at home with that legendary Halo music, butter-smooth controls, and the return of all your favorite weapons. The open-world format; however, is reinvigorating. That sense of freedom and exploration is perfectly suited for the Master Chief. I get it, clearing outposts and doing all the things you would do, in say a Far Cry game, can become a slog. Rest assured, this isn’t the case here. At least, not so far.
During the campaign, in addition to completing the main missions, you will do such things as rescue marines, capture Banished bases, search for a plethora of collectibles and destroy towers. Most of the objectives are straightforward. Yet each task represents its own set of unique challenges and level of difficulty. That said, Infinite is accessible for everyone. In fact, the accessibility options are impressively endless. It’s a fantastically inclusive game that leaves no one behind.
Despite this, Infinite wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Weapons management plays a significant role. I consistently ran out of ammo, scrambled to look for dropped weapons or refill stations anywhere I could. The enemies gave me a run for my money, and I died. A Lot.
You Filthy Animals
The enemies are varied and absolutely hilarious once again. You’ll encounter useless little buggers who will comically mock you and others that will snipe you from hilltops. You’ll run into menacing brutes who will sprint towards you and others that blast deadly cannons your way. I didn’t expect much of a challenge going in. Boy, I was wrong…
Master Chief’s Grappleshot is a game-changer. This grapple hook mechanic impacts everything from boss battles to traversing through the sprawling levels. Just like everything else in the game utilizing the grapple hook is silky smooth. It feels natural like it belongs. The same goes for all the weapons. They pack a punch, present their own set of strengths, and feel great. This isn’t exactly surprising as this has never been a weak point for the franchise.
Halo Infinite also features a slick progression system that actually feels rewarding. You can find Spartan Cores throughout main missions and across Zeta Halo. Cores are used to upgrade equipment and other skills. The Cores aren’t exactly easy to find either, so exploration is highly encouraged and necessary. Especially if you want to unlock all the fancy gear. And yes, skulls are back and hard as heck to track down.
You quickly learn that capturing FOB’s is essential. Think of them as outposts or safehouses. Capturing them is accomplished by eliminating all enemies within the location and after that is done activating the plinth on the FOB’s platform. Once captured, they become a hub of sorts where you call in vehicles and edit your loadouts. Also, FOBs can reveal key Banished structures and High Value Targets.
All those concerns about Halo Infinite’s solo campaign have been erased. I could give a rip if the co-op isn’t available on day one as I am absolutely loving this solo journey. Halo Infinite’s campaign is expansive, gorgeous, and a silky smooth good time. I am excited to finish this journey on Zeta Halo.
***Preview code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this preview***