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    Halo Infinite

    Game » consists of 1 releases. Released Nov 15, 2021

    Halo Infinite follows the Master Chief as he scours the mysterious Zeta Halo, which was left war torn by The Banished, for a weapon to stop the plans of the rogue A.I. Cortana.

    Halo Infinite's campaign is baffling (an essay from a huge Halo fan)

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    csl316

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    Edited By csl316  Online

    Recently, I went to the Xbox museum thing. My top 5 games were Halo 3, Halo 5, Halo: Reach, Rock Band, and Xbox Back Compat (featuring a bunch of Halo). I love the series. I'm a huge, huge fan of Halo. It's my favorite FPS series, and I'll routinely go back to an old campaign and play through some of my favorite levels. And yes, some of my favorite levels are from 343's games (Infinity, Composer, the whole sequence of missions on Sanghelios). This team is capable of some really amazing shit.

    343 has really nailed it in the past.
    343 has really nailed it in the past.

    I hate to be negative on the internet, but I have so many thoughts on Infinite (pretty much spoiler free). And this post turned out to be a lovefest for 343's previous output, surprisingly. I kinda want to hear some updated opinions from folks that have had a chance to finish it by now. I was trudging through the final level, and it felt just like the corridors I saw in the other corridors in earlier levels. There were some cool combat encounters out in the open world, but shouldn't a climactic final level feel... important? I had mixed feelings up to this point, but this was when I threw my hands in the air and went "ok, what the hell is happening here?"

    My issue from the start was expectations, I know this. I thought 343 did a fantastic job with the previous two games. Their take on the combat felt better than ever, their encounter design was surprisingly good, the mission pacing was some of the best Halo's ever seen, the art and music felt like their own take on the series, and I was super pumped to see how they'd wrap up this whole Guardians angle. And instead I got a game that feels like it went through development hell. Gears 5 did some similar stuff with open zones, but it still had the scripted sequences that made that series stand out. The final act in Gears 5? It felt important.

    I know people seem to like this intimate sort of storytelling, but previous games have done intimate just as well as grandiose. Go replay Reach. There's stuff in that game that hits emotionally in a way I never would have expected from a sci fi shooter.

    I get chills just thinking about this level in Reach.
    I get chills just thinking about this level in Reach.

    Even the multiplayer feels like a step back. Halo 5 had some of the best in the series. Warzone was such a cool idea, and they refined it over time into one of the best game modes in the series. The speed of the game made it feel modern, the maps were great, and eventually you got so many cards by just logging in that you always felt a little overpowered. It's a great feeling to have in a multiplayer mode. Breakout was neat, and the movement abilities gave it a little extra kick. Infinite plays well enough, but it feels sort of basic for now. I like that they're listening to feedback and I have high hopes that they'll build on a solid foundation over time. But as of now, it still feels quite limited. For a game with a bottomless budget, I was surprised to see how conservative it all felt at launch.

    Oh, Halo 5, you misunderstood beauty.
    Oh, Halo 5, you misunderstood beauty.

    Again, this is all my opinion. But the reviews of this game were so positive, and it almost feels like people just like the grappling hook. Look, I get it, I've enjoyed grappling hooks since Tenchu. Doom: Eternal had a dope grappling hook. Speaking of which, Id put out The Ancient Gods part 2 this year. It's one of the best batches of single player FPS levels I've ever played.

    So, Halo: Infinite. What the hell is happening here? I was so stoked for this game, because 343 was making the series their own. Instead, they scrapped a bunch of story threads, their mission design lost its magic, we decided that the Halo level is the only worthwhile level in the series, big set piece moments with riveting music became old news, and the writing took a turn for the... well, I hope you like the tone of that pilot dude. The fact that the original Halo had open fields AND open snowfields seems like an impossible dream at this point. Instead, I got a late game scenario that I will describe below. It made me feel like I was losing my mind.

    Towards the end of the game, Pilot Man gets kidnapped. Master Chief drops everything to save this pilot. Nevermind that I've been sending marines to their death for a dozen hours as I jumped a full Warthog directly into a field of bad guys. I play through big open rooms where they throw waves of guys at you. I walk into a dark room. It starts playing the recording of his wife and daughter. Over and over, I stumble through this dark room as his child tells me about being "SO BIG" in a robotic voice, over and over again, as I stumble in the dark, and the darkness is rising in me, and my feelings about the game come to a head. I'm lost, this annoying, sappy recording keeps playing, and I have no idea what to do. I go to Youtube and find that there was a glowing thing at the entrance I had to press. At this point, I decided that this campaign sucks.

    That's it, I've said everything I had to say. What are your thoughts on the game if you've completed it? Or did you quit? Or is this a masterpiece and I just don't understand why people like this and the combat in the new God of War?

    Note: The Promethians died on the way back to their home planet.
    Note: The Promethians died on the way back to their home planet.

    Halo, 343, Microsoft... you are capable of some truly amazing work. Please choose a direction for this series and stick with it.

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    Panfoot

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    I mostly left Halo behind when Bungie left, I went PC only before 4 came out, but eventually played it this year when it came to PC(Overall I thought it was "okay"). I haven't played 5 since they have zero interest in porting that over. With that all said...I think it's easily the worst Halo campaign in the series.

    The open world is just so...standard, it really doesn't feel any different than your average ubisoft game aside from the grappleshot(which is so powerful it essentially makes the equipment pointless). The actual levels themselves are equally as dull, I've done a Heroic run, then a speedrun on normal to finish up getting skulls, and now i'm almost done with a LASO run and I *still* can't remember most of the levels apart. The actual plot is not good either, so much happens off screen and soooo much of the game is 2 characters talking to each other as if they were in a play, don't even get me started on where it seems to be leading for the future.

    I think this is gonna be remembered like Shadow of Mordor was, people will fondly remember the one really neat thing (the Nemesis System, in this case, the Grappleshot) and almost nothing else of the game.

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    csl316

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    #2 csl316  Online

    @panfoot: "Standard" is a good way to put it. When I was going around sweeping up Spartan Cores, my word was "ordinary." It didn't feel like something special, just a basic open world design with Halo's patented combat sandbox.

    And yeah, so many of the cutscenes started with you putting out your hand, Weapon appearing, and then the camera spinning around them. Followed by a final level whose story moments are basically big holograms chatting in the past.

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    Justin258

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    #3  Edited By Justin258

    I also played and replayed all of the previous games in the series over and over again, much like you. I think Halo 4 is pretty underappreciated - sure, the way they handle the Didact isn't great and some parts of the plot needed a much more nuanced explanation, but the things that plot does well - Cortana's AI dementia, the character writing, the pacing, the set pieces, all of that stuff is top-tier. I think Halo 5 bringing back Cortana as a villain cheapens everything I liked about Halo 4's plot, so my dislike for Halo 5's story is pretty strong. I also think 5's campaign is one of the weakest in the series overall - I think the gameplay generally leans far too much on the idea that you have three other teammates to pick you up.

    Infinite... is also a confusing mess of a game, but at least its gameplay is really good. Like, some of my favorite in the series up to this point.

    There's a quote out there - I forget who it's attributed to - who said that Halo 1 was the same thirty seconds of fun over and over again. If that's true, then Infinite really does go back to basics as much as possible, because Infinite gives you a grapple hook and that's basically the best thing ever added to the Halo sandbox and you're sort of expected to use it over and over and over and over again. I couldn't get enough of using it to zip about the battlefield, to get myself into trouble and back out of it just as fast, to grab fusion coils and throw them at groups of enemies, to grab weapons just out of cover when I really needed one. Halo has always had an issue with "keeping a reliable normal gun in one slot all the time" because you never know when you're going to just need a basic gun, but here the grapple hook gives you so much mobility that anything is viable as long as you're fast enough and can use the environment to your advantage. Most of the guns are a ton of fun to use, too. Yeah, they're all quirky, but in this case that just means you have to figure out how to use whatever's around you on the fly. You have to learn how to use every weapon at least somewhat effectively to really get through on higher difficulties.

    Especially against bosses. I've heard some people complain about the bosses being bullet sponges surrounded by adds, and that's true, but I still found myself trying to pull off whatever tactics came to my head on the fly. It didn't always work, I died a lot, but I always had fun trying to scramble around these guys. I often felt like I was pulling something out of my ass at the last second and barely scraping by. It was some of the most exhilarating gameplay since... well, Doom Eternal, another game I loved that seems pretty divisive (incidentally, also a game that forced you to get better at using its entire arsenal and equipment).

    Everything else about the game is kinda bad. Everything. The story is hot fucking garbage with almost no redeeming factors. It barely explains itself and just left me scratching my head, trying to piece what happened together while the game tries its best and completely fails to tug at my heartstrings. The music never really sticks with me - sometimes, it will call back to Mary O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori's themes, but usually it's just boring. The world is gorgeous to look at, sure, but you don't get points for that when you have a grand total of three environments and two of those are basically just hallways, some with a blue tint and some with a red tint.

    I suppose the sound design is also really good - everything sounds nice and punchy and clear, I can always hear what I need to even when the battlefields get really busy, etc. And the open world lets you approach combat in a lot of different ways, though ultimately I don't think that means much when Assault on the Control Room and The Covenant and an assortment of other huge levels that Bungie put out also let you approach things from a number of different angles.

    Ultimately, I did everything in Halo Infinite's open world (except for the lowest-level stuff, like Spartan Cores and Mjolnir lockers) and I don't regret doing it. I had a ton of fun. I think all of it comes with the massive caveat that, as a complete package, this is a repetitive experience whose final five hours aren't all that different from its first five hours. I just personally happened to think those first five hours were incredibly fun.

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    csl316

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    #4 csl316  Online

    @justin258: Mentioning Assault on the Control Room and the Covenant is interesting, since I replayed both of those levels last month. The levels ebb and flow, going from hallways to open areas to vehicle sequences constantly. While I enjoyed the gameplay of the open world and linear levels in Infinite, I really feel like keeping them so separate really harms the mission pacing. Hallways are fine, but not for 20 minutes with little variability.

    If you take a corridor level, add in an open base raid, then a corridor, then a tank... THAT is a Halo mission to me. It's how the other games can pull off 30 minute missions without feeling monotonous. 30 seconds of fun, then 30 seconds of a different kind of fun, etc.

    And the bosses were surprisingly fun. They were bullet spongey, I suppose, but an FPS boss sort of needs a high health pool to feel different from a regular enemy. They did a good job of making them feel different from each other, too.

    Halo 5's story, I understand why some people didn't like it. While it mostly worked for me, I have no issue with the criticisms since they're valid. But I did like some of the mission design, even if Halo 4 was superior in many ways (even more impressive since it was their first crack at it).

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    BladeOfCreation

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    In his GOTY talks with Mike Mahardy and Mary Kish, Dan Ryckert said that the story of Halo Infinite is basically told by watching holograms talking to other holograms. That's pretty accurate. I'd even take it a step further and say that these holograms talk around each other while using a bunch of proper names that Master Chief has never heard before. You don't even find out what it all means until the very end, which isn't an ending at all. I understand trilogies, but each entry has to feel complete. This doesn't.

    There is literally a callback to the "finish the fight" line from Halo 2.

    At the end of it all, this Halo Ring is just a prison for an ancient, powerful enemy of the Forerunners. It's not even a new idea in the series. This game isn't just copying other sci-fi or other games, it's copying elements from its own past. It comes across as lazy.

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    apewins

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    I haven't finished Infinite but I still can't get over the Cortana storyline. So the AI is set to shut down after seven years, but instead of just closing it goes crazy and puts everything around it in jeopardy. This may be commentary on planned obsolescence but it's pretty wild that the military would make its own products like that, especially in space. But suppose there is some good reason for that, and then John Halo, Mr. Military himself, just decides that he can't allow the military to do its thing and shut Cortana down because he would miss her, and thus he puts the entire universe in danger. Wouldn't it be ironic if it was Master Chief that eventually destroyed the world just moments after saving it.

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    noobsauce

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    Eh, I like the campaign quite a bit even if it's more righting the ship than anything. It has short comings but then I remember that Infinite is the Halo platform for the next decade. Over time we'll get more story added and can see how this all plays out (understandable if you think that's a cop out). The important thing for me is the game ends in a spot where I care about our core trio and want to see what happens to them next.

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    noobsauce

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    *Laughs in Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel....*. Plenty of franchises have done this to get that old feeling back. Now Halo is doing thier Force Awakens of Halo 1. It's the price you pay for having franchises continue. They start successfully, get lost in the woods or alienate people when trying to expand in new ways, and eventually return to a take on that old formula.

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    RimTiggins

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    I've had fun in the open world (even though it's extremely basic and doesn't ever evolve or offer any progression besides "collect everything") but the campaign itself is bad. So much potential there but it feels like it was cobbled together at the very last minute. There's nothing there that takes advantage of the open world and nothing that comes remotely close to the high points of the previous games. I'm really surprised by how easy the reviews have gone on it and feel like it'll probably be one of those games that everyone suddenly sours on when they step back and look at it for what it is.

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    csl316

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    #10 csl316  Online

    @bladeofcreation: Oh god, I forgot about the "finish the fight line." All that was missing was Chief looking at the camera and winking.

    Also, let it be known that one shot tracking cameras are sucking the life out of video game cutscenes. People seem to have way too much faith in their dialogue these days.

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    Humanity

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    @rimtiggins: It does weirdly seem that while any other game would get slammed for a lot of these design shortcomings, Halo is somehow receiving universal praise. There is fun to be had for sure, but Infinite is definitely one of those extremely frustrating experiences where you can see how great it could be just around the horizon, but it never gets there. I'll bring up a controversial comparison here, but to me this is just like Burnout Paradise - a big, open, yet superflous world that doesn't really add much to the experience and mostly serves as a buffer between you and the activities you want to take part in.

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    csl316

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    #12 csl316  Online

    @noobsauce: This isn't the old formula, though. This is the Halo level stretched out to a full game. It's like one variable in the equation, but they forgot their cheat sheet and left the teacher confused about what they were going for.

    It's been 6 years since Halo 5, and I really don't know how they wound up with this end product. I'd love to see behind the curtain. This couldn't have been the original intent of the story. There are rumors of 2/3 of the game being cut out, but generally that means there was still a framework for a vision. Even Halo 2 cut out its finale but they still pulled off a lot of their other ideas in a rush.

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    Big_Denim

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    #13  Edited By Big_Denim

    Gameplay good.

    Story bad.

    Environments are shockingly repetitive.

    In a nutshell, it's a solid foundation, and I'm hoping a story expansion delivers a lot more now that they have the core game out the door and can focus on the fluff.

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    noobsauce

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    @csl316: green man and his ai, with the help of a Pelican pilot, roam across a giant ringworld to fight a collective of alien races and learn of a dark secret held within the ring? Seems fairly Halo 1 to me.

    I am curious what that cut content was but I imagine we will see some form of it with expansions. For now, I appreciate the story being tight if a little lean. Infinite has a good base product that it can work off of. That's what it needed to be and it achieved that goal.

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    jeremyf

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    A lot of the story's shortcomings are a product of... well, the product. They're definitely trying to soft reboot back to what people remember and like, so everything else is quickly resolved. It's supposed to be an evolving game of some kind, so there can't be any real resolution to the story. I'm of the opinion that the more you name characters as nouns, things get esoteric and annoying. I feel like there's a small pool of Halo diehards who go for that kind of stuff, and the rest of us are just waiting to shoot some more. There aren't real dramatic stakes here, and the hologram gorilla screaming about how much stronger he is comes off as comical. But the game is very fun in spite of all that.

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    NameRedacted

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    The more I read about this game, the more I think Jeff's 4 out of 5 was generous. It feels like everyone lost their mind over the multiplayer and that's propping up people's impression of this game, that and old Gamer Nostalgia for the Xbox and 360 era.

    Doom 2016, on the other hand... Chef's Kiss!

    Mark my words, if I was any of the new developers Microsoft bought, I'd be real worried about becoming a Halo support studio (like Activision does with CoD), because 343 is no Bungie; a fact they've demonstrated repeatedly.

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    Nillock

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    #17  Edited By Nillock

    Halo Infinite is an example of a game where the more I play of it, the less impressive it becomes.

    I think the combat is fun, but everything else just wears on me.

    The open world is bland and uninteresting, and that's my opinion from someone who appreciates open world games. I'm not talking about the landscape. There's simply not enough to do to justify it being there. The "unlocks" you get as you accumulate valor never seem to matter all that much in a game where you are constantly running out of ammo and picking up weapons. The marines and most vehicles are disposable and don't factor into story missions. They just lightly speed up a way to get more valor. So the objectives on the map felt like unrewarding chores.

    Modern Assassins Creed games get a lot of criticism for having open world "bloat", and that's fair. I agree that Valhalla has too much stuff to do. But also, almost all of it is rewarding in some way that enhances your character or reveals more about the story of the characters. And the missions are varied and fun. They are worth doing. Infinite has none of that. The open world is almost pointless.

    The open world is also at odds with the story. What started out as a desperate solo mission by Master Chief, alone without backup from the UNSC, quickly loses weight when you start unlocking FOBs and have access to unlimited man power, weapons and vehicles. Why doesn't Master Chief just sit at a FOB and call in an army to take over the Halo? Where are all of these marines coming from?

    A lot of these answers are "it's just a video game", which is exactly right. It's just a video game that's trying so hard to be something it's not. If it would have been 10 linear levels, people would have said it's shallow and boring so they decided to make it an open world. But they didn't include anything to justify it. So to me it's still shallow and boring.

    The combat "puzzle" is really the only thing that saves it from being a total dud. It just goes to show how far an expertly designed core combat experience can take a game. Everything else can be average and people will still like the game.

    As for Multiplayer, I think it's fun but in a way that Smash Bros is fun. Some people take both very seriously, but the vast majority realize they are just party games. I just prefer a multiplayer shooter where I can decide on a load out to bring, and decide which role I want to play depending on the map. I'm a COD guy, I like leveling up guns and unlocking attachments instead of waiting for a weapon to spawn on a wall. I need a carrot on a stick. Having played a ton of Unreal Tournament, I get that waiting for weapons is pert of the meta, but I just am not invested in these types of FPS games. I can play a couple of Infinite matches and have a blast, but I don't feel the need to keep playing past that. That's totally on me though. Aside from there not being enough maps, i really can't complain about the multiplayer experience.

    But all of the above essay is moot because "it's on Gamepass". Which is a huge benefit for a title like this, and gives it extra cache. In the same way in which Forza Horizon 5 got universal praise, even though I feel it's just Forza Horizon 4 with a reskin. These games get extra points for being "free". It seems at release everyone jumps on and plays a few hours then jumps on social media to say how great they are and then never actually play through the entire game to see the actual flaws. Or they overlook the flaws because "it was free". These games also get extra points for being released in a very light year for gaming releases.

    This is not to say that just being on Gamepass makes a game good and praised (see Crackdown 3), I think that a good game on Gamepass gets bumped up to "Amazing!", especially in the last few years.

    Anyway. Halo Infinite is ok. Not great, just fine.

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    csl316

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    #18  Edited By csl316  Online

    It's interesting to see how many people like the gameplay (including myself), but are disappointed with Infinite as a whole. It's like the game is fun despite their decisions, based on gameplay that's been getting refined for 20 years now.

    The multiplayer gave good impressions ahead of release, but they did wait a while for that review embargo and didn't show much of the campaign beforehand. I know people complained about the graphics last year, but my main point of worry was.. really, you're just gonna show a Warthog and fight up a hill?

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    Nillock

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    @csl316 said:

    It's like the game is fun despite their decisions, based on gameplay that's been getting refined for 20 years now.

    Exactly this.

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    RimTiggins

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    @nameredacted: Agreed. The multiplayer coming out first and being so well received definitely seems to have given everyone rose coloured glasses when it comes to the campaign.

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    prolurker

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    As far as I'm concerned, it's a Halo game only in name. MCC is where it's at.

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    NameRedacted

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    #22  Edited By NameRedacted
    @nillock said:

    These games get extra points for being "free". It seems at release everyone jumps on and plays a few hours then jumps on social media to say how great they are and then never actually play through the entire game to see the actual flaws. Or they overlook the flaws because "it was free".

    "Free on Game Pass." The semantics of this statement have always bothered me, whenever I hear / read it. The game is not "free," you're paying money for a monthly subscription to Game Pass to play the game.

    Did Microsoft PR start using this phrase and it stuck with games media?

    You absolutely never hear / NO ONE ever says, with any other subscription or paid streaming service: "It's "free" on Netflix, or Disney+, or Hulu+, or iTunes, or Amazon Prime, etc. etc..

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    csl316

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    #23 csl316  Online

    @nameredacted: I'd guess that Games with Gold and PS+ started offering games when those services were primarily online passes. So it felt like you were getting bonus games in addition to a service you already paid for.

    Of course, these days they're just game subscription services, so they're not exactly bonus free additions anymore.

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    TheRealTurk

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    @nillock said:
    @csl316 said:

    It's like the game is fun despite their decisions, based on gameplay that's been getting refined for 20 years now.

    Exactly this.

    I think for me it's that the titular "30-second loop" is as fun as ever, but the game design surrounding it is generally poor. The key to prior Halo games was that those 30-second loops were stacked back-to-back-to-back in a level. You'd drive a tank across a bridge, then immediately drift around in a Warthog with a bunch of marines, which flowed into you boarding a giant walker.

    In Infinite you get a single 30-second loop at whatever dumb activity you're doing, followed by having to trek two or three minutes through an uninteresting open world to get to the next 30-second loop. There's just no momentum to anything.

    To the extent 343 added things, I've generally been unimpressed with what they've added. Grapple hook aside, I think most of the abilities are boring both conceptually and to use. It feels like they put that stuff in there because they needed something to fill out the open-world. Admittedly some of this is that on consoles the controls for swapping out gadgets are needless convoluted, but even then they just don't seem that fun? The sensor and bubble shield are both extremely situational, and the dash feels completely redundant with the grapple hook.

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    csl316

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    #25 csl316  Online
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    Junkerman

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    #26  Edited By Junkerman
    @therealturk said:
    @nillock said:
    @csl316 said:

    It's like the game is fun despite their decisions, based on gameplay that's been getting refined for 20 years now.

    Exactly this.

    I think for me it's that the titular "30-second loop" is as fun as ever, but the game design surrounding it is generally poor. The key to prior Halo games was that those 30-second loops were stacked back-to-back-to-back in a level. You'd drive a tank across a bridge, then immediately drift around in a Warthog with a bunch of marines, which flowed into you boarding a giant walker.

    In Infinite you get a single 30-second loop at whatever dumb activity you're doing, followed by having to trek two or three minutes through an uninteresting open world to get to the next 30-second loop. There's just no momentum to anything.

    To the extent 343 added things, I've generally been unimpressed with what they've added. Grapple hook aside, I think most of the abilities are boring both conceptually and to use. It feels like they put that stuff in there because they needed something to fill out the open-world. Admittedly some of this is that on consoles the controls for swapping out gadgets are needless convoluted, but even then they just don't seem that fun? The sensor and bubble shield are both extremely situational, and the dash feels completely redundant with the grapple hook.

    This is 100% the issue.

    The first few hours I was so unbelievably pumped there was a new Halo delivering that tight Halo gameplay... and then I hit the open world and was driving... and driving... and driving... and I slowly realized I was no longer having fun.

    Then a few missions in I'm told I need to drive to 4 different towers to unlock the next mission.

    And before that I had to listen to three Brute speeches to unlock THAT mission.

    And yet that 30 second loop as we're calling it is the most sublime experience around.

    Any merit the game has is despite the developers best efforts to ruin it, grappling hook aside.

    I'm amazed that this is the result from 6 years of development. It feels like the result of one year of development, starting from scratch with their existing development tools and engine. There has to be an entirely other version of this game on the cutting block somewhere. There is just no way 6 years yielded 1/3rd of a very rote Halo game.

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    csl316

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    #27  Edited By csl316  Online

    @therealturk: What's interesting is they also took things away. The always available thrust, the shoulder charge, and the floaty downward smash from a jump. All cool little moblity things that I really liked. Thrust is still here but feels less useful as limited equipment.

    Curious if anyone has thoughts on the weapons. I go out of my way to avoid the commando rifle and its recoil, and the plasma rifle's lack of oomph. Even some of the older guns feel nerfed, like the needler and hydra.

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    Funny enough in the end of the game the 3 minute trek to something fun flips and then suddenly you're wading through endless, dull, repeating hallways which isn't all that great either. The open world becomes incredibly reduntant because you're cut off from it, and also cut off from the special weapons you acquired by completing open world activities in the first place. It's like the game is struggling to find balance in maintaining it's corridor shooter identity while still keeping the new open world aspect relevant. These sort of games should have strong forward momentum. When I got to the room where you need to visit 4 other rooms and bring back the battery pack to power the lift I groaned audibly - and then it was a lot more hallways after that before "The Road" mission that strongly encourages you to use the tanks.

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    TheRealTurk

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    @csl316: I felt a lot of the weapons were fairly gimmicky. Headshots feel so prioritized that I pretty much stuck with the human pistol at all times. Then it was a tossup between the battle rifle or the plasma pistol if there were enemies with shields on them. I know the pistol being the low-key best weapon has always kind of been a thing for the series, but this felt kind of ridiculous.

    I also think they left too many of the ammo stations around the environment, to the point that I pretty much never needed to swap out weapons for something else. It felt very anti-Halo. I haven't played the older games in awhile, but I distinctly remember a big part of the combat was having to rapidly adapt to running out of the weapon you were using and having to make do with whatever was at hand. That feels lacking in Infinite. If I'm ever low on ammo, I know there's probably a refill station right around the corner and I can just use the grapple super-punch as a substitute until I get there.

    I also think the game is severely lacking a fleshed out third faction to encourage you to swap weapons. In older Halo games there was sort of a weapon jugging thing where human weapons were generally good against the Flood but you usually wanted plasma weapons against the Covenant, so when there was a three-way melee going on you were always swapping out depending on what was the biggest threat in the given moment.

    Infinite doesn't really have that. I mean technically there's the Endless or whatever, but they seem pretty limited and 90% of the game you're just fighting the Banished, so there's no need to swap strategy. Like I said earlier, my go-to strategy for most encounters was to charged plasma pistol anything with a shield, grapple super-punch into a group, and then use the human pistol to headshot anything that wasn't dead yet.

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    Justin258

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    #30  Edited By Justin258
    @csl316 said:

    @therealturk: What's interesting is they also took things away. The always available thrust, the shoulder charge, and the floaty downward smash from a jump. All cool little moblity things that I really liked. Thrust is still here but feels less useful as limited equipment.

    Curious if anyone has thoughts on the weapons. I go out of my way to avoid the commando rifle and its recoil, and the plasma rifle's lack of oomph. Even some of the older guns feel nerfed, like the needler and hydra.

    I have thoughts! I think all of these guns have their uses and I had at least some fun with all of them, except the Disruptor which genuinely is complete trash. You can figure out something with pretty much any of them, none of them mean a losing battle, you just have to be creative.

    The Battle Rifle is as OP as ever, the Assault Rifle can basically get you out of any situation without any flash or pizzazz whatsoever, and the Commando sits between the two - not powerful enough to out-do the BR, not fast-firing enough to out-do the AR, but useful enough to fill either slot if you need to. All three are reliable and never a bad thing to have around, but they're all extremely vanilla.

    The Plasma Carbine looks and feels way worse than it is. Its bullets fire too slowly, but when you're close enough for them to actually hit the Carbine can shred shields and do decent damage to health, plus the slight homing they have helps. It's not satisfying to use, but it's also more useful than I think most give it credit far. Absolute garbage in multiplayer, though. The Needler is sorta the opposite - nearly useless against Jackals, seemingly not great against shields, but anything without a shield can get real fucked-up real quick with a Needler - but you must dump as much as you can into them. Your goal with a Needler is to get a super-combine that blows up, not to just hit them a few times and go back to cover. It's great for clearing out Grunts, and not so bad for killing Hunters if you can get Needler explosions on their exposed knees.

    The Pistol is probably my favorite human weapon. Yeah, Halo has a history with great pistols, but this might be my second favorite behind the first game's. It sounds good, it looks good, it feels powerful, it is powerful without feeling overpowered. Solid weapon. The Plasma Pistol, on the other hand, doesn't stun vehicles anymore, and that's a shame. It's still useful, especially against any given crowd of Jackals and Elites, but Brutes are spongey even without shields so there are a lot of combat encounters where it's not a great choice. I found the Mauler to be one of the most dependable weapons in the entire game - very powerful, plentiful, knocks Brutes backwards if you're lucky, at least somewhat effective against anything short of a Wraith. The Disruptor is useless, yell at your monitor instead.

    You'd think that the sniper rifle would be a mainstay in an open world shooter, but I personally didn't use it all that often. I did sometimes, but it's not quite powerful enough to justify taking up a slot that could hold a BR. The Stalker Rifle is actual trash, though. It's supposed to replace the Beam Rifle, but really it feels like a garbage version of the Carbine from 2 and 3. There were times where it was the closest ranged weapon to me and I used it, but usually I just avoided it. I also don't like the Shock Rifle - it's more powerful than the Stalker Rifle and I swear it's more powerful than the Sniper, but it leaves a long, large beam when it shoots and I kinda feel like that makes it hard to aim? It also isn't very satisfying to use. It gets the honor of stunning vehicles, though! Not really a great game for sniping, to be honest. Irritating to fight against, too, especially when trying to spin a Wasp around a boss with a Gravity Hammer. Ask me how I know.

    Speaking of the Gravity Hammer, it and the Sword are exactly what you'd expect from the previous game. The grapple hook makes both of them much more useful, though - you can grapple in, smash or stab something, then grapple back out before you're in serious trouble. The Bulldog, though, is a really good shotgun. Good power, good range, good animations, good sound effects, I'm happy to have a shotgun that can reliably kill something that isn't already in my face. The Heatwave is also great, but not terribly useful unless you have a Hardlight ammo dispenser near you.

    The Cindershot feels a lot like the grenade launcher from Halo Reach, only I don't think it has the same EMP effect that was possible with that gun. It's all right, I suppose. The Rocket Launcher is exactly what you'd expect out of a Halo rocket launcher, so nothing to talk about there. The Skewer is a lot of fun and extremely satisfying to get a hit with, but also not my first choice if I'm trying to be effective - its risk is too high for the reward. The Hydra isn't all that powerful for what it does, but it does also lock on and that's fantastic for some of the tougher enemies and/or vehicles. Especially Banshees. The Ravager's default fire is bad but if you charge it up and shoot it, you basically make the floor lava and you can flush a Brute out or let him die painfully, either way is a win.

    Finally, the Sentinel Beam has taken a massive buff for this game and is easily the most powerful thing in the entire game. All but the toughest enemies just melt under its unrelenting beam of hard, hot, melted light, and even those tough cookies can't hold out for terribly long. Throughout the last few levels, when Hardlight ammo boxes were plentiful, I kept the Sentinel Beam in one spot the entire time and just rotated out the other spot. Amazingly overpowered gun.

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    @therealturk: I was swapping out weapons constantly mainly because I did not see stations that often. They are definitely in every "arena" but a lot of the time I would be in the thick of it, and whatever I was using would run out so I would simply grapple the closest weapon to me and keep going rather than circle back around to a station. I suppose because thats how I ended up playing the game I actively stopped seeking the stations out and even stopped being aware of them. I can count on one hand the amount of times I actually re-upped my ammo as opposed to just switching out my gun for something else.

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    I think for me it's that the titular "30-second loop" is as fun as ever, but the game design surrounding it is generally poor

    I know this is petty and very "well actually," but I can't help myself.

    The term "titular" refers to something from the title of a work. So, saying "Master Chief lands on the titular Halo ring" would be an accurate way to use that term. The 30 second loop has absolutely nothing to do with the title.

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    csl316

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    #33 csl316  Online

    I've also grown to like the mp maps, as this is becoming a discussion thread.

    Hoping to see some more exotic environments as we go, but they're designed pretty well. The action keeps moving and there aren't many dull moments, even in the BTB maps. Took a few weeks to get to know them, but overall impressions are positive and I got no issues playing a round in any of them.

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    @nameredacted: I agree, that's why I put parenthesis around Free on Gamepass.

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    Nerd.

    Also, the game asks too much of a casual player of the series like myself, story-wise. I didn't know who the Banished were until I listened to some of MinnMax's deepest dive on the game and found out that they are from Halo Wars 2. I guess if you are a big fan of the series that's a neat tie in to the expanded universe. But, it seems a bit unreasonable to expect a casual player of the main Halo games to know about Halo Wars 2. Which is also the tip of a larger iceberg of larger narrative problems.

    But I do really like how it plays. I really can't imagine how a Halo game would work without a grapple hook now. And as same-y and repetitive as the open world is in that game taking on bases and encampments was a highlight of the game for me, personally. It felt a bit like how MGS 5 handled bases. Being able to attack a base however you want, regroup, attack again but differently, and so on was a ton of fun. It took the combat puzzle of old Halo and put it in scenarios with more options to solve the puzzle.

    Also the ending few hours are a slog. And even though I get why EMP grenades would be used when you utilize a vehicle to cheese an encounter at the end it felt like I couldn't use any vehicle when in the open world because every enemy everywhere would throw EMP grenades all the time nonstop. There's a balance to strike between making the use of vehicles challenging versus defeating their purpose altogether and at the end of that game it was the second.

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    BladeOfCreation

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    I was probably about 3/4 of the way through the campaign when I did a sort of mental flip on the whole ammo thing and accepted that constantly switching weapons during combat was how I was "supposed to" play. It actually really helped make combat more enjoyable. It was still disappointing, because I thought that some of the special weapons you can get from the named Banished were extremely useful. It was cool that you could fast travel to a FOB and pick up those weapons at any time (and this is what I did before starting a new story mission), but I was no more than a few minutes into most missions before I had to pick up weapons.

    I also felt like the weapons could've used some customization. Nearly all of the human weapons have rail systems on them. What's the point of that if I can't use the rail system?

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    It takes it a while to sink in, but by the end it's clear that Infinite's is the worst of the Halo campaigns. I didn't love Halo 5 and 4 as much as you, but I still think they're better than Infinite. It all comes back to the missions; with the exception of Pelican Down, there really aren't any standouts at all in Infinite, and it boasts about half of the bottom 10 missions in the history of Halo. That sad part is, the general consensus seems to be that 343 nailed it, which doesn't bode well for the future of this franchise.

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