Wednesday, January 19

‘Halo Infinite’: a memorable shooter that renews the franchise and works as one more piece in Microsoft’s playable project

We must recognize the value of 343 Industries in continuing the emblematic saga of Xbox (so significant that on the web about the history of the consoles that Microsoft launched to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the brand it was the only game franchise with a section own). On the one hand, and although there is no number in the title, it is a linear continuation of the argument of the series, specifically of the Saga of the Reclaimer initiated in ‘Halo 4’. On the other hand, it is an important (although announced) steering wheel in the mechanics of the series.

In this way, and although aesthetically (and also in the shooting mechanics, although with nuances) ‘Halo Infinite’ is continuous with what we are used to seeing in the Master Chief series, The arrival of the open world to the 343 Industries saga is a leap into the void that, possibly, not everyone will accept willingly. So the player’s first feeling about ‘Halo Infinite’ is “well, decisions have been made here, and not all of a conservative type.”

What remains the same is the argument, in my opinion little or nothing interesting at this point, and that the saga has no choice but to stretch and stretch. Frankly, I prefer the labyrinthine honesty of the ‘DOOM’, where nothing is understood anymore, but they are perfect excuses to present increasingly insane scenarios and increasingly gargantuan enemies. Better than the continuous “Cortana yes, Cortana no”, and this presentation of enemy races that were always there but had never been detected. Frankly, ‘Gears of War’ played in a similar league, but with humor and caricature it solved the ballot much better.

All in all, and as the overwhelming multiplayer has shown, the argument is the least of it, although it is not left as much in the background as we would like. The reason? ‘Halo’ becomes an open world, one that puts on the table a series of missions (those of the main plot core and a large number of secondary ones) that almost connect this 343 Industries proposal with a Ubi title. Soft. And of course, there has to be a little plot thread that threads the myriad of missions which are the skeleton of the game.

More shots, more world

How does that change the essence of ‘Halo’? Luckily, in little. Or change for the better because this arrival of an open world supposes a redesign of the scenarios, which become more vertical, full of obstacles and spaces in which to shelter, and that we can overcome thanks to a tool that we will have from the first moment: the grappling hook, a true revolution in the mechanics of ‘Halo’.

The hook is an element that although it is not absolutely new (open world sagas like ‘Far Cry’ or the feverish ‘Just Cause’ have put it to good use), it is new in ‘Halo’, and opens the range of new attack and defense strategies. AND above all, the possibility of moving through sands of considerable size and varied orography more fluently.

The grappling hook isn’t the only novelty in the Master Chief’s weaponry. The shield, the sonar, the deployable barrier and the dodge are also there and can be improved as the game progresses, but its superiority (and, why deny it, it is much more fun) and the cumbersome of the changes between skills through the crosshead will improve, above all, the range, power and speed the grappling hook.

Yes indeed: new open world structure doesn’t make ‘Halo Infinite’ a quest game with exploration elements, stealth or adventure, as is usual in the genre. ‘Halo Infinite’ retains its DNA from shooter and all missions are solved with a clean shot. In addition, the Master Chief will be detected in most cases as soon as he reaches enemy terrain, and despite the very smooth sniper phases, the cleaning of adversaries will be the only method at hand to solve the missions, be they to conquer bases, liberate allied enclaves, rescue marines or any other variant manageable with gunpowder.

Halo Infinite 2 Analysis

That is when the missions do not sprout in a quite organic and satisfactory way (much better than in ‘Gears 4’, for example, another game with a similar structure). Often you will be moving from one place to another on the map in a vehicle and you will be knocked down to fall headlong into enemy territory, which may or may not provide rewards. In everything that 343 Industries has not worked on, the leaden argument has been careful in these emerging moments to make them natural and immersive.

The more Master Chiefs the better

We will have to wait a few months to enjoy an addition to this not inconsiderable adventure, the cooperative. But to all this package is added, of course, the competitive online and free-to-play, an excellent testing ground to sharpen, here yes, the use of these new skills that make up the key to the timid renewal of ‘Halo’. Without the multi being revolutionary, the verticality of the hook and the more limited of the battlefields make it a compatible experience but different from the campaign.

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It is curious that Microsoft insists that ‘Halo Infinite’ is a perfect entry point to the franchise, when to more than one novice in the saga and in the shooters (You don’t do so many gender Triple A anymore!) It can choke you not only the plot, but the very mechanics of the game, demanding and very hard. There will be those who have to lower the difficulty level to easy in its first bars, before even reaching the open world area of ​​the game, because the gameplay reminds more of the requirement of a multi than of the progression of a campaign to use.

‘Halo Infinite’ It is not revolutionary, it is not a mandatory purchase if you have an Xbox Series X, it does not enter into that dialectic to which we have been spoiled by years (decades already) of games forced to respond to its status as a seller of consoles. Microsoft, definitely moving away from the strategies of Sony and its Playstation, offers the diversification of ‘Halo Infinite’ as one more proposal in its catalog: the multi is free; It is also on PC, Series S and eye, on Xbox One -more limited visually but perfectly playable-. And it is, of course, on Game Pass from day one.

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It may be that ‘Halo Infinite’ is an absolutely necessary purchase only for fans of the franchise or for junkies of the mainstream of video games, but above all, it is another manifesto of intent on the part of Microsoft: here you have another possibility that adds to the widest and most diverse catalog of games of the momentit seems to say. Perhaps ‘Halo Infinite’ is not, by itself, essential, but as part of the project that Microsoft has in hand, it is a basic piece.