Halo Infinite is not a small name in gaming, being one of the longest-running and most influential franchises to have ever existed. It launched alongside the first Xbox console among its first exclusives and took the world by storm, being one of the largest and most influential franchises of all time.
It quickly became one of the premier first-person shooters of the time, with its captivating story, likable characters, and captivating gameplay. With the release of Halo 2, Halo became a household name among console owners. It was also very user-friendly which made the game much more approachable.
It was quickly propelled to stardom by leveraging the newly launched Xbox Live services and online features of Xbox consoles, this was the jump Microsoft needed to launch itself into the gaming industry, and after years of titles, it is still heavily integrated with the industry.
Not only was the gameplay vastly improved, but the story also was quite brilliant and enthralling, not to mention the multiplayer component garnering the most acclaim as it was the title’s best and most attractive feature.
This multiplayer component ended up being its biggest feature, and also its only feature apparently. Recently looking at their dwindling player base and loss of support, some people may say that the game has started its decline. While that may be true, the team behind Halo Infinite is still hard at work, delivering for the players.
But aside from the multi-player aspect, there existed a campaign that people barely talked about. For starters, it didn’t receive its multiplayer campaign at launch as it got delayed, and the new path that the campaign took was also a notice of concern for many players.
In short, the new format the game decided to adopt was one that we had never seen in a Halo game ever. An open-world format, and yea at first it was liked, but slowly, after players started sinking their teeth into the game, they realized the flaws within.
For starters, the map is now Open-World, giving the player freedom to move around as they wish. However, this aspect isn’t as simple as it sounds because its open-world model is somewhat guided by a single-player part, effectively turning its freedom into a more open linear map.
Of course, the only titles to have achieved this perfectly were none other than the lucid Souls-borne titles. From the interconnected world of Dark Souls and Bloodborne to the new heights Sekiro brought to the table, no other game has come close to replicating what Fromsoftware had achieved all those years ago.
This open-world style can be seen in titles like the original Dark Souls or indie like Hollow Knight, where you can only access a specific area after receiving a unique item or completing a quest. This style is often loved by the community, but not every game has the ability to incorporate it masterfully.
Some online discussions and polls dictate that around 40 percent of players want them to keep this aspect in future titles, whereas the other side wants them to go back to their roots or take a new path altogether. Now of course one poll won’t change anything, but it can give the developers some insight into their future products.
The open-world format is one that takes skill and an immense amount of effort and imagination to make. Another thing to note is how an open-world game affects the overall integrity of a game’s development. For starters, the larger a game is the lesser the detail in its world. Assassin’s Creed Origins gave us a vast world filled with about 85 percent sand.
The developers need to give an alluring open world whilst keeping the overall feel of the world adamant. Breath of The Wild is one of these games that include a charming world design, and enough detail to keep it likable.
Of course, the game has extremely open-ended combat, and the power to get through many of its obstacles by using the sheer imagination of its players makes this one game an absolute blast to play.
But the real question is why do the players dislike this format? Well, they don’t, it is just that Halo Infinite did a very mediocre job in its open world. Yes the scenery in there, but the missions are nothing but a copy-pasted mess with barely any uniqueness. Sure you’ll hit a weird mission here and there, but in all actuality, it lacks much-needed weight.
This brings us to the next item worth discussing, the Grapple Hook. Now in an open-world game, we need to have some unique means of transportation. Although Death Stranding took these to new heights, Halo had just one good addition, that being the ability to swing around.
Well, moving around in a sprawling world is an extremely necessary step in order to make a beautiful world more dynamic. But seeing as Halo Infinite is a game about a war with a scale as large as the entire solar system, this movement scale seems to have been kept on one generalized area.
At least In Andromeda, you could literally go and explore other planets, here you can grapple around, it’s fun but, is that the extent of the game’s potential?
The addition of the grappling hook gave the game some much-needed flare. A user had this to say about the new stride the game took,
I really, really liked the Halo Infinite campaign. Fighting my around an open world, the grapple and the excellent set piece missions melded to make the best Halo Campaign maybe ever. I’m perfectly fine if they want to keep at the open world design, but I do think they need a story reason for it. Infinite mostly justified it, but if you have the chief fighting a war against the endless, locking it to a single location doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
But the thing is, if every open-world game has one specific biome that’s separated into small chunks with a litter of Far Cry-like outposts while every main story mission throws players into the same redundant maps, one cannot expect a satisfying user experience moving forward. Every game can’t be MGSV5 now, can it?
Halo has always been a linear game with multiplayer aspects as its highest selling point, but if you take away what made the game so great in the first place then what else really remains?
The players have said their piece and seeing as how unresponsive the team behind Halo is right now, I do not think we will be receiving any new info on where this series will go from here on out.
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