Halo Infinite brings a new campaign to the six game series, not counting spin-offs. Master Chief has to face off against a force that has broken off from The Covenant that now call themselves The Banished. Fighting on a broken ring adds some unique environmental features, as getting too close to the cliff edge reveals an unending void. Halo Infinite is all the fast paced action that players expect from the series.
The story starts with the apparent defeat of Master Chief by Atriox, the former leader of The Banished. He’s rescued by a Pelican pilot who discovers him drifting in space. From here the game really begins. Players must stop The Banished from reforming the ring. To do this, Master Chief will travel with the aptly named Weapon.
Infinite has an open world where players can capture forts to unlock fast travel. There will also be marines to be rescued and will act as temporary help. Players who are returning to Halo might be interested to know gameplay has gone vertical. Master Chief is equipped with a grappling hook that adds a lot of mobility to movement and combat. This grappling hook can also be switched out with a ground shield that can stop bullets and a device that reveals nearby enemies. Making those invisible elites so much easier to hit. Players can now upgrade Master Chief’s weapons, so there’s also some replay ability.
While the campaign is mostly enjoyable, there are some setbacks. The outposts didn’t affect the story and can even be completed once the campaign is over. Capturing each one is usually quick, but it can still make the game come off a little bloated. There is also a moment near the end of the game where players will find themselves in a locked room with weapons. Without going into the story, there’s a circular recorder on the ground with a green light. Look for it right away unless you also want to run around blindly for twenty minutes.
The game’s final boss fights felt more drawn out than challenging. With both Escharum and Harbinger both having a shield mechanic. Harbinger’s shielding is much more difficult to deal with since she teleports around. The last boss fight also has waves of ADs before she can be damaged. Here players learn of who Harbinger has been trying to release. Since she is stopped this bit of info is a potential dangling carrot for future games.
I appreciated 343’s attempt at humanizing Master Chief. We get to see some emotion come through, but we also see him make the wrong choice. He’s still the perfect one man army that fans love. Infinite also shows him building friendships outside of superior to soldier. The ending even shows his two companions being named. Echo-216, the pilot, becomes Fernando Esparza and Weapon’s name is heavily implied to be the same as a familiar AI. Master Chief also treats Echarum as a fellow soldier whose motivations he understands, and maybe even sympathizes with.
Halo Infinite’s story wraps up a previous chapter while also showing an unnamed brute in a brief post-credit scene. It has enough to freshen up gameplay without trying to reinvent the wheel. Infinite’s story does feel a bit tacked on with the focus largely on its PVP mode, but it’s still a fun time.