Halo: Infinite single player campaign shines with both old and new treats

Seattle, Washington - The Halo: Infinite campaign mode is finally out as of Thursday, so it's time to take a closer look at one of the most hotly-anticipated games of the years.

The Master Chief is back, baby!
The Master Chief is back, baby!  © 343 Industries

Halo: Infinite is the seventh game in the First-Person Shooter franchise, putting you in the armored combat boots of the supersoldier, Spartan John-117, aka the Master Chief, or Demon to the enemies of humanity.

The Halo franchise turned 20 this year and is now on its second developer studio, 343 Industries, after it fully took over the series from Bungie in 2012.

Six years have passed since 343 released Halo 5, and fortunately for fans of the series, they took the time to make Halo: Infinite's single player mode shine.

Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan glows in ethereal SKIMS modeling campaign
Kim Kardashian Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan glows in ethereal SKIMS modeling campaign

But, before you drop $60 on Halo: Infinite's campaign, you should know what the money gets you or the gamer in your life. After all, there are parts of the campaign that need some improvement.

A Halo game launching without a co-op mode or the ability to replay levels without starting a whole new save sounds bad, but even though there are some rough spots here and there, they're likely to get ironed out in early 2022 with planned updates from 343 Industries.

Drama in space

The Banished are a group of aliens trying to destroy humanity.
The Banished are a group of aliens trying to destroy humanity.  © 343 Industries

If you like cutscenes, Halo: Infinite has got you covered. So much so that there's a danger of straying into melodramatic territory, like the moment space aliens tell you their name so you will know who to beg for mercy. It's 2021, can we get some more nuanced baddies, please?

However, the over-the-top theatricality is a small price to pay for the delicious dynamics between our hero, the Master Chief and an AI companion who is trying to get deleted.

The dialogue is fun when it isn't cringy, and even then, it's easy to just laugh it off as the game taking itself too seriously and then get back to having a blast.

Cardi B celebrates the fathers in her life, including her "baby father" Offset
Cardi B Cardi B celebrates the fathers in her life, including her "baby father" Offset

Plus, the banter while you are rampaging around the battlefield is a treat, as your enemies change from swaggering confidence to outright disbelief and fear that you just keep on coming.

The chatter can get silly, but just like the best parts of the game, it's so cartoonish that listening to your enemies and allies bandy words is just a good time.

If it ain't broke...

Time for you to get Master Chief out for a walkabout.
Time for you to get Master Chief out for a walkabout.  © 343 Industries

Halo: Infinite holds on to what worked through the series: the mystical feel of an alien ringworld, a gorgeous, ethereal setting bolstered by a vibrant score.

However, there isn't a lot of variation in the scenery. You'll either trek through sparsely forested rolling grassland, or mess things up in futuristic burnished metal corridors. Since 343 plans on releasing new content in 2022, maybe that will include new areas for you to explore while you navigate the game's open world.

Fortunately, the game does have great ways to get around the map, and apart from the grapple, which we'll get to later, there are human and alien ground vehicles that are a hoot to race around in, as well as snappy aircraft that let you rain destruction from on high once you unlock them.

You'll need to go a-questing to liberate bases, which is where you get to unlock vehicles. There are also some other role-playing elements added in, like side-quests, allies to save, upgrades for your equipment, and different loadouts to use, which do add some extra flair to the experience.

Thankfully, 343 decided to go with just enough questing and tweaking your kit instead of bloating the game and making it into work instead of play.

You don't need to grind side missions or upgrades to enjoy yourself or have a fighting chance later in the story, which makes it just as fun to play casually or hunt down every single unlockable and strive for 100% completion.

Get your grapple on!

Towers like this need your attention, grappling is one way to get there.
Towers like this need your attention, grappling is one way to get there.  © 343 Industries

343 held on to the focus you'll need to have in battle, where knowing how to handle different types of enemies is the best way to survive the two hardest difficulty modes.

There are some quality of life additions to the formula, like ammunition resupply bins that help balance out your rapidly draining ammo count, and the glut of weapons you can use makes for a gun-slinging delight.

The game also lets you really play with the movement mechanics, and they are the best part of the gameplay by far.

Combine a quickly reloading grappling hook that is pure joy to use with high jumps, sprinting, and sliding, and you can put the moves on your enemies all day long. You can also get yourself into trouble if you aren't careful, but the grapple is there to get you out of almost any pinch.

You can swing like Tarzan, or get crazy with the physics and send yourself flying before grappling to your enemies, or even snagging gear and weapons from a distance.

Bottom line: if you want smooth movement, solid dialogue, stellar combat, and an epic setting, then this is the game for you. But, if you want the full Halo campaign experience, where you play through with friends in coop mode, you might be better off saving your money until a sale and some major updates to the game roll around.

Right now, Halo: Infinite's singleplayer is silly fun, and just about every part of the experience is over the top. But that's what makes a Halo game, and 343 did a great job with both the campaign and the free multiplayer.

Cover photo: 343 Industries

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