From what I’ve played of the Halo Infinite Technical Preview, I’m now even more on board with 343 Industries’ vision of the future of Halo. It might seem a little bit hyperbolic to say something like that, especially with the company’s track record with the franchise. But it really is feeling like the natural progression for the franchise, and almost a rebirth of what it should have been back when the company took the reins.
The technical preview (remember, not a beta) of Halo Infinite gave players three maps to play on against bots. The first day there was only one map, the second day saw the second map added – you get it. Each day also increased the difficulty of the bots. The novice bots were a pushover but the ODST-difficulty bots upped the ante with their better movement and accuracy. Then 343i switched on the Spartan bots, and these things are lethal.
But there’s enough movement in the game to give players a means of outrunning their foes if they can’t outgun them. Between sprinting, sliding, and mantling, skilled players can rapidly move between the various areas on a map with ease. It feels extremely fluid to link all these together and it’s only going to get easier with more hands-on time.
The movement feels like a mixture of Halo 3 and Halo 4. Instead of the over-the-top movement of Halo 5 with its boost jets, ground slams, and other oddities, the mantle feels as unobtrusive as Halo 4’s implementation of the mechanic. Then there’s the equipment, which avoids the Halo 4 system of having players each have an internal ability and instead puts them on the map like the good ol’ days of Halo 3. By picking up the grappling hook, you’ve just given yourself three charges of a utility item that fits perfectly into the kit. I can’t wait to try it out more in campaign.
Though I did get my butt handed to me when 343 Industries switched on legit player-versus-player Slayer, I’m looking forward to getting better at the game. Hopefully I can tap into my OG Halo days and find some skill that’s been hibernating.
So far, Halo Infinite is shaping up to be the game 343i has been talking about all these years. Hopefully, with the time that’s left before launch, the team is able to iron out any kinks that might still be slinking around the depths of the code.
Oh, and the Sidekick pistol totally rocks. I’ve not been this excited to use a Halo pistol since ODST’s silenced version, and before that the pistol from Combat Evolved.