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Halo Infinite Single Player Campaign Discussion


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Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes, 34 seconds. Contains 1515 words


So I finally finished the Halo Infinite single player campaign. I'm pleased to report that Halo Infinite's single player campaign is much more enjoyable than Halo 5, even though its cinematic storytelling isn't quite as good. To fully understand my feelings on Halo Infinite's story I'm going to quickly provide some background on my feelings towards Halo 5's story. Please be warned there are some minor spoilers ahead.

In Halo 5, I didn't like that I was forced to switch between Master Chief and Locke. I felt it didn't do Master Chief or Locke any favors. For one, everybody loves Master Chief, so to make us play as Master Chief trying to reconnect with Cortana and then be forced to play as a character that is hunting him down didn't work well. It created this strange sort of duality where as a player we are trying to stop ourselves from accomplishing our mission. I feel like most players saw Locke as the bad guy that is out of touch and is getting in the way of Master Chief. I for one had no interest in playing him. The devs should have just had us play as Locke the entire game or just had us play as Master Chief. To be honest, I think the correct choice would be the secret third option. They should have created two completely separate campaigns no cutting back and forth. One would focus on Locke whose mission is to destroy Cortana and one would focus on Master Chief whose mission is to save Cortana. I think that would have worked splendidly and would have increased replay value enormously.

My biggest problem with Halo 5 was that they made Cortana the bad guy. I'm glad they pivoted and started us on a new journey with Halo Infinite. I don't know how many people had to sign off on that original decision but the Master Chief Cortana dynamic is what makes Halo special. It gives single player a unique narrative quality that you don't find in other popular first person shooters. So when they took away that dynamic, I felt, it really hurt the franchise in Halo 5.  Not to mention nothing is resolved in Halo 5 and it ends on a cliffhanger.

Now on to Halo Infinite. 343 industries decided to completely skip over the events that occurred directly after Halo 5. Meaning that they are non playable for us. Throughout Halo Infinite we slowly get small fragments about what happened. By the end of the game we know everything that has occurred since the time skip between games. It seems to me that 343 wizened up to the fact that players were not excited to play a game where the main purpose is to go out and destroy Cortana. She is literally the only other entity consistently present throughout all the mainline Master Chief games. Why would we be interested in destroying her?

I think just fast forwarding through this plotline was an interesting way to handle that issue. The problem is they somehow managed to make most of the narrative about Cortana again! Even though she's no longer with us(depending on how you look at it). For most of the game we're moving forward with a new purpose while simultaneously discovering what happened in the past. Our future goal is linked to the past.  I feel like they could have done so much more with the story here. I know the name of the game is Halo, but that's only how the franchise started. They could start to mature the franchise and bring in other interesting elements focus on other parts of the ongoing conflict. There doesn't always need to be a monitor and Halo installation.

The game ends on another cliffhanger. This time though, it doesn't hurt as much, as I'm sure most of us expect some DLC incoming within the next 1-2 years to continue the story. 

In terms of gameplay, this is by far the best feeling Halo that I've played. Everything feels great, smooth and responsive. The grappleshot with Halo's physics system is awesome! I slowly grew to love the spartan core additions to gameplay. None of them are 100% necessary all the time but they do add another layer to gameplay that wasn't there before. When it comes to competition no matter if its in sports or video games, I believe defense is the key. So the first thing that I maxed out was my shield system. From there I went with the threat detection sensors. I loved knowing exactly where all my enemies were, at all times. I didn't feel like the drop wall core was essential but as I got into the later stages of the game, I found myself using it more and more. Sometimes though, the amount of damage that you take while sitting out in the open is obscene. Often times I felt it was better to run for cover and deploy the drop wall in a corner to give myself some extra protection. The thrust system I found to be something that's just nice to have. I found myself using it the least out of all the cores. And finally the grappleshot! There is no doubt in my mind that the grappleshot is here to stay. With Halo's physics system, its a perfect fit, it gives the game an extra dimension that it just didn't have before. I'm really looking forward to seeing what new additions they add to the spartan core system. This was a great idea that they definitely need to expand on.

I've heard a lot of talk about how this is a brand new Halo and this is big, because its open world. I do admit for the most part Halo succeeds in delivering an open world experience, most of the main ingredients are there. Big beautiful world, go where you want, do what you want, when you want. But its not exactly a meaningful open world experience.  We're not building bases, giving orders to comrades, or helping the UNSC wage war against an enemy. Even though it's open world it feels like we are fighting our own private war. We run around the map and establish fast travel points where we can grab brand new vehicles and marine allies. It doesn't feel like the world is alive or moving without us. My point is that, without adding some additional functionality, or purpose for enemies and marines, simply just establishing a new forward operating base(FOB) is just kind of empty. It turns into a simple matter of convenience and kind of ignores what makes an open world game truly special.

My only real issues with gameplay is what they've removed. I would love to have a team of Spartans that I lead on a mission. That was the coolest part of Halo 5 and Halo Reach. I had the same group of guys following me around the map wherever I go. Marines are a nice touch and they helped to make the original Halo Combat evolved special. But fast forward 20 years later and that's just the bare minimum requirement for me. In this game marines get injured and die just like before. I can't heal marines or revive them after they lose health.

I want my Spartans back. And I want them to be around for the entire game. I want to be able to give them orders. I want to tell two to cover the door, tell another to post up on the roof for recon and then have myself cover another as they are hacking into an installation. All the while each and every one of us have our own personal AI! The true next gen experience should have the UNSC waging a huge war against the Banished. And we as players should be leading a small elite squad across the battlefield on critical missions to turn the tide of war in our favor. One mission we might be attacking an important supply train, the next mission we might be leading an assault on an enemy base. But all the while the battle should be raging at all times, regardless of what we're doing in any particular moment. UNSC and covenant commanders should be issuing orders to  different squads and platoons, losing and gaining territory without our involvement. It should feel like a war torn continent. Think about some of the scenarios in Ryse Son of Rome, except on a grander scale. We should be moving through a hostile environment, with our actions(or inaction) having a direct impact on the war.

In conclusion, this is a great addition to the Halo franchise, however for me it falls short of a masterpiece. I was personally wanting to see a lot more added to the franchise. But I understand this is just the beginning. I know the devs plan to add a ton of additional content to the game. And that the story is far from over.  I can't wait to continue the fight in the next DLC! I'm excited for the future.😎

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