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‘Halo Infinite’ will not get a split-screen campaign co-op mode after all

343 Industries had a mixed bag of news for  players with the reveal of its . The long-awaited couch co-op mode for the campaign, a staple of the Halo series, is no longer happening. Head of creative Joseph Staten said in a developer update video that “we have had to make the difficult decision not to ship campaign split-screen co-op.” The studio made the call in order shift resources to other priorities, including “experiences we’re not quite ready to talk about yet.”

It’s a blow for those who enjoy split-screen co-op. While that experience is still available in some titles — such as Fortnite, Minecraft, Rocket League and It Takes Two — it doesn’t seem as common compared to the games of yesteryear.

There was another Halo Infinite disappointment, as 343 revealed that season 3 won’t start in November after all. The studio has delayed that until March, meaning that .

On the plus side, 343 will add the online campaign co-op mode as part of a winter update on November 8th. A mission replay option will be available too. Another boon for players is the fact the will go live with the update. While Forge will be in open beta at first, 343 has said that it will be available persistently. That should help to open up the game and give players much more to do.

In addition, 343 will add two new maps on November 8th, as well as a free 30-tier battle pass and a game mode called Covert One Flag. The Match XP beta will be another welcome addition. While 343 didn’t elaborate on what that entails, it seems likely that you’ll be able to make faster battle pass progress beyond only gaining XP for completing specific challenges.

Looking further ahead, 343 Industries is planning to introduce new arena and Big Team Battle maps on March 7th, when season 3 begins. Other planned updates include a piece of equipment called Shroud Screen, in-game reporting tools, a Forge custom game browser, more game modes and fresh events.

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‘Halo: Infinite’ may have a grapple hook, but it’s still a grind

The best thing I can say about Halo: Infinite is that it gets better as it goes. The single-player campaign starts out as a basic first-person shooter dripping in nostalgia juice, and it ends up as a rudimentary open-world shooter swimming in sci-fi tropes, starring everyone’s favorite emotionless space soldier and his co-dependent AI assistant.

As the first open-world entry in the Halo franchise and with more than a year of extra development time, I had high hopes for Infinite. Maybe too high. And even with a grapple hook, this game just can’t reach them.

I say all of this with love in my heart. I’ve been a Halo fan since Combat Evolved, and I have two decades of happy memories associated with the franchise, most of which I’ve re-lived while playing Infinite. That part has been a treat — there’s nothing like turning the corner in a random metal-lined corridor, or driving a Warthog down a narrow mountain path, and feeling that warm, gleeful sense of familiarity. This happens over and over again in Infinite.

Halo: Infinite

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Revamping old environments is the easy part, though. Halo Infinite is the first open-world entry in the franchise’s history, promising more exploration and spontaneity for Master Chief than ever before. However, in practice, the world of Zeta Halo is contained and largely linear, offering few surprises and little incentive to travel off the beaten path. There are bases to capture and hordes to defeat, but with such a cramped map, these sidequests pop up naturally along the path of the main storyline, and the game automatically switches the objective to whatever mission is nearby. Sidequests are folded into the campaign like this, and they become indistinguishable from the main missions. 

By the time I felt ready to get out and explore the Ring, I realized I’d already hit all the icons on my map.

Halo: Infinite

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That said, Infinite introduces new mechanics and tools that are really fun to play with, and the best of these gadgets is the grapple hook. There are no invisible walls in Infinite, and the grapple hook allows players to take advantage of Zeta Halo’s vertical space, scaling mountains and buildings in a series of pops and swings. The grapple hook opens up fresh vantage points for every battle, and it saved my Master Chief from falling to his death many times over. (I may have even sang, “Spider-Chief, Spider-Chief…” under my breath every now and then. Maybe.)

Playing with an Xbox controller, the grapple hook lives on the D-pad, alongside three other tools that get added to Chief’s arsenal as the game progresses: a shield, radar darts and a dash move that I rarely use. I’ve tried to deploy the dash, but I really don’t see the point when the grapple hook does the same thing, but faster and in more directions. 

Switching among these options on the D-pad takes some practice, but once that becomes second-nature, the hook, shield and radar make each fight more dynamic than Halo’s ever been. The grapple hook allows Master Chief to pick up objects from afar like guns and throwable explosives, it eventually shocks enemies on contact, and it lets players smoothly take over enemy vehicles. Infinite is at its best when it provides a rich environment for grappling, shielding and landing floaty in-air headshots, with enemies attacking from all sides.

Halo: Infinite

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Now I’m going to talk some shit about the grapple hook. I know, I just sang its praises, and I stand by everything I said, but I have to put it all in context. From my perspective, the most obvious innovation in Halo Infinite is its use of vertical space, aided by the grapple hook — but that’s hardly a new idea at all, and frankly, other games have done it better. 

To name just a few recent examples: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild made headlines in 2017 for rethinking vertical exploration in an open-world space; last year, Doom Eternal beautifully demonstrated the power of parkour mechanics in an FPS environment; and Insomniac’s Spider-Man series has perfected the art of high-swinging action. In comparison to games like these, Infinite’s mechanics aren’t innovative at all.

I bring this up because I think it’s a disservice to compare Halo Infinite only to other Halo games, rather than its competitors. After all, competition is the root of evolution — and that’s kind of Halo’s jam. I expected more from a pioneer of the FPS genre as it ventured into open-world gaming. Just because it’s new for Halo doesn’t mean it’s new for the industry.

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Halo Infinite multiplayer tips to make you a better slayer

Though Halo Infinite‘s campaign launched this week, the game’s multiplayer component has been available for a few weeks already. This is the first time Halo multiplayer has ever been free-to-play, which has almost certainly led to an influx of players who are entirely new to the Halo franchise. If this is your first outing with the series, there’s a decent chance you’ve found yourself outgunned by Halo veterans in multiplayer matches. This article will give you a few tips that can instantly make you a better Halo Infinite player.

343 Industries/Microsoft

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that these are basic gameplay tips that are meant to help new or casual players get better at the game. These are not meant for Halo veterans. If you’ve been playing Halo games since the early days, you can probably move on because you likely already know a lot of this stuff (we suggest checking out our full Halo Infinite review instead).

Use those grenades

There’s no such thing as friendly fire in Halo Infinite‘s social modes – Bot Bootcamp, Quick Play, and Big Team Battle. This is new for the Halo series because, in previous games, it was entirely possible to blow up your teammates with a poorly placed grenade or assassinate them with an ill-timed melee attack. Since this isn’t the case in Halo Infinite, you can let those grenades fly.

343 Industries/Microsoft

However, there are a few things to consider before you prime your throwing arm. The first is that the grenades you throw can still hurt you, so don’t throw a grenade and go running in after it right away. The second is that the enemy team knows that grenades can’t cause friendly fire damage, too, so they will be spamming grenades whenever they have them, especially around corners. In short: watch out for grenades at the beginning of an engagement, because they’ll be coming in hot more often than not.

Stay with your team

Given Halo‘s recharging shields, it can be tempting to try to break off on your own, find isolated enemies, and become some kind of lone wolf Spartan-hunter, but that kind of thinking is a trap. If you run into more than one enemy after going off on your own, you’re almost certainly dead, so often going solo means that you’ll die without getting anything in return for it (like an enemy kill).

Slayer shooting at enemy

343 Industries/Microsoft

Instead, pick someone on your team and follow them. You don’t need to be communicating with them in voice chat, just follow them around the map. If you two encounter a lone enemy, you’re almost guaranteed a kill, and if you encounter another duo, the fact that you’re with a buddy will even the odds.

In objective games like Oddball and Stronghold, you’ll often see the winning team grouped up as players on the losing team spawn and then filter into the objective one-by-one. The only thing this accomplishes is feeding the enemy team kills. It doesn’t make any progress toward claiming the objective and makes it easier for the winning team to grow their lead. When you’re on the back foot in a match with an objective, stay near your team so you can stage an assault as one unit rather than staggering your attacks.

When you’re ahead in an objective-based match, play defense

On the other side of that coin, if there’s ever a time that your team is ahead in Capture the Flag or Oddball, stick with your team and defend the objective. Don’t split off from your group and go looking for kills because that makes it easier for the enemy team to group up and successfully attack the ball carrier or steal the flag. If you’re playing Oddball, stay near the ball carrier and defend them. In Capture the Flag, stick near your flag and protect it. Remember: the enemy team can’t even the score and pull ahead if they can never get to the objective in the first place.

Capture the flag screenshot

343 Industries/Microsoft

I often see players who only ever play offense in my games. For example, my team will be ahead in a Capture the Flag match, but instead of hanging back and letting the enemy come to us, one or two individuals will run off on their own, get killed, and give the enemy team a numbers advantage, which is exactly what they want. It may be fun to get kills, but kills don’t win Capture the Flag or Oddball matches.

Steer clear of the middle of maps (most of the time)

Many maps in Halo Infinite – Aquarius, Bazaar, Recharge, and Streets, in particular – have wide-open central areas surrounded by hallways and buildings that allow for more cover. When playing on these maps, try to avoid going into the center if you can. Sticking to the sides will give you more coverage and makes it easier to hide when you come under enemy fire.

Halo Infinite Live Fire screenshot

343 Industries/Microsoft

Conversely, walking into the center of these maps exposes you from multiple angles and makes it hard for you to keep tabs on your enemies. When you consider that even the smallest maps tend to house weapons that can be effective at medium-to-long range (such as the Battle Rifle), that’s an even better reason to stick to cover. Behemoth is one of the few maps where it may be better to stick to the center, as the sides don’t offer much cover.

Reload often (except in the heat of battle)

The starting weapons in Halo Infinite‘s social modes, the MA40 Assault Rifle and MK50 Sidekick Pistol, are very effective weapons. If you get the jump on an enemy, you can burn them down with a single assault rifle magazine if your aim is good. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you’ve always got a fresh magazine in your weapon because starting a fight with a partially empty magazine is a great way to wind up dead.

Snipers running on platform

343 Industries/Microsoft

If, however, you’re forced to start a fight with a partially full magazine, don’t bother reloading. Empty your current magazine, then switch to your other weapon instead of reloading the first. When you reload in the middle of a fight, you’re essentially leaving yourself utterly defenseless for the second or two it takes for the reload animation to complete. Quickly switching weapons will allow you to keep firing and can help secure a lot of kills.

Don’t ignore plasma weapons

Player with energy sword

343 Industries/Microsoft

Plasma weapons like the Pulse Carbine and the Plasma Pistol may not have the same power behind each shot that the more traditional weapons do, but they can still be handy. Both the Pulse Carbine and the Plasma Pistol can be effective at quickly dropping enemy shields, allowing you to switch to a kinetic weapon like the Assault Rifle, Battle Rifle, Pistol, or Commando to finish off enemies. Both guns have their drawbacks, as their slow projectiles can make it hard to hit bouncy enemies, but they’re still worth considering if you’re having a problem taking down enemy shields.

The pistol is highly effective at medium range

Halo Infinite‘s MK50 Sidekick is one of the weapons you start each social match with, and while it isn’t as strong as the Pistol we had in Halo: Combat Evolved, it can still do work. This is especially true at medium range; since the MK50 is a semi-automatic weapon, it fires as quickly as you pull the trigger on the controller/click the left mouse button, so you can fire it quickly while maintaining decent accuracy.

While I have even had some success with the Pistol at long range, it’s much better as a fallback for when enemies outrange your Assault Rifle. At those ranges, whip out the MK50 to keep the pressure on, and don’t be afraid to fire quickly. With some practice, you’ll be pressuring and even killing enemies half a map away with nothing but this small sidearm.

Don’t go for the head – at least not at first

Player riding Behemoth vehicle

343 Industries/Microsoft

If there’s one thing first-person shooter games have ingrained in our heads over the years, it’s this notion that headshots reign supreme. That’s true in Halo too, as headshots will do more damage to enemies but only when their shields are down. While the enemy still has their shields up, headshots do as much damage as body shots, so save yourself the trouble of precise aiming and focus only on landing hits until you get those shields down. Focus too much on aiming for the head in a duel and your enemy may very well burn you down faster.

Don’t get tilted

This last tip goes without saying for anyone who has played a competitive game before, but there will be times when it seems like you’re completely outmatched. Maybe your aim feels slightly off, or it feels like you can’t quite finish the fights you start. When this happens, it’s important to take some deep breaths and keep your cool because tilting will only make things worse. I’ve already seen some impressive come-from-behind victories in Halo Infinite, but those are only possible with cool heads.

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Halo Infinite multiplayer progression changes now ‘top priority’

So far, it seems that the reception to Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer has been good when it comes to the actual gameplay and mixed when it comes to everything else. One hot-button topic for players seems to be battle pass progression, with a number of players complaining that it takes too long to level up Halo Infinite‘s battle pass and unlock new cosmetics. While 343 Industries has already tweaked the progression system once, it sounds like work is about to begin on more dramatic overhauls.

Progression changes for Halo Infinite

As the holiday weekend wrapped up, 343 Industries head of design Jerry Hook took to Twitter first to recommend that management and survival fans check out Len’s Island, noting that he’s been playing the game over the break. Then, seemingly anticipating droves of Halo Infinite players flocking to his tweet to ask him why he was playing someone else’s game instead of addressing Halo complaints, Hook also published the follow-up you see below:

“Yes I am still playing Halo and feeling everyone’s pain on progression,” Hook added. “We are back at it next week and this will be top of my list with the team.” While we know that progression was a primary concern for 343 Industries, Hook’s confirmation that it will be top of his to-do list might alleviate some concerns among the player base that nothing will ultimately happen.

What needs to change about Halo Infinite’s progression?

In our first impressions post about Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer, we found that the gameplay is on point but leveling through the battle pass feels unrewarding. This is mostly due to the way battle pass XP is earned. While games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection give players battle pass XP for simply playing matches, there is no such mechanic in Halo Infinite.

Instead, Halo Infinite players get all of their battle pass XP by completing challenges, which some argue can prompt teammates to ignore objectives and chase challenges as they play matches. Beyond that issue, there’s the simple fact that sometimes you don’t complete a challenge when you play a game, which means you don’t get any battle pass XP, and that doesn’t feel particularly good.

343 fixed that last issue by adding a “Play 1 Match” challenge that can be completed over and over for 50 XP, but to hear Hook explain his priorities now that Thanksgiving is over, it sounds like there are even more significant changes on the way to Halo Infinite. We’re not sure what those changes could be – while we expect to see changes to battle pass progression, we could also see some changes to the battle pass rewards track, which has been the subject of some complaints as well.

Before the extended Thanksgiving weekend kicked off, Halo community director Brian Jarrard said that feedback on the progression system is “being heard loud and clear,” further suggesting that 343 is considering changes to it. If 343 Industries is hopping back into the thick of things and hammering out some progression changes, then we should know their plans soon. We’ll let you know when 343 details specifics, so stay tuned.



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Halo Infinite multiplayer progression changes confirmed with bonus XP for all

Over the holiday weekend, 343 Industries indicated that more progression changes were on the way to Halo Infinite. 343 has wasted little time in coming up with a solution to fan complaints, as overnight, it revealed XP changes that will be heading to the game. Players will now get an XP bonus for their first several matches played each day, regardless of whether they win or lose.

New bonus XP will help with Halo Infinite progression

In a thread published to Twitter, Halo community manager John Junyszek detailed the bonus XP players will get for their first six matches played each day. The spread starts out high with 300 XP for the first game, 200 XP for the second and third games, then 100 XP for games four through six before dropping to 50 XP for the seventh game onward.

50 XP is the normal amount of XP players get for completing the “Play 1 Game” daily challenges, which were added to Halo Infinite as the first stop-gap solution to progression complaints. With these new changes, players will not only progress through the battle pass faster, but they’ll also be able to get bonus XP even if they’re only playing a few matches a day.

The arrival of this bonus XP should make leveling up through the battle pass a lot easier for most people, and it might alleviate complaints that leveling is too slow. However, to hear Junyszek explain the matter, it seems that this isn’t the only thing 343 plans to do in regards to tweaking multiplayer progression.

Bigger changes on the way?

After revealing the bonus XP changes, Junyszek followed up with an interesting tweet that suggests even more significant changes are on the way. “We know many of you want even larger changes and we’re committed to doing so, but those will take time,” Junyszek said. “We made this update based on data and player feedback, and we’ll monitor its impact after we push it live tomorrow morning. As always, keep sharing your feedback!”

Obviously, we won’t know what larger changes 343 plans to implement until they’re officially revealed, but we can take a few guesses at what they could be. For starters, there seem to be many players out there who are disappointed that there’s no incentive to win games baked into Halo Infinite‘s progression system. With no bonus XP granted for winning games, some fear that players on their team will ignore objectives so they can focus on completing challenges, thus throwing the game for their side.

It’s a valid concern, but so far, 343 hasn’t indicated that it will implement such a progression feature. There have also been some calls to change event progression, because thus far, it seems that the Fracture: Tenrai event has been a little underwhelming among the player base.

Still, this is a step in the right direction, because that bonus XP means that players can still get some significant battle pass progression in even if they only have time for a few games. When 343 reveals these bigger changes Junyszek mentions, we’ll let you know, but otherwise, look for these XP changes to land in Halo Infinite today.



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Xbox Game Pass December 2021 adds Halo Infinite, Stardew Valley, Among Us

Today we kick off the final month of 2021, and with the arrival of December comes news of more additions to Xbox Game Pass. December is shaping up to be a big month for Microsoft’s subscription service, thanks in no small part to the arrival of Halo Infinite. The latest game in Microsoft’s flagship franchise will be joined by some beloved indie classics as well.

Xbox Game Pass games, early December 2021

The new additions start with a bang tomorrow, December 2nd, with the arrival of a bunch of games: Anvil (console and PC), Archvale (cloud, console, and PC), Final Fantasy XIII-2 (console and PC), Lawn Mowing Simulator (cloud, console, and PC), Rubber Bandits (cloud, console, and PC), Stardew Valley (cloud, console, and PC), and Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector (cloud, console, and PC). (via Xbox Wire)

There’s one clear standout in this initial drop of games, and that’s Stardew Valley. We learned that Stardew Valley was destined for Xbox Game Pass earlier this year, and now the big day has finally come. If you’ve never played Stardew Valley before, it’s essentially a love letter to all things Harvest Moon, so if the simple life of small-town farming calls to you, you’ll soon have the chance to play it through Xbox Game Pass.

READ MORE: Halo Infinite multiplayer first impressions

The new additions continue on December 7th with Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator (cloud, console, and PC). That game will be followed on December 8th by the month’s heavy hitter: Halo Infinite, which will be available across the cloud, console, and PC versions of Xbox Game Pass. Keep in mind that this is the campaign for Halo Infinite, with the multiplayer already available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, the Microsoft Store, and PC.

Xbox Game Pass wraps up the first half of December with One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 (cloud, console, and PC) on December 9th and then both Aliens: Fireteam Elite (cloud, console, and PC) and Among Us (console) on December 14th.

Xbox Game Pass perks and upcoming departures

As always, there are several perks for free-to-play games that Xbox Game Pass subscribers can claim this month. It should come as little surprise that one of the perks is for Halo Infinite, granting a “Pass Tense” coating for the MA40 Assault Rifle, four double XP boosts, and four challenge swaps.

Xbox Game Pass subscribers will also get a New Year’s Bundle for Dauntless that includes new cosmetics, a 14-day Slayer’s Club membership, and 25 Patrol Keys. In addition, Apex Legends players can snag the RIG Helmet Weapon charm, while World of Warships: Legends players will get the Hero’s Companion bundle featuring the Medea – a Tier II British warship – along with boosters and credits.

All of these perks will be available in the Perks gallery on Xbox consoles, the Xbox app on PC, and the Xbox Game Pass app on mobile beginning December 2nd, save for the Halo Infinite perks which will go live alongside the campaign on December 8th.

Finally, we’ve got another round of departures heading our way. On Wednesday, December 15th, six games will be leaving Xbox Game Pass: Beholder (cloud and console), The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan (console and PC), Guacamelee! 2 (cloud, console, and PC), Wilmot’s Warehouse (cloud, console, and PC), Unto The End (cloud, console, and PC), and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (cloud, console, and PC). If you’re currently playing any of those, you’ve got exactly two weeks to finish them up, so be sure to earmark some game time in the coming days.

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Halo Infinite campaign launch trailer prepares us for all-out war

Even though Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer has been out for a couple of weeks, we’re still awaiting the arrival of the game’s campaign. We’re about a week away from the launch of Halo Infinite‘s campaign, but that isn’t stopping 343 Industries and Microsoft from whetting appetites with a launch trailer today. If you’re a fan of the Halo campaigns of the past, then you’ll definitely want to give this trailer a look.

Master Chief takes on The Banished

As we’ve known for quite some time already, in Halo Infinite, Master Chief will be going toe-to-toe with The Banished, a Covenant splinter group that ultimately rebelled against their old allies. The launch trailer for Halo Infinite‘s campaign gets us right into the details: The Banished are planning to fire a new ring called Zeta Halo and Master Chief has to stop them.

This, of course, means there will be plenty of fighting, and we know that Halo Infinite is going to have at least a semi-open world, which is something of a departure for the Halo series. While previous entries have had huge maps with secret weapons and collectibles dotted throughout them, they’ve also been linear in their design.

With Halo Infinite, that all changes – at least somewhat. While on Zeta Halo, Master Chief will be able to capture forward operating bases held by The Banished, and we get to see a glimpse of some of those base assaults in this trailer. While the trailer doesn’t give too much away – at least compared to what we already know – those who are trying to go into it as unspoiled as possible may still want to give it a pass for now.

Microsoft tries a different strategy with Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite represents a pretty big departure for the series and for Microsoft, which have both followed a fairly consistent structure throughout the years. We’ve already told you how Halo Infinite is changing from a design perspective, but it’ll be a lot different from previous games from a monetization perspective as well.

For all previous releases in the Halo series, multiplayer and the campaign were both parts of the same purchase. $60 (or whatever the game cost at the time) granted you access to both, but that won’t be the case for Halo Infinite. Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer is free-to-play and is already available.

That means the campaign will be sold separately for $60, so we’ll soon find out just how much value Halo players put on the campaign. With no multiplayer included to hook players into buying, the campaign needs to stand on its own from a value standpoint if Microsoft is looking to sell copies. That could explain why 343 and Microsoft decided to make Halo Infinite‘s campaign semi-open world, a decision that suggests it’ll be broader in scope (and perhaps even in replayability) than previous campaigns.

Of course, Halo Infinite‘s campaign will also be available through Xbox Game Pass, which means that it doesn’t necessarily have to sell copies a ton of copies at $60 to be counted as a success in Microsoft’s eyes. In any case, we’ll find out if the value is there soon enough, as Halo Infinite‘s campaign launches on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC on December 8th.

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Halo Infinite’s Multiplayer Can Only Go Up From Here

For the past few days, I’ve been playing Halo Infinite. The game’s surprise multiplayer release was all I needed to drop Battlefield 2042 and my 100th run through Skyrim. Halo’s multiplayer is a timeless thing, one that felt as though it had been built upon when I played Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer.

With its release (which developer 343 Industries wants everyone to keep in mind is a beta), Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer has proven itself as one of the best free-to-play experiences out there. On PC, I’d rank it among mainstays like Fortnite and Team Fortress 2 — it has that kind of potential staying power.

The next step for Halo multiplayer

Halo Infinite‘s fun is immediate, from the first time you see your Spartan crack their knuckles before a game starts. But the real treat in Infinite isn’t playing as an individual, but rather as a team. Once again, Halo’s meat-and-potatoes are objective-based game modes, like Oddball, which is Halo’s version of kill the carrier. Playing with a team instead of as a rogue elite super soldier is how those Halo-specific moments happen.

Is it fun to pick up active camo along with a shotgun and roleplay as a very deadly ghost? Yep. Of course, the same goes for picking up any of Halo Infinite‘s other power weapons. But they’re all used better in conjunction with teammates. Instead of using a rocket launcher to take out one or two enemies, it can be used to turn the tide of a battle or save an objective-carrying teammate. In Halo Infinite, there are always larger fights to win, and it makes every match feel dynamic.

That’s part of Halo’s DNA, something that’s been true throughout the franchise. Halo Infinite sets itself apart with its weapons and movement, both of which add even more to the multiplayer’s already fantastic bones. Hitting headshots with the game’s automatic carbine or sniper rifle is beyond satisfying, and power weapons, like the new Skewer, can leave players feeling like an unstoppable machine of war. There’s really nothing quite like skewering a Warthog full of players and being awarded with a “triple kill!” announcement.

An unfriendly game

The sad part is that you’ll only be awarded a quippy voice line from the game’s announcer. Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer is going through what feels like its awkward teenage years. While some areas of the game are polished and ready to ship, others are simply underbaked, and they’re almost all related to quality of life. Halo Infinite, while being a fun game to play, is also extremely difficult at times.

And that starts with the game’s progression system. Players in Halo Infinite aren’t awarded XP toward the game’s seasonal battle passes — which are also the sole progression system in the game — for simply playing the game. Instead, XP is handed out as an award for completing challenges in the game, most of which are pretty specific. For instance, players can get XP for destroying an enemy Ghost, but only once, and only if it’s a challenge. The game’s Scrooge-like doling out of XP leaves progression feeling (as I’ve previously said) like a slog. While 343 has already somewhat addressed this issue by adding constant challenges that give out XP for playing a match, a majority of what players do each game will still go unawarded.

Halo Infinite's battle pass challenge screen.

Similarly unfriendly is how Halo Infinite lets players approach multiplayer in general. From the game’s main screen, you’re given the options of quickplay, big team battle, or ranked arena. For 343 Industries, this anemic multiplayer screen is a shadow of what players can expect when they boot up Halo: The Master Chief Collection. There’s no way to select specific game modes or groups of game modes. Instead, whether you get into a game of Oddball or Slayer is a roll of the dice and one that gets tiring. I personally got into five games of Oddball in a row, after which I wanted to eat my own shoes out of frustration. Sometimes you just want to play Slayer, but Halo Infinite currently doesn’t accommodate that kind of basic player choice.

Halo Infinite‘s problems, as the game is now, aren’t unbalanced weapons, weak maps, or to use a blanket term, bad gameplay. I’ve said it three times now, but I’ll say it again: Halo Infinite is a very fun game. What it isn’t is a friendly game. But the issues with its multiplayer are all fixable, they’re not baked in. When it comes to listening to its community, 343 Industries is historically open and receptive.

I wholeheartedly expect the life of Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer to go along the same route as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The game has had a great start, and it can only go up from here.

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Halo Infinite’s campaign co-op and Forge modes have been delayed again

The for the campaign have arrived and it’s looking like an exciting step forward for the series. Unfortunately, players will have to wait even longer than expected to play the mode with their friends.

Developer 343 Industries that Halo Infinite won’t have campaign co-op (a stalwart mode in the Halo series) or Forge custom games when it arrives on December 8th. It plans to add campaign co-op when season two starts, which was initially supposed to happen three months after launch, with Forge to follow in season three.

However, 343 Industries revealed this week that season one will run until May. The studio’s head of creative, Joseph Staten, confirmed to that means campaign co-op won’t arrive until May at the earliest, and Forge will arrive even later.

That’ll likely come as a disappointment to fans, but 343 Industries’ decision to focus on the campaign and multiplayer might have been the right one. It already , so getting the two core modes right was critical.

Fortunately, the free-to-play multiplayer component, which 343 Industries , is a blast. It’s evidently a hit already, too. The mode quickly hit 272,000 concurrent players on Steam, and that’s before you include those playing on console, through the PC Xbox app and on cloud gaming. 

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Halo Infinite campaign co-op and Forge mode release dates delayed

With the launch of Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer earlier this week, 343 Industries announced that season 1 will last longer than anticipated. Instead of three months as initially planned, season 1 has now been extended to six months. Unfortunately, this has implications for features beyond multiplayer, as the extension of season 1 also means that the launches of campaign co-op and Forge mode will be delayed.

Campaign co-op and Forge pushed deeper into 2022

Over the summer, 343 Industries revealed that while it was working on campaign co-op and Forge mode, neither of those features would be ready to go at launch in December. Instead, 343 planned to have campaign co-op ready to go at the start of season 2, while it expected to have Forge mode ready at the beginning of season 3.

When 343 shared those plans, it also expected each season to last around three months. Now that we know season 1 will be lasting an extended six months, that, unfortunately, means campaign co-op and Forge mode will be delayed in turn. 343 Industries head of creative Joseph Staten confirmed the delays in a brief interview with Eurogamer.

“Yes, we are extending Season 1. So our goal still remains what I said before, which is to ship campaign co-op with Season 2 and Forge with Season 3,” Staten said. “But those remain goals. Those remain targets. And we can’t commit to any hard dates right now, because as we’re seeing with this multiplayer beta, other things might move up in the priority stack for us.”

While Staten’s statement leaves the possibility of further delays open, he did commit to getting both features out the door at some point in the future, saying that both elements are “really big promises that we’ve made that we need to make good on.”

Two crucial features missing at launch

Indeed, a lot of players probably consider campaign co-op and Forge to be important features. The co-op mode for the campaign has been a cornerstone feature for the Halo series ever since the very first game, while Forge mode has its own subset of hardcore fans. Forge was originally introduced in Halo 3 and lets players make maps for custom games.

The two features have become significant parts of the Halo experience over the years, so there are undoubtedly fans who are sad to hear that they won’t be in the game at launch. However, based on what Staten told Eurogamer, it seems we can expect campaign co-op in May 2022, while Forge should come down the pipeline three months later, presumably in July 2022.

That’s assuming everything pans out as 343 is expecting and the company transitions to a three-month rotation for seasons after season 1 wraps up. Assuming 343 can deliver the co-op and Forge modes when it’s hoping to, this represents a three-month delay to its original plans. That’s not bad, but of course, any delay stings a little bit. We’ll let you know when 343 shares some more concrete details on the respective launches of Halo Infinite campaign co-op and Forge, so stay tuned for more.

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