Though commercially successful, Halo 5: Guardians was a very controversial release for the franchise. There were several things that the Halo following almost unanimously felt were done poorly, and as a result, Halo 5's reputation — as well as the reputation of the series overall — suffered. Halo Infinite has a chance to repair this damage, but only if 343 Industries avoids making these three critical mistakes once again.
Arguably Halo 5's biggest issue was that content was delivered slowly over time instead of at launch. The Halo series is known for its wide array of matchmaking playlists, expansive custom game options, and the limitless potential of Forge, but Halo 5 only launched with one of these three. As a result, many players became bored with the game and moved on. Some of them came back when things were added later, but not all of them.
For Halo Infinite to succeed, it will need to launch with the quantity of content that one comes to expect from a Halo title. This will ensure that fans keep playing for longer and that the game will have a good reputation initially.
A poor campaign
Another problem with Halo 5 was that it had a lackluster campaign. The story, in particular, was very confusing, especially if you don't closely follow the Halo canon, and the fact that there were so many characters prevented any of them from developing well over the course of the narrative.
A good story will be important for Halo Infinite to have because the writing is often considered one of the franchise's strongest attributes. Like with the aforementioned lack of content, the absence of a satisfying story in Halo 5 damaged Halo's reputation. In order to get the series back on track when it comes to its campaigns, Halo Infinite needs to deliver.
Steep grinding for unlocks
Lastly, the way that almost every single unlock is tied to the requisition (REQ) system in Halo 5 is an issue that needs to be avoided in the future. Unlike the previous titles in the series, where you could earn cosmetics by either getting achievements (Halo 3) or choosing what you want with earned credits (Halo: Reach), Halo 5 forces you to roll dice with the REQ system's random number generator and hope that you get your item.
It's a design meant to get you to buy the game's "loot boxes" (disguised as REQ packs) with real money so that you don't have to wait as long as you would by earning packs normally. But if the poor sales of Star Wars Battlefront II are any indication, the gaming community has had enough of loot boxes. Players want to earn their items, not win them in a slot machine. Hopefully, 343 Industries takes note and designs Halo Infinite's progression accordingly.
What kind of mistakes do you think 343 Industries needs to avoid making or repeating with Halo Infinite? Let me know in the comments.
While waiting for Halo Infinite to release, make sure to check out Halo 5: Guardians, The Master Chief Collection, and Halo Wars 2.
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