Halo Infinite jumps to a 'Mostly Positive' Steam rating as Firefight makes its mark

Halo Infinite Firefight
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • On Valve's PC gaming platform Steam, Halo Infinite's rating has jumped up to "Mostly Positive." For most of its lifespan, it's been "Mixed."
  • This news comes after the launch of the PvE wave defense mode Firefight earlier this week, which caps off a year that has seen many sizable improvements come to Halo Infinite.
  • The current season, Season 5: Reckoning, also brought new maps, gametypes, sandbox items, quality of life changes, and more.
  • Early in its life, Halo Infinite struggled due to a notable lack of content and systems that players widely disliked. Now, at the end of 2023, most of these problems have gotten much better or have been fixed entirely.

Things continue to look up for Halo Infinite, as Microsoft's free-to-play live service shooter has now jumped to a "Mostly Positive" rating on its Steam page, with 72% of all reviews in the last 30 days positive. For the majority of the two years that the game has been available on Valve's PC gaming platform, it's had a "Mixed" review score.

While Halo Infinite struggled in late 2021 and much of 2022 due to an overall lack of content, disappointing progression and customization systems, and performance issues (among other things), developer 343 Industries has since made great strides in its efforts to improve the game. Tons of important fixes, new maps, tons of fresh modes and playlists, exciting sandbox additions, and features like the Forge mapmaking tool and Career Rank progression have come in 2023, to the point where Halo infinite finally feels like a complete experience — and if the game's new rating as well as its heightened player count is anything to go by, fans have taken notice.

Season 5: Reckoning, which began on October 17, has arguably brought the best updates yet. Two new maps, the return of Halo 4's Extraction mode, new Forge canvases and items, options to add and code campaign AI enemies in Forge maps, and quality of life improvements like the ability to earn Battle Pass XP in Custom Games and use any helmet on any armor core all came when the season began. Then, on December 5, a special Mid Season Update brought Halo's beloved PvE co-op wave defense mode Firefight to matchmaking, as well as a new equipment piece that can heal players and vehicles called the Repair Field.

The new Repair Field being used in Halo Infinite's Firefight: King of the Hill mode. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Halo Infinite's iteration of Firefight is my favorite one yet, and I've been having a blast battling hordes of Banished troops ever since it became available on Tuesday. The mode also launched with full Forge compatibility and Custom Games integration, so it's only a matter of time until the community starts pumping out some incredible custom Firefight experiences.

Speaking as someone who was very critical of Infinite's multiplayer in its opening months — especially the poor content offerings, shallow customization options, and rampant cheating problem it had at the time — it's great to now open the game and see that these issues (and others) have either been significantly improved or completely fixed. For the first time since those early days, I actually feel excited to play, and that makes me happy as a lifelong Halo fan.

Of course, that doesn't mean the game is perfect. Most armor pieces still can't be used across different armor cores (though tons of coatings can, thanks to a patch), Custom Games connections are often pretty spotty, and performance on PC could still be a bit better. But overall? Halo Infinite finally feels like it's come into its own, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

Halo Infinite multiplayer (including Firefight) is free-to-play, while its campaign is $60 (but often much cheaper) on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows PCs. Notably, you can also play it through any tier of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.