What you need to know
- Halo Infinite's new Frostbite Effects Set bundle costs $18 (effectively $20 due to the way buying Credit currency works), with fans near-unanimously criticizing it for its high price and low value.
- Notably, two of the armor effects in the bundle can't even be used at the same time, even though the effects in question cover completely different parts of your Spartan's body.
- Though Halo Infinite's shop has improved over time, the sale of bundles like this one highlight the fact that it still has a long way to go.
Since it launched late last year, Halo Infinite's fans have frequently criticized the game's microtransaction store for its high prices and low overall value. Throughout the early days of the game's first season, bundles in the shop were often quite expensive at 2,000 Credits — an amount equivalent to $20 — and since only a few cosmetics were included in these bundles, many felt they were significantly overpriced.
In response, 343 Industries promised to make improvements to the shop in January, telling players that they could expect reduced prices and better value moving forward. Over the course of the year, many $17-20 bundles gave way to cheaper ones that offered more items, and in general, fans have been more receptive to the shop than they used to be. With that said, some particularly pricey bundles have still been interspersed between more affordable options, leaving plenty of room for improvement in Microsoft's flagship Xbox and Windows PC shooter.
This week, the Halo Infinite store was updated with a bundle that fans have found particularly egregious: the Frostbite Effects Set, an $18 (effectively $20, as you can only purchase Credits in $5/500 tiers) package that features four ice-themed effects. And while the bundle's Frostbite kill effect and Verglas Dream aura effect can be used simultaneously, you can't equip the included Cold Shoulder and Ski Rack armor effects together even though they cover completely different parts of your Spartan's body.
A full one-third of the price of a Triple-A game for a handful of armor effects is already a pretty terrible deal, but the fact you can't even use everything in the bundle together is a particularly painful knife twist. It reminds me of the early Season 1 days, and overall, it just feels bad that we're still getting terrible offerings like this over a year after launch.
Adding to frustrations is the fact that Halo Infinite still has several key unresolved issues, even with the recent Winter Update improvements. Server desync and poor, inconsistent PC performance are both huge problems affecting many players, as is the game's slow-as-molasses UI that makes everything from customizing your Spartan to choosing a playlist to enjoy harder than it needs to be. Customization is almost as shallow as it was at launch since players still can't use most cosmetics cross-core, and the gameplay content drip-feed is simply too slow, failing to keep fans engaged.
With all of these problems and more affecting Halo Infinite for months without much positive change, the sale of rip-off bundles like these feels pretty insulting. Microsoft and 343 Industries aren't fostering any goodwill here, and goodwill between the community and the game's developers is exactly what Halo Infinite needs to grow and actually stand tall as one of the best Xbox FPS titles.
Despite its issues, there's plenty to like about Halo Infinite. The core multiplayer gameplay is great, and since it's free-to-play, there's no barrier to entry. The campaign is fantastic, too, as it features an excellent story, fun open world gameplay, and plenty of action-packed levels to play through.
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