Halo Infinite, the next installment in Xbox's legendary franchise, is on the horizon. However, in order to blow everyone's minds and bring Halo back to the top of the charts, it's crucial that the game's developer 343 Industries avoids making these five critical mistakes, which were unfortunately made with Halo 5: Guardians.
One of Halo 5's biggest problems was that the campaign, in the eyes of most people, was significantly less enjoyable than those of its predecessors. It had its moments — the section of the game that took place on Sanghelios was excellent — but overall, Halo 5 disappointed heavily in the singleplayer department, both gameplay and story-wise. One of Halo's biggest advantages over direct competitors like Call of Duty or Battlefield is that the campaigns are usually of a higher quality, so this mistake cannot be repeated.
Deviating from the roots
Ever since Halo: Reach, the franchise has been straying further and further from the core mechanical formula that brought the series into the limelight to begin with. Halo: Reach introduced armor abilities, Halo 4 made sprinting a universal mechanic, and Halo 5 added highly-controversial Spartan abilities, giving players the power to slide, hover in midair, slam into the ground, and more. While these things aren't objectively bad by any means, a massive portion of the community dislikes these new mechanics. Not counting Halo 2 Anniversary, it's been over a decade since a more "classic" style of Halo has been on shelves. I think a return to the simpler mechanics that Halo used to have is a fantastic idea for Halo Infinite.
Prevalence of microtransactions
Something that was near-universally disliked in Halo 5 was the Requisition System (REQ for short) that determined how the player unlocked customization items like armor, as well as weapons and vehicles to use in the new Warzone mode. Essentially loot boxes in card form, REQ packs made earning almost everything in the game a roll of the dice. They were obtainable by playing normally, but it took a very long time to earn them at any consistent rate. This stood in stark contrast to Halo games that came before, where players could earn their armor either by completing activities and achievements or buying them directly with in-game currency.
There's reason to be optimistic on this front, though: it has already been confirmed by 343 studio head Chris Lee that Halo Infinite won't have any paid loot boxes, though it will have microtransactions. Hopefully Infinite's microtransactions will be much less impactful on the overall experience.
Lack of release playlists
Halo 5 launched with a tiny amount of matchmaking modes and playlists, which hampered the online experience significantly. One of the best things about Halo is the way that its diverse game mode offerings foster a plethora of different gameplay experiences. Halo 5, though, launched with only the bare minimum. While it's true that more modes have been added over the last three years, for many players it was too little too late. Halo Infinite needs to deliver a good range of content out of the box.
No Forge at launch
Halo 5's take on Forge mode, Halo's famous map creation tool, didn't come with the game on release. This made it the first game in the series since 2007 to not have the mode at launch, and its absence was fairly detrimental to the multiplayer community. Many people, myself included, have a ton of fun making and editing maps to create unique gameplay opportunities. It was thankfully added two months after release, and it is the best Forge mode by far, but not having it there at the start of the game's life cycle was nonetheless very disappointing.
What do you think of the mistakes I mentioned? What do you think 343 Industries needs to avoid with Halo Infinite? Let me know, and make sure to check out the games below if you have a Halo itch to scratch. Halo Infinite doesn't have a release date yet, but it's launching on both Xbox One and PC.
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