No matter what color players chose for their Halo armor, it defaulted to red or blue on teams. Halo Infinite colors the player’s outline instead.
‘Red team versus blue team’ is a steadfast tenet of Halo video games dating back to 2001 when Bungie first released the original Halo: Combat Evolved, but Halo Infinite looks to be evolving that concept. 343 Industries is breaking the age-old tradition in Halo Infinite’s multiplayer by removing color-coded armor for its team vs. team matches. A player’s team is now distinguished instead by a glowing outline around their character.
As with previous games in the Halo series, Halo Infinite allows players to customize armor components and colors at their own discretion. This ranges from slotting in new shoulders and helmets, to choosing flashy armor effects typically unlocked through completing in-game challenges. In Free For All matches, a player’s armor choices remain displayed as selected. In order to better facilitate and simplify competitive team modes, however, individual players’ colors were replaced with either red or blue.
343 Industries was criticized for using loot crate-style ‘REQ Packs’ to randomly distribute armor in Halo 5: Guardians. Since then, the company has inched back towards a formula that rewards appearance changes via in-game currency. Such has been the case for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. 343 Industries explained Halo Infinite’s cosmetics are similarly earned through completing challenges. Some players in Halo games wear these rewarded armor pieces as a badge of honor. Others find they help them connect with their Spartan. The armor’s color comprises a part of that individual connection, and 343 Industries decided it was time to stop ignoring it. “It just didn’t really work anymore to force everyone into a default red or blue model,” said Halo Infinite’s Community Director, Brian Jarrard. The decision to let players keep their armor color during team games was made “in order to really support and embrace our goals and our aspirations about leaning more into player expression.”
Rather than their armor, a glowing outline around a player now discerns friend from foe. By adjusting their settings, players can choose what colors those outlines will be. “Friendly UI” and “Fireteam UI” can both be set to different colors as well. This could prove useful in large-scale Halo Infinite game modes where eight or more players comprise a single team, or for colorblind players. Being able to pick out a squad mate amidst a crowd of friendly players might help coordinate movement. It could also make it easier to spot them from afar, and make a beeline towards them to trade weapons or push the objective.
Trigger-happy players may find Halo Infinite’s new system difficult to adjust to. It’s no longer so easily telegraphed which players are enemies and which are allies, and this confusion could well double in MLG modes where motion trackers are disabled. Players in close-quarters maps with lots of ambush spots and quick turns could lose their element of surprise by the time they distinguish whether to fire.
Source: 343 Industries
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