343 Industries have seemingly adapted the best bits of Halo 5 into Halo Infinite, so fans should revisit the controversial game before the Fall.
The coming release of Halo Infinite this fall has made for an exciting time for fans of the Master Chief. New and returning Spartans are looking to revisit the series in preparation for this new story, and most will likely pick up The Master Chief Collection to do so. The developers at 343 Industries continue to add new content to that collection, and the multiplayer is thriving. However, after getting a sample of Halo Infinite‘s combat from the recent technical test, it’s clear that the new game is far more of a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians than many fans may realize. From the starting weapons to the abilities of each super-soldier, fans may find it worthwhile to revisit this divisive entry one more time before diving into the new Halo game.
When Halo 5 hit shelves in 2015, it made a lot of changes to staple elements of the series. Each weapon had a zoomed-in aiming mode that was similar to, but not exactly like, Call of Duty‘s ADS. Precision weapons were at the forefront, with everything from the DMR to the starting pistol proving to be deadly tools in the Arena. Spartans gained several base abilities that built on Halo 4‘s default sprinting, and movement was a key component to the suite of smaller-than-average multiplayer maps. 343 Industries attempted to boil down the essence of Team Slayer into one mode, pushing the vehicle mayhem to its own silo with Warzone. A lot of this fell flat with the Halo fanbase, but it seems like 343 is still taking lessons from what did work in their last game.
For one, Spartans start each round of Slayer in Halo Infinite with the same two weapons they did in Halo 5. The classic Assault Rifle has the same mid-range capabilities in Infinite, although it does feel more potent as a damage dealer. The more important repeat is the starting pistol, which is technically a new weapon known as the Sidekick rather than Halo 5‘s Magnum. Regardless, this sidearm gets the job done when it comes to battling it out with opponents at range, but not so much that it dominates the field. It’s the perfect power level, as it’s crucial to have players picking up new weapons and varying the battlefield. As fun as a round on Hang ’em High is in Halo: Combat Evolved, it can get repetitive when 85% of the match consists of pistol duels.
Halo Infinite Continues The Weapon & Story Evolution Of Halo 5
The Assault Rifle and most other Halo weapons retain their zoom-in aiming as well, although it’s not a guarantee for every weapon. The new-to-Infinite Heatwave has an alt-fire mode instead of a zoom function, letting Spartans choose the spread of its projectiles on the fly. This weapon is an evolution of the functionality of the Scattershot in Halo 5, moving it further away from its role as an alternate shotgun and more into the unique heights of weapons like the Needler and the Plasma Pistol. In this way, Halo Infinite carries forward the idea that every weapon in the arsenal should serve a distinct purpose, something that wasn’t true in the series until Halo 5‘s massive sandbox overhaul.
Outside of gameplay and despite the promises of the initial trailer, Halo 5‘s controversial story will also see a follow-up in Halo Infinite. The latest E3-adjacent showcase from Xbox showed off new footage of Master Chief chatting with an AI known as The Weapon. This new companion is awfully similar to Cortana in appearance, and the leader of the rebellious AI known as The Created is her main focus of conversation. Master Chief may have the immediate threat of The Banished’s Brute forces in Halo Infinite‘s campaign, but anyone going into Infinite without at least a base-level knowledge of what happened in Halo 5 will likely regret it.
From the brief look that fans got over this past weekend, it seems evident that Halo Infinite shows 343 Industries learning from past work and creating a game that feels more like the Bungie era. Infinite still has heavy influences from 343’s games, as shown by the evolving gameplay features and the continuing narrative. However, it no longer seems to be the order of the day to upend everything that made the Chief so unique and reinvent the multiplayer wheel. Considering the current landscape across all multiplayer shooters, Halo Infinite comes at just the right time to reignite the interest it had at its peak and push Microsoft’s signature FPS back to the top of the hill.
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