BRUTE FORCE
PC Gamer|February 2022
HALO INFINITE comes frustratingly close to greatness
Nat Clayton

NEED TO KNOW

WHAT IS IT? An open world sequel in the long-running shooter series

EXPECT TO PAY £50

DEVELOPER 343 Industries

PUBLISHER Xbox Game Studios

REVIEWED ON RTX 2070 SUPER, Ryzen 5 3600, 16GB RAM

MULTIPLAYER Yes

LINK bit.ly/3DNxecH

Does an open world work for Halo? Since it’s announcement, that question is one that’s been constantly asked of Halo Infinite. Six years after Halo 5 left the series on a sour note, 343 Industries has dusted off the Master Chief’s armour for a throwback to Bungie’s original – nostalgic for a time when Halo was just a big green man, his blue, holographic girlfriend, and a wide open ring full of possibilities to explore.

What this results in is a game that could be a true return to form for Master Chief – but I’m just not convinced Halo really needed to be an open world.

Let’s make one thing clear though: this is some damn fine Halo. Having played Halo 3 with the lads every weekend for the last year, Infinite comes as a breath of fresh air. Running and gunning in Halo has never felt this good, Master Chief moving with a real heft even as he slides and mantles his way across ancient alien amphitheatres.

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer gave us a taste of this, launching a month ahead of the story proper. But where the game’s arsenal feels a little flat in team slayer, the campaign helps even the flimsiest weapons shine thanks to a menagerie of alien baddies with unique behaviours. Weapon types have never felt more important, especially on harder difficulties (I played through on Heroic), and juggling between bursting shields with plasma, busting skulls with kinetic, and stunning foes with shock weapons becomes crucial. It helps that every weapon feels great, snapping and popping and busting with satisfying sounds.

Infinite’s firefights feel electric, hectic, a constant grab-bag of finding the next best tool (even if that means tossing a nearby plasma barrel at a pack of Grunts). But none of this comes close to the sheer absolute thrill of the grappling hook. Infinite immediately hands you a length of rope with which to fling yourself around Zeta Halo with.

At first you’re pulling yourself out of enemy fire and grappling vehicles, but a few upgrades will turn it into a deadly electric wire that shocks unshielded baddies and lets you slam-dunk entire packs of foes with a tap of the melee button. This comes at the cost of making the rest of the equipment feel a little redundant, mind. Changing equipment on the fly is a hassle and, honestly, you’re always best served with the utility of a simple hooked rope.

RING ROAD

That grapple is also essential for exploring Halo Infinite’s open world. Introduced after two more traditionally linear missions, Infinite introduces you to the open-ish plains of Zeta Halo. But while your AI sidekick (more on her later) immediately floods your map screen with icons, don’t be fooled. This isn’t Far Cry: Ringworld – in fact, you’ll find the open world to be surprisingly small.

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