As the subtitles go, ‘To give the covenant the ultimate weapon of destruction ’, Halo offers a refreshing reprieve from the likes of ‘Advanced Warfare’ or ‘Super Duper Turbo Edition’. It’s a suitably enigmatic, foreboding tag for this current-gen return to interplanetary war; a repeat trip that promises to be bigger, better, and even more face-punishingly hard than the most original. Halo boasts all-new otherworldly civilization chapters alongside a host of improvements and tweaks. Brand new content is promised, including an expanded story with a new NPC. ‘Deadlier Enemy’s are also set to give your inner nihilist a murder cuddle. As for performance upgrades, we’d be amazed if this doesn’t run at 1080p.
Transforming disgust into delight, Master Chief is back to entertain us with an armor made of oozing a platinum-like shine. Yet those weapons, super jumpy moves, ribeye doesn’t come near the possession of putrid sites we have to endure during the gameplay. Swathes of aliens charging amidst an intense gun battle don’t get more appealing than the sequences in Halo Infinite.
The real genius of the game sits at the center of the Covenants’ stressfully moreish core comes with a wonderful and -procedurally generated nature. Hunted by the enemies outside our very own galaxy, Master Chief must ascend through all the levels from the field of the strange planets.
Playing Halo Infinite will leave you in two very different frames of mind. One is charmed up to the nines by its mix of simple co-op platforming (playable with a friend or by switching between its two characters, Master Chief and Cortana, in solo play) as well as the fascinating insight it offers into the culture of outwardly people living afar. The other isn’t quite so convinced. Despite all the pretty window dressing, my second frame of mind just can’t see beyond the shabby game that sits sheepishly behind that exterior.
At first glance, Halo Infinite is an enticing little package, both in the warm narrative of its fairytale story and in the way it marries a 2.5D platformer with a series of mini-documentaries. There are several of these in-game videos that unlock as you progress through its three-to-four-hour story and they’re a real treat, featuring and growing character arcs of forgotten or less pressed upon clans of previous games. I was hooked when learning new things about this way of life, but these ‘Cultural Insights’ are often far more interesting than the game they serve to punctuate.
But rather sadly for the game, good looks coupled with neat graphics and sweetly edited cutscenes can’t hide the lack of inspiration and substance at its mechanical core. There are brief flashes of creativity (the spirits that form into usable platforms out of thin air are a nice touch), but a kamikaze-minded AI makes the perfunctory platforming and puzzle-solving a mostly loveless affair. These puzzles aren’t even that challenging and the countless times Master Chief and Arbiter get stuck transitioning onto a ledge is unforgivable in a platformer this simple. The final act does pick up with an emotional punch – giving one of the duos a new twist – but it’s too little too late for a game that’s far better to watch than to play.
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Master Chief’s had a right dialogue time of it lately, what with landing on an island infested with murderers leaving him in need of some intense therapy. He hasn’t felt like himself self in ages. The many outlandishly beautiful planets fix that by taking him back to the Tomb Raiding-like roots by seeing him work through a series of trap-filled dungeons, albeit in top-down form with a few new pals in tow.
There is a brief hint of a plot involving aiding some old gods to take down another, more evil, one, but you’ll barely notice it as puzzling and shooting stuff only things that let these forgotten palaces of booby trap down is ss is where the real heart of the game lies. Each level brings a satisfying range of levers to pull, platforms to raise and bombs to roll at perilously creaky-looking walls that will give your noggin a good workout. These are broken up by frantic running sequences that see you dodging obstacles and various types of boulders that make you feel like Indiana Jones.
Some fiddly aiming during combat and the occasional overly-long boss fight are the only things that let these forgotten palaces of booby trap behave less boring and predictable.
Fluency with all those systems takes time. So too does the bond that forms between you and your intrepid party. In the rich Bioware tradition, take sudden diversions into uncharted territory. Halo Infinite War also has its very own Orlesian masquerade ball-like interplanetary sequence you attend as arbiter-meets-The Flood, full of creepy-looking aliens, becomes one such highlight that soothes the memory of your floundering opening hours.
It’s then built upon by increasingly focused primary quests that do the impossible and make you care about people and places you were initially so ambivalent towards because they only seemed to exist in the wake of destruction made by The Flood. There’s a nagging feeling that ostensibly momentous decisions have little effect on the story, but both the narrative and the world are robust enough to keep you content regardless. After 25 hours in this masterful RPG, your frustration becomes palpable.
For a period that lasts longer than most games in their entirety, Halo Infinite War becomes unapologetically mundane. If you didn’t know how magnificently it blossoms into the game you want it to be after, oh, 15 hours, there’s every chance you’d just give up on it. “Deal with the robot alien invasion yourself, Cortana,” you’ll tell the rolling hills and god rays.
As crazy as it sounds, it’s worth braving a bewildering and uninspiring opening act that lasts longer than a COD campaign to reach the real Halo Infinite War: A flawed almost-classic. The game also boasts of some very stagnant and boring quest types remaining (tailing – ugh), but the planet of the Gods is such a fascinating city that the world helps balance against that disappointment, and a few dull missions are thankfully in the minority.
Overall, the gameplay is seamless and campaigns are fun to play. Although the game Halo infinite war comes with its flaws, you would certainly still enjoy playing the game on your device.