Halo infinite Xbox. Halo Infinite review

Halo Infinite Single-Player Campaign Review

Halo Infinite’s single-player campaign, like a new generation of Master Chief’s MJOLNIR armor, powers up a 20-year-old series, by both returning to its roots and blazing new trails to build off of. By shifting to an open-world map while retaining the classic gameplay both on foot and in its iconic vehicles, it offers a level of freedom in combat not seen in any prior Halo game. There’s a lot to do in this expansive playground, and completing its never-dull-or-overwhelming list of activities earns more combat options and, ultimately, more fun. It doesn’t quite recapture the environmental variety or memorable story of the original trilogy, but it’s still a thrilling return to form for one of gaming’s most beloved series, and for Master Chief himself.

It’s Got a Nice Ring to it

The change from the traditional linear series of combat arenas to letting you freely explore the Zeta Halo ring where Infinite takes place marks the first time developer 343 Industries has broken from the blueprint that Bungie drew 20 years ago. All of that space proves to be a natural fit for what’s always been a sort of sandbox-style shooter at heart, where unexpected things happen. In Infinite, that same thing is true on a grander scale.

But you aren’t dropped straight onto the ring and set loose. Instead, the first couple of the 25 hours I spent completing it on Heroic difficulty take place indoors, and that intro works well as a way to get acquainted with Halo’s literal new gameplay hook, the Grappleshot, as well as the first of many delightfully challenging bosses.

And sure, the Grappleshot might feel quite familiar if you’ve played games like Just Cause or Titanfall, but it feels right at home in Halo. This fantastic tool can be used to grab weapons from afar, escape dire combat encounters when your depleted shields are screaming at you for a recharge, or launch you directly into the bad guys for a finishing melee attack with your full weight behind it. It’s a natural extension of the equipment idea introduced in Halo 3 – and that’s part of why Infinite’s moment-to-moment gameplay feels most like a cross between Halo 1 and Halo 3, which is very much a good thing.

Meanwhile, the bosses make up many of Infinite’s best encounters, excluding those that you organically create for yourself out in Zeta Halo’s sandbox. The first, against the Banished Brute lieutenant Tremonius, showcases extra-challenging AI that will require you to keep your wits about you, not just extra ammo in your back He uses a jetpack as well as a lightning-quick ground-pound attack that will rock you if you’re not ready for it. It’s your first indication that each boss fight will keep you on your toes, and in total, Infinite features Halo’s best implementation of them yet.

This warm-up serves as ample prep for the open world, and when you get out there, that’s when the Halo 1 feeling kicks in. You’ll need to get around on foot at first, and thus learning to grapple onto trees or into the ground ahead of you to propel yourself onward becomes the most fun way to navigate the world. You’ll encounter all sorts of opportunities to get into trouble on Zeta Halo, from rescuing groups of captured UNSC Marines to taking down propaganda radio towers to infiltrating massive Banished strongholds to reclaiming UNSC Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). While there’s nothing that feels wholly original here relative to games like Far Cry or Just Cause, the feature fits Halo in a very natural way, and the tasks are both varied enough and not so frequently repeated as to ever feel monotonous or annoying.

Every IGN Halo Review

Is playing Halo worth the 350 it will cost for an Xbox and a game? If you can appreciate videogames and have been waiting for the next step, then the answer is absolutely. If you’re a casual fan and don’t buy more than a handful of games a year, then you still need to get Halo. It’s a can’t miss, no-brainer, sure thing, five star, triple A game. Microsoft created the Xbox so we could have games like Halo. Don’t miss it. width= /

Genuinely great games don’t come around that often, but in 2004 we’re seeing a few truly remarkable achievements come to the forefront. Halo 2 is one of them. While you can minimize the game to its basics.- it’s a linear first-person shooter, it doesn’t have online cooperative play, some of the cutscenes look awkward.- the level of improvement in every aspect to an already near-perfect game is staggering. width= / The campaign, which is very good, is Halo 3’s weakest point. It doesn’t capture the cavalier spirit of the original Halo, but you’ll still have fun playing through it. There’s no first-person shooter on 360 that can equal Halo 3’s blend of cinematic action, adrenaline-pumping shootouts, and male- (and female)-bonding gameplay. width= / Halo 3: ODST isn’t a true sequel, but it is more than a standard expansion. If you’re on the fence about buying it, drop your reservations and go snag a copy. If you love Halo, you owe it to yourself to pick this up as soon as you can. width= / It’s a fitting end to Bungie’s involvement with the franchise, one that both references the past and injects new life into a tried and true formula. Newcomers and Halo fans alike will find plenty to love in Halo: Reach. Even if you’ve grown tired of the Halo formula through the years, I’d still recommend this game to you. It’s just that good. width= /

But, in the grand tradition of Grand Theft Auto 3, you can’t go everywhere straight off the bat. Instead, Zeta Halo unlocks section by section, with key story missions opening up new lands to explore – though I do wish those new lands had a bit more variety. Or really, any variety at all. There’s no snowy area like in Combat Evolved, no urban area like in Halo 2 (or in Infinite’s own multiplayer maps like Streets and Bazaar, for that matter), or really… anything other than the mix of forest and stone monoliths. It’s as if 343 didn’t take its artistic inspiration from the whole of Halo 1, it took it specifically from “The Silent Cartographer” and nowhere else. That’s a bit disappointing, especially after a couple dozen hours.

On a related note, I also wish Zeta Halo was a bit prettier. Halo games, like many major first-party efforts, have often been graphical showcases for their respective consoles – including 343’s own Halo 4, which elicited a late-in-the-generation “How did they do this on the 360?” kind of reaction to its gorgeous graphics back in 2012. While Infinite’s indoor spaces did wow me at times and there are certainly some impressive vistas across its outdoor landscape, Infinite looks perfectly good at best, but not jaw-droppingly so as Halo 1, Halo 2, and Halo 4 did before it.

“Hey Cortana, What the Hell Is Going on in Halo?”

Speaking of previous Halo games, the only concern I had heading into Halo Infinite that I really had to worry about was the story. Halo 4 certainly has its issues, but its FOCUS on Master Chief’s relationship with a Cortana who was rapidly succumbing to rampancy gave it a memorable and commendable emotional core. Halo 5, unfortunately, followed up by derailing any momentum that 4 had built by, among other narrative crimes, barely letting you play as Master Chief. It dug a deep hole for Halo Infinite to try and climb out of – particularly given that Infinite tries to both tie up 5’s loose ends and keep the existing storyline going, while also serving as the aforementioned “spiritual reboot” meant to welcome in new fans. In the end, it’s too tall a task.

What We Thought About Halo Infinite’s Multiplayer

It’s so nice when a game actually lives up to sky-high expectations! Halo Infinite has been one of the most anticipated games out there since it was first announced three years ago, and for its multiplayer component to so fully deliver on the series’ classic feel while also keeping up with the modern-day competition in the FPS genre is a huge achievement. With some fantastic map design, a collection of straightforward but highly engaging modes for both large and small groups, excellent weapons and gear options, and those delightfully bouncy and sticky grenades, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer modes put it in the top tier of competitive shooters. Impressively, it manages to give nostalgic veterans the best of what they remember Halo multiplayer feeling like while also smoothly introducing new players to the joys of Spartan combat Stella Chung, November 24, 2021

It’s not a Halo 5-level disaster by any stretch – for starters, Infinite doesn’t waste time with any playable characters who aren’t Master Chief – but it probably isn’t going to really make most players happy. Its tale focuses on the splinter Covenant faction The Banished (last seen in Halo Wars 2) and was not particularly satisfying for this longtime Halo fan, and the new players Infinite is hoping to bring in might be outright lost. If you’re in the latter group, you’re going to ask the following questions (and plenty of others) that Infinite never answers: Who are the Covenant? Why is Cortana evil? What are the Guardians? None of that old ground is covered.

And even if, like me, you’ve played every Halo campaign multiple times, the fact is that it’s been six years and the last one was the most convoluted Halo story ever means that it’s not easy to get comfortable with Infinite’s plot. This sixth Halo should’ve come with a “Halo’s Story So Far” cinematic that rolls before you start playing, as we’ve seen other long-running series do (most recently, Microsoft’s own Psychonauts 2). Maybe 343 ran out of time or maybe it never came up, but it’s a failure that could’ve been avoided.

Still, there are really good aspects of the story too: namely, the relationship between Master Chief and his new AI companion, who we only know as The Weapon. She is voiced by Jen Taylor, who also stars as Cortana as well as Spartan program creator Dr. Catherine Halsey. You don’t need to be a hardcore Halo fan to recognize Taylor’s nuanced performances in playing three similar but distinct roles; she effortlessly separates the three, playing brilliantly off of the fact that The Weapon doesn’t know the Chief at all (though that makes it even stranger that basic Halo concepts aren’t spelled out for new players by using her as their proxy). We get to watch their partnership be born, then strain, and later strengthen. They get sarcastic with each other, they argue, and they build an unsteady alliance. Steve Downes, meanwhile, is fantastic in his sixth turn as Master Chief, who psychologically struggles through Infinite as an emotionally broken and lost man who blames himself for the sad state of humanity – the details of which are made painfully clear over the course of the campaign. I truly hope 343 never recasts either of these two wonderful voice actors.

Combat Evolved

Getting back to gameplay, the FOBs are the real key to everything in Infinite’s open world. Recapture them and your map will populate with many of the aforementioned activities, along with other notable map icons like Spartan Core locations – the bounties of which allow you to upgrade your equipment in ways that let you tailor your playstyle. I pumped all of my points into the Shield Core at first, which made the bit of extra punishment that Heroic difficulty doles out feel plenty manageable. (If you’re going to tackle Legendary, I’d highly suggest this strategy.) The Grappleshot can be upgraded to add a paralyzing electric shock attack, boosting the Thruster will let you go invisible for a short time when you dash, and maxing out the Drop Wall gives you your own protective electric fence. I prioritized them in that order, ending with everything maxed out aside from two missing upgrades on the Drop Wall, and not only did the equipment add variety to how I handled abolishing the Banished, but many of the key boss fights cry out for one of them or another. (Thankfully, Infinite is never too heavy-handed about suggesting which one is best for each battle.)

Completing the open-world activities also earns you Valor points, which do you the big favor of unlocking additional weapons and vehicles you can instantly summon from reclaimed FOBs. (Usefully, you’re also able to fast travel to any FOB you’ve unlocked.) This became vital – not to mention extremely fun – as I approached the 15 optional High-Value Targets (HVTs) scattered around the ring. For instance, one HVT – well, technically two – is a pair of heavy-hitting Hunters who are flanked by a legion of supporting Banished (along with some mid-battle surprises). I surveyed that scene, saw the challenge I was up against, then fast-traveled back to the closest FOB so that I could order up a shiny new Scorpion tank I’d unlocked access to, and then slowly rolled back to the HVT Hunters’ turf, trained my tank turret on them one at a time, and gleefully eliminated them. Even these heavier vehicles aren’t “I win” buttons, though, as bad guys on higher difficulties will quickly and repeatedly disable your vehicle with Shock Rifle blasts, often forcing you to try another strategy.

This kind of freedom to fight how you want has always been a foundational component of Halo’s gameplay, but it arguably started diminishing after Halo 3 in favor of more structured battles with a slim choice of weapons. Infinite recaptures that signature freeform action in a big, fun way thanks to the diversity of locations and the ability to approach them from any angle and with any gear. Battles take place everywhere: in rivers, indoors,” in midair, and you’ll even have to fight uphill in scraps that feel like early 20th-century wars of attrition in the Halo universe (particularly on Heroic or Legendary difficulty). That encouraged me to use lots of the huge Halo arsenal rather than simply falling in love with one weapon (which would’ve been the trusty Battle Rifle, of course) for the entire campaign. Sometimes I’d want a charged-up Ravager plasma grenade launcher to stop charging Brutes in their tracks, other times a scoped weapon might be best for quickly headshotting Elites to drop their shields, and Grunts… well, they’re still hilariously pathetic (mostly), though Infinite offers more ways to blow them up than ever thanks to new attachments on their backs.

Vehicles, meanwhile, are of particular importance in a Halo where you can wander all over the entire ring. The Mongoose is the first ride you’ll unlock, though without a co-op buddy, its only real purpose is zipping from point A to point B faster than you could run. But once you get into the meat of the campaign, you can call in a Warthog at a FOB, load it up with well-armed Marines, and stroll right up to a Banished stronghold and take out as many bad guys as you can from the perimeter before heading in. Or you can bring the Wasp in from above, clearing out significant numbers of Banished from the relative safety of the sky. Thanks to the large scale, vehicles have never felt more vital in Halo, which is probably the biggest compliment I can give because they’ve always been a high point of this series.

Need help defeating a tough boss or finding all collectibles hidden around Zeta Halo? Look no further than these helpful guides.


Halo has meant a lot to me over the past 20 years. From first landing on the ring in Halo 1 to the surprise Arbiter arc in Halo 2 to being heartbroken by Halo 5’s abysmal storytelling, it’s one of the few series in gaming where every new mainline entry really matters to me. After six years, it was fair to wonder: did Halo still belong in the “Best Shooter” conversation? And would I still care about it? I am both relieved and delighted that Halo Infinite emphatically answers both questions with a resounding yes. Turning us loose to explore a massive open ring with almost complete freedom to approach combat with a wide range of iconic guns, vehicles, and toys has absolutely brought Halo’s single-player campaign back into contention as one of the finest out there (to say nothing of the amazing multiplayer suite), and even though it drops the ball a bit with the story and lack of environmental variety, Infinite picks it back up again with style.

Halo Infinite’s spiritual reboot is exactly what the franchise needed

Tom’s Guide Verdict

Halo Infinite is a fresh new take on the franchise, and manages to bring everything together into a game that is innovative, familiar, and a lot of fun to play.


  • Open world exploration and grapple gun are a lot of fun
  • Great mix of fresh features in a familiar setting
  • Stunning visuals and sound
  • Grunts are finally funny again


  • – No co-op mode or Forge at launch
  • – No option to choose multiplayer game modes
  • – Free-to-play mechanics are irritating

Why you can trust Tom’s Guide

Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what’s best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S (reviewed), Xbox One, Game Pass Ultimate Price: 60, Free (Multiplayer only) Release date: December 8, 2021 Genre: FPS

Halo Infinite has a lot to prove. Not only does the game have to make up for Halo 5’s weak campaign, but it was also subject to widespread criticism at several points during its development cycle. Now that the game is here, the question is, how did it do?

halo, infinite, xbox, review

Halo Infinite is unlike any other Halo game we’ve seen before, and it is a heck of a lot of fun to play. The game takes some time to get going, but switching to an open-world model was clearly the right move.

In this Halo Infinite review, we’ll take a look at how the game manages to break the mold and do something new, while also remaining familiar and faithful to the classic Halo titles.

Halo Infinite review: Campaign

Halo Infinite is set two years after the conclusion of Halo 5, and six months after the brutal alien faction known as The Banished seized control of Zeta Halo: one of the ancient superweapons capable of wiping out all life in the Galaxy.

You’re back in the boots of Master Chief and, this time, only the Master Chief. You have just one goal on your agenda: Put an end to the Banished threat. That involves playing through the main quest, plus a plethora of side missions, disrupting Banished activities and rescuing captured marines from certain death.

Halo Infinite seems to have taken a lot of cues from 2009’s Halo 3 ODST, but on a much grander scale. I also get the impression that developer 343 Industries took a lot of inspiration from other open-world franchises, such as Far Cry.

The open-world system is not unique, and has you running around, reclaiming UNSC bases to uncover side missions and other points of interest. Completing side missions increases your Valor which lets you unlock new and better weaponry. Reclaiming a base doesn’t unlock everything, though, so there are still plenty of reasons to run around and explore.

The most important thing about Halo Infinite’s map is that everything hinges on player choice. While Chief’s new AI companion, The Weapon, will prompt you to complete story missions, you’re free to ignore her and do whatever you like. You can rescue marines, complete side missions or just run around the ring, trying to turn Master Chief into a 26th-century Spider-Man in the process.

Halo Infinite’s grapple accessory may not turn you into a bonafide webslinger, but it is the single most important new feature in the game. Using it in conjunction with the existing sprint and clamber abilities means that getting around Zeta Halo is an absolute breeze. It’s infinitely more fun than following the preset roads and paths.

But despite everything new, Halo Infinite still feels familiar. It’s reminiscent of the first Halo game, specifically the second level Halo, in which you explore the ringworld for the very first time. That level drops you onto the ring and immediately puts you to work rescuing marines and sabotaging alien operations in the process.

The similarities between Halo Infinite and the level Halo are so clear cut, that it feels as though the level was the recipe 343 used to create the new game. 343 previously announced that Halo Infinite would be a “spiritual reboot”, returning to the spirit of the classic Halo games while still offering something new. The developers definitely succeeded.

On top of this, the developers managed to make the Grunt enemies truly funny again. The little blighters are constantly talking smack when you encounter them, and there were several points where I had to pause because I was laughing so much. The Grunts haven’t been this hilarious since the first time I saw them turn heel and run away screaming in Halo on the original Xbox.

The most important thing is that Halo Infinite has an engaging story. Without delving into spoiler territory, it’s been quite some time since I found myself really invested in the mystery of the franchise’s plot. What the heck are the Banished actually up to, and what went on in the six months since their initial assault on the ring?

That’s not to say there aren’t downsides to the main quest, though. Many missions stick to the old-school linear Halo formula pretty religiously. If you never enjoyed running around inside Forerunner ruins, Halo Infinite isn’t going to win you over.

There also doesn’t appear to be a way to repeat campaign missions, and thus find missing collectibles, without starting the game from scratch. Similarly, there’s no co-operative multiplayer at launch, which means you have to experience the whole game solo for the time being.

Editors’ Note: Since we published this review, Microsoft released the Halo Infinite Season 2 update, which contains a new story, gameplay and cosmetic components. Here’s our Halo Infinite Season 2 overview that explains what to expect from the update in more detail.

Halo Infinite review: Multiplayer

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is more of a mixed bag than the campaign. From a gameplay perspective, it’s very much what you’d expect from a Halo game, and the performance is perfectly in line with my experience playing the campaign.

The multiplayer mode is fun to play (provided you’re not losing), and you have a huge range of weapons and power-ups from which to choose. Simply put, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is loud and exciting, and you never know what’s coming next — literally. There’s no motion tracker to warn you about enemies that may be hiding around the corner.

Unfortunately, a number of poor decisions hamper Halo Infinite’s multiplayer experience, making it far less enjoyable than it should be. My main criticism is that you don’t get much, if any choice, in what mode you play.

The playlist system from previous Halo games is completely absent, and the game dishes out multiplayer modes at random. You can’t just kill enemies in Slayer mode without the risk of having to play Oddball or Capture the Flag instead.

The only choice you have is whether to pick Quick Play, Big Team Battle Mode (a 24-person arena), Ranked Arena or Bot Bootcamp’ — a casual experience where teams of four play against bots rather than actual people. Thankfully 343i has since announced an update that offers additional playlists, though it seems Quick Play will still be randomized.

Halo Infinite Season 4 Review: The End?

Likewise, Halo Infinite’s Battle Pass and progression have been the subjects of much criticism, since the XP you earn is based on completing challenges rather than your actual skills. Fortunately, 343 Industries has been listening to feedback, and has already made multiple changes in response.

halo, infinite, xbox, review

Another major gripe is that Halo Infinite paywalls a lot of customization options, even basic color palettes. Your choices are to pay 10 for a Premium Battle Pass, or buy the cosmetics in the online store with real money. There’s little point in being able to customize your character if all the best options cost actual currency.

Halo Infinite also lets you buy Boosts which offer additional XP or an automatic level up. Boosts may not give you an advantage during actual gameplay, but they still feel very much like a pay-to-win system, which 343 promised would not be present in the game.

It’s unfortunate that Halo Infinite is in this situation. I can’t fault the multiplayer gameplay, because it’s everything you’d want from a Halo game and more. But poor matchmaking and a remarkably stingy free-to-play system bring the whole experience down.

Halo Infinite review: The Academy

While affiliated with the multiplayer mode, Halo Infinite’s Academy feature is a brand new area, which you can play solo and offline. Essentially, it’s a training mode to help you hone your skills and acclimate yourself to Halo Infinite’s weaponry.

Halo Infinite has made a lot of changes to the weapons from earlier in the series. If you’re serious about multiplayer and don’t fancy learning about new guns on the fly, The Academy is there to show you what’s what.

Academy mode is completely skippable, and you’re not going to miss out on anything by ignoring it. But it’s still a Smart idea, and whether you’re a seasoned Halo veteran, or a newbie who’s never played a Halo game before, Academy has something to offer you.

Can I play Halo Infinite on Xbox One?

343 Industries designed Halo Infinite as a multiplatform game, playable on Xbox Series X/S, PC and last-gen Xbox One consoles. But following the whole Cyberpunk 2077 debacle, which barely ran on older hardware, despite promises to the contrary, it’s reasonable to be wary.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Halo Infinite. While the majority of my time with the game was on Xbox Series X, I did spend some time in the open world with my old Xbox One S. I’m also pleased to report that the game did run pretty well, despite the older hardware.

Of course, the performance wasn’t nearly as good as the Xbox Series X. Graphics and textures look significantly less impressive on the Xbox One, and frame rate takes a very noticeable hit. Overall, though the game ran perfectly well — an impressive feat considering the size of Halo Infinite’s map.

Halo Infinite review: Verdict

It’s clear that 343 Industries has learned a lot from the mistakes of Halo 4 and Halo 5, and has used that experience to make Halo Infinite a better game. While still imperfect, Halo Infinite manages to blend all the elements that people love about Halo into something new and original.

The Campaign in particular is a significant improvement over what came before. Multiplayer is still the same fun, manic experience that keeps people coming back after all these years. That said, it’s important for 343 to continue listening to feedback to fix some of the game’s problems, particularly where multiplayer is concerned.

Despite its imperfections, Halo Infinite is still a good time all around. Frankly, I just wish we could have had a Halo game like this sooner.

343 Industries has officially canceled Halo Infinite’s split-screen co-op mode. You’ll still be able to play the campaign cooperatively online in a future update, however.

Halo Infinite: The Kotaku Review

Halo Infinite: The Kotaku Review /

How do you even consider Halo Infinite in totality? Not just any Halo game but this Halo game—one that was supposed to herald a new generation of Xboxes but was delayed out of the launch window ; one that’s had no shortage of public scrutiny over its tumultuous development process; one that’s not even out yet but has already been the centerpiece of multiple internet-dominating conversations ; and, most crucially, one that’s meant to revitalize a totemic first-person shooter series after a stretch of metabolic dormancy. There are so many expectations on Halo Infinite’s armor-clad shoulders that you’d think it’d crumble apart in a pile of pixels. Every single player is bound to come into this game with their own predetermined definition of what it is and what it stands for. I sure as hell did.

So, yeah, let’s just get the easy part out the way:

Back-of-the-box quote

So much for finishing the fight. Kotaku.com

Type of game

Halo: The Greatest Hits (2001-2021)


Pretty much everything except for the villain(s) and the absent co-op.


The villain(s), the encounters that feel designed for co-op.


Xbox One, Xbox Series X (played), Xbox Series S, PC

Release date

December 8, 2021 (the multiplayer mode hit on November 15)


11 hours to hit the credits with 33 percent completion, but it’s likely longer in real time, since the clock reverts upon death; a further 61 hours in multiplayer.

Halo Infinite, officially out on Wednesday for Xbox and PC, is the seventh mainline Halo game and the first in six years, following 2015’s divisive Halo 5: Guardians. Infinite picks up roughly a year and a half after the events of Halo 5, but doesn’t concern itself with those events beyond some perfunctory, and intermittent, moments of exposition. And in a departure from that game’s most notorious misstep, Halo Infinite’s story is told entirely from the perspective of longtime series Hero Master Chief.

Playing the whole game as Mr. John Halo himself makes Halo Infinite feel less like a proper sequel to Halo 5 and more like a follow-up to the venerable original trilogy, when the series was under the purview of Bungie. At times, it plays like a greatest hits album of iconic setpieces from Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3 (which tracks, seeing as Joseph Staten, an instrumental creative force behind Bungie’s trilogy, was brought in last August to help carry Halo Infinite over the finish line). You are, once again, a seven-foot-tall supersoldier palling around with a vivid blue artificial intelligence on a ring-shaped space station, hoping to save the Galaxy from zealously religious extraterrestrials. We’ve all seen Hollywood bungle fan service. Halo Infinite nails it by including winks and nods for more than the sake of winking and nodding. These moments are genuinely thrilling on their own merits, and never overstay their welcome. Fan service is, apparently, more fun when you can actively engage with it.

But even if you’re squarely in the “What’s a Halo?” camp, there’s a whole lot to like about Halo Infinite. The shooting is a blast, thanks to a deep bench of enemy classes and an even deeper arsenal of creative weapons, supplemented by a Bond-worthy kit of toys to play with; key among them is a grappling hook, an item that, frankly, should just be in every video game. Amid a trend of open-world games valuing quantity over quality—of tossing the player into worlds cluttered with bland, repetitive tasks—Infinite’s open-world section feels refreshingly focused. All this, plus it’s more polished than most games created at this scale. And, to finally put to bed last year’s infamous graphics debacle (hi, Craig), Infinite is stupefyingly gorgeous.

In other words, the question isn’t if Halo Infinite is any good. It is. What’s most worth measuring here is twofold: Was it worth the wait? And does this mean Halo is really, truly back?

Of course, the expected wait for Halo Infinite was unexpectedly slashed by several weeks. You probably already know the broad strokes: On November 15, the 20th anniversary of Halo: Combat Evolved, developer 343 Industries surprise-released Infinite’s multiplayer mode on Xbox and PC ahead of its planned December 8 debut. It’s technically “a beta,” but c’mon, can you name a recently released beta as smooth? Plus, you can already spend hundreds of dollars of very real real-world money on it. Make no mistake: Halo Infinite is already out.

In fact, you may have already spent many (many) units of life’s most ephemeral currency, time, playing it. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode, in a first for the decades-old series, is wholly free-to-play. (The campaign is available for a standard 60 or as part of a 10-a-month Game Pass subscription.) As with most games based on such a model, you can supplant your avatar, a 26th-century supersoldier known as a Spartan, with various cosmetic options that cost varying amounts of actual money. That’s in addition to an industry de rigueur battle pass, which begets sweeter and more frequent rewards if you spring for the premium version.

The entire model has sparked some cacophonous feedback, to which 343 Industries has introduced marginal changes in response, an ever-evolving process unfolding in real time that we’ve documented extensively here at Kotaku. If there’s debate to be had about Halo Infinite’s multiplayer portion, you’ll find it there, squarely on its progression system and cosmetic offerings. Infinite’s fundamentals—the guns, the gear, the maps, the modes—have received near-universal praise, a dominant opinion I’m in personal lockstep with.

halo, infinite, xbox, review

Multiplayer shooters live and die by the strength of their guns. In addition to remixed versions of about a dozen-ish classic Halo firearms, like the Rapid-fire assault rifle and burst-fire battle rifle, there are a dozen-ish more that are totally new to the series. A single-shot sniper rifle fires spike projectiles that kill enemies in one hit, even if you nail someone in the foot; another shoots electric rounds strong enough to short out tanks. Most of these weapons, save for one—a functionally useless pea shooter called the ravager—are balanced to the point where you always have a fighting chance. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is structured such that, more often than not, victory is within grasp.

Yes, there are some notable foibles (right now, for instance, you cannot choose to play deathmatches and only deathmatches, and the options for custom games are a pittance) but nothing that qualifies as a deal-breaker.

For a broader critique of Halo Infinite’s PvP and a deep dive into what it does (and doesn’t) do right, I’d urge you to check out Stella Chung’s thorough multiplayer review over at IGN. Let me just leave you with one point: There’s a uniquely Halo conundrum—it’s late, you’re getting tired, you play one last match, you run the table, which feels awesome, so you say “screw it” and play another round, but you totally flop, and you obviously can’t go to bed all pissed off, which, uh-oh, now you’re stuck in an ouroboros cycle that keeps you up ‘til dawn (worth it)—that was absent in the two recent Halo games. It is unequivocally present in Halo Infinite. My eyes, they’re so bleary. They have been for weeks.

Halo Infinite’s campaign opens cold with Master Chief getting his ass absolutely handed to him. The UNSC Infinity. the human flagship that serves as a base of operations in Halo 4 and Halo 5, is stormed by a splinter faction of Covenant forces known as the Banished. (This faction plays a role in the 2017 real-time strategy game Halo Wars 2.) Their leader, a Brute named Atriox, beats the snot out of Chief and then. drops him into space, assuming he’s Kia.

What’s a Covenant?

The Covenant are Halo’s typical cannon fodder, an allied force of various extraterrestrial species, including Grunts (small), Elites (tall), Jackals (annoying), Brutes (mean), and Hunters (very mean).

This, to me, boggled the mind. You’re telling me that the strong and Smart leader of a savvy militant group would make the stupidest tactical mistake in history—that he’d just presume the death of all-time badass Master Chief instead of, I don’t know, double-tapping. burning the body, and dropping the ashes in a pool of caustic acid, then inventing an interdimensional transit device and recreating the battle across the multiverse so as to guarantee no possible versions of Chief from any possible reality could come back and seek revenge? Really?

Six months later—and you may have seen this play out in the spine-tingling E3 2019 trailer —Chief, still very much alive but floating unconscious in space, is rescued by a character known only as the Pilot. This enviably bearded man wakes Chief up (in a player-tutorial sequence that’s smack out of Halo 2) and points out what the duo is next to: a Halo ring, shattered at the belt due to unknown reasons. Chief and the Pilot head down to its surface to find an artificial intelligence unit called the Weapon. Apparently, she can help them track down Chief’s prior AI partner, Cortana—who, you may recall, stated an intent to basically commit genocide on a galactic scale at the end of Halo 5.

This intrepid trio comprises the heart and soul of Halo Infinite, what with their penchant for banter and interpersonal dynamics. The Pilot is the grounded one, constantly reacting to Infinite’s abjectly bonkers events with the incredulity and unsteady resolve we’d all surely feel in the same situations. Meanwhile, the Weapon, who was supposed to be deleted prior to the events of Infinite, spends much of her screentime contemplating her existence, why she’s still around, and what plans got fucked up to grant her a second chance at life, giving a zippy and personal thrust of mystery to Halo Infinite.

Master Chief is somewhat more of an enigma than the other two, and is the clear driving force behind the mystery at play. It’s obvious from the jump that, despite you literally spending most of the game behind his eyes, he knows more than he’s letting on. So this presents a bit of dissonance. Chief’s not just hiding his secrets from the Pilot and the Weapon. He’s also hiding them from you.

Microsoft provided Kotaku with a review build of Halo Infinite on the condition that we don’t reveal the “ultimate fate” of any primary characters. I won’t, wouldn’t dream of it, but it’s irresponsible to consider Halo Infinite without acknowledging the serious emotional transformation Chief goes through. In one striking moment, he pulls a move so cold-hearted it’s almost hard to continue playing as him. In others, he’s more human than ever, the cracks in his fancy Mjolnir armor almost showing a real person underneath.

Over the years, Master Chief has (rightfully) gained a reputation as perhaps the quintessential “badass space marine” trope. This is the man, after all, known for such one-liners as “Asking’s not my strong suit,” the man who stoically gives the Covenant back their bomb, the man who unflappably holds duty on a pedestal above all, unless it steps between him and his friends, at which point: watch out.

Halo Infinite, however, stars a Master Chief who’s in touch with his feelings. He often offers salvos of comfort and words of wisdom. At one point, he openly admits to not feeling OK, to legitimately feeling some Master Grief. Can you imagine the stoic badass space marine of the mid-2000s saying as much? Maybe I’m being a bit too optimistic, borderline naive even, but it gave me a glimmer of hope that we’re done once and for all with that particular era of gaming, as myopic and bleak as it was.

So, what do you actually do in Halo Infinite? Pfft, simple: You shoot aliens! Of course, there’s a bit more to it (you sometimes drive vehicles or press “X” to interact with fancy future computers) but that’s the gist.

Unlike every prior Halo game, Halo Infinite isn’t a linear first-person shooter. But it’s not an open-world shooter, either, as some pre-release chatter may have you believe. It occupies a liminal space, both linear and structured, sometimes expansive, sometimes strictly confined. (To sketch out some rough expectations: The cold open is all linear, the middle section plays out in wide-open spaces featuring a raft of optional objectives, and the final act culminates in a several-hour-long series of subsequent linear missions.)

When Halo Infinite stays on rails, it feels like a time machine. Gone are the glistening landscapes of Halo 4 and Halo 5. In their place are levels set among the future-chic Brutalist structures that defined most of the original trilogy. Some combat chambers even seem lifted wholesale from the most timeless stages.

Throughout the dozen-plus main missions, you play through unmistakable callbacks to some of Halo’s enduring setpieces: activating a gravity lift into an alien vessel (“Truth and Reconciliation,” Halo 1), taking out two Hunters in a circular pavilion above an underground facility (“The Silent Cartographer,” Halo 1), surviving swarms of enemies as you ride a gondola across a bottomless chasm (“Regret,” Halo 2), piloting a fleet of destructive vehicles while assaulting an enemy fortress (“The Ark,” Halo 3), awakening a slumbering ancient foe that threatens galactic stability (lmao pick a Halo).

These setpieces are punctuated by a soundtrack, composed in part by Gareth Coker of Ori and the Will of the Wisps. that seamlessly mixes Marty O’Donnell’s ageless score with reimagined takes on the theme. (Infinite also features original compositions.) It’d be a lie to say I didn’t feel instantly whisked back to 2007 when those Halo crescendos kicked in. The nostalgia here is deliriously potent.

Less familiar are the open segments, though anyone who’s played an open-world shooter will immediately grasp the structure. Between main missions, you can explore at will. You can rescue groups of imprisoned space marines or capture Banished operating bases. You can take out mini-bosses, each replete with their own dossier detailing a gruesome backstory. Completing these tasks grants you a chunk of XP, called Valor; every 100 (sometimes 200) Valor you earn ranks you up, unlocking new guns and other weapons, allowing you to further customize your loadouts at any operating bases you’ve captured. Yes, even Halo Infinite’s campaign has a battle pass of sorts. (It doesn’t cost extra, don’t worry.)

You can further go into explorer mode and hunt down audio logs, which fill in the narrative gaps between Halo 5 and Halo Infinite, or cosmetic options for the multiplayer mode: weapon skins, armor skins, emblems, banners, and the like. I did not see anything on the scale of armor kits. Nor did I see what any of the cosmetic options look like, since the review copy Microsoft provided Kotaku is wholly separate from the widely available multiplayer mode, precluding me from testing them out on my avatar. The review copy will also wipe my save data a few hours after this review goes live, at which point I’ll have to start the game over and hunt everything down again from scratch.

I didn’t avail myself of every optional activity, mostly because of that whole “wiping my save data” thing. But I fully plan on starting Halo Infinite from scratch—on a completionist run, mind you—once the retail version goes live. That, in and of itself, should tell you how engaging this stuff is.

Halo Infinite shines moment-to-moment due to the suite of tools at your disposal. You get a nifty grappling hook, yes, but also a portable shield wall, a thruster, and a threat-revealing motion tracker, all of which are tied to relatively brief cooldowns. Around Infinite’s world, you can find skill points to improve the efficacy of every ability.

These abilities aren’t mere gimmicks; surviving the most hectic firefights requires using all of them all the time, even on the standard difficulty setting. When you’re pinned and on the fritz, you might have to drop a shield wall, let your shields recharge, then quickly grapple to a nearby ledge. In a dim room full of invisible enemies, you might have to deploy a threat sensor and quickly dash away from nearby foes you hadn’t seen. The only thing better than a fascinating kit of gadgets is a well-designed game that forces you to use them all.

As much as Halo Infinite hits a stride because of what it has, it stumbles because of what it’s missing. In August, 343 Industries announced that Infinite’s campaign wouldn’t be playable cooperatively at launch, with the feature instead coming some time next year, an absence that is keenly felt at points. Halo is thoroughly a co-op game. Always has been. (Halo 5 was the first time the series didn’t have local splitscreen, but at least it was playable cooperatively over the internet.) Going it alone suuucks, and not always just due to absent camaraderie.

Hunters, imposing armored-coated space monsters with cannons for arms, are particularly maddening to face solo. Whenever I came across a pair of these fuckers—Hunters always show up in pairs—I audibly groaned. See, to take down a Hunter, you have to shoot it a whole bunch of times in the back. But in Halo Infinite, they can turn on a dime, and always seem to know precisely where you are. In lieu of a teammate who could serve as a distraction (thanks bro. ), I often resorted to cheapskate tactics just to scrape by. No fun! (That Infinite’s Hunters roar like Skryim’s dragons doesn’t make running into them any more fun.) Some of the boss fights, too, feel designed for two-player tag teams, and as such are a drag to tackle on your own.

That’s right: Halo Infinite is rife with boss fights. To the game’s credit, none are mere bullet sponges, as you’d find in comparable modern first-person shooters like Far Cry, Borderlands, Wolfenstein, or even Halo 5. Every single boss requires a distinct strategy. that, again, would be far more manageable with a partner. The invisible Elite who can kill you in a hit or two wouldn’t be so frustrating if you could have one person around to set up a threat sensor and another posted in the corner to scope out headshots. The duo of turret-wielding Brutes wouldn’t be such a pain if you could, funny idea here, fight them two-on-two rather than one-on-two.

There’s also little emotional weight to these encounters, deflating the tension of each showdown. Halo Infinite’s batch of villains are a dour bunch, and not because they’re all hellbent on galactic domination. (OK, maybe a little bit because they’re hellbent on galactic domination.) Microsoft’s embargo agreement once again restricts how much, or who specifically, I can talk about here. But I’ll generally note that no villain is any more or less interesting than your typical one-dimensional tyrant.

Escharum, the big bad who’s plastered all over Halo Infinite’s trailers, key art, and other pre-release marketing materials, is the most egregious offender. The mentor of Atriox, Escharum assumes the mantle of responsibility for leading the Banished on the ring’s surface. But his entire modus operandi seems to be about nothing more than beating up Chief and taking his lunch money for the sheer purpose of seeing who’s stronger, like an insecure kid who leans way too hard into insipid machismo.

At one point, Escharum goes so far as to orchestrate a progressively tense series of arenas made out of reclaimed UNSC bases just. because? For reasons? It feels strange and petty, and also makes little logistical sense. Despite playing out on various floors of a towering Covenant structure, all of these outposts are set up on top of suspiciously Earth-looking mounds of sediment. And then there’s the matter that Escharum, supposedly a seasoned military commander, actively condemns hundreds of troops to certain death in pursuit of what’s effectively a pissing contest. For a game that’s otherwise so attentive to the details, this sequence came across as totally out of place, as little more than a stopgap between story beats. (My tangible takeaway is that I now really hope Infinite someday adds a revived iteration of Firefight, Halo’s legacy horde mode.)

Halo Infinite Campaign Review

I kept expecting some revelation, some shocking late-game twist, to come along and justify Escharum’s whole deal. It never did.

Infinite’s most memorable set piece isn’t one of its biggest. No, it’s one of its smallest: a mausoleum of whispered recordings, each a Cortana speech from Halos past. In a singular hushed-tone moment, Halo Infinite shows how, at its best, it can be both so grand and so intimate. Somewhere along development, 343 Industries wisely recognized that Halo Infinite could never escape the legacy of its predecessors, so it wholeheartedly embraced them.

Last year, at a July 2020 digital showcase meant to drum up buzz for the Xbox Series X, 343 Industries pulled back the curtain on Halo Infinite’s campaign, which was scheduled for release that holiday season. The blowback was swift and fierce. Much of the critique centered on what folks considered flat textures, as immortalized in a viral freeze-frame of a low-resolution Brute character model, teasingly dubbed “Craig” by the community. (Halo Infinite’s current campaign build now has a tongue-in-cheek Easter egg referring to Craig.)

Within a month, 343 delayed Halo Infinite and brought on Halo veteran Joe Staten to take the reins on developing the campaign. Chris Lee, Infinite’s creative lead, left the project soon after. with Bloomberg noting that his role was “sidelined” in the wake of Staten’s onboarding.

It was, in short, a messy time, but publicly at least, 343 Industries is hewing to the line that Infinite likely wouldn’t have been a complete disaster even if it hadn’t changed course in response to public reaction. In a recent interview with Eurogamer. Staten noted how “[Halo Infinite’s core design] decisions were made long before I arrived … we just spent a year doubling down on what was already great about the campaign and tried to make it even better.”

I haven’t the faintest clue how the campaign seen in last year’s showcase would’ve been received, whether it’d shape up as stellar as Infinite has or would’ve totally missed the mark, as so many vocal observers predicted with confidence. (For what it’s worth, I’m on record saying the initial debut looked pretty good! ) I don’t know how the current form of Infinite will be received by newcomers, either, since it does seem to assume at least a moderate understanding of series knowledge on the part of the player. I don’t know if longtime fans will love it, or if any widespread adulation will be drowned out by cynics who end up regarding Infinite as little more than a cash-grab walk down memory lane.

I do know this: As a longtime Halo devotee, it is so, so good to be back to a Halo that genuinely feels like a Halo. I’ve been playing these games for, fuck, man, two decades now. Time was, somewhere in the era before (and momentarily after) Halo 5, I could picture myself hitting a point where I was take-it-or-leave-it on the series. Now? Absolutely not.

How do you even consider Halo Infinite in totality? I’m not sure that you do, not least because 343 Industries has stated that Infinite isn’t the end of a lengthy development process but the start of an ever-e volving game. (See: seasonal model, incoming cooperative and creative modes, the barest wisps of rumored story expansions.) Master Chief loves to prattle on about “finishing the fight.” But the fight never ends. And if Halo Infinite is what we get as a result? Bring it on.

‘Halo Infinite’ Campaign Review (Xbox Series X): The Unfinished Fight

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Few games have had a release saga quite like Halo Infinite, which began as an Xbox Series X/S launch game, was delayed a year, then surprised everyone when 343 released its free-to-play multiplayer mode three weeks early.

But this week marks the launch of the Halo Infinite campaign, which by itself costs either 60, or more than likely, a Game Pass membership to access. And it’s the first fully new Halo since 2015’s Halo 5, 343’s third stab at making Bungie’s series fully their own.

This time around, things are different. Like Halo multiplayer has evolved into free-to-play, the Halo Infinite campaign has embraced a separate trend, an open world. Master Chief now has a sizable chunk of a Ring to explore, though married to plenty of traditional, linear campaign missions along the way.

The experiment, I’d say, produces mixed results. And what started out as effectively total enthusiasm at the outset slowly morphed into wishing the back half of the game had delivered more.

Tons of stuff works here, to be clear. If you are a fan of Halo’s current “feel” in multiplayer, that translates seamlessly to into single player here. Far and away, the best new addition to the series is the grappling hook, perhaps not a new gaming concept in general, but when combined with Master Chief’s usual gameplay? It’s exceptional, from grabbing weapons and explosive barrels to toss, to hooking enemies so they fall victim to an upgraded absurd AOE slam move in the late game, it’s always hard to take off. That’s actually my only real complaint about it, that it feels so essential, it makes all the other gadgets feel somewhat dim by comparison, and much more situational.

Many elements of the open world work well. Master Chief is meant to take back the Ring from the Banished, but we’re going Far Cry-lite here. There are not an overwhelming amount of bases to clear or outposts to take over. Each new zone will bring more, but it’s far from an icon-littered Ubisoft map. It also doesn’t really feel like Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed in that I’d equate it more to something like Just Cause where Master Chief clearly has no “stealth option.”

The main enemy engagements in the wild are large bases that may have several objectives inside them, like blowing up tanks or sabotaging workshops, or VIP targets who are more in the open, but surrounded by private armies. Kill them, and their special weapon variant will appear at your Forward Operating Bases.

These bases allow you to get more and more supplies as you clear more of the map, and allow for easy fast travel. You may start with a FOB that only gives you a pistol, AR and Mongoose, but by the end you’ll have every weapon you could ask for, tanks, planes and a small battalion of marines who will follow you into battle.

FOBs are sort of odd, however, given the reality of the situation on the ground. Short of the WASP you get at the end, the map is not especially easy to navigate in a vehicle. 90% of the time it’s faster simply to grappling hook around the map, especially in a world full of such verticality, while your other vehicles will get stuck on any tree or rock they come across. This is the conceit of the open world, where previous Halo games would design an entire level based around vehicle play, that’s rarely the case here. And in terms of the FOB’s weapons, those are fine until you run out of ammo, which will be quickly, and a key part of Halo has always been the ability to adapt using weapons you loot on the fly. That said, some OP weapons, like a rocket with a tracking upgrade, were must-haves every time I left a base, as they could take down VIP targets by themselves.

Elsewhere, you can explore to get more skill points to upgrade your gadgets, as you do have a bunch of besides the grappling hook. You’ve already used some in multiplayer like the enemy scanner or the pop-up shield, but here they can be upgraded with new abilities. One that ends up being pretty silly by the end is a dash that makes you invisible for four seconds every time you use it.

halo, infinite, xbox, review

One controversial collectible is going to be the multiplayer gear caches. The first time I went through and found these, I thought I was assembling a new armor set, but when I stopped to read the fine print, I realized I was only collecting things like coatings and trinkets, not actual armor pieces. If the campaign is hiding an actual set, I couldn’t find it during my first playthrough.

The open world is only a portion of the campaign though, and a more traditional Halo experience is buried within it. Yes, there are a couple “do the things in any order you want” moments as you blow up a trio of AA guns or deactivate some shield thing at separate generators, but the vast majority of campaign missions will have you going into some big enemy building or underground territory, and battling through linear rooms of enemies and the occasional boss. There are very few new enemy types here, and nearly everything is your traditional Grunt/Jackal/Brute/Elite combo, and of course, the sections with two lumbering Guardians. I did find some of the boss battles interesting, as those make very strong use of your equipment, whether it’s tracking an invisible Elite with an insta-kill sword or dodging out of the way of a Gravity Hammer-wielding miniboss. No FOB vehicles or guns to help you with them.

My main problem with Halo Infinite is that the longer I played, the more things started to bother me.

You will eventually realize that this Ring map is not going to have multiple biomes. If you’ve seen the screenshots and preview footage of the campaign, you’ve kind of seen it all, past the occasional plane graveyard. It’s very green and full of those hexagonal Forerunner pillars and it never stops being that. The same can be said for a lot of the indoor mission zones which lack any real visual identity.

You’ll also notice I’ve gotten this far without mentioning the story or the characters, and there’s a reason for that. No, it’s not the embargo that really does not want me to share nearly anything about the plot (we are trying to find out what happened to Cortana and remove the Banished from the Ring, is about all I can say), but rather I really, really disliked your only two allies in the game, which makes for a tough time.

Income Tax Calculator: Estimate Your Taxes

I do not like The Pilot, who carts you around and remains unnamed until the very end. He is constantly complaining and second-guessing Chief at every turn, even though you’re the Master Chief and he is some random guy no one could care less about. He gets himself into trouble, we have to risk the mission to get him out of it, and he’s still complaining most of the time.

The Weapon is not much better, our new AI companion who is full of her own secrets, and yet has an exceptionally obnoxious sunny personality that will make you miss Cortana as much as actual Master Chief does. She either acts like a naïve child or a petulant child, depending on the moment, and if the game is trying to forge some bonded trio of friendship between her, the pilot and Chief by the end, it simply does not work for me. The multiplayer AIs are all better than her.

Even Chief himself feels somewhat dated these days. He has some good one-liners as ever, but that’s about all he has in terms of a personality. He’s worse now than he’s been previously without Cortana to bounce off, as like the player, he spends most of his time being annoyed by his two new companions. My favorite characters were actually the random Grunts and Brutes that would call me a coward when I showed up in a Ghost or made fun of me for running if I took cover. They had more personality than any of the main characters.

Without question, my biggest disappointment was with the final third of the game and its ending. I will not spoil any plot points here, but I think the game ends on too big of a cliffhanger for its own good, and I think most players will be surprised at the point they pick to cut the story off. It makes the entire thing feel like an epilogue to Halo 5, or a prologue to Halo 6, not really its own fleshed-out story experience. I know that it will not be another 6 years until more Halo story content, and there are going to be more frequent updates with Infinite as a “platform base,” but in this first chapter, I think most players will be displeased when it stops, considering we have no idea when it will pick up again.

Past that, outside of the story developments, I was stunned when I realized that an entire third of the map you see from the beginning is not actually explorable. The final section, which you would assume you’d unlock like you do the other areas, is…nothing. It is a place where a few final linear story missions take place, but it is not an explorable zone with more bases or VIPs or FOBs or collectibles. Trying to fly over to it will get you an out of bounds message. I was shocked to realize this, and that leaves Infinite’s map feeling somewhat small and unfinished in my mind.

I also think Halo Infinite will be deeply hurt the lack of co-op. I can easily see how much fun it would be to pump the game up to Legendary, load up at an FOB and go tear stuff up in the world. But the inability to squad up and do that, especially when co-op is such a core part of the Halo experience, feels very bad. I suppose it’s reason to return to the game in 6 months when co-op finally does arrive, but it absolutely feels like something it should have launched with.

Halo Infinite might be the best campaign 343 has done, but considering I didn’t love the last two, I’m not sure how much weight that carries. Halo Reach remains the gold standard for me in that department, and while I had a lot of fun here zipping around the open world, and I can see the potential of the concept, something about Infinite feels small and unfinished to me compared to both other Halo campaigns, and other open world titles. I don’t need (or want) a sprawling Assassin’s Creed map that takes 200 hours to clear, but I think I need more diversity than what’s here, and a better story with better characters told within it.

Campaign Score: 7.5/10

Multiplayer is still a review in progress.

Microsoft provided an Xbox Series X code for this review.