Campaign for Halo Infinite: the Digital Foundry

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Campaign for Halo Infinite: the Digital Foundry

The game Halo Infinite is fantastic.

Against all odds, I believe 343 has created one of the best first-person shooters of the last ten years.

In terms of design and nailing the ‘combat sandbox’ experience, it’s a release that far exceeds the studio’s previous work on Halo 4 and 5.

My concerns about the transition to an open world have been allayed, and despite the game’s ostensibly difficult development period, I adore it.

Is it flawless? No way.

There are numerous technical issues to be resolved, and based on early marketing assets, I’m not convinced that this is the game that was originally envisioned.

Regardless, you must play it.

Let’s start with the vexing issue of the open world.

The gradual shift in the games industry away from linear design and toward wide-open play areas crammed with busy work and filler content is becoming a real problem – franchise titles like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed are prime examples of this problem at its worst.

Thankfully, Halo Infinite’s level design approach works brilliantly, exactly as the preview build suggested, taking the foundational building blocks of Halo 1’s second mission and expanding them into something much larger in scope.

It works, and it keeps a lot of what makes Halo unique while also introducing a new level of freedom that feels natural.

Consider the original Crisis rather than the later Far Cry games to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Halo Infinite is based on the concept of a broken Halo ring; if you look far enough away, you’ll notice pieces floating in space, disconnected from one another.

As you progress, you’ll discover these pieces, which act as mission zones – similar to the second mission in Halo 1, but larger.

You always have a main goal, just like in a classic Halo game, but the mission’s scope has been expanded to allow you to explore on your own.

The various outposts strewn about the map are optional, but once taken, they provide tangible rewards such as vehicles.

There’s never enough content to feel overwhelming – Halo isn’t a giant to-do list – and that’s why it succeeds where so many modern open world games fail.

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