I'm not afraid to say it. Some of the best times I've had in a first-person shooter have been enjoying the Overwatch seasonal events. Halo Infinite currently has a wide variety of events going on consistently, including the recurring Fracture: Tenrai samurai event and the currently-ongoing Cyber Showdown. Every live service game these days does it, and it's a solid way to offer unique unlocks and cosmetics, especially in free-to-play games.
They just don't do a huge amount for me, though.
Give Me Lucioball
Overwatch's seasonal events were things to really look forward to. The game modes they brought weren't just tweaks to bog-standard team deathmatches and payloads.
Instead, we had mountains of unique stuff to play with. From brand new PvE experiences (my favourite was trekking through King's Row with a squad defeating waves upon waves of Omnic forces like some kind of Call of Duty Zombies level) to special sports-related games (Lucioball reigns supreme), there were always new ways to play coming about.
Sure, maybe they're flashes in the pan. Maybe I played a couple of Lucioball games before heading back and failing to grind my way out of a Gold rank. But there were things to look forward to every single time, and each event felt like so much more of an occasion.
Let's go through what we've had event-wise since Halo Infinite came out. First, the Fracture: Tenrai event. In it, the Fiesta playlist was added, and players could unlock event-specific cosmetics by completing missions in the Fiesta game mode and upgrading that battle pass. This event will be returning multiple times, but we've all seen the rewards for Tenrai. It's unlikely we'll see a huge number of surprises.
Then, we had the Winter Contingency, which also had a progression system, and this time ten unlocks. You got one new cosmetic item for the first game you played each day. No special challenges, no weird festive stuff - the event didn't even dot snowmen around all the Halo maps.
And finally, we have this week's event - Cyber Showdown. It's a combination of the two, requiring you to play games of Attrition and get specific goals completed before the week is out in that game mode. It's alright, but the issue remains: Attrition is just Slayer with a couple of tweaks. Nothing really stands out at all.
We know the Halo franchise can get weird like this, too. Take Grifball from Halo 3 onward. It took the mechanics of Halo which work so well and turned it into a bizarre rugby/American football hybrid with each team trying to score goals with an Oddball.
With a bit of set dressing, this kind of thing could be exactly what Halo Infinite needs to create events and game types that fans actively get excited for. What we currently have is a bunch of simple battle passes with basic progression and unlocks of armour and nameplates that I don't find particularly compelling to complete. It's more incidental than anything when I do complete the passes.
Forge Can't Come Soon Enough
Of course, with the power of Halo Infinite's Forge mode, coming in Season 3, it's highly likely that the community will find some way to make themselves a host of ridiculous and fantastic game modes, along with special tidbits from the team at 343 Industries.
I'm excited to see where Halo Infinite can take events, and am desperately hoping it goes further than it currently is. Currently, Halo Infinite is doing enough to keep its players coming back, but there's so much potential and room for its events to get better than what we currently have. We'll see if it can compare to the heyday of Overwatch and channel the Lucioball energy that made Blizzard's hero shooter such an icon in its genre.