Halo: Infinite seems set to feature some of the best gameplay a first-person console shooter has to offer. Though the Halo franchise has always been a leading title in console shooters, some changes for the next release in 2020 will upgrade its appeal even further. There's no doubt that the Halo: Infinite beta will provide many opportunities to adjust and change its experience - here are some of our suggestions.
When 343i introduced Spartan Abilities to Halo 5: Guardians (Sprint, stabilize, clamber, ground pound, and smart scope) many in both the casual and competitive community didn't exactly warm up to them. While some of the abilities have seen some creative usage (ground pound and stabilize), most agree that Spartan Abilities detract from the fundamentals of halo (strafing, skill jumps and hip fire) by lowering the skill gap. Spartan Abilities tend to simplify some of the mechanics that made games like Halo 2 and 3 so addictive in the first place.
The biggest issue that the community had with sprint was that it took away from strafing (shooting while moving) and does not actually speed up the pace of the game. Sprint gives the illusion of increased speed, but the base speed of Halo has been lowered from previous titles and peak sprint is slightly slower than base movement in Halo 3. Some in the community are okay with sprint as a mechanic, but the majority of the community are not in favor of the mechanic and removing Sprint from Halo: Infinite would be an extremely welcome change.
Clamber was extremely controversial as a Spartan Ability because it effectively removed the skill from jumping and only served to add another animation to the game. Smart scope serves as something similar to an aim down sights (ADS) seen in games such as Call of Duty, but it has only become a nuisance more than an ability. The better abilities such as stabilize (scoping mid-air or starting a ground pound activated a short stabilize feature) and ground pound (flying into someone or a part of the map) give the game a different kind of skill, but arguably complicate the game with button combos.
Warzone was the most ambitious game mode 343i has attempted to make and overall it was successful. The game mode is similar to big team battle, but on a much larger scale with neutral objectives and added mechanics. Warzone itself shouldn't be removed, but it could do with some changes to improve. For one, having three maps at launch and adding more with time would be the ideal instead of at launch. Secondly, Warzone really needs to make the neutral objectives unique and could easily lean more on the lore for characters from the books/comics for inspiration.
Warzone would also benefit from de-cluttering the loot system. For example, there is a Nornfang that is the personal sniper rifle of legendary Blue team sniper Linda-058, but the gun does not feel unique to use and only feels like a wasted opportunity. I am all for incorporating bits of the lore in unique weapons, but they have to feel unique to use and currently, they do not.
When I think of Halo I think of four Xboxes and a monitor playing on Midship with my friends. Unfortunately, Halo 5 did not feature split-screen despite MCC having the functionality. Sure you might game with friends online, but if you go to a friends house you do not want to watch them play Halo you want to play with them. Yes, Microsoft confirmed that split-screen will be making its way back to the franchise, but real LAN needs to be a priority for both casual experiences and for tournaments. Having actual LAN would be extremely beneficial so that we could see more community-run grassroots events for Halo: Infinite.
The microtransactions Halo 5 introduced are useful if you care about grinding for levels or playing Warzone, and the skins that they introduced were nice. 343i can keep the idea of "REQ packs" and microtransactions, but they need to radically change how they impact the game. Offering cool and unique skins that feel rewarding to use/own would be a big first step, and offering something for people who only play the campaign or PvE experiences would be beneficial as well.
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