Halo Infinite launched without a lot of features, and with a lot of problems. In the 2 months since launch, 343 Industries have worked to fix many issues, but is it enough to keep people playing Halo Infinite?
Halo Infinite launched as one of the most successful Halo launches in the franchise history, but its launch wasn’t without criticism. With many missing modes such as Forge, and customization options locked behind paywalls, the community has been vocal about the changes needed.
343 Industries have responded over the last few months with multiple updates, most recently regarding Forge and campaign co-op. In January 2022 they stated an update was due to come soon, and in February 2022 they stated the update was still being finalized.
With so many issues and changes being made, it’s hard to notice how much the game has improved since launch, so we’ve put together a list to show just how much the game has (and hasn’t) improved since December 8th 2021.
Missing Modes & Features
It’s no secret that Halo has come along way since Halo Combat Evolved, and with that evolution came the introduction of many new features. Halo 3 brought us fan favorites such as Forge, Theater and File share, and those have become staple elements of the series ever since. Campaign Co-op and splitscreen is another much loved addition to the Halo franchise, which has been in the series since the beginning.
Moving onto Halo Infinite, it was known long before launch that it would be missing modes and features that were expected. Forge and Campaign Co-op being the main two that were missing at launch. Back in November 2021, Joseph Staten, Head of Creative at 343 Industries, told Eurogamer the following.
“At the time that we talked about campaign co-op and Forge I said our goal is to ship campaign co-op in Season 2 and our goal is to ship Forge with Season 3,” Staten said.
“Yes, we are extending Season 1. So our goal still remains what I said before, which is to ship campaign co-op with Season 2 and Forge with Season 3. But those remain goals. Those remain targets. And we can’t commit to any hard dates right now, because as we’re seeing with this multiplayer beta, other things might move up in the priority stack for us.”Joseph Staten (Head of Creative at 343 Industries) to Eurogamer
When will Forge and Co-op Campaign arrive in Halo Infinite?
For those unaware of how long Season 1 was lasting in Halo Infinite, it’s expected to end in May 2022, with Season 2 starting May 2022. This would mean that campaign co-op was expected May 2022 and Forge much later. Fans eagerly awaited the January update that was mentioned in one of 343 Industries blog posts, but January came and went without the update. Then, on February 1st, the following update was given on Twitter.
So, where does that leave the community and the missing modes? At the time of writing, we just don’t know. Until more information is available, fans will likely keep expecting co-op campaign to drop in May 2022, and hope that Forge will soon follow it.
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Possibly one of the biggest areas of feedback from the community was surrounding Microtransactions. With Halo Infinite’s multiplayer being free to play, the community expected some sort of Microtransaction system, but what they got was far worse than they’d hoped.
Not only did the game’s Season 1 battle pass cost real money, but the rewards given were little to none in terms of armor. That paired with a store filled with exclusive and very highly priced items led to many fans feeling cheated out of customization options, which leads us to the next point.
One of the core selling points of Halo Infinite, and Halo in general, customization is key to player expression, something that 343 Industries themselves emphasized in the marketing of the game. First showed off in the Multiplayer Overview, being able to customize your Spartan to look how you want to was a core focus.
“The body of customization content that we have on day 1 ensures that there will be millions of customization combinations for Spartans on the battlefield”.-Ryan Paradis (Live Design Director).
When the game was finally in the players hands, they realized that the original statement was incredibly misleading, and that there was only a handful of armors the player could earn and use without paying money for more in the store.
Since launch, the various issues brought to light by the community have been noticed by 343 Industries. They’ve addressed a lot of major concerns via social media posts. To combat the lack of rewards in Season 1 and Events, the team removed many XP boosts and challenge skips with various customization items. Below are just some examples of the changes in January and February 2022.
It’s likely that the continued feedback from the community will result in continued change from the team, though it’s unlikely that customization will ever be as accessible as previous titles due to the restrictions microtransactions bring to the unlock system.
Halo Infinite’s player progression system, or lack of one, has been a topic amongst Halo fans since day 1. Unfortunately, the players general rank is also their battle pass rank. This means that it’s possible for players to use boosts and real money to boost their player rank. Some would argue it’s pay to win. Regardless of the feedback, this system seems like it’s here to stay, as 343 Industries haven’t addressed changing this system.
Launch with least amount of online playlists
With every Halo game since Halo 3, the playlist selection has been vital to the online multiplayer experience. Halo 3’s system of separating social playlists, ranked playlists and limited time playlists is something Halo fans have dreams of returning. Unfortunately at launch, Halo Infinite couldn’t have been further from that dream.
Launching with only 3 playlists (4 including the bots playlist), Halo Infinite launched with the least amount of online playlists since the original Xbox days. With Big Team Battle, Quickplay and Ranked being the only PVP playlists to be permanent, players felt burned out fairly quickly due to the lack of selection.
Event exclusive playlists rolled in to try and add additional selection. But since Fiesta was limited to appearing and disappearing, the frustration once again returned once the limited time playlists were no longer available. Fan favorite modes such as Grifball, FFA, SWAT and more were missing, with no hope in sight for seeing them.
Playlist updates since launch
Since launch, fan feedback has been crucial in all areas of Halo Infinite. On December 14th, 343 Industries released an update for additional playlists. This included Team Slayer, FFA (free for all) and Tactical Slayer (previously SWAT).
Following on from that, there have been multiple updates surrounding Big Team Battle, along with additional playlist updates. You can find examples of these below.
Ultimately it seems like 343 Industries is working at getting as many fan favorite game modes into playlists as soon as possible. Constant patches and updates are allowing Halo Infinite to expand with no end in sight to the improvements being made.
Biggest Launch in Halo history
One of the most recent talking points in the Halo community has been Halo Infinite’s population. Boasting an impressive 20 million players from launch day up until January 25th 2022, it was the biggest launch in the Halo franchise history.
Current population issues
Unfortunately, a lot of the issues brought up in this piece (and some that weren’t) have caused Halo Infinite’s population to lose interest and move on to other titles. With such a competitive market and plenty of First Person Shooters to fill the gap, many players simply didn’t stick around to wait for the Halo Infinite changes and improvements to be implemented.
Be it Steam, Xbox Top 10 games, or Twitch viewers, it’s no secret that Halo Infinite is suffering for its mistakes. Just recently, Halo Infinite slipped behind Roblox and was pushed out of the top 5 Xbox games. The peak players on steam have gone from 256,619 In November 2021 to 46,742 in the first week of February. You can see the graphs in question below.
No matter the metric, it seems that the honeymoon period and hype have come to an end. Halo Infinite’s famous HCS (Halo Championship Series) is keeping the scene alive from a competitive standpoint. But the average casual fan seems to have simply moved elsewhere.
It’s no secret that Halo Infinite launched with its fair share of problems. But 343 Industries seems actively committed to addressing and fixing the major issues shared by the community.
It’s an uncertain time for Halo Infinite. The upcoming news regarding Campaign Co-op and Forge is sure to sway the opinions of many fans. What’re your thoughts about the current state of Halo Infinite? Do you have any criticism or praise for the game or 343 Industries? Let us know your thoughts on our socials.