Xbox came in clutch earlier this week with one of the best gifts so far this holiday season. Halo Infinite, which wasn’t supposed to launch until December 8, quietly launched its free-to-play multiplayer three weeks early to celebrate Xbox’s 20th anniversary.
In case you didn’t know already, Halo Infinite features a full, paid campaign that will still be releasing on December 8. But the multiplayer for the game is completely free-to-play for everyone on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. And you can get your hands on the multiplayer now.
I grew up a huge fan of Halo, with the original Xbox being the first console that I actually called my own. Thousands of hours of my teenage years were spent playing Halo with my friends. So there was no way I was going to miss out on the launch of Halo Infinite multiplayer earlier this week.
I hopped on as soon as I could on launch day and glued myself to my chair for way too many hours in a row. Here’s what I think of the game so far.
It’s just like old Halo but prettier than ever
From the time I was first greeted with the start menu on Halo Infinite, I knew I was in for a treat. Loading the game up, you’re met with that iconic Halo music. I wasted no time in the menus, however, as I couldn’t wait to suit up and do battle.
Right now, there are two different options for PvP in Halo Infinite. You can join quickplay, which features four versus four modes like Slayer (Team Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, and Oddball. Or you can opt for Big Team Battles, which features similar game modes but larger, 12 versus 12 teams and maps.
The fighting in the game feels amazing. I’m sure I’ll get roasted for this, but I’m playing with mouse and keyboard, and the controls are fluid and responsive. Most of the guns feel pretty balanced, though the battle rifle has always been my weapon of choice in Halo and that remains true for Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite Big Team Battles are absolutely amazing
For me, Halo has always shined the most in its Big Team Battles, and Halo Infinite definitely delivers in that aspect. The battles feel constantly chaotic, with various vehicles and weapons spawning all over the map that can quickly change the tide of battle. It was in a Big Team Capture the Flag game where I had my coolest experience with the game so far.
Josiah and I were deep in the middle of an intense battle with the enemy in a Capture the Flag game. Down 2-0, we were on the brink of defeat if we didn’t do something quickly to change the tides of battle.
With our team fighting in a vicious stalemate with the enemy from one ridge to another, Josiah and I devised a plan. Circling back towards our base, we hopped on a Mongoose (an ATV that somewhat resembles a four-wheeler), and we made a decision.
With Josiah on the back, I weaved our way through enemy lines, taking gunfire and dodging explosions. With a clean powerslide (clean being used here loosely – Josiah), I dropped Josiah off to pick up the flag as I laid down cover fire. Flag in hand, Josiah hopped back on the Mongoose. Engines smoking and both of us Spartans within inches of our lives, we raced back to our base dropping off the enemy flag at our base just seconds before the enemy converged on us.
We had scored! With that flag plant and the adrenaline rush that came after we thought we could have turned the battle in our favor. We lost three to one just a few seconds after we scored our team’s only point. But the journey was absolute chaos in the most brilliant way, delivering an experience that only Halo can deliver.
There are still some things that Halo Infinite needs to work on
So far, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has been an absolute blast. The gunplay feels great and the chaotic battles that transpire are exactly what I’ve been hoping for. But there’s still a long way to go.
Right now, options for matchmaking are pretty limited. You can’t choose any specific game modes to play, but instead, you can only queue for all game modes at once. It would be nice to have some more options in that category, like being able to queue for just Team Deathmatch, or being able to take Capture the Flag out of the rotation of games that you want to play. Hopefully, some quality of life changes like this will be coming in the future.
That being said, I’m pretty hooked on Halo Infinite. Like many other people, I’ve been excited about this game for a long time, and I have not been disappointed in what I’ve seen so far. This is technically still being called a beta for the multiplayer of Halo Infinite ahead of the official release in December, so we will likely see several updates and improvements over the coming weeks.
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