• 16 September 2021

It’s the review of the preview, perhaps a preview review. But, all the bad puns aside, the Halo Infinite Technical Preview has given us our first taste of what we can expect from the game at launch.

A Return To Form

Despite rampant online and my own scepticism, I have to say; I’m thoroughly impressed by the work 343 Industries has done with Infinite. They’ve found the perfect balance between the old classic Halo movement system and what you would expect in a modern shooter.

Sprint adds what some have estimated to be a mere 10% to your base speed and reveals you on the radar. It’s an interesting trade-off for a small increase in speed. Although, at this point, you could say it’s just servicing the ability to slide, don’t worry, there are no more “thruster packs” jetting Spartans flying around your screen.

The movement mechanics are sound. There’s nothing else to say – they’ve nailed it.

Customisation Is King

While I have a few mixed feelings about the shader system being applied to the whole of my armour, it seems there will be a rich array of choices. 343 Industries was upfront in saying that what we would see in the technical preview would be a tiny sample of what to expect in the final game.

There’s a similar thing happening when it comes to weapon customisation, allowing players to apply skins to each of their weapons. Skins are applied on pick-up during a match.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, it seems that 343 Industries has steered well clear of ‘meme’ style shaders. Instead, it seems like they’re keeping close to lore. So, no more Pizza guns, or so it seems. I skim over some of the customisation options in the video below.

The Good, The Bad The Gunplay

It’s clear that a lot of time and care has been given to honing in the weapons for Halo Infinite, the AR has been given a new breath of life and feels like an effective weapon, rather than the ‘old faithful’ spray-and-pray. It’s crisp, accurate and has a well balanced time to kill.

It’s fun to shoot and fun to be shot at, a staple of the Halo universe that shines through. This feel was consistent across the known weapons of the Halo sandbox. The new additions I had some trouble coming to terms with, the commando felt like a powerful choice but unwieldy, the Ravager didn’t feel as powerful as it could have and the heatwave added a unique blend.

I took issue with some of the newer weapons but I think it will be practice makes perfect, kind of situation.

My only feedback on the weapons would be to give the needler a little more punch, it’s fun to use but lacks the crisp penetrating audio to go with it, with an almost muffled detonation. That and the gravity hammer felt a little slow but just as powerful as it should be.

Whats Next

Based on the technical preview – the balancing, mechanics etc., are all there. But there’s some work to be done around bugs and video fidelity. Don’t get me wrong – the game looks amazing, and our videos don’t do it justice. I’m looking at your YouTube downscale.

More game flights to come; I suspect we shall see a steady improvement in the areas that need it.

A Preview Review

Halo Infinite's technical preview hit's all the right notes for what will surely be a prolific release later this year.
9.7

Halo is back! 343 Industries has seemingly listened to the community and built a true homage to classic Halo. The title succeeds at delivering a perfectly balanced walking and sprint mechanic that's sure to keep veteran fans happy. The game comes in strong on visual fidelity whilst returning to a more "halo" art style, a departure from the glossy finish of Halo 5. While it's still early days, the Launch is sure to be a big one!

Pros
  • Visual Fidelity
  • Movement Mechanics
  • Fun TTK
Cons
  • Armour Shaders

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