6/10 - A fun competitive shooter marred by the lack of specific playlists and an awful progression system
When I first played the Halo Infinite multiplayer I was impressed, it was fun and smooth and gave lots of feedback about when power-ups and such were spawning to reduce the amount of map learning you may need to do. Then I saw how the battle pass progression system worked and saw the behaviours it was bringing out in people (myself included).
Halo Infinite has a few different types of modes you can play: ranked, unranked, vs bots, and bit team battle. You cannot choose a specific game mode to play within these sections. I think the intention here was to force people to play the less popular game modes like oddball instead of having the slayer game mode take all of the focus. From my experience though, most people just play every game mode like its slayer anyway. It sounds like 343 Industries will be adding more focused playlists in the future, but for now this kind of core concept is in a broken state as you can’t even decide which type of game you want to play.
Battle pass progression
The problem lack of choice in the game mode you get to play is compounded by the way the battle pass progression system works. Sometimes you get an objective like “Kill 3 flag carriers” which can be a lot more difficult to complete than it looks since you have to:
Hope you get a CTF game mode
Hope the other team is good enough to get your flag
Hope you are able to get the killing shot on the flag carrier
So if you want to progress on the battle pass, once you get a CTF match you aren’t going to want to focus on winning the game, you are going to want to focus on killing enemy flag carriers instead. Then you remember that every player in the game has these random objectives and are each trying to do their own things to complete them and you have Halo Infinite.
The main point of these objectives seems to be to get experience to increase your battle pass rank, but the only experience you get is some basic amount for completing a level (regardless of victory) and then whatever bonus experience from completing your objectives. It does not matter how well you did in the game, if you ever played the objective or if you just sat idling in your spawn, you are rewarded the same. This is really strange because the experience you were granted in Halo: Master Chief Collection did seem to be based on what you accomplished in a match, so it was fun to see a really big number after a particularly good match.
The things the battle pass unlocks for you are pretty minor, it is either some consumable item to speed up or replace your objectives, or some sort of skin for your character. Unless you have the premium version of the battle pass you won’t be seeing much of those skins though. Its a first person shooter though so you only really see your hands, so the skins don’t really matter much anyway, but the battle pass is the most advertised feature of the game through all the menus and UI.
6/10 - Despite the flaws in the way you decide what to play, and how the progression system works the gameplay itself is pretty fun.