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Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta - A Halo First Timer's Review

I have never played any Halo games before, and this is my first experience with the franchise. But I'm looking forward to it.

 

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta - A Halo First Timer's Review

 

I have been somewhat of an outcast as a gamer. The reason? I have never played more than thirty minutes of any Halo game. I do remember having a short play of the original Halo on an original Xbox at a friend's house, but at that time I was not a fan of the FPS genre. later, I discovered a love for FPS on PC, and realised I had a reasonable amount of skill playing games like Medal of Honour: Allied Assault. Since then I went on to play most of the Call of Duty series until my thumbs finally told me I was no longer young enough to be competitively decent. That and I was called a noob by a twelve year old playing Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and it did irreparable damage to my ego.

So... Halo. I am not entirely sure why I could not get along with the game initially. It wasn't that it didn't look good or feel good, or even that it wasn't a good game; I genuinely think it was the sci-fi aspect that put me off. I much preferred semi-accurate games that were based on real life, rather than space shooters that relied on fantasy. That said, I have dabbled with space flight games and I truly enjoyed Elite: Dangerous in VR. So I'm not totally adverse to space & sci-fi, I'll admit.

Much later on I discovered the Gears of War series, and fell in love with the gritty sci-fi aesthetic completely, having a brand new Xbox One to play it on and a new TV to boot. The roadie run was probably the most significant "Woah!" moment in my adult gaming life. I thought it would be a great idea to wait for Halo Infinite, and see if I could finally get to grips with the whole "Halo thing".

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta

My first experience with Halo Infinite did not go well.

The game was spectacular fun, but only when it worked. I chose to test out the game with Xbox Cloud Gaming firstly, just out of curiosity. I had lots of freezing, unbearable lag and got murdered quite a lot. But wait - before you send searing backlash to my email - I am not blaming this entirely on the game. I have had a few issues with my network and Cloud Gaming in general. With a (tested) 19.9 Mbps download and 8.15 Mbps upload, I thought I would be sorted for Cloud gaming, but I think the real issue is the quality of the connection. I recently attempted to play Forza 5 via Xbox Cloud Gaming, and was left less-than-impressed by the terrible lag I experienced. After some digging around, I realised my connection was partly responsible. So, as far as Halo Infinite on Cloud Gaming, until I have sorted out my internet woes, I cannot give a full and honest review. What I saw and played of it was incredible, and I'm glad I waited to play this version of the franchise.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta - Game Pass Ultimate For PC

Once I had the game downloaded, I began to feel a little more confident that my network could handle things, and tried it out on my home office PC that has an Intel Core i7 4790, 16GB DDR4 RAM and an Nvidia GTX 970. This PC has been used mostly for writing these superb articles, video editing, Photoshop, playing Oculus Rift VR games and the odd game of Grand Theft Auto V. It's not much, but it does what I need. It also has the minimum specifications required to play most the games I download on Xbox Game Pass.

System Requirements

 

System Requirements for Halo Infinite

System Requirements for Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Recommended System Requirements

Source: PCGameBenchmark.com

 

As for Halo Infinite's minimum and recommended system requirements, mine is not exactly the best spec, but this will be a good review for anyone who is currently waiting out the wasteland GPU market with an APU or older graphics card.

 

  Minimum Recommended
  Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS Windows 10 RS5 x64 Windows 10 19H2 x64
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or Intel i5-4440 AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or Intel i7-9700k
Memory 8GB RAM 16GB RAM

 

My GTX 970 goes for around £110 on eBay currently, and selling it would be an insult to a solid GPU that has allowed me to traverse the expanse of space, and complete daring casino heists in my pyjamas. My target PC upgrade window is around June 2022, but until then, my old GPU will suffice.

Getting Started

I opened up my Xbox app on Windows, and downloaded Halo Infinite - a mere 28.79GB space required on my hard drive. My Xbox Series X controller has been great for Windows games, and I haven't had many problems in getting it working with games, other than with Cloud Gaming in my Chrome browser. Incidentally, I wrote a piece on this which you can find in the CCL Tech Blog.

 

Halo Infinite First Screen

 

When Halo Infinite Multiplayer loaded up, I was greeted with the sound of a choral harmony of voices, and a very sedate landing screen.

I began by playing a round on Bot Bootcamp, which is a great way to cut your teeth on this game, if I say so as a complete newbie to the franchise. It helped me figure out the buttons and get to grips with everything. It was a deathmatch deal, which I was pleased about. The CTF (Capture the Flag) game mode was probably a bit beyond my reach as a newbie.

 

Halo Infinite Bot Bootcamp

 

Bot Bootcamp

These 4v4 matches are played with and against bots, and are ideal for new players or as a refresher for those who have to remind their Halo muscle memory.

Capture The Flag on Aquarius, Bazaar, Behemoth

Oddball on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Slayer on Aquarius, Bazaar, Behemoth, Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Strongholds on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

I racked up 10 kills, 11 assists and ended up with 400Xp - which I was quite pleased about. I still had no idea how everything worked, though, so turned to Google for a quick heads-up on weapons, upgrades, controls and such.

The after-action report - the Player Recap - told me I had a score of 1,550 and dealt 4,250 damage. My accuracy was pretty cruddy at 31.66%, but I put that down to my thumbs being old as dirt.

I have absolutely nothing to compare this first time effort to, but I'm happy with it nonetheless. I got five kills without dying, and a Steaktacular award after dominating the enemy team, which was nice.

 

Halo Infinite Player Recap

Halo Infinite After Player Recap

 

For the most part I was mimicking the bots in their moves. I was hopping around and sliding and dashing my way into almost certain doom while dispatching a few enemies here and there. The controls felt smooth as silk, and you walk around like you are skating or hovering even. It took some getting used to after playing games with camera shake and head bob movement, but I did get used to it.

Time To Shine

It was time to show off my limited skills and terrible dexterity in a multiplayer game. I was hoping the game's matchmaking was on point, or this could be embarrassing. The match went pretty much as I expected, and I only managed to get two kills when I wasn't accidentally elbowing thin air. I was surely in at the deep end now, and only my wits would save me.

The fast-paced action has brief periods of calm as you run back to where the action is taking place, but generally speaking, you are not left with much time before you can hear the steady thudding of gunfire close by. It was extremely enjoyable, even though I was probably the worst player on the team by many standards.

The Big Team Battle has four game modes with 12v12 combat on decent-sized maps, a variety of vehicles to pootle around in, and lots of weaponry to enjoy.

My best experience was with Total Control, where the objective is to hold three locations on a map at once. I thought I was doing pretty well, and it felt like I had dispatched quite a few enemies, but the Player Recap said otherwise.

 

Halo Infinite Total Control

 

About The Game

There's a lot on offer here for an early game. The multiplayer beta is packed with features, being a fully fledged Season in itself. The variety of game modes (playlists) are not too intimidating to the newbie, but are certainly a friendly fist bump to the veteran Halo player. Besides the Bot Bootcamp, there is: -

Big Team Battle

  • Capture the Flag on Fragmentation, Highpower, Deadlock
  • Slayer on Fragmentation, Highpower, Deadlock
  • Total Control on Fragmentation, Highpower, Deadlock
  • Stockpile on Fragmentation, Highpower, Deadlock

Quick Play

You begin in the Arena with an MA40 AR & Mk50 Sidekick and can play instant gratification 4v4 matches.

Capture The Flag on Aquarius, Bazaar, Behemoth

One Flag CTF on Launch Site

Oddball on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Slayer on Aquarius, Bazaar, Behemoth, Launch Site, Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Strongholds on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Event Playlists & Ranked Arena

Part of the Halo Infinite season features are events that contain "special playlists, challenges, and free rewards". Events will be open to entry for one or multiple weeks, as you'd expect, allowing you plenty of time to play, attempt challenges and unlock the many rewards.

Fracture: Tenrai, which will be Halo Infinite’s first event, kicks off next week on November 23. To learn more about it, be sure to read its section further below.

Ranked Arena

Available input types & party types: -

  • CONTROLLER | SOLO/DUO
  • KBM | SOLO/DUO
  • CROSS-INPUT | UP TO FULL PARTIES

Begin the game with "a BR75 (Battle Rifle), Combat Sensor disabled, friendly fire on, grenade hitmarkers disabled, and static item spawns in these competitive 4v4 settings".

Capture The Flag on Aquarius, Bazaar, Behemoth

Oddball on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Slayer on Aquarius, Bazaar, Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

Strongholds on Live Fire, Recharge, Streets

In the Ranked Arena, can choose the type of cross-input and player party size, and there's an interesting case for competitive play as you can be matched with parties that have both a similar skill level and style of play.

Weekly Challenges & Rewards

Players can complete daily and weekly challenges to earn valuable XP and unlock the Halo Infinite free and premium content throughout the Battle Pass. Halo Infinite Season 1, includes all day-one maps and modes enabled and the full Season 1 Battle Pass. You will get to keep any customisation and purchases AFTER December 8th - the official launch date of Halo Infinite. The current Season 1 Battle Pass will remain until May 2022, when Season 2 has been slated for launch.

Challenge Swaps are available if you want to replace a challenge, and you'll also be able to apply XP Boosts to temporarily earn double XP for any challenges you complete.

By completing all weekly challenges you'll be entitled to a special Ultimate Reward challenge. Completing the Ultimate Reward earns you a free cosmetic reward every week. Weekly challenges reset every Tuesday, and the Inside Infinite blog series details all of the above and more.

"Halo Infinite’s first season, “Heroes of Reach”, begins today and runs through May 2, 2022. Infinite’s Battle Pass offers free and premium tracks accounting for more than 100 unlockable items. If you purchase a Halo Infinite Premium Battle Pass, it will not expire – so if you jump in later in the season or can’t complete it by May, no worries - you’ll be able to progress on your own terms. Start playing today and begin building your own personal Spartan by unlocking additional armor pieces, weapon charms, visors, coatings, emblems, Armor FX, and more!" - Halo Waypoint

Cross-Everything

Halo Infinite allows players to launch on Xbox and PC simultaneously, with cross-generation, cross-platform and cross-input play, meaning you can play on just about anything with MnK or controller support.

All of your progression is saved throughout the swapping and changing between PC and console, so you'll never lose any progress or rewards. This seamlessness from the developers and Microsoft will see lots of players able to take advantage of their favourite input type, though may open doors for some PC players who have not yet experienced Halo on mouse & keyboard.

Overall Review

There's nothing I disliked about my time playing the game, and I'll be going back very soon for more.

Overall, I had an absolute blast playing Halo Infinite, and you can bet your Spartan helmet that when I've finished writing up this article, I'll be diving right back in.

I didn't feel like I missed out on anything by not playing Halo up to now, but after just 45 minutes of thrashing around in a Warthog and blasting bots & enemies, I have to say - I do now feel I missed out. This is truly a pick-up-and-play FPS that has everything you need for a quick game or an entire evening of gameplay. When developer make a game that's just as suitable for hardcore competitive players as those players who don't get a lot of time to play games, you just know it will be a classic. This is a classic that has come a long way in terms of developmental progress, but also stayed true to its roots. the perfect combination, and truly one of the best experiences I have had with a game in the last year.