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"Halo: Infinite" campaign mode review: solid and stable game performance

In the new campaign mode, the exile who appeared in Halo: War 2 becomes the main enemy of the Master Chief, and the two sides will fight around the “Zeta Ring”. Compared with the 5th generation, this time the player will control the Master Chief throughout the game. At the same time, the Master Chief will also encounter a new pilot partner and a new AI called “Weapon” in the plot. The resolute and steady Master Chief, the innocent and passionate “Weapon”, and the pilot who is full of anxiety about his future fate form a sharp contrast in personality, and their scenes are a major highlight of this game. However, although the game provides some prequel, players still need to have the previous story as a basis to better understand and master the story.

Compared to previous works, the biggest change in ” Halo: Infinity ” is the integration of open-ended map exploration content. However, as mentioned in the 343 statement last year, this game is not a completely open-world game. The campaign mode of “Halo: Infinity” still has a very clear main storyline. With the advancement of the plot level, the various regions in the “Zeta Ring” will gradually open up. Simply put, the connection between levels has now become an island-shaped area, and players can freely explore it after opening up.

The map drawing structure of the game is three-dimensional and the routes are clear, allowing players to locate and explore intuitively and clearly.

In the “Zeta Loop” with hills as the main terrain, the sergeant can rely on vehicles and teleportation to travel between various destinations for missions. The front-line operating bases (FOBs) distributed throughout the area become temporary strongholds for the sergeant during the exploration process. The front-line operating bases perform multiple functions, including serving as teleport waypoints, displaying surrounding resources, providing weapon vehicles, and so on. However, these bases are initially occupied by exiles and need to eliminate surrounding enemies before they can be restored.

Designed around the front-line operation base, the clearing battle is relatively simple, and this type of conquering stronghold mode gameplay is now quite common. However, there is a set of upgrade mechanisms corresponding to the base in the game, which looks like a single-player version of the battle pass. When completing the main and side storylines, a certain amount of “courage value” will be obtained. As the “courage value” accumulates, new weapons, marine reinforcements, and vehicles will be unlocked in the base, such as conventional BR 75 rifles, Mongoose or Scorpion tanks, Wasp attack aircraft, and some advanced variant weapons, etc.

Due to the characteristics of the Halo series, players basically pick up weapons wherever they go, and base weapons are mainly used to make it more convenient for players to go out and explore. The use of various vehicles is much greater, whether it is on the road or attacking strongholds in the wild, using vehicles is often the most efficient choice.

As for the Marine Corps reinforcements, they will be divided into different types based on the weapons used. The combat capability of a single Marine Corps is very limited. Players can only attract firepower and output by transporting multiple soldiers to the front line through vehicles. However, under high difficulty, Marine Corps soldiers are still very fragile. If one is not careful, these soldiers are likely to be hit by various stray bullets and fall to the ground one after another. Overall, the Courage Upgrade System is relatively simple. In the halo of casually throwing firearms, the attraction of unlocking weapons as a reward mechanism is not strong enough.

Opening the map, players can also see many other types of target points, including special targets, rescue marines, exile outposts, etc.

Special targets are elite bosses who lurk in the map. They usually lead their subordinates to guard a small area. These targets all hold variant weapons, which can be unlocked and used at the base after being defeated. Similar to the 5th generation, variant weapons have different abilities compared to the original version. For example, the super plasma rifle has a faster firing rate, slower overheating, and more damage when shooting compared to the regular plasma rifle. When holding a duel energy sword, the movement speed will increase, and the jumping height will also increase… Collecting and trying these variant weapons is an extremely fun thing to explore in the game. However, the effect design of many variant weapons in “Halo: Infinite” is more conservative than the 5th generation, and the characteristics and changes are not as significant as the 5th generation.

If recapturing the base of operations and hunting special targets are relatively small to medium-sized side battle content, then the exile outpost in the map is the largest battle scene except for the main line level. The terrain structure in the outpost is huge and complex, and players can fully use their imagination to carry out battles with their own imagined routes and strategies . At the same time, when attacking the outpost, certain mission objectives are generally set, such as investigating the base, destroying facilities, etc. As the mission progresses, reinforcements will be generated in the outpost, etc. A large number of enemies, weapons, and vehicle settings can greatly satisfy players’ combat desires and ensure a satisfying fight.

One thing to mention is that there are no collection or side quest elements that must be completed in the game. Even if the player goes straight to the main storyline without any exploration, they can successfully complete all levels.

In addition to the above-mentioned content, “Zeta Ring” also contains rich decorative appearances, audio logs, equipment upgrade cores, traditional skulls in the series, and hidden rooms, etc. Most of the collectibles and targets in this game will be directly marked on the map, and some can be displayed by occupying the front-line base. However, collectibles like skulls are relatively hidden and can only be found by players themselves. Combined with the use of scanning devices and grappling hooks, it is not difficult to find various collectibles in the game.

The open map gameplay of this game is mainly centered around combat. Even the acquisition of some collectibles mentioned above will involve combat to some extent. Although the shooting experience of the game is excellent, there is a lack of some other elements between the exploration content as adjustments and buffers, which may cause players to feel tired in the later stages of the game. Taking myself as an example, when I have collected almost all the Spartan cores for upgrading equipment, the motivation to explore the map is greatly reduced.

[Open Map Exploration and Main Line Level 2]

Part of the main storyline in Halo: Infinite has been integrated into the wilderness map, and the experience is not much different from the special targets, outpost battles, and team rescues mentioned earlier. However, including some plot transitions, it is seamless and the process is very smooth.

The other part is still the “traditional” linear level. Most of these levels are still set in scenes such as bases and spaceships. With the addition of equipment such as grappling hooks, players’ experience in them is more mobile and three-dimensional. At the same time, the existence of these equipment in high difficulty levels can help players better cope with emergencies and ensure survival. For example, using hooks to quickly break free from the encirclement or deploying protective walls to resist distant bullets, etc.

The routes in the battle scene are still well-connected, and players can use terrain to bypass and attack enemies from the side. However, the expression of the level process is relatively simple, and players are either on the way to fight or fighting. There will be some simple exploration sections designed in the middle, such as finding power seeds to open doors. The focus of these level designs is mainly on the combat experience.

The scanning device can display all interactive objects around, including weapons, ammunition boxes, collectibles, and key task switches, etc., which is very intuitive and convenient. The game will not cause much trouble to players in the search process.

The performance of the enemy AI makes the battle very interactive. The enemy human types in the game are still mainly wild boar beasts, jackals and werewolves, ghost-faced beasts, elites, and various variants. Players need to deal with different strategies and weapons. For example, the ghost-faced beast officers who wear armor, carry thrusters, and hold heavy weapons are quite difficult opponents. It is difficult to take advantage of them head-on, but players can use arc-type weapons to paralyze them. In addition, enemies like hunters will also return in this work. However, with the grappling hook and thruster, it becomes much easier to go around and hit these “iron lumps”.

Of course, during combat, these enemies will also have many interactive dialogues, including declarations of war, taunts, tactical exchanges, complaints to companions, and dying words, etc. The design of the text dialogue is quite rich and interesting.

Most boss battles in the game are arranged in fixed and enclosed scenes, with some taking place outdoors. Their weapons and combat methods vary, but most can still be seen as enhanced versions of elite monsters without special combat mechanisms. Therefore, the strategies for dealing with their stealth, air impact, or vehicle moves are often consistent. At the same time, players need to fully utilize the terrain factors and provided weapons in the battlefield.

There are also bosses in the game who go out without long-range weapons and grenades. Players can use grappling hooks to climb onto the door and leisurely shoot to slowly kill them.

In levels and many outdoor scenes, the game also adds ammunition boxes specifically for replenishing bullets. Ammunition boxes are classified according to ammunition attributes, and can be replenished when the sergeant holds the corresponding weapon. However, these ammunition boxes also have certain inventory restrictions, and they cannot be used again after the inventory is zero. Personally, I am not very clear about the types of weapons in the game, so it is often embarrassing to run to the ammunition box with empty ammunition and realize that the weapon type is not correct.

[Equipment and Weapons]

The equipment system is a relatively novel content design in the campaign mode of “Halo: Infinite”. If players have already tried multiplayer mode, I believe they will have a certain understanding of the equipment effects in this game. The impact of equipment on players’ combat style and experience can be said to be no less than any weapon.

Unlike multiplayer mode, the equipment in campaign mode has no limit on the number of uses except for Cool Down. Once unlocked, it can be used repeatedly. Collecting Spartan cores in the map can upgrade and strengthen equipment, making them produce more effects and play a greater role.

In the campaign process, the grappling hook is the equipment that players can obtain and use the most at the beginning. Setting aside whether it is reasonable for the Master Chief to run around in the scene with the grappling hook, the experience it brings to the game is very positive, and its performance is no less than that of games such as Titanfall 2 with similar devices.

First of all, the use of the grappling hook is very simple, and it has a good touch judgment and operation feel. For most players, there is basically no threshold to get started. The addition of the grappling hook brings strong mobility and a larger range of activities to the sergeant. Action and operability are also stronger. Players can use it to instantly approach the target or hide outside the enemy’s firepower range. Climbing over the high platform and going around the back for a surprise attack is also a piece of cake. This design that can show off and operate without being cumbersome can bring a sense of achievement to players.

On the other hand, the grappling hook can grab weapons or items within the range, which is equivalent to taking things from afar. For example, pull the explosive crystal in the scene and immediately smash it towards the target. It can also be attached to the enemy’s vehicle to shoot down the control vehicle or place a bomb on it. However, in scenes with many scattered weapons, the grappling hook is easy to hook useless weapons, which can lead to some operational errors in the player.

In addition to these basic functions, the grappling hook can be upgraded. The level 1 “shock electric shock” can make the enemy in the hook fall into a long-term electric shock effect. This is very useful when dealing with various enemies that cannot be killed in one hit, such as elites and ghost-faced beasts. After clicking on the two skills of “first knockdown” and “grappling hook fall”, players can long press melee attacks to release a wide range of shock waves during the process of using the grappling hook to slide. The damage of the shock wave is very high, and the surrounding enemies will be stunned. With the skill of reducing CD, the sergeant can basically transform into Spider-Man, using the cycle of “Q (grappling hook) → F (melee) → Q → F” to continuously shuttle between enemy groups, hitting and killing enemies. The sense of speed brought by the grappling hook displacement and the explosive effect of the shock wave make this combat style extremely refreshing.

However, the Master Chief will have a brief charge release action when using the shock wave, during which there is no invincibility or protection judgment, so it is also easy to become the target of the enemy. In addition, grenades and self-detonating wild boar beasts in the battlefield also come with certain risks when used.

There are many small tricks to using the hook in the game.

The other pieces of equipment in the game also have very practical functions. The thruster can perform short-distance displacement to avoid enemy attacks. After reaching the top level, it can also produce stealth effects. With the hook, more tricks can be played in battle. In addition to resisting enemy firepower, the mobile protective wall can also provide electric shock effects for bullets passing through the wall… The rich enemy configuration and wide and varied scene structure provide good operating space for these equipment.

In “Halo: Infinite”, weapons are divided into several types based on bullet attributes: plasma, arc strike, energy, power, and hard light. Among them, arc strike is a new type of weapon, including arc strike rifles, jammers, and so on. The characteristic of this type of weapon is that it will produce an arc to kill surrounding enemies after hitting them, and arc strike weapons can also paralyze vehicles.

The jammer is a firearm that left a deep impression on me. Its appearance is a small stun gun, just like the sun-shooting bullet in ” Destiny 2 “. The jammer’s damage method is quite special. It will emit electric stings to stick to the target’s body and continue to cause damage. The more electric stings hit, the higher the sustained damage. In actual combat, the first two electric stings of the jammer can hardly cause much damage, but when the subsequent multiple electric stings hit, it can effectively consume the enemy’s shield and make them die in continuous electric shock. The jammer’s effectiveness is very significant when facing shields and vehicles, and it is a very practical auxiliary weapon.

Overall, there are still certain types of weapons in Halo Infinite, and players can make many attempts by combining the equipment system. Choosing the right weapon to fight against different enemies can achieve twice the result with half the effort.

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