You never would have guessed it based on the early trailers and troubling news coming out of the development of Halo Infinite, but the project finally landed on the ground this holiday season and it would appear that Halo is back in a big way. Positioned as both a showcase for Microsoft’s Xbox Series S|X consoles, the company’s push into PC gaming, and a motivator to drive subscriptions to Xbox Game Pass, Halo Infinite was a big gamble for all involved that looks to pay off handsomely in the near future.
In a year where the biggest publishers seemed to be tripping over each other to release buggy, unfinished games, Microsoft and 343 Industries managed to get Halo Infinite out the door with a level of polish that most wouldn’t have expected. The publisher’s confidence was apparent when Microsoft offered up the entire multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite up to players for free a couple of weeks ahead of the game’s scheduled December launch date.
Those who opted to join the fight online were treated to a new game that meshed classic Halo gameplay with some fresh additions and an impressive overall level of polish. From its easily-readable menus and UI to its smooth gunplay, Halo Infinite Multiplayer managed to be unique amongst many 2021 releases by actually living up to the hype. When the campaign arrived later in December, the fun kept on coming.
Mixing an open-world design that is new to the series, a nifty grappling hook (even better than we saw in Doom Eternal), and solid performance, Halo Infinite offers so much that a few longtime fans may even be willing to forgive the lack of cooperative play at launch. Owners of Series X hardware even have access to a 120Hz performance mode, a first for the series and a first for a single-player first-person shooter on consoles. While we aren’t doctors, we are willing to prescribe our readers a heavy dose of Halo Infinite.
Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.