With Halo Infinite being the most ambitious Halo title to ever be made, it is time to look at ways in which the multiplayer modes in the game can be expanded to meet the scope that the campaign has already set for us.
In this age of online games, players want to be able to choose from a variety of options. Thus, we feel that 343 Industries should let the open world of Halo Infinite be filled with random activities.
As luck would have it, Halo already has Forge, which lets the player rework the maps from each game nearly to their heart’s content. In past Halo games, players have been able to rearrange parts of the map and create new objects within it. These features don’t exist in a bubble, though, and it’s important to acknowledge when other titles handle player-created content better.
Looking at the Creative Modes in Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto Online, we have seen plenty of examples of how the community can create exciting and fun content that anyone can play with their friends. Players in Infinite should similarly be able to take the best parts of Halo and turn it into something completely different, something that could bring more variety to the game and entice more players to play.
For example, one fun game mode idea for Forge could involve the player choosing between a Warthog, a Banshee or any other iconic Halo vehicle to race against their friends and other players online. In essence, we would want to make it feel like a Mario Kart rip-off set in the Halo universe.
That’s not even getting into gameplay modes that have fan interest but which, for one reason or another, aren’t receiving official attention from the development team. Take the fact that 343 Industries has confirmed that there won’t be a Battle Royale mode in Halo Infinite. Nothing about their statement is stopping the studio from giving the players the tools to make such a mode themselves.
One of the reasons Grand Theft Auto V is still a best seller in 2021 is because of Grand Theft Auto Online and the incredible community creations that have been released. Expanding Forge to allow the players the same amount of freedom and tools to build incredible mini-games will allow Halo to reach a new audience not only on streaming services, but for anyone playing the game.
Big Team Battle Limitations
One of the best aspects of the Big Team Battle Mode is being able to play with a large group of friends in each game mode, but it doesn’t need to be consumed by chaos like other games.
We know that Halo Infinite will feature a large open world setting for players to discover and explore throughout the campaign. What remains a mystery is if the multiplayer level selections will be plentiful with a smaller area to roam or fewer in number but with a larger area to discover.
Other games like Battlefield feature large player counts in regular online game modes, with one mode consisting of 64 players split evenly in two. Those numbers are absurd and the resulting battles tend to be overwhelming, with a lot of different things going on throughout the entire match. Halo Infinite does not need to be like that.
We would want 343 to set the max amount of players to be eight-versus-eight or 10-versus-10 for Team Slayer and other popular game modes. That will allow for each match to be played with strategy in mind and will be less frustrating for players who often feel surrounded by enemies with every step they take.
If 343 Industries were to expand the maximum player count for each game mode, they would have to fully utilize the open world map to its entirety. That would mean scaling up the player base to 100 or higher – to compete with Call of Duty: Warzone – and letting multiple squads hunt each other using the iconic weapons and vehicles that would be scattered throughout the map.
Should players be interested in a Battlefield-esque game mode, they should be able to create their own custom game through the expanded Forge mode that we mentioned earlier.
Classic Halo in 2021
Ever since Halo has been developed by 343 Industries, starting with Halo 4, the multiplayer gameplay style has changed in more than a few ways and players have noticed.
Halo is a unique franchise with a gameplay style unlike that of any other popular FPS on the market, yet they often try to mimic and borrow from competing multiplayer shooters. We feel that there are key elements they can focus on to ensure that when Infinite comes out, the multiplayer feels as great as those first few Halo online experiences.
In Halo 4, the multiplayer shifted from the original games’ design. We were used to all players spawning with weapons that were available for everyone to choose from, but with Halo 4 we were introduced to weapons that would be randomly dropped which would give other players an advantage. As a result, players would camp at the spawn point for the special weapon to give their team an edge.
Along with the weapon drops, Halo 4 introduced Support upgrades that grant bonuses like extra rockets or ammo. While it is possible to play multiplayer without these features, playing with the perks was a popular option and would lead to a decrease in waiting time to get into a match.
Halo doesn’t need character abilities or weapon drops so that it can be compared to other first-person shooters. This is a series which has found success on its own terms and defined its own identity in the wider gaming space. Changing the formula to meet industry trends doesn’t always translate to a loyal fanbase being excited for it.
In multiplayer featured in Halo 5, the gameplay was sped up to make things more competitive. While I understand why players would like to be tested in a fast-paced contest, people who love the original style of Halo multiplayer didn’t find this a worthwhile addition.
Casual players like myself don’t want to play their first Team Slayer match and get destroyed within seconds just because we don’t prefer the competitive gameplay style. For some it may be too discouraging to continue playing the game mode because they already feel that they aren’t able to compete with the other players.
One way to appease that group of players that prefer the faster gameplay style is to make that the standard for Ranked Matches. Casual players want to shoot the Needler and have a good time, not be ground down and driven away by more experienced folks. For the players who are interested in the competitive aspect of Halo, they should have their own mode where they can compete alongside players of their own speed and caliber in order to improve their skills.
One of the few things we know about multiplayer featured in Infinite is that it will be free-to-play. You will not need to own a copy of the game or be a Game Pass subscriber to use the Battle Rifle in the game.
One rumor that has been tossed around is the idea of a Battle Pass to progress certain weapons in the game and possibly unlock some content along the way. Without getting too crazy with the Battle Pass and releasing skins comparable to the very colorful and often distracting ones found in Call of Duty, the Halo Battle Pass should let players unlock weapon attachments and even the weapons themselves as they advance to each level.
Games like Valorant give players in-game credits that they can use towards special animations that can be used when they get a kill. It would be fantastic for Halo Infinite to have the ‘children cheering after a kill’ audio clip be unlocked once the player reaches a certain level in the battle pass. 343 could even go as far as letting players unlock the option for confetti to explode after a headshot kill.