Paramount is currently streaming the Halo series on the web, and no matter what one thinks of the individual episodes of this production, which has been in development for eight years; It is of course a very important part of the long history of the brand. Despite this—and for all the time that Microsoft and Halo Studio 343 Industries had to get to this point—the two companies failed to have anything ready for Halo Infinite in time to launch the series. So those who spend their day in the multiplayer world of the latest first-person shooter might not even realize that the project is in the works. Is it difficult to add some new elements that are reminiscent of the silver team? The reference to the web series is still lacking, not in the obvious or well-hidden references that the developers remind us of the Paramount series.
Unfortunately, that says a lot about the current state of Halo Infinite. As a huge Halo fan, it almost pains me to see 343 Industries abandon the comeback of Halo, which was so successful, and so promising at first. Because while console players on Xbox have proven to be a loyal community (PC players only played the multiplayer part of Halo Infinite due to prevailing issues and then quickly left), those fans shouldn’t get away that the developers have missed out on all of them since then. Among the goals that they reported themselves after December 8 and postponed them further. The constant apologies are annoying, as they exhaust the goodwill shown by 343 Industries’ initially super-positive player base.
We’re about to launch Halo Infinite’s second live service season, and it probably makes more sense to wait for the promised content before getting busy with the game. But regardless of whether “Season 2” It really managed to contain the obvious content issues that players have been complaining about for the past four months, whether or not; It is almost impossible to turn a blind eye to the game’s astonishing mismanagement. Halo Infinite had to be maintained and modernized much more, and the priorities simply had to be set elsewhere.
While I’m not a huge fan of the licensed Dice production, Star Wars Battlefront II is a much better example of a straightforward service game than the new Halo. The game initially suffered from the stinking loot box controversy, but at least the bragging encouraged developers to update the game after its release at a pace and in a way that online players wanted to return to regularly consider changes. Online games have tapped into pop culture elements from newly released movies and series for years in a variety of formats, culminating in microtransactions and (best) free updates. With new heroes, weapons, maps and abilities, the game remains fresh, modern and interesting. All this is necessary because today’s spoiled gamers need a good reason to restart the game in these modern times.
Parts of 343 Industries belong to the old school where a multiplayer game like Halo 2 could be released in a certain state and then in that exact state, with the exact same content and functionality, it continued to exist for several years and grew in popularity. However, any of us who play first-person shooters online must know that those days are long gone. Titles like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Apex Legends (to name a few) live and breathe. The developers plan live service events, through which the content of the respective projects is constantly evolving. All the updates keep introducing something new and it seems gamers want that too. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer also wants that constant attention, but the live-service game hasn’t had a “live” aspect since its launch, which makes players like me very tired. 343 Industries hasn’t even been able to create a steady stream of cosmetics in its Halo store, which is remarkably tragic.
I shouldn’t think for a moment that I’m a game development expert, nor am I suggesting that 343 Industries simply “ignored” Halo Infinite and multiplayer. Because none of this is true of course. But I don’t understand how this neglect can happen. This developer studio employs 720 people, making it one of the largest game studios in the world – The exclusive Work on Halo. Halo Infinite is the most expensive game ever with a development budget of over €2 million, and that apparently isn’t enough to regularly add some cosmetic tweaks to the game… Like Phil Spencer, Bungie veteran Joseph Staten is Creative Director from 343 Industries and I’ve given the team an extra 12 months To coordinate development, some game has definitely been reworked, but that doesn’t make any sense to me. Of course the evolution will be difficult and demanding, but what are all these people doing with their time?
720 people, an (almost) unlimited development budget and six years of continuous development have resulted in a very good game that has had only initial updates since its release. This cannot be accepted or understood as an old Halo lover. If 343 Industries, led by Staten, had known that the studio wouldn’t have any significant content to add in the first four months after the game’s release, then obviously the focus should have been on getting the Forge part out in time for the game’s premiere to be completed in December of last year. This way, at least, players can handle the custom content themselves while the studio focuses on making this sparsely populated multiplayer game convenient.
In a recent article, 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross and Frank O’Connor spoke to The Washington Post about the difficulties adapting Halo 5’s game engine to the open world and the fact that they have major problems with cross-play between Allow PC and Xbox. In my opinion, that sounds like cold consolation, as it doesn’t really explain why Halo Infinite has been on hold for four months. These guys have the full support of the entire Microsoft Studios and have six (!) years to come up with solutions to connectivity issues. Multiplayer servers don’t work in either of them Open game worlds, which makes arguments about the structure of the game completely irrelevant. Forge is missing, there were no new maps or weapons, visual customization elements are missing, and eventually many of us would like more game modes. It lacks the life, movement, bug fixes, and globally recognized support that today’s gamers have come to expect from a developer of this size for a project of this size.
I love Halo, always. I’ve probably always loved Halo, but at the same time I can’t help but notice that 343 Industries is ignoring a lot of the potential. Bungie never did, and they were “only” 110 people who released Halo: Reach together. Also, the budget for this title was a little more than a ninth of the capital that Hallo Infinite had. It’s clear to me that 343 Industries doesn’t know in many ways what it’s dealing with. And that… is tragic. Halo always deserves the best.