As is tradition with E3 week, a lot of news came out over the course the event and there’s very little new to talk about. So for this week, let’s focus on one last week’s more interesting announcements: Halo Infinite’s now free-to-play multiplayer.
As you may have already heard during Microsoft’s E3 showcase, Halo Infinite will be shipping in two components: a paid campaign and free-to-play multiplayer. One wonders how well the campaign will actually sell since Halo fans have traditionally focused on the series’ multiplayer, but that’s a topic for another time. Halo multiplayer going free-to-play is a huge, somewhat surprising element. What’s even more surprising though is how Microsoft has chosen to handle it.
It’s as if they took a look at everything every other company with live service game is doing, brought it into Halo and tried their best to make it palatable. All the now-standard hallmarks of free-to-play are in Halo now: battle passes, premium currency, a item shop and boatloads of cosmetics. It’s never great to see that stuff brought into a game that didn’t do much of that before. However, at the very least it looks like Microsoft/343i is going to give us the appearance of a fair system.
Unlike in games like Call of Duty and Destiny 2 (Bungie ☹), Halo Infinite won’t be using FOMO to pressure its players into spending money. Well, at least not when it comes to its battle pass. Once players buy a battle pass, they get to keep and progress it as far as they want. It’ll never expire, meaning you won’t get locked out of the high-tier rewards. Players will even be able to buy older battle passes if they want. Battle pass stuff won’t show up in the store either, so fans can at least rest assured that their efforts to earn their gear won’t be undercut.
It’s still not great to see not-so-microtransactions worm their way into yet another great series. If I had my way, the multiplayer would still be part of the overall package, and new armor would be exclusively function as unlocks. Still, those days are probably gone forever, so I suppose I’ve no choice but to settle for not being manipulated while trying to relax and enjoy my games.
What’s your take on Halo Infinite’s multiplayer? Is it enough for it to be an improvement over other FTP games, or has it now been irreparably compromised?
Image by flickr user: justin.winchester