Have you just been looking for a nail-biting victory in a Big Team Battle Slayer match? Hit a bunch of your teammates’ heads in with a flaming skull in Oddball? Conquer a wealth of goals in Total Control, and put big numbers on the board that all your PVP mates can see? Halo infinite‘s battle pass does not matter. It does not see you. Sorry, no points for you.
That surprisingly soft launch of Halo infinite‘s multiplayer has gotten off to a roaring start, posting over 200,000 contemporaries on Steam alone last night, gaining widespread recognition for its feel, balance and fun. However, its kamppas may be the only exception. It is clearly the largest. This is because, unlike almost every other match, players are used to evolving Halo infinite‘s is strictly governed by complete challenges. Where other games reward you just for playing, 343 Industries’ latest makes you complete obscure and unnatural exploits that “Kill 15 enemy Spartans with Sidekick Pistol in PVP. “
Players have daily and weekly challenges to work towards during each session. The majority of XP comes from the weekly ones, which, if combined, offer about five levels of battle pass progress. Some are straightforward, like winning matches in certain modes. Others are a little more of a task. There’s nothing wrong with “Kill five enemy Spartans by leveling them with Repulsor in PVP”, but gearing the whole grind around these challenges removes the fun of just playing glory.
The result is that you can get a great game of Capture The Flag, where you can make your opponents steal in overtime, and barely see the XP meter for your fight’s creep forward. It only took a few fights before something that sat deep inside the lizard part of my gamer brain started crying in pain. And I’m not alone. Consensus is in. This shit stinks.
The current system is stingy, which is difficult to distinguish from the fact that as an independent free-to-play mode, Halo infinite‘s multiplayer is fully supported by microtransactions. Of course, you can rank the match pass by simply pulling out your credit card (you will have to do this anyway if you want the premium level, which includes the entire list of seasonal rewards). Halo infiniteThe opening season is supposed to last until May, which may also be the reason why the gate feels like such a slow burn right now.
But even apart from the economy, this current setup is just not fun. Most games have found a way to make weekly challenges more of a bonus, rather than the cornerstone of their progression. And many of them have really reached the level up screen at the end of a match. Call of Duty: Warzones reward screen may be excessive, but it certainly feels better than the stern greeting Halo infinite gives at the moment. The end of these struggles feels less like Christmas and more like my late Polish immigrant grandfather who strictly gave me four quarters to tear up his leaves and then take them back because he intended to give me nickel. I come to the Big Team Battle for many things, but lessons in hard work and thrift are not one of them.
343 Industries foresaw this criticism back during previous test flights, and promised that the system would continue to evolve. We have heard feedback from the community that we want more progression options, including things like “match XP” for Battle Pass and a completely separate, incremental system towards earning SR152 in Halo 5: Guardians,” the team wrote in September. “Expanding multiplayer progression offerings is something the team is actively exploring, and we look forward to continuing to develop the experience in future seasons after launch.”
That is good news. It would be even better news if future seasons were not half a year away.
Update: 16/11/21, 14:21 ET: That Halo infinite the team said it is “looking at the Battle Pass process and collecting data from yesterday’s sessions, and we share updates as we have them. “