Halo Infinite Season 2 First Impressions

Halo Infinite has been on a journey. A delayed launch, an early PVP beta release, wild celebrations from Halo fans saying their franchise is back, then stagnation settling in with long term fans wanting more from a proposed ‘bare-bones’ initial release. Well, Season 2 is here, and while it doesn’t address everything fans want, this is certainly a good step on the journey.

Halo Infinite did enjoy a decent release. Fans went crazy for the early PVP beta release, and that euphoria followed into a solid open-world campaign, which was one of the better campaigns of the 343 Halo era. That initial happiness subsided, and then a small, but vocal portion of the fanbase provided feedback about the lack of a co-op campaign, forge mode and also the number of PVP maps and game modes. Season 2 is the start of the road to recovery for Halo Infinite, I don’t think it’s going to solve everything in one swoop, but we are certainly getting there.

New Maps

First of all, we have a couple of new maps added to the mix. Catalyst is good for arena-style playlists. It’s a tight, symmetrical map that offers plenty of verticality to it too. The hallways are narrow, without feeling too claustrophobic. It’s a great addition to the playlist overall.

Breaker is the other new map, and this one is much larger than Catalyst. This is a map tailored for Big Team Battle and the new Last Spartan Standing mode. In terms of the environment, this is set outside an industrial facility and there’s sand all over the place. The map is big enough and varied enough to offer many different playstyles, you can sit back and pick people off from range or get in there up close and personal with other Spartans. There is a huge laser canal, here you’ll find some decent weapons, plus there are routes to other parts of the map, but be careful of that laser, otherwise, you’ll be dead in a flash. On the other part of the map, there are broken down remains of an old ship which offers some nice cover if you want to hide in there and shoot out.

New Modes

First, we have Last Spartan Standing, which is Halo’s first step into a Battle Royale type game mode. You get six lives overall in the match to play with. This allows you to be a little more gung-ho with your attitude to attack and promotes slightly riskier play, rather than a regular battle royale where you only have a single life.

The game mode switches things up when it comes to the weapon system. Rather than scavenge for weapons like in other battle royale games, there is a weapon rank up system, in which you get better weapons based on performance in the mode. For example, as you earn points for kills and assists then your loadout options will increase. For 100 points, which equates to a kill or two assists, you’ll replace the Sidekick with a Mangler. Then as you rank up further you’ll be able to replace your oldest weapon with the newest including Assault Rifle, Commando, Bulldog and Battle Rifle.

One big change offered up by Last Spartan Standing is the lack of grenades. We’re so used to spawning with grenades, that any change to this formula does feel strange at the start, but you have to go and find them and work for the grenades. In the context of the overall game mode, I think this works well.

When players are killed and eventually eliminated from the match their AI will all be at their death location and other Spartans can claim them for experience points. You have to be wary of other players though when you are trying to claim enemy AI, as you usually are wide open for attack yourself, and there’s a high risk of dying, so you do have to be careful.

There are 12 players overall in matches, which feels like a decent number considering the size of the maps. This gives you enough room to breathe and level up, without it feeling too crowded or empty. Much like in other Battle Royale games the audio plays a greater role here, as you’ll be able to hear Spartans sneaking up on you.

Next we have a returning classic game mode with King of the Hill, albeit with a few twists to the formula. King of the Hill is a well-trodden formula in the Halo universe, you have a randomly spawning circle location where players have to get to, then control the hill, fending off any enemies who attempt to take it from you. You have to maintain control of the hill for a few sections, and if you successfully do this then you’ll score a point. Score three points to win the match, and ultimately be declared King of the Hill. King of the Hill can be found in Ranked Arena, Quick Play, plus its own playlist too.

Then we have Rumble Pit, which offers up to exclusive Free-For-All playlists. This used to be just Slayer matches, but now we have Fiesta, Vampireball (similar to Oddball) and Ninja Slayer. In Ninja Slayer everyone gets unlimited energy swords and grapple shots, and it’s as fun as it sounds. Rocket Repulsors is also here, which is like Oddball Free-For-All. Everyone spawns with Rockets, grenades and repulsors. It’s tough to maintain a grip on the ball, but the game mode is super fun and very entertaining.

Overall these are some decent changes. I really like King of the Hill, and the introduction of new maps and modes is definitely going to help. 343 are going to have to increase their cadence with new things to do, otherwise, the Hall Community is going to continue to be frustrated with the perceived lack of content. Forge mode is definitely going to help when that comes around, and it’ll be interesting to see the take up for co-op campaign mode. Personally, I’m more interested in PVP when it comes to Halo Infinite these days. Season 2 marks an important step on the journey for Halo Infinite’s recovery, but is it going to be enough for the hungry fans out there? We’ll have to wait and see.

I’d love to hear what you think of Halo Infinite Season 2, let me know on Twitter or in the comments.