I’ve drifted away from Halo over the years. Once upon a time, I’d come home from school and dip into Halo 3’s myriad multiplayer and custom map options with friends as part of a set routine. I’d only deviate and actually see someone in person on the weekends – when we’d plough through the campaign in couch co-op.
I checked in here and there to see how the series was going under 343 Industries’ care, enjoying what I saw but never feeling inclined to stay. Will Halo Infinite – which you can pre-order here, coincidentally – tempt me to commit this time? With the multiplayer technical test having only just gone live, it’s too early to say – but it’s off to a good start.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer already feels wonderfully simple. While the beta is a tad limited as you’re only playing against bots in Slayer on a new map called Live Fire, that’s enough to enjoy the rhythms and the kinetics of it all. You spawn in with your battle rifle, pistol, and grenades, free to dart towards a better weapon or into a gunfight with the other team. After a few games, I find myself repeating a trick: running right from spawn to pick up a cloaking device so as to flank the opposition. It’s a fuzzily nostalgic throwback to a tactic I used to employ in previous Halos.