In a video on the Halo YouTube Channel, featuring commentator Andy Dudynsky talking with former Halo pro Sal Mohanan and Infinite lead multiplayer designer Andrew Witts, and a blog post on Halo Waypoint, 343 revealed new details about Halo Infinite’s competitive modes.
In competitive, every player starts with battle rifle and has no secondary weapons. In contrast to Halo Infinite’s social modes, there is no radar or motion tracker. The lack of a secondary weapon is meant to encourage players to find weapons on the battlefield, while the Battle Rifle ensures a viability against other players. No motion tracker enables players to more readily get the jump on each other, as well as encouraging a thorough knowledge of the map. In other foundational changes, there are no grenade hit markers. Thus, players will often be in the dark as to whether their grenades have dealt damage or not. Sandbox design lead Quinn Del Hoyo clarified in the blog post, “Removing the Grenade Hitmarkers brings some balance towards mystery and risk taking that we felt has been missing since Halo: Reach.”
Additionally, competitive multiplayer was designed to facilitate Halo Infinite’s new equipment. Andrew Witts states in the multiplayer reveal video, “The experimentation, the expression was really important for us in development.” As oft advertised, Halo Infinite adds a grappling hook to the game, allowing players to move quickly across a map, pull weapons and equipment to them, and even propel themselves to enemies. The Repulsor lets out a burst of repulsive energy, letting players push enemies off the map, push back projectiles, and still more The Repulsor or the grappling hook interact with the lack of a motion tracker, allowing players who get the jump on others through inventive movement. It’s harder to keep track of someone moving quickly without the additional help of a radar. It is also more rewarding, in theory, to vanquish someone who got the jump on you.
The video showcased a match of Strongholds on the map Recharge. Scoring works slightly differently in Infinite’s Stronghold mode, a domination-like variant first introduced in Halo 5. The game mode tasks two teams with capturing and holding specific checkpoints on the map. If one team holds at least two out of three places, they gain points and eventually win. In the past, as long as a team held the majority of points on a map, they would score. In Halo Infinite, all points must remain uncontested for the main team to score. This means if a player enters a point owned by their enemy team, scoring immediately ceases. Therefore, teams must keep players off of their points and prevent them from gaining even the slightest foothold to win.
Damage taken is a new stat, enabling a perhaps unseen element of competitive Halo to enter the limelight for the first time. Players who take a lot of damage are functionally “tanking” for the team. They draw attention and forcing their enemies to engage with them. A knowledge of exactly how much damage these player took, in addition to the game’s other stats, might help expand analysis of both pro and casual matches.
Halo Infinite is set to release on December 6 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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