Full Disclaimer, I am and always have been a Halo Fanboy… I didn’t play 5, but I grew up with the original Bungie games and I loved Halo 4 even if it did have its faults. Needless to say I have been excitedly waiting for Halo Infinite since its reveal, but even with my high expectations I wasn’t expecting this…
I finally got my hands on the game this week. During the Microsoft 20th Anniversary event on November 15th, they surprised everyone by opening up the Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta (which will be free to play at launch on December 8th) to everyone. I was able to play a few games here and there, but I finally got a chance to dive in completely on Wednesday night, and I have to say I don’t think I have smiled that much while playing a game in years. Every game was satisfying, whether it was binging people from our community into the lobby and playing big team battle (12 v 12 games on larger maps) or the smaller 4 v 4 quickplay matches that are more focuses on close quarters combat and strategy, every bit of the night was absolutely epic. The game has some balancing issues, but the core experience that 343 Industries has delivered here has updated Halo to make it compete in 2021 and beyond.
I’m not sure if my nostalgia glasses are just on in full force, or if the game is actually as good as I think it is, but HOLY CRAP Halo Infinite is fun! Obviously we don’t know much about the campaign yet, though the trailers we have seen FEEL like Halo… it’s funny, that is actually a good word for this game. Feel… everything about Halo Infinite just feels good. Pull up any stream, let’s play, or clip and you will see people blasting away in PVP with giant goofy grins on their faces. 343 Industries has knocked the feel of this game out of the park. From how tight the gunplay is to how good the game looks (even on low settings) everything just feels right. Pair that with how Microsoft and 343 are marketing the game, and I think this may end up bringing Halo back to the forefront of gaming.
The gameplay near perfect in my opinion. I do think there are a few tweaks that need to happen, but overall this is the most fun that I have had with any game in a long time. My friends and I played for about 4 hours and I don’t think we stopped laughing throughout the entire night. Honestly, there isnt a ton to say here, but I do want to recommend some tweaks to the game that I believe would help perfect the gameplay.
- Gravity Hammer Wind Up – I believe that the wind up for the Grav Hammer is a bit too long. I would like to see it either slightly reduced, OR give players the ability to wind up their swing ahead of time. Basically an ADS so that we can react quickly with our first hit, but keep the wind up where it is now so that its difficult to chain hits with it.
- Melee – I believe that the range of the Melee attacks should be very slightly increased. Right now you basically have to be close enough to smell someone breath in order for your melee attacks to land. I would love to see it increased by maybe a foot or so, cause right now it feels just a little bit too short.
Thats legitimately all that I can think of balance wise with my time. Everything else feels incredible, and I cant recommend trying Halo Infinite enough!
Right now, the customization is pretty limited in Multiplayer. There IS a battlepass that you can purchase for around $10 USD, and the rewards on the battlepass range from different pieces of armor, color pallets, and weapon skins that you can unlock for Halo’s Multiplayer mode. There is stuff that you can unlock for free, but at the time of writing there isn’t much. There is also a concern atm with how you level up the battlepass, since instead of leveling off of experience like other games, it rewards you for completing daily goals. This HAS led to concerns that the progression is too slow, 343 is already working on tweaks for that will improve progression as you play. This is the kind of thing that can be balanced though, and is not a major concern to me. As long as there are good cosmetics that you can unlock without the battlepass, I am good.
They are doing something unique with their battlepass though. Most games that have a battlepass release them with a time limit, making it so that you have to grind the game within a certain amount of time in order to unlock everything. 343 is doing something different with the Halo Infinite battlepass though, making it so that you can continue to unlock things from the battlepass even after that season is done.
We don’t know a lot about the story yet. Its based around Chief trying to find out what happened with Cortana after she became Rampant. For those that didn’t play Halo 5, I recommend reading through the story here. As of writing I have not been able to play the campaign myself, but SkillUpYT put out a pretty in depth first impressions video last night showing off a bit of what the game has to offer. I will update this section as I have a chance to actually play, but it seems like the open world aspect of the game is a bit of an afterthought that really needs co op to be fun. There are a lot of fun things to do, but the world feels a bit empty. That said, it was very early story gameplay, so that may open up a bit as the game progresses. There are also fully scripted missions that you will go through that are more Old School Halo like, and from what he said they appear to be incredible. I’m really looking forward to playing through this when it launches on Dec 8th this year.
Overall, I think Halo Infinite is coming in and doing everything right. The PVP is excellent, potentially GOTY worthy on it’s own, and the campaign looks like a solid sandbox style compliment that will be fun in its own way. I HOPE that they stick the landing on this one and truly bring Halo back to the forefront of gaming again.
Have you been able to play the beta yet? What are your thoughts? Comment below and let me know!
TikTok Planning ‘Major Push’ Into Gaming and Games
TikTok is reportedly testing games for the wildly popular app in Vietnam ahead of a “major push” into the gaming space, with a company representative confirming tests of HTML5 mini-games, according to Reuters.
Per the report, the source confirmed the tests, while adding “We’re always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community.”
The reported plan includes ad-supported games that will come from TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, with the anticipation that doing so will lead to a boost in revenue as well as the amount of time that users spend on the app.
This isn’t the first time TikTok has ventured directly into the gaming space, as they have collaborated with Feeding America to make a Farmville-like game called ‘Garden of Good’ which allowed players to earn points and to use them to make a donation.
Last year, TikTok announced a partnership with Zynga, the development team behind FarmVille, to make Disco Loco 3D, which is an HTML5-based endless runner that could work inside the popular app.
This appears to be just the beginning of TikTok gaming plans.
According to TechCrunch, TikTok is also working on a LIVE mobile gaming feature that would allow TikTok content creators to better engage fans while livestreaming. The report would go on to shit down the Reuters report, with TikTok calling it inaccurate, saying Vietnam gaming testing is not something it’s currently doing.
Additionally, TikTok is looking to explore LIVE games in a separate effort, per TechCrunch.
Facebook Gaming, Twitch See Viewership Decline for Third Straight Month
The viewership decline for Facebook Gaming and Amazon’s Twitch streaming platform has continued for a third-straight month, but the dip has not brought the overall viewership numbers down prior to the boom of April 2020.
In a brand new report from Stream Elements and Rainmaker, Twitch has seen a slight decline in hours watched from January 2022 through April 2022. Facebook Gaming saw a more marked dip from month-to-month in comparison, a near 50% drop in hours watched from January through April.
“Based on what we are seeing across livestreaming platforms, viewing habits are starting to revert to what they were pre-pandemic as the world opens up again for travel, events, and gatherings,” StreamElements CBO Jason Krebs said of the report. “Even with the decline, so many creators, viewers, and brands were exposed to the appeal of the medium that even the lowest month in the future will likely be above the highest month in the past before the pandemic started.”
Pokimane on Gambling Meta: “It’s really bad”
Popular Twitch streamer Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys, who is also one of the most successful female streamers in the industry, isn’t a fan of the new gambling meta that has led to a number of twitch streamers landing sponsorship deals with gambling companies.
During a live Twitch stream on May 19th, Pokimane accused streamer of taking money while compromising their viewership.
“You’re comparing something that can be arguably bad, to something that’s really f**king bad.,” Pokimane said (h/t Dexerto). “Why are people trying so hard to make gambling seem less worse by comparing it to other things. We can still all agree that this is really f**king bad, right?”’
Pokimane would continue to slam the sponsorship streams.
“I’m for taking money from the rich and giving to the people, but you’re rich, and you’re gonna make millions off your viewers.” she said. “Cause that’s how it works. Your viewers lose money.”
- TikTok Planning ‘Major Push’ Into Gaming and Games
- Facebook Gaming, Twitch See Viewership Decline for Third Straight Month
- Pokimane on Gambling Meta: “It’s really bad”
- Twitch CEO Emmett Shear Says “Still Work to Be Done” To Make Platforms Safer in Wake of Buffalo Shooting
- New York Attorney General Launches Investigation into Twitch, Discord, More Following Buffalo Shooting
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