Does Halo Infinite really need an additional Battle Royale mode, or can 343 Industries just stick with the traditional, and fantastic, Multiplayer Mode that we have come to love?
I am getting rather tired of the comparisons between Halo Infinite and its contemporaries. It's like comparing Nirvana to other bands that released big 1991 albums. You can't really compare Nevermind to REM's Out of Time. Both are great albums from great bands, but one had a much more significant impact on the industry. Halo Infinite will, hopefully, have that staying power, and will continue to blast out great new maps and content for years to come. Its contemporaries like Battlefield 2042 and Call of Duty: Vanguard will likely have very limited staying power, but to be honest, I have already talked about why that is, so I'm not going to go there in this week's column.
The question I want to answer today is whether the right direction for Halo Infinite is the implementation of yet another Battle Royale mode, and the surface the argument yields plenty of logic. After all, Warzone piggybacked off the success of Modern Warfare (2019) and has established itself as Fortnite's main competitor in this space. With a world like that of Halo, there are plenty of potentially fantastic opportunities that a Battle Royale could lead to. The map could easily be an absolute classic, the game's higher time-to-kill could make for a unique and interesting Battle Royale, and there are plenty of scenarios from the game's lore that we could see in such a mode.
Imagine escaping Reach as it's being glassed by the Covenant. There's only one final escape shuttle, and only one player / team will fit. If you don't get off the planet, you will die, and there is nothing else you could do to stop such an eventuality other than escaping. That would be an incredible setup for a really top-shelf Battle Royale experience. It would be tense, insanely fun, would make for a great map, and would provide enough context to make the Battle Royale feel like it holds weight, like there's a point to what you're doing.
That's something which is seriously lacking in Warzone and Fortnite. Their varied attempts at lore building have mostly failed to really capture much meaning. The best example would obviously be Fortnite, but even that game fails to really create the sense of scale and meaning that a Halo Battle Royale could create. There are tonnes of scenarios like the one I just described that Halo Infinite could adopt in a potential Battle Royale mode. Absolutely tonnes! They would be fantastic, and with the crazy-cool customization you get in Halo Infinite, there would be tonnes more to also look forward to.
Want to hear me rant about Halo Infinite, and how fantastic it is? Want to hear me nerd out over Halo in general? Then you better check out this Episode of The EarlyGame Podcast!
The thing is, though, that Halo Infinite could also suffer from a decision such as this. Battlefield V attempted it and failed, Battlefield 2042 attempted its own spin on Battle Royale with Hazard Zone, and we all know how that turned out. Again and again, major franchises have attempted to join this space and become the next big Battle Royale, and have been completely incapable of actually achieving the desired result. There is a huge risk here that a Halo Infinite Battle Royale would just simply not be played, even if it did turn out to be excellent. After all, no one goes to Halo for something like a Battle Royale!
Then there's the matter of whether 343 Industries will f**k up such a mode. Whilst Halo Infinite is shaping up to easily be the best Halo game since Reach, and possibly the best since Halo 2, it does seem inconceivable that they could do wrong – but let us not forget Halo 5: Guardians. Now, I am not one of those blokes who love to hate on Halo 4 and 5, but I will admit that Guardians wasn't their strongest moment. Generally, the storytelling wasn't particularly great, and we may as well forget those new characters. That game somehow even managed to make Nathan Fillion boring. How is that even possible?
A poorly executed Battle Royale could spell death for the game, because it would spoil the good will that Halo Infinite has built so far. As I said, Infinite currently sits as an exceptional piece of work, surrounded by contemporaries that miss the mark in a variety of different ways. 343 Industries the newest game seems to be the return to form we've been waiting for from Halo, and a botched Battle Royale would seem like an unnecessary cash grab that would put a sour taste in our mouth. After all, there's no need for them to jump on this tedious bandwagon. I, for one, don't really want to play another Battle Royale. They're boring, and another one just seems like an unnecessary waste of my time.
So, let's wind this all back. Halo Infinite could become a really fantastic Battle Royale if it delivers on something of a very high degree of quality, and if it uses the world of Halo to concoct a fantastic setup. That being said, it doesn't need a Battle Royale. The game should evolve and change over the coming months and years, but that evolution could also come in the form of a great new Forge Mode, the return of Firefight, and new Multiplayer content. The bones are there for an incredible and long-lived experience, and we're sure that no matter the choice they make, it will be good. Personally, though, I'm insanely keen for the return of Firefight and Forge... Please, 343, please!
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