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1.The Infamous Delay
Let’s start with the obvious: the initial delay of the game. Even if Halo Infinite makes the new release date, nobody can deny that this hotly-anticipated title is coming to us over a year late.
Now, game delays aren’t inherently a bad thing. Many of us would rather devs take the time to iron out bugs than ship something buggy and incomplete.
But Halo Infinite went from being a system-selling launch title to a delayed title that will be launching without some of the key features the game is known for (more on this later). When the devs took an extra year and are now committed to shipping an incomplete title, that’s a bad sign!
2.Issues With Outsourcing
As we said before, a delay is not bad news on the face of it. But some of the details behind the scenes can help gamers read between the lines.
With Halo Infinite, a report from Thurott attempted to shed some more light on the cause of the game’s delayed-release. And that report claims that 343 was outsourcing a lot more of this title to third-party contractors than they usually do. Allegedly, this increased outsourcing screwed up some of 343’s collaborative efforts, causing developer headaches and leading to confusion over what gameplay would actually look like.
Honestly, this tells a story: Halo is arguably 343’s flagship franchise, but they can’t be bothered to develop that much of the game on their own?
3.Bad Early Gameplay Videos
While the game delay was bad, the arguable first sign that Halo Infinite would be bad was the disappointing gameplay previews. But what was the cause of that disappointment?
It goes back to the outsourcing issues mentioned above. According to Forbes, the chief issue is that the game trailer came from the outsourced contractors, and despite saying “game engine footage,” did not show actual gameplay footage. By the time we saw actual gameplay footage, it looked markedly worse than what we had seen before.
Some of these issues may be caused by standard development problems, and the COVID-19 pandemic eventually made development that much worse. But looking back, it’s hard not to feel like we faced some serious bait and switch from 343, and that inspires little confidence about the final product.
4.343 Seems Distracted
Speaking of 343, it seems another issue is they don’t really have their heads in the game. According to that Thurrott report, 343 management was intensely focused on the development of a Halo TV show during the development of Halo Infinite.
For all we know, the eventual TV show is going to kick all kinds of ass. But the idea that 343’s upper management is focusing more on creating a good show based on a game rather than creating a good game that would get players excited for a show is downright insane.
5.No Co-Op At Launch
Some of the reasons to be worried about Halo Infinite’s launch are more recent than others. For example, 343 recently confirmed that the title will not have a co-op campaign at launch.
Now, some players may think this isn’t a big deal. After all, the game will still have a solo campaign mode, and it will have the multiplayer that the game is arguably most famous for.
Then again, playing through Halo games with a buddy has been a franchise staple for nearly two decades. And it’s coming to an end because the devs couldn’t finalize everything despite having an extra year to work on the game.
6.No Forge Mode At Launch
In addition to news about the lack of co-op, 343 dropped another bomb on players: the game will also not have Forge Mode at launch.
While 343 didn’t really put a date on the delayed co-op campaign, they were clear that Forge won’t come out for at least six months after the game launches. And this is quite disappointing because many Halo players love to create new maps and mode ideas in this virtual sandbox.
A lack of Forge also means the game at launch will be missing one of the biggest draws for a newer generation of gamers. In an era where players love to create something new in everything from Minecraft to Fortnite, taking this ability away (even temporarily) from Halo players seems like a real step backward.
7.A Very Buggy Beta
As you may or may not know, Halo Infinite is currently in beta. And so far, that beta is looking pretty buggy!
The game is currently full of bugs causing crashes, causing players to be unable to join matchmaking, and so on. For some players, there are also issues with frame rates, AMD drivers, weak melee attacks, and vanishing weapons.
Now, the 343 spin on this is that stress testing and fixing bugs is what the beta is all about. But for many players who were immensely anticipating this beta test, all of these issues might be adding up to a nail in the coffin of this popular franchise.