Halo Infinite Technical Preview First Impressions

Recently there was a technical preview flight for the upcoming sci-fi FPS game, Halo Infinite. We had a good opportunity to get a hands-on preview of the multiplayer before the open beta, which starts October 1st. Here’s what you can expect before jumping in.

For starters, there were a few issues on the PC version via Steam. This is a technical preview, meaning that there are bugs and glitches that need to be resolved. Most importantly, there are crashes and GPU issues that also plague the software.

There is no fullscreen option, but instead defaults to borderless window mode. This results in performance drops, even for higher end GPUs like the 2080 Ti from reports. Unfortunately, there are more issues than those listed, but hopefully they are sorted before launch. That aside, improved textures and lighting at ultra settings on PC are immersive and highly detailed.

Besides the technical aspects of the flight, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer feels amazing to play. Your standard issue assault rifle matches the same feel from Halo Combat Evolved.

Gameplay is much faster than the original trilogy of games. This is a divisive statement, since many players might prefer the normal controls akin to Halo 3, as opposed to the changed variants.

Pick up weapons are still scattered throughout the maps, and can gain you a tactical advantage. New weapons such as the Skewer, Ravager, and Heatwave add more ways to kill opponents in the heat of battle. Even more so, different armor abilities like Overshield and Active Camo can usually be found central in the map. They can be used on command but are one-time uses.

Map design has somewhat changed to be more vertical over the previous games. Vaulting returns from the last two entries to help with traversing and jumping to new landscapes.

During the flight there are 4 maps, with an additional map for the open beta for Big Team Battle. Bazaar features some of the most convenient places for fighting and traversal. You can fight in the center with the fruit stands, the outer perimeters, underground in a tunnel, and so on.

Doing some light parkour will catch your opponents off guard when scaling building awnings. Obviously when vaulting, you’ll be left defenseless for a moment, leaving your opponent open for chaos.

Fans of the series LOVE customization for their Spartan. During Gamescom 2021 Opening Night, Joseph Staten, Head of Creative for Halo Infinite, stated that each Spartan is different with their own individual journey. So naturally, you can customize your visors, armor, colors, weapons skins, vehicle skins, and even your AI model.

Items for customization can be earned either through completing the Battle Pass, or a seasonal pass with tiers. They can also be purchased through the in-game store.

For the flight, players were given 3,000 credits to spend in the shop for bundles, battle pass, and other cosmetics. There is an option to buy more credits, but i’s not accessible until the full game launch.

As with any Halo game, music is one of the most important aspects for players. Infinite doesn’t let down in this regard at all, with even more amazing tracks. You’ll still get your traditional Halo choir theme, but you’ll hear rock music upon starting and ending matches, as well as mid match.

One of the most noticeable differences in sounds come from the grenades hitting the ground. If you’ve never been exposed to Halo 5: Guardians, the grenades hitting the ground sound a lot different than previous entries, and sounds very glassy. Distant gunshots and explosions are good and immersive, and will sound even better in Big Team Battles to really set in a battlefield setting.

All in all, Halo Infinite looks promising. It’s shaping up to be a great free-to-play multiplayer game with tons of possibilities. The only issues right now are PC optimizations, outside of the server issues.

Halo Infinite launches December 8th on Windows PC (via the Microsoft StoreSteam), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass.

Halo Infinite Technical Preview was previewed on Windows PC using a review code provided by Xbox Game Studios. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

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