Last year, I waxed lyrical about the joy of getting an Xbox Series X. Specifically, I noted that opening a new console is the closest you can get to that Christmas-time vibe as an adult.
I still stand by that statement. And over the past year, the Xbox has been a beloved companion, a way of staying in touch with friends, and keeping me going through bleak months. But… there was something missing.
For a long time I wasn’t sure what that was, but now I understand — it was Halo Infinite.
At this point, we probably all know the rough narrative of the Series X: it’s a great console that didn’t have enough tailor-made games at launch. It’s hard to blame Microsoft entirely (you know, COVID-19 and all), but it has been strange.
Yes, there were bright points along the way (Forza Horizon and Flight Simulator to name two), but there was nothing that sparked the same connotations with the Xbox brand as Halo does.
Then the multiplayer demo dropped in mid-November and things were well once again.
At this point, I realized just how weird it was that the game didn’t arrive at the console’s launch. Could you imagine Nintendo dropping a new console without a Zelda or Mario game? It’s unthinkable.
Thankfully though, those days are over. Halo is back, pals.
Has it been a perfect launch? Not really. There’s been a lot of negativity surrounding Halo Infinite’s online progression system, especially for people dedicated to the title. For better or worse though, I’m a casual gamer. None of this has really impacted me.
I don’t dispute the pain this is causing some people and it should be fixed, but what draws me to the game is its arcade-pace, the weapon variety, and — more than anything — how damn fun it is.
Halo Infinite has this in droves.
The fact it’s also on Game Pass is a blessing. It’s been fantastic playing with friends who might not have shelled out $70 for a full game, but are more than happy to come along for some space battling when it’s included in their subscription.
Halo Infinite isn’t a perfect game, but I don’t feel that’s the point. Its publisher, 343 Industries, has stated it will be around for a decade. This means we can expect a series of updates and an ever-evolving title — something that’s happening in real-time already.
But that’s going above and beyond my core point. I’m just happy Halo is back. And just in time for Christmas, too. I missed you, bud.