The Halo Infinite technical preview went live last weekend, and we had a blast trying all of Master Chief’s new toys, including the sick new grappling hook. But there are plenty of changes to the Halo formula, both good and bad.
While Halo 5: Guardians doesn’t have a great reputation due to its lackluster campaign, it had the best gameplay in the entire Halo franchise. So how does Halo Infinite compare? And how drastically did they change the game to bring it back to its roots?
Let’s talk about which game has the better gameplay between Halo Infinite vs. Halo 5 Guardians, and what the big changes are coming to the new Halo title.
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Halo Infinite vs. Halo 5 Guardians: Movement
One of my favorite things to come out of Halo 5: Guardians was the versatile movement. You could slide and even use your thruster pack to dodge in any direction. Unfortunately, most of these Spartan abilities aren’t featured in Halo Infinite. There's a slide maneuver, but it’s not very impressive and almost seems pointless. Halo 5: Guardians mastered a Spartan’s true movement capabilities, as they were depicted in the books.
Needless to say, I’m disappointed by the movement mechanic in Halo Infinite. However, Halo Infinite has a few neat gimmicks up its sleeve, such as the grappling hook. It seemed like a great mechanic to use in an open-area campaign, but I didn’t find it that useful in multiplayer. That’s mostly because you’re leaving yourself open when you are swinging across the map, and it, therefore, requires a high learning curve to use it tactically and efficiently.
The movement abilities featured in Halo 5: Guardians could theoretically come back in the way of Equipment in Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite vs. Halo 5 Guardians: Equipment
The biggest change in Halo 5: Guardians was removing the equipment and replacing it with natural Spartan abilities, like Spartan Charge and ground pound, which tied into the versatile movement. However, since Halo Infinite removed those abilities, it replaced them with the traditional Equipment gameplay mechanic from previous Halo titles.
Halo Infinite features equipment like Active Camo, Overshield, Grappleshot, Drop Wall, Threat Sensor and Repulsor. That’s what we’ve seen so far, at least. I am sad we don’t have some of the natural abilities from Halo 5: Guardians, but Halo Infinite’s take on equipment brings me back to the good ol’ days of Halo 3.
Seeing Active Camo and Overshield as traditional equipment instead of simple pickups was a badass turn for those two power ups. The Grappleshot is wholly unique to the franchise and completely game changing in what it’s trying to do. Drop Wall is a modified version of the Bubble Shield from Halo 3, while the Threat Sensor is exactly what it sounds like -- nothing revolutionary. The Repulsor, however, is interesting. On top of deflecting explosives and bullets, it can give your jump a little boost, which Halo fanatics are going to love for trick jumps.
The Equipment in Halo Infinite adds way more variety to the gameplay, especially in multiplayer, than the few Spartan abilities that Halo 5: Guardians featured.
Halo Infinite vs. Halo 5 Guardians: Gunplay
Both Halo Infinite and Halo 5: Guardians feature extremely fun gunplay, but neither games are perfect. Halo Infinite’s gunplay feels more impactful given the sound design, the way the guns look and the way enemies react when getting hit.
However, Halo 5: Guardians lets you aim down the sights of your weapons for a more realistic experience. My biggest issue with Halo Infinite is that it doesn’t feel like you’re aiming down the sights of the gun that you’re holding. There’s a quick snap to the gun’s sight, and it looks flat instead of three dimensional. I am enjoying the gunplay more in Halo Infinite, but I hope the look and feel of the scopes in Halo Infinite are adjusted in the coming months.
The developers also cut out assassinations, so meleeing people in the back isn’t as stylish or cool anymore. However, the HUD in Halo Infinite looks a lot cleaner than in Halo 5: Guardians, which is always a welcome improvement.
As someone who loved the gameplay in Halo 5: Guardians, there seems to be some regression in Halo Infinite. At the same time, there are many new and returning features, like Equipment, that add a fresh mechanic into play.
It’s hard to tell if Halo Infinite is going to be better than Halo 5: Guardians from a small sampling of gameplay. Regardless, Halo Infinite is fun and exciting to play. If the developers add thrusters as equipment and some range to the slide, Halo Infinite might win me over. But right now, I’m stuck between the two titles.
We’ll have to see how Halo Infinite fares against Halo 5: Guardians when it launches sometime later this year.