The Halo series was a dominating force in the gaming world during the 2000s. The first three installments in the series sold close to 30 million copies worldwide, which is especially significant when taking into account that the games are Xbox exclusives. The Halo theme became the national anthem for boy’s bathrooms everywhere.
As a 10-year-old kid who consumed a lot of media he was too young for, I needed a piece of the action. Halo 3 was the sole reason I got an Xbox 360. Some of my best childhood memories took place within that frame of time where I got back from middle school, joined the Xbox Live party with my buddies, and loaded up Halo 3 multiplayer for some Team Slayer. I fondly remember making a goopy paper mache Master Chief costume for Halloween the same year Halo 3 was released. I did book reports on the novels based on the series. I was heavily engrossed in the Halo culture at the time, and it still holds a special place in my heart.
Now, I don’t know if it’s my own nostalgia getting the best of me, but I think Halo has definitely lost its magic. The series has aged like fine wine, if the wine were to age like Benjamin Button. Halo had a waning popularity through the 2010s which caused it to lose a certain amount of relevance. The recent games haven’t been bad, they just haven’t been able to hold a candle to the high point between Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Soon enough, the Halo franchise began to reside in the shadow of Call of Duty’s success. It started to feel like the two games were trying to be more like each other: Halo introduces a sprint feature and then they go to space in Call of Duty. Halo 4 wasn’t that bad of a game but most of the time I was playing it, it didn’t feel 100% like a Halo game.
Call of Duty had the luxury of switching between Modern Warfare and Black Ops as a way to maintain everyone’s attention and keep things interesting. The lukewarm reception to Halo 5: Guardians sort of sealed the Halo legacy coffin in my mind. It grossly undersold when compared to the other games in the franchise and had little-to-no relevance in the gaming world. The series I held in such high regard in my early life has been replaced by whatever Activision is limping to the barn with.
Now comes Halo Infinite. It’s obvious that 343 Industries sees Halo Infinite as a revitalization of the Halo franchise by adopting a traditional look and taking inspiration from the golden age of the original trilogy. This game is guaranteed to become a hit for next-gen gamers because of the amount of press it is receiving, the nostalgia grab of the game’s traditional look, and the adherence towards popular gaming trends. The cat’s out of the bag that Halo Infinite will feature a sandbox environment and free-to-play multiplayer. These are all well and good but there is one vital thing that hasn’t been announced yet and is on everybody’s mind: Halo battle royale.
I believe that if Halo Infinite were to include a battle royale mode, it could come close to the success of Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Halo is built for battle royale with its built-in shield feature, equipment options, armor appliances, and decent-sized arsenal of humans and Covenant weapons. Similar to Call of Duty Blackout and Call of Duty: Warzone, a battle royale map for Halo could include tons of iconic locations from PvP multiplayer. Imagine if Blood Gulch (Halo: Combat Evolved), Zanzibar (Halo 2), Valhalla (Halo 3), and Sword Base (Halo: Reach) were all locations of a vast battle royale terrain you could drop into from the skies. It would almost be too good to be true.
It wouldn’t be shameless trend-hopping to include battle royale in Halo Infinite. It’d be exactly what the fans want. The Halo community is fully prepared to accept a battle royale mode with open arms. Fans on Twitter go wild at times by treating tweets from the Halo page as cryptic clues that act to confirm battle royale.
(Did Taco Bell just confirm Halo BR?)
I want to get excited about new Halo games again without having to treat the Master Chief Collection as the only way to get my fix. I feel like there are many out there who feel the same way I do, and this is why Halo Infinite needs that sweet sweet battle royale. If it doesn’t have it, I guarantee the game won’t be as successful.