Bungie’s Original Halo trilogy helped revolutionize console first-person shooters, but many believe that the latest version of the series – Infinite Halo – follows more trends than it sets. While there’s a standalone campaign bringing Master Chief into the open-world Zeta Halo, its free-to-play multiplayer adheres to a seasonal battle pass model with weekly challenges and a rotating showcase, drawing inspiration from the success of modern titles like fortnite. There is no battle royale in Infinite Halobut its new game mode Attrition has some clear similarities.
Attrition has been added as a headlining mode for Infinite Halothe Cyber Showdown event of; the third limited-time event since the game launched last year. Cyber Showdown is somewhat of a mix between previous events Fracture: Tenrai and Winter Contingency, as it will only be available until February 1, but only offers rewards to players who complete the associated weekly challenges. While Fracture: Tenrai included a Fiesta playlist familiar to longtime fans, the new Attrition mode feels like a unique test for battle royale mechanics in shorter matches.
How Halo Infinite’s Attrition Mode Works
The Cyber Showdown event went live on Tuesday, January 18, giving users the chance to compete for 1980s-inspired cosmetics. They’ll need a good understanding of the Attrition game mode to pull it off, and it’s a bit complicated idea compared to many Infinite Halo playlists like Tactical Slayer. Each team of four starts with eight collective respawns that function like core modes like Slayer, Oddball, and Capture the Flag. Once these respawns are exhausted, any player who dies is out of the game.
These deaths are not necessarily permanent; the Spartan leaves behind an orb containing their AI companion of choice, and their teammates can manually revive their allies if they have enough time with the orb. However, each “permanent” death leaves a team with increasingly higher odds, especially if they find themselves in a situation with one or two members remaining while the enemy team still has respawns – literally fighting a war of wear. The system encourages teamwork more than most modes in Infinite Haloas players can gang up on enemies, but lone wolves can die and leave their orbs guarded as traps.
This heightened sense of camaraderie is reminiscent of battle royales like Apex Legends Where Call of Duty: Warzone, especially when playing in duo or quad lobbies where it is important to avoid disadvantages. The appearance of a “death zone” during matches adds to this familiarity. It works similarly to end circles in other battle royale games, starting at the outer edge of a map and slowly encroaching to force enemy teams into conflict.
Attrition is a good sign for Halo Infinite’s growth
Many basic tenets of battle royale staples are present in Infinite Halo‘s Attrition mode, though it’s unclear if an official battle royale will be introduced. Rumors were dismissed by developers such as 343 Industries community manager Brian Jarrad in December 2020, but information datamined from the game’s closed technical preview in July 2021 included a Infinite Halo audio clip referencing the term “battle royale”.
For now, it’s safe to say that no true Battle Royale mode will be introduced anytime soon. Developer 343 Industries just released a patch for the 12v12 Big Team Battle playlist, and connection issues could be significantly worse when approaching dozens or even hundreds of players at once. Attrition is an interesting experience in the meantime, as it creates a unique combat rhythm and draws more attention to teamwork using the 4v4 maps from Cyber Showdown’s Event Playlist.
This pacing could be improved in the future, assuming 343 Industries introduces a permanent Attrition playlist. The Death Zone appears late in a match and moves slow enough not to be a huge consideration, but taking this battle royale mechanic is a smart way to ensure games don’t last forever. Hopefully more creative modes and maps will be introduced soon, perhaps also using ideas such as Death Zones, to ensure Infinite Halo retains its current momentum.
Infinite Halo is available now on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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