September 27, 2022

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

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The award for finally making me like Halo goes to … the grappling hook


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Before Halo Infinite, I wasn’t a fan of the Halo series. I’ve always found it boring. This happens to me a lot — games that others love, I just bounce off of. But in the runup to Halo Infinite, I started building up my expectations. Infinite looked fun, and that was largely due to one reason: the grappling hook. It turns out that I was right to get excited. The grappleshot, as developer 343 calls it in Halo Infinite, is fantastic, and it is key to unlocking the joys of Halo for me.

Bungie’s Halo games always had weapons that are fun to shoot. That was never a problem, and I enjoyed that aspect of all Halo games. In hindsight, I think the issue was what happened between those gunfights. The pace of Halo was too monotonous for me. Infinite solves that problem with its open world, but that alone isn’t the solution. It’s not enough to just give you a space to lumber through as Master Chief. Instead, 343 ensured that it was fun to get around the world of Infinite through the use of the grappleshot.

So now you can go from a battle into exploration mode without losing much momentum. And I think one serves to build up anticipation for the other.

Of course, the grappleshot is also incredible in combat. That is due largely to Halo’s physics system. I love running out of ammo and having to grapple a needler off the ground from 20 yards away. But it’s also deeply satisfying to swing in and out of danger like a 1,500-pound Spider-Man. Other games have done the grapple hook, obviously. But that doesn’t make it any less effective in Halo Infinite.

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