Halo Infinite campaign co-op beta tested – and it’s superb fun

Seven months after launch, Halo Infinite continues to evolve with 343 Industries embarking on an extended beta testing period for campaign co-op. This is a crucial feature for a Halo title, desperately missed on the game’s debut – and clearly a challenge for the developer. After all, Halo has transitioned from a linear shooter into an open world experience, with a vast degree of freedom for the player – and the notion that up to four players can travel the map doing whatever they please wouldn’t really make sense. 343’s solutions are constrictive – but they do work – and overall impressions are favourable.

First impressions suggest a co-op experience close in nature to those that have gone before – but only because of the nature of the opening brace of campaign chapters. These are entirely linear in nature and 343’s strategy in keeping players together is simple: there are certain ‘points of no return’ – such as passing a door that permanently closes behind you, or kicking off a new cutscene, that reset the positioning for all players. With that in mind, I never felt that the game was artificially keeping us closer together, it felt like a classic Halo co-op experience.

Obviously, this changes in the open world simply because it has to, with 343 setting up what it calls an Area of Operation – or AOO. This is roughly defined as a maximum distance of 300 metres between players, with warnings starting to kick in at around the 250m metre mark. Once too far apart, the player furthest away from the next objective is auto-killed, spawning closer to his counterpart. The end result is that freedom is curtailed, but the fireteam is kept together, essentially forcing a focus on the next target.

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