Best Of 2021: Big Team Battle Is Halo Infinite At Its Peak
I've thoroughly enjoyed basically all aspects of Halo Infinite's multiplayer since it launched in November, but the Big Team Battle mode specifically is the highlight for me. When Microsoft first announced that Big Team Battle would be returning in Halo Infinite, I was excited, as some of my favorite memories over the years in Halo have come from Big Team Battle. Now that I've played BTB in Halo Infinite for many hours, I'm having even more fun with it than I originally imagined, and it's exciting to think about how 343 Industries might grow and evolve it over time.
The best part about BTB for me is how chaotic it is. BTB is where Halo's trademark "sandbox" shines the brightest. Win or lose, something incredible happens in just about every match, and a big part of that comes down to Halo Infinite's new weapons and equipment. In particular, the Grappleshot is first an effective way to move across the map quickly, with style, and strategically to avoid and get the drop on enemies in surprising ways. The Grappleshot is especially handy and well-suited for BTB maps because the environments are so big. It's ridiculously fun to swing from ledge to ledge, and on more than one occasion, the Grappleshot has saved my life after plummeting off the map only to live to fight another day by grappling back to land.
Beyond the fun and flashy traversal techniques it allows for, the Grappleshot lets you grab vehicles or game objects like the flag in Capture the Flag, or even act as a harpoon gun of sorts to zip over to an enemy and smack them with a well-placed melee. The Grappleshot accentuates the overall Halo Infinite gameplay flow, and in my experience, it never negatively disrupts how a match might play out.
Another thing I enjoy about Halo Infinite's BTB are the maps. There are only three right now, but they are excellent, and my favorite is Fragmentation. A gigantic, sprawling map that is clearly inspired and influenced by Valhalla and Blood Gulch, Fragmentation hits all the right notes and is smartly designed to funnel players into specific places for maximum carnage while also providing enough divergent paths for sneaky, skilled players to maneuver to get the drop on enemies.
I am also enjoying BTB's new mode, Stockpile. Sure, matches where people fail to play the objective can be annoying (something that's true of all objective-based modes). But by and large, I have had a good time in Stockpile and have enjoyed the intensity of carrying seeds back to base and stealing from the other team. When a team works together strategically, Stockpile really shines and has me excited for what other new modes 343 might be cooking up for the future.
In general, that's why I am so optimistic about Halo Infinite's future. Whereas some games release in a shoddy state with bugs and other issues, Halo Infinite multiplayer hit the ground running. There is something so alluring about booting up a BTB match and not having any good idea about what's going to happen but knowing it will be satisfying in the end. The sheer amount of possibilities for what can happen in a BTB match boggles the mind, and it's this formula that makes me think I'll be playing BTB for a long time to come. Like many others, I hope to see the XP and progression systems improved over time, but Halo Infinite's multiplayer is excellent right now and should only get better and more exciting as time goes on. Hail to the Chief!