Infinite Joy

Edition 50 - November 15th to 21st

Good morning gamers. Welcome to the 50th Edition of the Weekly Recon.

Halo Infinite is finally here as Halo and Xbox celebrated their 20th anniversaries in style. Free to play video games continues to be the new standard as WB Games announced a new fighting game. Unfortunately, it was not a week of sunshine and rainbows in the gaming industry.

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Halo Infinite - It’s here...sort of

Last Monday, Xbox and Halo celebrated their 20th anniversaries. To celebrate, 343 Industries released Halo Infinite’s free multiplayer mode early on Xbox and PC. Halo Infinite officially went gold on Friday, and the full game (multiplayer and campaign) will be released on December 8th.

The Halo Infinite launch was well received as there were 272,586 concurrent players on Steam, which is a record for any Xbox game. According to the Halo team, events with free content are the core of their multiplayer seasons. Starting this week, players will be able to earn 30 free tiers of Samurai themed content to equip on their Spartans. The next free events are Winter Contingency, Cyber Showdown and Tactical Ops. 

Challenges and Progression was a major issue at launch but 343 Industries listened to player feedback and quickly pushed out an update. Players will now earn 50 XP by completing games as part of the daily challenge and the challenge progress that was not being tracked has also been resolved. Players who sign-in between November 23rd and November 30th will earn the Ultimate Reward: The Sigil Mark VII Visor.

The Co-op Campaign won’t be available until May 2022 at the earliest. According to Eurogamer, 343 Industries head of creative Joseph Staten said the mode has been delayed. The co-op campaign is now expected to be released in Season 2, while Forge mode is something we’ll likely get in Season 3.

There's A New Fighter In Town

A few weeks ago we reported on a rumour that claimed Warner Brothers was working on a Super Smash Bros. inspired fighting game called MultiVersus. Well guess what? It’s real! WB Games hit the industry with a TKO last week as they officially revealed their new fighting game. MultiVersus is a brand-new, free-to-play platform fighter that lets you team up with or against your friends using some of the world’s most iconic characters from DC Comics to Cartoon Network. Use unique co-op abilities, find your favourite fighter combos, and save the Multiverse!

Launch Day Character Roster

  • Arya Stark, Batman, Bugs Bunny, Finn The Human, Garnet, Harley Quinn, Jake The Dog, Shaggy, Steven Universe, Superman, Tom and Jerry, Wonderwoman and Reindog (an original character for MultiVersus). More characters will be added in the future. 

Additional Game Details 

  • Developed by Player First Games for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles and PC. Releasing worldwide sometime in 2022. 

  • Features 1v1 battles, 2v2 tag team matches and a 4-player free-for-all. There is also a ranked competitive mode with dedicated servers.

  • Includes stages themed around the characters legendary worlds with each character being voiced by their original acting talent.

  • The game features a season-based format (battle pass system) with advanced customization options through perk loadouts, character skins and emotes. Each character has a unique ability set that stays true to their origin, including different fighting styles and animations. 

  • Includes full cross-play support and dedicated server-based rollback netcode.

Esports Corner

🥇 Congratulations to OpTic Gaming for being the Halo Championship Series Open #1 Champions.

Halo Esports is Back

Earlier this year 343 Industries promised to establish a well developed esports scene for Halo Infinite. The game is now officially out and 343 wasted no time revealing their competitive roadmap for the 2021/2022 Halo Championship series. The inaugural season will host 8 in-person events and various online tournaments (hosted by Faceit) throughout the year, starting with the HCS Kickoff Major in December and concluding with the Halo World Championships in October 2022. In an effort to reduce the barrier of entry, the event formats are built using an open entry philosophy where players compete in various events to gain points and make their way up the competitive ranks (Amateur, Amateur Elite, Semi Pro and Pro). Teams from North America, Mexico, Europe, Australia and New Zealand will compete for more than $3,000,000 in prize pool plus the addition of crowdfunding. Halo events will be simultaneously streamed across Twitch and YouTube, and on all Halo channels. 

New President In Town

Riot Games is more than just a game developer and publisher, they’re also one of the most successful esports tournament organizers in the world. Their portfolio of competitive games include powerhouse titles such as League of Legends, League of Legends: Wild Rift and the new kid on the block, Valorant. Helping the company succeed in their esports endeavours is newly promoted President of Esports, John Needham. He formerly served as Riots Global Head of Esports but will now be in charge of overseeing the company’s entire esports division, as well as supervising Riot’s future plans for competitive gaming. His overarching goal is to have “three fully sustainable ecosystems and 250 million fans” by 2025 and he is currently working on a project to streamline their broadcasting capabilities by implementing Remote Broadcast Centers across the world.

Game Review - Halo Infinite Multiplayer 

Spartans rejoice! Halo Infinite Multiplayer has finally dropped and we quite literally cannot stop playing it. The gameplay experience quenches a thirst for the nostalgia of the original games, while offering enhanced features that appeal to Halo veterans and newcomers alike. It is, by far, the best looking Halo game to date and features incredibly smooth gameplay and gunfight mechanics. The maps and modes fit the Halo ecosystem well but they do start to feel limited and repetitive during lengthy gaming sessions. Our biggest complaint so far was about Halo’s shockingly slow progression system. Although we’re happy that 343 quickly addressed the issue, more fine-tuning is needed to make the grind feel rewarding. Despite some of its small nuances, we believe that Halo is absolutely one of the best multiplayer shooters this year and will remain at the forefront of the genre as long as 343 continues to listen to community feedback and introduce a healthy stream of new and consistent content. We give Halo Infinite Multiplayer a score of B.

Gaming Roundup

  • The Saints Row reboot has been delayed to August 23, 2022. The announcement states they’re working hard to create the best Saints Row game yet and releasing it early would compromise the quality.

  • Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is working on “unannounced titles” not related to the Yakuza or Judgement series. Yakuza: Like A Dragon has been confirmed but there is an ongoing dispute with the lead actor Takuya Kimura’s talent agency.

  • Rockstar Games issued an apology on Friday regarding the launch of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. Rockstar says updates to all the games are on the way and they will improve going forward.

  • Call of Duty has delayed the deployment of their new Warzone map. Warzone Pacific will now be available on December 8th for those who own Call of Duty: Vanguard and then free for everyone else starting December 9th.

  • More than 1,000 Activision Blizzard employees have signed a petition to remove Bobby Kotick as CEO. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kotick knew of sexual-misconduct allegations for years and did nothing.

  • Forza Horizon 5 surpassed 10 million players in their first week making it the best game launch in Xbox and Game Pass history. According to Daniel Ahmed, the last 3 instalments took 2 years, 9 months and 1 week respectively to hit 10 million players.

  • According to a Blizzard job listing, an Overwatch mobile game is in development. The job listing also includes Diablo and Hearthstone but those titles already have mobile games.

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