Halo Infinite Is Plagued With Grey And Drab Armour That Highlights A Player Divide

Halo Infinite Is Plagued With Grey And Drab Armour That Highlights A Player Divide
Screenshot: Microsoft / Kotaku

For a game with an ostensibly deep wardrobe, Halo Infinite’s player base sure loves to wear the same clothes. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it seems like everyone in 343 Industries’ buzzy first-person shooter is either all-grey or a samurai.

Halo Infinite, which saw its free-to-play multiplayer portion released on November 15 for Xbox and PC, features a raft of cool cosmetics, par for the course for a game based on such a model. Thing is, most of the coolest offerings are locked behind a paywall. And those you can get for free aren’t exactly anything to write home about.

There are two ways to pay your way to fancier armour. You could progress through the seasonal battle pass, which grants better, and more frequent, rewards if you pay $US10 (A$14) for the premium version. Or you could peruse the cosmetic store, where items can be purchased piecemeal for anywhere from $US7 (A$10) (a bundle including a weapon skin, an armour skin, and a post-match stance) to $US20 (A$29) (a weapon skin plus some armour modifications). The store resets weekly. And, crucially, most weapon skins you buy are limited to use on a specific set of armour.

If you’re hewing to the “free” part of free-to-play, you have ten colour options for your Spartan’s default set of armour: blue, brick, brown, cyan, forest green, grey, orange, sage green, violet, and yellow. You can earn extra colours by hitting levels 11 (stone green), 41 (a muted lilac), 56 (stone grey, rather than grey grey), 66 (another grayscale tone, one flecked with brown spots), and 76 (a colorway called “noble portal,” which is…grey with a tan chestplate) in the free version of the battle pass. But for the most part, the free colour options aren’t particularly good.

A better world exists. You just have to believe. (Screenshot: Microsoft / Kotaku) A better world exists. You just have to believe. (Screenshot: Microsoft / Kotaku)

Halo Infinite’s second set of armour, the Mark V [B], is only available to those who pay for the premium battle pass. But a bonus third set, the samurai-inspired Yoroi kit, was a prize up for grabs for those who played Halo Infinite during its monthly event. The event armour currently only available in one free colour: binding shadow, which is [drum roll] really just a synonym for “dark grey.” (No, I refuse to recognise that hideous American flag pattern as a legitimate paint job.) There’s also an option with some colour in it, but it’s designed to look worn and faded — meaning that drab colours are still prevalent.

That everyone wears the same stuff makes a certain degree of sense — free stuff is always gonna be more popular than not-free stuff — but there could be a tactical rationale, too. Much of Halo Infinite’s architecture is grey-toned. By rocking a similarly drab suit of armour, you won’t stick out nearly as much as players who wear, say, the cyan, the yellow, the orange, or that eyesore of an American flag suit.

Grey isn’t the only drab tone to dominate Halo Infinite’s player base. If you complete all of your weekly challenges in any given week, you unlock a customisation option. Last week, the prize was an off-white colorway called “willow tea.” Your weekly slate of challenges is totally randomised, but the capstone challenge — the one that actually grants you the reward — is the same for everyone, and last week’s was a doozy: earn five killing sprees in Fiesta.

You can strategize around earning killing sprees (five kills without dying) in typical Halo modes. In Fiesta, a mode that spawns everyone with a randomised loadout, it’s impossible to predict what equipment your opponents have, meaning last week’s capstone was entirely contingent on luck. If you succeeded, you’d obviously want to show off your reward, a badge of honour for all to see. (Guilty as charged.) No wonder it’s everywhere this week.

Scroll through the colour options for the standard Mark VII armour and you’ll see a slew of forthcoming options, replete with instructions on how to get them. Among the crop, there’s the vivid-red scarlet wake (“stay tuned for more details”), the striking-white bleached bone (“stay tuned for more details”), and the blue-hued arctic void (“available in the store now!”). Some day, we may have a veritable Crayola box of Spartans prowling the battlefields of Halo Infinite. But for the time being, don’t expect anything more than a sea of grays.

Comments

  • I do wonder how much of it is choice and how much is people not realizing their options because the UI/UX is kind of rubbish.

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