Next month, Halo Infinite is getting a welcome infusion of new content for its second season. But for all the forthcoming multiplayer maps, modes, and cosmetics, developer 343 Industries is taking something out of the campaign: the scorpion gun.
The inclusion of the scorpion gun, also referred to as the “tank gun,” made for something of a key exploit in Halo Infinite’s campaign, which came out last December for Xbox and PC and is the first in the series to feature something of an open-world structure. Basically, early on, you can pick up a portable version of the scorpion tank’s devastating gun, and just wreak havoc on the Banished. Gameplay designers from 343 recently told IGN that its insertion into the game was unintentional, a vestige from prototyping.
For now, if you want to use the scorpion gun, you still can — after you make your way into the “open” part of Halo Infinite’s open world. There’s an anti-aircraft cannon overlooking an enemy base; interacting with it gives you the scorpion gun. You won’t see a prompt to pick it up, as you would a standard weapon, but the thing is there. It takes up one of your weapon slots. It has unlimited ammo. It kills most enemies in one hit. It has more splash damage than most weapons in the game. You can probably imagine how helpful such a weapon is both for speedrunners and for folks looking to complete “LASO” runs (a sprint through the campaign on the highest difficulty with all skulls, or gameplay modifiers, turned on).
“Heads up for speedrunners and achievement hunters — the tank gun glitch in campaign will be fixed in Season 2,” Halo senior community manager John Junyszek wrote on Twitter last week. “Feel free to do what you like with this piece of information.”
For the most part, the Halo community has done with that piece of information what it does with most pieces of information: scream into the void.
“It’s so fun to play with,” one player lamented in one of the buzziest posts on Halo’s subreddit from the past week. In response to Junyszek’s original remarks, players roundly criticised the move, calling it “tone deaf,” a “bad decision,” and a “wrong call.”
Some also pointed out that Halo Infinite has no shortage of “actual” glitches that negatively affect the game, so they see it as a bit of a slap in the face for development resources to be dedicated toward something that, for all intents and purposes, isn’t hurting other players. Most fans just want to use it to blow up NPCs. It’s not like players are using it online to rack up dozens of easy kills. (That’s what the mangler’s for.) And if 343 really wants to nullify it as an easy route for earning trophies, players have suggested it could just introduce a rule whereby picking up the scorpion gun means you can’t earn any achievements.
All told, the decision to remove the campaign’s unintended money gun has resulted in a contingent of players asking burning questions like “…why?” and “why tho?”
When reached for comment, representatives for 343 Industries did not immediately have anything to add.
Prominent members of Halo Infinite’s speedrunning and glitch-hunting communities have weighed in. Generalkidd, the popular Halo YouTuber, urged 343 Industries to reverse its decision. My favourite idea comes Remy “Mint Blitz,” a Halo player known for breaking Infinite in all sorts of fun ways — like launching himself across the map with the grappling hook — who suggested that 343 keep the scorpion gun but move it elsewhere on the game’s open-world map, thereby forcing the community to try to find it all over again.
It’s also not like Halo Infinite’s scorpion gun isn’t backed by historical precedent. For 2004’s Halo 2, you could find a “scarab gun” in the rafters of an early-game level. Though it looked like a standard-issue plasma rifle, it fired the cannon from the Covenant’s city-busting scarab fortress tanks — a steady stream of lime-green energy that pretty much demolished everything it hit. In terms of payload, it was like wielding an automatic rifle that unleashed a ceaseless stream of miniature nukes and never ran out of ammo. Fun stuff!
When the Halo 2 remaster came out a decade later, the scarab gun wasn’t patched out.
So I find myself largely in lockstep with the “why tho?” camp. Sure, the modern era of Halo may be neater and tidier with all of these edges sanded down. But it’s a hell of a lot less interesting.