To follow Halo Infinite closely is to subject yourself to constant emotional whiplash. One day it’s on the top of the charts. The next, it feels like all of social media is calling it a “dead game.” Or maybe the developer adds a ton of cool stuff to the game…and then breaks a ton of other cool stuff…and then un-breaks the stuff that was broken? Yeah, it’s a wild ride. Yesterday, developer 343 Industries rolled out a patch purporting to fix (most of) what was broken by another patch earlier this month, meant to herald the first-person shooter’s second season.
Released on May 3, Halo Infinite’s second season, called “Lone Wolves,” introduced a handful of new modes and cosmetics to the content-starved game. But the patch for the update changed the game in ways that irked Halo Infinite’s core fanbase. For one thing, it introduced a bug that caused the battle rifle, a burst-fire weapon that’s been integral to Halo for decades, to jam up. The developers also quietly removed a handful of skill jumps — traversal methods around levels that aren’t immediately obvious to most players, meaning they’re essentially shortcuts used by those who are either dedicated or knowledgeable.
That battle rifle error is now fixed, 343 says. (Curiously, 343 noted that the patch fixed repeated fire of “semi-automatic guns” in the game, but I haven’t heard of any other weapon aside from the battle rifle jamming.) Earlier this month, Halo senior community manager John Junyszek confirmed that the jamming was indeed an unintentional bug, but the studio has yet to publicly detail specifically how it happened or why it took several weeks to roll the error back. Representatives for 343 did not respond to a request for comment.
More crucially, yesterday’s patch restores a handful of skill jumps that were removed from four maps: Aquarius, Bazaar, Live Fire, and Streets. Yes, the so-called “pizza jump” — where you can vault off a pizza shop’s awning to get into an adjacent building — is back, a restoration of easily one of the most popular map shortcuts in Halo Infinite. On Twitter, Alexander “Shyway” Hope, a Halo esports commentator and analyst who’s known for illuminating how skill jumps work, noted that most of these shortcuts feel “exactly the same as they used to.”
OK. Here are the skill jumps that were removed from Halo Infinite, restored w/ the latest patch.— Shyway @ FORCECON ✈️ (@Shyway) May 25, 2022
As far as I can tell, all but the Aquarius ledge feel exactly the same as they used to.
Extremely happy to see this, thank you 343 🥰 pic.twitter.com/7ESh6xD3xI
Hope also pointed out that 343 did not restore every jump that was removed. For instance, an electrical box on Live Fire, which players once used as a shortcut to reach the central part of the map, is purely cosmetic now.
But on the flip side, some jumps that were briefly purged are even easier to see. A narrow ledge on Aquarius, for instance, now has a yellow pipe next to it. Without the pipe, a casual player could look at the ledge and immediately write it off as part of the visual background. But with the yellow indicator, that player’s curiosity is stoked. It’s Video Games 101. You see a bright yellow thing, you wanna jump on it. It’s all part of that eternal developer quest for balance: ensuring that the game remains fun for the most devoted fans without alienating casual players in the process.
In this week’s patch notes, 343 simply said that “Various skill jumps that relied on small props or thin ledges have been restored to the following maps” without explaining further. I expect players will spend the coming days and weeks hunting for all of the minor changes the studio may have introduced.
This week’s update also adds a number of minor changes. In the campaign, the “scorpion gun,” an exploit that gives you access to an unlimited-ammo tank cannon, is restored. (Speedrunners, rejoice!) And, for the dozens of us who actually wear this season’s new Rakshasa armour kit in multiplayer, your leg should no longer mysteriously vanish at the start of each match.