Nope, that key art above isn’t a promo image for Wolfenstein. It’s a promotional shot for a cosmetic set of Halo Infinite armour called Eaglestrike. Pretty neat, right? Good news: The kit itself is pretty easy to get. Bad news: Your personalised version won’t look cool for months.
Halo Infinite’s second season has only been live for a matter of weeks, and developer 343 Industries has already rolled out two “events” — or time-limited playlists in which you can play to unlock specific rewards — for the free-to-play shooter. The season’s first event, “Interference,” focused on the new don’t-call-it-a-battle-royale Last Spartan Standing mode. The second, “Fracture: Entrenched,” is all about the new don’t-call-it-king-of-the-hill Land Grab mode.
“Fracture” events are essentially an excuse to add non-conventional Halo cosmetics to Infinite, justified in the lore through a bunch of stuff to do with interdimensional rifts and multiversal travel and blah blah blah. In season one, the “Fracture: Tenrai” event allowed players to unlock the samurai-inspired Yoroi kit by way of a 30-level bonus battle pass. Earning rewards in “Entrenched” works much the same way.
Like the pass for “Tenrai,” the one for “Entrenched” is free, and you can complete it alongside your standard seasonal one. Progress is earned by completing challenges affiliated with the currently active “Entrenched” playlist, which puts you into matches of Land Grab.
For the standard battle pass, completing challenges earns you XP, and earning 1,000 XP grants you a level-up. But for events, XP doesn’t matter: Once you complete a challenge, you unlock a new level and earn its reward — no need to keep track of XP or do armchair addition or any of that. (Completed Fracture challenges also earn you XP toward your standard battle pass.) Some of the challenges, like “complete one Land Grab PvP match,” are a breeze. Others, like “win one Land Grab PvP match,” are subject to the skill level of your teammates. Good luck.
The catch is that there are basically no good rewards in the first week. You can get a pistol skin pretty early on, and you get Eaglestrike itself relatively quickly too. But that’s…basically it. Cosmetics that are legit worth the grind are not available until later levels. Here are some of the standouts that’ll become available as “Fracture: Entrenched” cycles in and out of availability:
- Level 3: Eagle’s outlook, a patently ridiculous stance (that I am absolutely equipping the second I earn it).
- Level 5: The base Eaglestrike armour core.
- Levels 13 and 14: The beefy Crabshell shoulder pads for Eaglestrike.
- Level 17: Carbon Tundra, the first armour coating for Eaglestrike — this is the moment everyone rocking the armour won’t also rock the same exact colour scheme.
- Level 20: The Kerberos helmet, which looks like the sort of thing a soldier would wear in the trenches of World War 2.
- Level 29: Ultramarine Core, a delicious mahogany and indigo armour coating that I have called dibs on, sorry.
Right now, since you can only have up to 10 Entrenched-themed challenges available for any given week, you’ll hit a hard stop after hitting level 10, meaning the Eaglestrike armour won’t start looking unique among players who use it until July (unless, of course, 343 Industries makes a bunch of enticing armour coatings available in the microtransaction store in interim weeks).
“Fractured: Entrenched” is currently slated to run one week a month over the next few months. Halo Infinite’s in-game menu says the first week ends on May 30. But in a blog post, 343 says the first week ends on May 31st at 2:00 p.m. ET. In other words, the game itself does not appear to list the dozen-odd hours the event is active during the weekly reset every Tuesday — but if you fail to complete all of your challenges by Monday evening, you’ll still have some time on Tuesday mornings to knock ‘em out. Anyway, this is all incidental. Here’s the schedule as it currently stands:
- First week runs from May 24 through May 31.
- Second is from June 14 through June 21.
- Third, July 5 through July 12.
- Fourth, August 16 through August 23.
The previous Fracture event ran six times through Halo Infinite’s first season. This second one will happen six times too, the developer says, but it’s unclear when exactly past those scheduled dates in August. When reached for comment, representatives for 343 Industries did not immediately have that info on-hand.
For what it’s worth: Land Grab, at least from the matches I’ve played so far, is quite fun. It’s a bit of a twist on Halo Infinite’s zone-capture modes, like King of the Hill. Two teams of four face off on Arena maps. (Land Grab is available on four levels: Aquarius, Bazaar, the deliciously old-school Catalyst, and Behemoth, the map so irredeemably fucked that 343 Industries struck it from the ranked playlist.) At the start of each match, there are three zones on the map. But unlike other zone-capture modes, once a zone is secured in Land Grab, it’s locked and can’t be recaptured by the other team. Once all three zones are captured, three more pop up. First team to 11 points wins. I’m sure my thoughts will calcify as I end up playing more, but for now, I’m enjoying how tense these matches can get.
There’s also some low-stakes debate about Fracture armour kits that pops up every now and then in the Halo Infinite. Purists say it’s a repudiation of Halo’s longtime aesthetics. Others embrace how weird it is. Personally, I think these kits are cool in theory, if a little short on personalisation options. (I love the Yoroi but wish the available colours weren’t grey, light grey, slightly lighter grey, and slightly pinkish grey.) Plus, the prospect of Fracture events — folding in designs from anywhere or, uh, anywhen — means there’s an entire multiverse of possibilities out there for future seasons. Hey, who knows: Maybe this is how we get playable Elites.