Halo Infinite just killed the Xbox Series X – Reader’s Feature

A reader is less than impressed by the Halo Infinite gameplay demo and explains why he won’t be getting an Xbox Series X at launch.

Most people know about the concept of the killer app – a game so good that you’re willing to buy a brand-new console just to play it. Sometimes they appear years after a console first comes out but there have been plenty of examples of launch games that fit the bill, from Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild to Halo: Combat Evolved. Well, Halo Infinite is the exact opposite of that: a game so bad that it’s put me off even considering buying an Xbox Series X, at least for the foreseeable future.

Most of you reading this have probably seen the footage already. Footage we have been waiting months for (years, really) and which not only looked terrible but explained nothing about how the game works. Microsoft refused to call it open world even though that’s exactly what the footage implied it was. So if it’s not, why isn’t it? Is it because the world is actually really small? Or is it lots of small maps with linear sections as well, maybe a bit like Metro Exodus?

The most important question is why are you keeping things like this a secret, four months before the game just came out? Do you think Sony is suddenly going to whip up an open world Halo clone in four months to copy you? Or are you embarrassed about what the answer is and want to let people imagine it’s better than it is for as long as possible? And why wasn’t the multiplayer shown? What possible reason was there for keeping that back?

So many questions, some of which were answered in awkward little quotes the day after. Like the demo actually running on a PC and the  game being some kind of games as a service thing that will be constantly updated but never get a sequel. Like GTA Online, I guess?

All that and I haven’t even got to the graphics. Everything just looked like an unremarkable Xbox One game. No-one who didn’t know would guess it was a next gen game, which is exactly what many people thought would happen when Microsoft insisted on making the game cross-gen. All the talk of super-fast frame rates and ray-tracing (it’s coming later in a patch!) has amounted to nothing and the idea that the Xbox Series X is the world’s most powerful console has been turned into a bad joke.

The whole Xbox Games Showcase was nothing short of pathetic: hardly any other gameplay footage, no surprises, and nothing even close to a killer app. I’ve heard some blame the coronavirus but a game like Halo takes five years or so to make. Even if things have slowed down since March was this really all they had to show for all that work? In a generation that Microsoft has released less games than ever.

And if the coronavirus did somehow have such a debilitating effect (doesn’t seem to have affected Sony) why not just delay the console and game until it’s ready? That could well benefit Microsoft, if the PlayStation 5 launch is compromised by rushing it, and it would avoid this disaster of a showing they’ve had this week.

But Microsoft has no intention of doing anything so sensible. Instead they’ve made terrible decision after terrible decision, to the point where there’s still no decent Xbox Series X games to look forward to in the immediate future, that aren’t also going to be on PlayStation 5, and literally no reason to buy the Xbox Series X.

As far as I’m concerned that Halo Infinite demo was so bad it’s killed my interest in the console and, given all their many mistakes over this generation, killed my interest in Xbox in general.

By reader Danse


This Reader’s Feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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