In anticipation for the next season, titled Lone Wolves, Community Writer Alex Wakeford and Multiplayer Modes & Systems Designer Zach Boyce posted an in-depth look at the new game modes on the HaloWaypoint, the game's official website.
King of the Hill
We say new game mode, though this one is a classic. From past Halos to childhood games, you probably already know how this one works. The game is separated into two teams, while a designated zone is marked on the map. The teams then fight for control of the hill, earning points the longer they hold it. When one team holds it long enough, they win.
Boyce expanded on the struggles of designing a satisfying King of the Hill system. Time limits proved annoying when captured last minute, for example. Instead, they opted for a Control Meter. This meter fills quickly when the hill is occupied by a team, can be paused when contested by the opposing team, and is lost quickly when the controlling team loses the ground. A hill will not change location until the Control Meter is completely filled, resolving last-second discontent.
The placement of new hills will vary from match types. Quick Play will be essentially random, while Ranked has a consistent Sequence. Players can also enable classic KOTH settings in custom games.
This is another classic game mode for the first-person shooter genre. Youve seen it in everything from Call of Duty to Star Wars. Similar to King of the hill, there are zones that two teams fight over. Except here, there are three different zones. When one zone is captured, it gets locked in and the locking team earns a point. When all three are captured, new zones spawn. First team to 11 points wins.
The trick with Land Grab, Boyce explained, is the idea of symmetrical maps. When offering multi-point modes like Strongholds on symmetrical maps, theres a pressure to follow the placement along that symmetry to feel fair. They wanted to find a more creative answer. Their answer was simple: delete the zones. This way, the focus can be on the active zones instead of diminishing to guard duty.
They specifically chose a winning score of 11 because of how it fits with a 3 point scoring system. This way, the average game will have three rotations of three zones. If one team is particularly successful, then the spawning zones will be reduced to entice a more intense final fight.
if a team is 1 point from victory, then 2 zones will spawn, if both teams are 1 point from winning then only 1 final zone will spawn and decide the match.
Last Spartan Standing
The Season is called Lone Wolves, so why all the team-based combat? Well, thats not an issue here. Last Spartan Standing is a 12 player free-for-all battle. Every player has 5 respawns total. When you get a kill, you can upgrade your weapon. The game is over when there is only one player still alive.
Designed with the Season 2 theme in mind, they decided not to have a winner based on score or time, like a standard free-for-all. This reinforced the idea of you versus everyone else.
Both in an effort to break away from the traditional, while also resolving some flaws with the format, they introduced the weapon upgrade system. By rewarding players for kills with improved weapons, they discourage players from hiding away from the action, banking on their respawns to survive the final moments of the battle. The rewards arent actually just from kills. To avoid stealing kills for upgrades, the leveling system uses the players personal score. This both made it easier to curve the weapon progress and gave value to assisting in kills, even if they didnt get the final blow.
A great deal of thought, consideration, and testing went into all of these game modes. That much is clear. Hopefully, they will feel as satisfying as they sound. Though considering all the flaws Halo Infinites multiplayer has, the quality of the combat design was never one of them.
Halo Infinite multiplayer is free to play on Xbox and PC. Season 2, Lone Wolves, will introduce these new game modes when it releases on May 3, 2022.