Halo‘s multiplayer is legendary, which is why the news that the latest game in the franchise will have free-to-play multiplayer is a big deal indeed.
Many longtime gamers have memories of long nights with bloodshot eyes playing through another round of capture the flag, or slayer, on Xbox Live into the wee hours of the morning. Entire LAN parties were set up just to play the original Halo multiplayer together on Xbox, and multiplayer in Halo 3 was the big selling point of the Xbox 360.
Halo Infinite was always going to have multiplayer: It was one of the many reasons people have been anticipating a new game ever since it was announced all the way back in 2018. During the Xbox E3 presentation, however, we got the latest Halo Infinite trailer along with some multiplayer updates. Not only is the game going to have the traditional multiplayer modes, but it’s going to be free-to-play and allow crossplay between PC gamers and consoles.
Welcome back, Spartans.
Take your very first look at the free-to-play multiplayer experience for #HaloInfinite, coming to Xbox and PC this holiday.
🚨 https://t.co/u0sfs6tD9G pic.twitter.com/YTOPdjZxmP
— Halo (@Halo) June 13, 2021
In one sense, free-to-play Halo is just following a common trend in gaming today. Massive multiplayer experiences like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends are all free to play. But that doesn’t change just how big a deal this is for longtime Halo fans. There are plenty of people that love the Halo campaigns, but multiplayer is a unique experience, one that will come at no real cost at launch.
Of course, it’s likely that means there will be microtransactions hidden somewhere inside. No free-to-play game is completely free, but that’s a sacrifice plenty will be willing to make if it means we can frag with our friends just like in the old days. And while we don’t have an exact launch date just yet, Holiday 2021 will have to do for now as we wait to see what else is in store for Infinite.