With its launch planned for the end of this year, Halo Infinite is now just about to put some Spartan boots on the ground. As we found out last weekend, 343 Industries are planning a technical test for parts of Infinite's free-to-play multiplayer. They'd initially said it could kick off as early as this weekend. Look at that, your weekend of Halo-ing begins tomorrow, in fact. The first technical preview for Halo Infinite begins this Thursday, July 29th.
As 343 had previously explained, this technical test (a precursor to the tests they usually call "flights") will be focused on Infinite's new AI Spartans. Teams of four human players will be getting dropped into Bot Slayer matches against AI players on three different maps. "The Bots still have their quirks, which is why we’re flighting them, but they certainly aren’t pushovers. Be prepared," 343 say.
In the recent Inside Infinite post, creative lead Joseph Staten explains the four bot difficulty levels (Recruit, Marine, ODST and Spartan) and how they're designed to get smarter and more tactical, not just land shots more often.
"Some more examples of Bot behavior: ODST and Spartan Bots will effectively dodge grenades and rockets (Recruits and Marines will not). All Bots use equipment, and higher-level Bots will Grappleshot to you to finish you with a melee kill (I’ve seen them do this with Energy Swords which is amazing and terrifying). Bots keep track of power weapon spawns and sprint to claim them. But most importantly: Bots are fair; we don’t change their health and damage values per difficulty level; they just get smarter and more resourceful the higher you go."
Aside from that, players will also be able to take Weapon Drills for a spin and take a look at the interface for Infinite's planned battle passes. 343 have said they're looking for player feedback on how Halo Infinite's combat feels generally. "How do you feel about player movement, weapon balance, equipment, etc.?" They ask. They also mention looking for feedback on maps, the Weapon Drills, and navigating menus.
The players in this case, are Halo Insiders, mind. As with their tests for the Master Chief Collection over the course of last year, access goes first to verified Spartan-likers. You can still find out how to sign up as an Insider if you'd not yet, though it sounds like selected players for this test have already gotten an email to let them know they're in.
In the meantime, we do know a bit more about some important Halo Infinite bits. For one, the free-to-play multiplayer will also be cross-platform and have cross-progression for PC and Xbox players. 343 also don't want to stress players out with limited time rewards so the battle passes will be permanent, meaning you can come back and work on them whenever.
Halo Infinite launches this holiday season, though we don't have a specific date just yet. This weekend's technical test runs from tomorrow, July 29 through Sunday, August 1.