The arrival of Halo Infinite's co-op campaign preview test means I might finally play it
The network preview is scheduled to arrive the week of July 11th
Last month, 343 Industries announced that Halo Infinite's long-awaited co-op campaign would begin its public testing phase in July. Now, we finally have a date. The Campaign Network Co-op test for Halo Infinite is due to start on the week of July 11th, 343 Industries announced last night, and will support up to four players with any combination of PCs, Xboxes and Xbox Cloud Gaming players. Thanks, crossplay.
In a blog post, lead world designer John Mulkey said that the gameplay experience "will be the same regardless of platform" during the co-op preview, although principal software engineering lead Isaac Bender added there may still be differences in graphics quality and frame rate depending on your platform of choice. Happily, the way of forming your co-op squad will be exactly the same as forming a Fire Squad over in the game's multiplayer. Once your Fire Squad is formed, you'll be able to click the 'Start Co-Op' button from the main menu, and off you go.
I'm also pleased to see that everyone's progress will count in Halo Infinite's co-op campaign - unlike Arkane's vampiric Left-4-Dead-alike Redfall, where it's since emerged that campaign progress will be tied to the host in co-op. Upgrades and Spartan Cores will also be tracked separately per player, but if one person collects a Core in co-op, then everyone will still get credit for it if they don't have it already.
"In Halo Infinite, everyone is Chief while playing Campaign Co-Op," Mulkey said. "This is in support of the goal that Co-Op allows players to play their campaigns together. All progress made is progress kept in the Campaign regardless of it being Solo or Co-Op play, so in both (much like in Halo: CE, Halo 2, and Halo 4), Chief is Chief making his way through Zeta Halo."
Personally, I'm just looking forward to playing Halo Infinite with a pal, aka Matthew (RPS in peace). We played both Gears Of War 4 and Gears 5's campaigns as a pair, and it was so much more enjoyable than playing alone. Alas, he ended up playing Infinite solo at the end of last year, so whether he'll want to play it all again is another matter. Still, I'm hopeful that Infinite's new 'Mission Replay' feature might tempt him back. Arriving alongside the co-op network test, this will let solo and co-op players go back to previously completed missions to tackle them again.
"The more open nature of Infinite poses new creative challenges that did not exist when missions were broken up into their own discreet levels," Mulkey explained. "You could simply reload that level and replay it. In Infinite, missions are locations in a much larger playspace of other mission locations. We are leaning on the Tac-Map as your gateway to interacting with individual missions."
To get yourself into the network test, you'll need to make sure you're signed up as a Halo Insider. You'll also need to have bought the game or have an active Game Pass subscription. There's currently no end-date for the network test just yet, but it should begin sometime during the week starting July 11th.