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Halo Infinite could see the return of a divisive multiplayer mode

Halo Infinite could be preparing a new multiplayer mode to add to its ranks alongside mainstays like Slayer, Capture the Flag and Strongholds, as a recent leak suggests that Warzone, Halo 5's large-scale frag-fest, could be returning with a battle royale twist.

As reported by Wccftech, the details come from notable Halo news and leaks outlet Halo Hub on Twitter. The popular insider account tweeted that it had received screenshots showing a settings menu, some of the modifiers within suggesting some battle royale-esque elements such as drop pods. However, Halo Hub stated that it doesn't expect the mode to release anytime soon.

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Naturally, it's always worth saying that leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt, which certainly applies to the details above. Even though the screenshot above is certainly convincing in its appearance - accurately showing Halo Infinite's font, menu layout and background - it could just as easily be a mock-up.

That said, it's not the first time we've heard rumblings of a battle royale style of mode making its way to Halo Infinite. Before the game launched on Xbox Series X/S and PC last year, dataminers were able to find evidence of a potential future battle royale addition in the game's code. It's entirely possible that Infinite's take on Halo 5's Warzone could be the fruit bore from that evidence.

Further leaks have suggested that Certain Affinity, a studio that's worked on Halo content in the past, could be heading up a battle royale project for Halo Infinite. With evidence mounting, then, it seems that we could be on the cusp of learning whether or not the popular multiplayer shooter will receive its very own battle royale mode.

Analysis: does Halo Infinite need a battle royale?

It's easy to think that Halo Infinite doesn't necessarily need a battle royale component in order to succeed. The game's suite of stalwart multiplayer modes have kept players coming back since launch, but it's worth noting that player numbers have been steadily dwindling in the following months, with the uninspired battle pass, inconsistent progression and 'FOMO' (fear of missing out) centric events causing players to bounce off and find their shooter fix elsewhere.

A mode as substantial as a battle royale could prove to be a tonic for Halo Infinite's player woes, then, potentially giving Spartans a reason to queue up en masse for a slightly different flavor of Halo.

However, if Halo 5's Warzone is the blueprint for this as-of-yet unannounced mode, that does give us some cause for concern. In Halo 5, Warzone pitted three teams of eight against one another and a suite of AI-controlled enemies for control of a large map.

In theory, it sounds excellent, but the mode's ties to consumable cards and heavy microtransaction implementation muddied what could have been a superb diversion from the usual ranked Slayer playlists.

Implementation of a battle royale mode into Halo Infinite could also prove to be a logistical nightmare. Would the mode's progression tie into the already existing battle passes, or have its own progression system entirely? Could the game's engine handle a large volume of Spartans, mixed in with AI opponents and vehicles? How would you balance certain obtusely powerful armaments in a game mode that typically kicks you back to the lobby upon death?

If a Halo Infinite version of Warzone (which we imagine will be called something else, thanks to the existence of Call of Duty: Warzone) is in the works, then, it'll have to account for all this and more, while being fun enough on its own merits to veer fans away from the modes they're already comfortable with.

Halo Infinite's Season 2 battle pass, due to begin in May, 2022, has had very few details revealed for it thus far, let alone a substantial new mode. As such, we're inclined to believe Halo Hub in that if a Halo Infinite battle royale is in development, it certainly won't launch anytime soon.

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