The Halo Infinite beta has finally arrived – and despite its release having been delayed several hours by a slew of technical hiccups, reactions are largely positive so far.
That doesn’t mean everything is running smoothly, though, with several players reporting framerate drops, audio issues and some pretty darn hilarious bot hijinks.
Still, this is strictly speaking a tech preview, as opposed to a bona fide beta, and 343 reiterated that fact via Brian Jarrad, Halo Infinite’s community director, who tweeted that there there are still “many steps to navigate” before the Xbox Series X game’s release come the end of the year.
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That hasn’t stopped players poking fun at the test’s unpredictable AI, though – but not for the usual reasons you might think. Being a tech preview, the Halo Infinite beta pits gamers against bots, exclusively, rather than online multiplayer opponents, and that means these automated Spartans are, for many, really difficult to fight.
So difficult, in fact, that some have reported bots moving in packs and making beelines for power weapons.
Had a blast playing Halo Infinite Tech preview against the bots @Halo At one point I swear they were running in a pack grabbing power weapons 🤣 #HaloInfinite pic.twitter.com/8wA2pez3FgJuly 30, 2021
Players have also shared clips of bots preferring to throw punches over using their guns, and others absorbing bullets while furiously jumping around the map.
I’m not sure if this is a glitch but I just got clowned on by the bots… bruh #HaloInfinite pic.twitter.com/ivvdcX9JsTJuly 30, 2021
Not everyone is finding the bots a challenge, of course, but most have praised the Halo Infinite beta for its “vicious AI” and the refreshingly-competent difficulty of what is merely a technical test, at this stage.
Brian Jarrad also confirmed the bots would get harder as the beta continues, too, tweeting that players can expect “ODST difficulty” and a new map to play on in the coming days.
Analysis: The right way to test?
As mentioned, this isn’t a fully-fledged beta for Halo Infinite – that’s expected to come later down the line – but it does represent a chance for players to get a hands-on glimpse of a hotly-anticipated game, and gives developers the opportunity to gauge feedback and implement improvements before release.
Technical previews aren’t something we see all too often when it comes to AAA titles like Halo Infinite, and players have expressed their appreciation to 343 for dry-running Halo Infinite to ensure the best possible release come the end of 2021.
Also remember this is stress testing.. not a beta. Thank you QA and everyone working on this. Multi-player is a beast and I am excited this technical preview will help set up Halo Infinite for a better launch when it does! https://t.co/5EjRMTcoQ7July 30, 2021
This won’t be the last test, either. Future previews for Halo Infinite – and indeed a full-blown beta – are expected to introduce PvP multiplayer functionality alongside more maps and modes.
There’s no word yet on when those future tests will arrive, but in the meantime, stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest updates on Halo Infinite.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.