Halo Infinite's new Fractures seasonal events aren't living up to their ultimate cross-synergy potential.
A bit ago I predicted that Halo Infinite's Fracture events would lead to cross-overs with other Xbox Studios franchises. For instance, one season could see new cosmetics inspired from franchises like Fallout or Doom cross over into Halo. It's not the best lore-friendly solution, but 343i themselves says the Fractures are slices of alternate timelines of what could've been.
Instead, 343i is using Fractures to try and split the Halo universe in unique ways. We saw early iterations of Fractures in Halo Master Chief Collection with Season 8's odd cosmetic design choices that added myth-inspired armors to the game including Nordic and Greek-style cosmetics. These didn't fit Halo (and still don't), and it's a big immersion-breaking seeing shields and Valkyrie helm-wearing Spartans in Halo 3.
There's just two main problems with 343i's current approach to Fractures.
- The events don't feel meaningful - Early on, 343i said the Fracture events would tell a story. They really don't. These events are just timed windows where players get to try a new playlist and earn rewards. Fractures are like very limited affairs similar to Destiny 2's Festival of the Lost. They aren't bigger experiences that tell a story like a Destiny raid.
- Cross-overs could spark engagement and synergy with other franchises - Fractures offer a unique opportunity to meld non-Halo content into Halo. It would probably be a lot of work bringing in Fable, Gears of War, Fallout, Doom, or even Dishonored-inspired weapons and gear into Halo Infinite, but it could be worth it in the long run. Fortnite has had massive success treating itself like an advertisement billboard for pop culture content and Microsoft could create its own little self-contained Metaverse Lite with this kind of cross-game cohesion in Halo Infinite. After all, Microsoft is jumping into the metaverse.
This is a F2P, monetized, live service game that's accessible on a myriad of platforms so it's a perfect starting point for synergy.
What's strange is that 343 Industries is almost promoting crossover Fractures in Halo Infinite.
A recent Halo Waypoint update from Joe Staten shows some interesting-looking armor that could clearly be inspired by games like Fallout. Everyone loves Halo armor, and Mjolnir battle gear has become quintessential and iconic in the sci-fi space. Why not kick things up a notch and go all-in on the cross-over, alternate reality timeline with content lifted from other franchises?
For now gamers will have to wait multiple months for smaller "events" that are billed to be much more exciting than they actually are. Cross-overs could help spark excitement and give players a reason to jump back in and stay with the game to unlock specific cosmetics.
Maybe one day...
Halo Infinite's season 2 Lone Wolves begins May 3, 2022. Campaign co-op will not launch day one with Season 2, and has been pushed back to release "sometime" in the seasonal window.
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