Master Chief is one of gaming’s most iconic characters. Standing at about seven feet in height and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, he has the stature of a superhero. His exploits on the battlefield support his size – a one-man army capable of reversing the war wave. We have seen how resourceful and powerful he can be in story sequences and commercials, but many of these dynamic actions do not go over to when the player controls him. He can swing big hammers, steer any vehicle and run and shoot with quick grace, but so can most combatants in the game. Previous Halo gameplay has not made him look like the super soldier we imagine. Enter Grapple Shot, a new gadget in Halo Infinite that adds dynamic layers to this series’ beloved battle and makes Master Chief look like a weapon-sucking superhero.
The grip grip’s most basic use gives the Master Chief a boost in mobility. Launched from an arm-mounted unit, the gripper rockets through the air a good 40 to 50 feet, and the second it connects to a surface, the Master Chief pulls forward at the same speed. Master Chief can use this device to reach heights he never could. He can also use it a lot like Spider-Man swinging on a netline to cover the ground faster. Once the gripper is connected to an object – such as a tree, for example – the Master Chief can cut the connection in the middle of the movement to propel himself forward a large distance. If he does not cut it, he will be pulled to the grab point, which usually allows him to grab onto a ledge to climb up.
I can not stress how fun Halo Infinite’s grip-based movement is. It completely changes the way you look at the environment and how Master Chief can interact with it. No mountain is too high for him to climb. Yes, you still cover the ground faster in a ghost or even a warthog, but the grip is the more satisfying way to move around.
The grip stroke is surprisingly versatile, especially when used for combat. If you see a weapon that is out of reach, or perhaps an explosive container, a carefully placed grip shot will pull that object to you so you can use it right away.
Enemies with shields often require relocation or specific weapons to be used against them, but another carefully placed grab shot will stun these enemies and cause them to raise the shield in a split second – plenty of time to light up their bare bodies.
Enemies without energy shields can be seen as moving gripping points. If you can get hold of them, the fight will quickly become intimate. In single player, the gripper can shock enemies so they can end with a melee. In multiplayer, the grip is best used to drop unsuspecting opponents from behind, but can create exciting face-to-face moments, almost like a melee version of a high-noon showdown.
Long story short, the grab shot adds dimensions to the Master Chief, and using it successfully requires skill from the player. We have always seen this green giant as a super creature, and thanks to this practical device, he really fits that shape now. Halo Infinite is an excellently crafted game and I think 343 Industries handled most of it with the care and attention that fans expect. However, the studio’s best work is the grapple shot, an innovative element that really takes Halo’s proven gameplay to exciting new locations.