Halo Infinite removes weird melee quirks that didn’t make much sense

Season 2 of Halo Infinite has kicked off, bringing a slew of new maps, modes and tweaks to the game – including, interestingly, making the Warthog 170 pounds heavier. Some of the most notable changes that will change the feel of the game are in meleeand there’s a hidden change in the patch notes that’s weird in its own way: seven months after launch, Infinite is changing one of the tenets of melee combat.

This is easy to miss because 343 doesn’t really go into this in the patch notes, only noting that “‘swapped’ melee kills will occur more often now than they did in Season 1”. That is, when both players fight at the same time, more often now both players will die instead of just one.

The reason is that Halo Infinite had a deliberate twist on the business-related melee system. Essentially, if two players melee at the same time and normally kill each other, the one with the highest HP wins the encounter. Does this seem at first glance… rather unfair?

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

The counter-argument that some players would make is that this is a system that rewards players who get a few good plays before the beats start. You can see where this is coming from, but to me, if my melee attack is supposed to be killing a guy, then it should be killing a guy. It’s not like any weapon outside of the dedicated melee tools can shoot players anyway, so just running around hitting people is never going to be an especially effective Halo tactic.

Especially since this change comes with a 10% reduction in melee damage overall, although there are also buffs: the ‘grab’ to enemy players during lunges has been improved, and 343 reckons that post-melee collision is better than body. The damage reduction also put 343 in the slightly embarrassing situation of having to buff the BR melee damage, but only in Ranked multiplayer, “to preserve the Battle Rifle’s two-burst hit”. Having weapons dealing different damage in different modes is weird to say the least.

The full patch notes for Halo Infinite Season 2 can be read here. If you’re obsessed with your position, like I was in the Halo 2 days, there’s also a dive deep into the matchmaking system to take a look.

Leave a Comment