Halo Infinite’s first limited-time event, Fracture: Tenrai, is now live with exclusive challenges and rewards for players to grind through and unlock. While this should be a fun spectacle to get everyone engaged early on, it fails to meet the mark in almost every conceivable way.
Just days after Halo Infinite’s surprise early launch – a move that quickly toppled the competition in Call of Duty and Battlefield – 343 Industries has followed up with the first limited-time event for the millions of players flooding in.
Fracture: Tenrai is now active during the game’s multiplayer Beta, offering up unique challenges, cosmetic items, and even a fresh game mode. While all of the above sounds great on paper, this first-of-its-kind event quickly became a cause for concern.
With players already furious over the new ‘money hungry’ microtransaction model, Fracture: Tenrai only serves to highlight key issues already hindering Infinite’s cosmetic system.
From deeply unsatisfying progression to having the best rewards come at a cost, Infinite’s first event has shown exactly what the devs need to avoid moving forward.
Tedious progression in Halo Infinite
Rather than hosting a limited-time event over a set period, as most games often do, Fracture: Tenrai takes place over six different weekly stretches. Spanning from November to April, players are only able to progress through the event pass during these six specific weeks. This wouldn’t be a big issue if everyone was free to progress at their own pace.
Instead, Infinite has caps in place during each of these weekly intervals. You can only progress as much as 343 allows throughout each given week. If you want all 30 Tiers of exclusive rewards, you’ll have to keep six weeks free in total, rather than being able to grind through whenever you find the time.
This creates its own issues with the event’s samurai-themed armor. If you want your Spartan to have matching shoulder pads on either side, don’t expect to have them both right away. The first can only be accessed in January and the second in February.
Making matters worse is how you actually earn said rewards. Unique challenges are the only way forward through Infinite’s Season 1 Battle Pass, and the same now goes for the Fracture: Tenrai event pass.
From completing matches in a new playlist to earning a Killing Spree, you’re only awarded a set amount of XP for specific tasks. Winning games won’t get you any closer to your desired item, neither will playing well. You have to do exactly what the game demands.
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It’s an extremely limiting system, not one that feels at all rewarding for your time and effort.
Lackluster event rewards topped by premium cosmetics
While the progression system is enough of a headache in its own right, the exclusive event rewards on offer will also leave you scratching your head.
Of the 30 Tiers up for grabs, a whopping 16 of the total rewards consist of meaningless XP Grants and Challenge Swaps. The former, as its name implies, boosts your XP gains, while the latter lets you swap out one of the aforementioned challenges for another equally dull option.
For a limited-time event that’s intended to draw players in, there’s not a whole lot here actually worth writing home about. A few exclusive armor pieces are certainly noteworthy, but even these are dwarfed by what’s available in the store.
One of the funnier visual representations of a free unlock versus a paid store item I’ve seen pic.twitter.com/FsBFqZXKbA
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) November 23, 2021
Subjectively speaking, the best armor sets, the best armor coatings, and even some of the best profile cosmetics are locked behind a paywall during the event. The most alluring Fracture: Tenrai items cannot be earned, only bought.
In fact, there’s even an objectively better item available in the store right now. The Tier 30 unlock in the event pass awards the ‘Swordsman’s Belt’ item. Meanwhile, a premium ‘Sentinel’s Blades’ option in the store fills the same category with a more substantial look.
It’s one thing to offer a handful of alternatives for those that wish to purchase them. It’s another thing entirely to diminish the value of everything that has to be earned the hard way.
Improvements in future Halo Infinite events
Moving forward, it’s essential 343 address the shortcomings of Infinite’s first event and look to right their wrongs in the second attempt. Whatever themed event comes next, a few key changes should be implemented from day one.
First, there’s no need to overflow an event pass with useless items. Players should be excited to hop on, grind through new activities, all in attempt to unlock limited rewards. No one is satisfied unlocking a Challenge Swap during a one-off occasion that may never come around again.
Speaking of padding, stretching an event across four months may work for significant festivities, but it doesn’t fit with the scope of Fracture: Tenrai. There’s nothing here that necessitates that much time.
But if 343 insists, the least that can be done is to scrap the weekly progression caps. All it’s doing is hindering enjoyment by holding rewards back for no discernable reason.
Ultimately, there’s very little to praise in Halo Infinite’s first event.
There’s no denying the free-to-play model played a role in this outcome. But with near-unanimous backlash online, something the devs have already looked to address elsewhere, there’s no reason for events to continue with this layout moving forward.