343 Industries has announced that the first Halo infinite Campaign Network Co-op test for Halo infinite will be going live for any Halo Infinite players that wish to take part from 11th July. The test will add four player co-op throughout the Halo infinite campaign, as well as introduce the Mission Replay feature that was promised.
Running from 11th July to 22nd July, the public preview is available to anyone who owns the Halo Infinite campaign or has an active Xbox Game Pass subscription. To take part on console, you just need to be an Xbox Insider – simply follow the instructions listed here for that – while PC Steam players will need to register for access as a Halo Insider – sign up for that here before 5th July.
Once the beta test goes live, Xbox and Windows Store players will be able to get access by unlocking it in the Xbox Insider app. Steam players will have to receive a dedicated download code in an email.
Any combination of four players from Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and even Xbox Cloud Gaming will be able to team up for campaign co-op.
This preview test of campaign co-op will be kept separate from the main game, and so will be a completely distinct build to download. Your main game save will not transfer during the test, so you need to start a fresh campaign playthrough, but as missions are completed they will be unlocked for Mission Replay. Progress also won’t transfer back to the retail version of the game, but that won’t be true when the feature is added back to the full game.
Speaking on Halo Waypoint, the team outlined that the final version of campaign co-op will not need a separate save file, and the game has been engineered so that every player’s efforts are saved for their own individual campaign save.
“The way we are handling this is through something we internally refer to as “No Spartan Left Behind”. When players join the Fireteam and choose their save slots to play on, the game aggregates the states of all missions across those saves and sets up a world state in which any missions completed by all Fireteam members are marked as complete while any missions not completed by all are marked as incomplete.”
However, the game will also keep people roughly together on the open world map. There is a maximum distance that the full fireteam can spread out across, dubbed an “Area-Of-Operations” (AOO). At around 800 feet, you’ll receive a warning, and at 1000 feet, you’ll be killed and respawned at the nearest teammate. A bit fussy, but that’s the solution 343 decided on.
Lastly, the Mission Replay feature will work via the Tac-Map. This will now show completed missions that you can select and then choose to replay. You’ll be able to then select difficulty and activate any game modifier Skulls you or your teammates have collected. This will reset the mission and teleport you and your fireteam to that point. This includes replaying the very first mission in the game, Warship Gbraakon.
This is the latest step in 343 Industries delivering on some of the promises from the delayed Halo Infinite launch in late 2021. In the run up to the game’s release (already pushed back a year from the Xbox Series X|S release), 343 had to make certain concessions to be able to ship their game, cutting both campaign co-op and the creative Forge mode from the game and pushing them back to 2022. Not only that, but their plans for the free-to-play Halo Infinite multiplayer have also stuttered, with both Season 1 and Season 2 stretched out from their planned 3 month span to 6 months each.
It recently came out that some issues with the game, such as network desync affecting melee attacks, have not been possible to resolve as the networking team members that would be fixing it were instead working on the campaign co-op. Here’s hoping the co-op test can go to plan and they can get back to the multiplayer soon.
Still, 343 are gradually getting there, even if it’s frustrating for fans how long it’s taking. The campaign co-op will please long-term fans of the series for whom playing in co-op has been a core part of the experience. It’s also a thoroughly enjoyable campaign, with a new sandbox world design that aims to be the foundation for the franchise for years to come. In our Halo Infinite review, we said:
“Halo Infinite marks a clear moment in 343 Studios’ handling of the series. They finally have a grasp on what makes Master Chief tick, and they bring all of that knowledge to bear in often-spectacular fashion. While some issues nag, it’s clear that Halo Infinite is a brilliant new entry in the series, and one that makes this particular sci-fi FPS relevant once again.”
Source: Halo Waypoint