One of the biggest draws of the new version Halo Infinite Season 2: Lone Wolves is the Battle Royale game mode, Last Spartan Standing. In it, 12 players compete to be the last one standing in a free-for-all style melee.
Battle Royale modes have captivated the gaming space ever since PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (commonly referred to as PUBG) and Fortnite became two of the most successful games of all time. Since then, games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone have capitalized on the craze. There are, however, a few first-person shooter franchises that haven’t yet tried their luck in a battle royale, where Last Spartan Standing comes into play.
But the release of Halo’s own iteration of the Battle Royale genre begs the question: is it fun?
Halo Battle Royale: Last Spartan Standing
It’s important to note that Last Spartan Standing is a game mode. It doesn’t reinvent Halo. It’s not its own isolated property with new game mechanics. It’s just a new take on the classic Halo free-for-all. This may already disappoint some potential players and turn them away. If you’re expecting Warzone but Halo, Last Spartan Standing isn’t it.
That said, let’s talk about Last Spartan Standing. At the moment, the game mode is only available on the new map, Breaker. Twelve players charge in with five lives each. When you have no more lives, you are eliminated and you can leave the game or continue watching. You start with weaker weapons that improve as you kill, assist, or collect lost experience when a player is eliminated.
Here are the weapon loadout progressions:
- Level 1: Disruptor Pistol and Sidekick
- Level 2: Mangler and Disruptor
- Level 3: Assault Rifle and Mangler
- Level 4: commando rifle and assault rifle
- Level 5: Bulldog Rifle and Commando Rifle
- Level 6: Combat Shotgun and Bulldog Shotgun
The only other notable gameplay mechanic is that there is a “Danger Zone” characteristic of the classic battle royale fence ring.
And that’s about it. There are no looting weapons and armor (except for grenades and other minor upgrades scattered around the map as is the case in most Halo game modes), there is no there are no vehicles, no teammates to respawn, and no Warzone-esque gulag.
In many ways, Last Spartan Standing feels more like a Call of Duty-style shooter – where you have to kill enemies with a whole arsenal of different weapons to win – than a battle royale. On top of that, it’s similar to the standard Halo FFA, except you have limited lives. While trying it, I never felt threatened by the slowly tightening noose of the danger zone. In fact, the only way I can see it impacting gameplay is if end players choose to hide from each other instead of looking for a fight.
The gameplay itself was decent. You almost feel like hiding to preserve your precious lives, but you run the risk of finding yourself in a final duel with only a meager gun to your name. Instead, most players opted for a balance where they would claim part of the map and seek out carefully selected fights.
This may be a commentary on map design and Breaker spawn points more than anything else, but it seemed like most combat was concentrated in a small area of the map. Sometimes it seemed impossible to find players. Then, when you finally find an enemy and engage them in honorable combat, three more enemies rush in to shoot you in the back.
All in all, it almost seems hypocritical to call Last Spartan Standing a battle royale. That’s not to say the gameplay isn’t fun, but it certainly doesn’t have the depth of replayability of a true battle royale. Instead, I found myself reverting to other game modes after only a short time. Right now, the biggest incentive to keep playing Last Spartan Standing is completing challenges to unlock cosmetics related to the Interference Event Pass.
Conclusion: It’s fun, but it doesn’t scratch the itch for a true Halo battle royale at all.