One of the biggest draws of the newly released Halo Infinite Season 2: Lone Wolves is the battle royale game mode, Last Spartan Standing. In it, 12 players compete to the be the last alive in a free-for-all style melee.
Battle royale modes have captivated the video game space since PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (commonly known as PUBG) and Fortnite ballooned into 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 have not yet taken a stab at a battle royale, which is where Last Spartan Standing comes in.
But the release of Halo’s own iteration on 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 is not its own isolated property with new game mechanics. It’s just a new twist on classic Halo free for all. This may already disappoint some prospective players and turn them way. If you’re expecting Warzone but for Halo, Last Spartan Standing is not that.
With that said, let’s talk about Last Spartan Standing. Right now, the game mode is only available on the new map, Breaker. Twelve players load in with five lives each. When you run out of lives, you are eliminated and you can leave the game or keep spectating. You start with weaker weapons that upgrade as you get kills, assists or collect experience dropped when a player is eliminated.
These are the weapon loadout progressions:
- Level 1: Disruptor and Sidekick pistol
- Level 2: Mangler and Disruptor
- Level 3: Assault Rifle and Mangler
- Level 4: Commando Rifle and Assault Rifle
- Level 5: Bulldog Shotgun and Commando Rifle
- Level 6: Battle Rifle and Bulldog Shotgun
The only other noteworthy game mechanic is that there is a “Danger Zone” characteristic of the classic battle royale closing ring.
And… that’s pretty much it. There’s no looting weapons and armor (with the exception of grenades and other minor upgrades scattered around the map as is the case in most of Halo’s game modes), there’s 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 Gun Game — where you must kill enemies with a whole armory of different weapons to win — than a battle royale. Besides that, it just feels like the standard Halo FFA, except you’ve got limited lives. While trying it out, I never once felt threatened by the slowly tightening noose of the Danger Zone. In fact, the only way I can see it having an impact on the gameplay is if the final players opt to hide from one another instead of seeking out a fight.
The gameplay itself felt decent. You almost want to hide to preserve your precious lives, but there’s the distinct risk of ending up in a final duel with only a measly pistol to your name. Instead, most players settled for a balance where they would stake their claim on a section of the map and search out carefully selected fights.
This may be a comment on the map design and respawn points of Breaker more than anything else, but it felt like most fighting was concentrated within one small area of the map. At times, it felt impossible to find players. Then, when you finally find an enemy and engage them in honorable combat, three more enemies swoop in to shoot you in the back.
Overall, it feels almost disingenuous to call Last Spartan Standing a battle royale. That’s not to say that the gameplay isn’t fun, but it certainly doesn’t have the depth of replayability that a true battle royale boasts. Instead, I found myself gravitating back to the 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 tied to the Interference event pass.
Conclusion: It’s fun-ish, but it doesn’t scratch the itch for a true Halo battle royale in the slightest.
About the Author
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.