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Games you should play while waiting for Halo Infinite

During July, Microsoft streamed the Xbox Games Showcase to amp up excitement for the Xbox Series X (and Xbox Series S). The video premiered quite a few noteworthy titles, but out of all those games, Microsoft was riding on Halo Infinite to be the de facto crowd pleaser. Instead, audiences laughed, jeered, and created the "Craig the Brute" meme. Microsoft and 343 Industries heard the complaints and decided to let the game cook some more, shoving the release date back to 2021.

Originally, Halo Infinite was supposed to launch alongside the Xbox Series X, serve as the console's killer app, and increase console sales. Because of the delay, that is no longer an option. But Halo Infinite being delayed won't stop you from checking out some other sweet games in the meantime. In fact, this extended waiting period gives you even longer to go through all these must-play titles.

Titanfall 2

Video game development is a learning process, as demonstrated by Respawn Entertainment. The studio's first title, Titanfall, was a well-received game that tried to weave a campaign narrative into its multiplayer-exclusive matches. The result was less than impressive, but Respawn attempted again with Titanfall 2.

Titanfall 2 is an improvement on Titanfall in almost every way. The action is faster, the Titans are more varied, and the campaign is a surprising sleeper hit that mixes sublime (and at times unique) level design with incredible characterization. How do you humanize a 50-foot robot with an assault rifle the size of a pickup truck? Play Titanfall 2's campaign to find out. And, at five to eight hours — depending on your skill level — the single player mode doesn't overstay its welcome.

Of course, Titanfall 2 also delivers on the multiplayer front. Plenty of maps, weapons, game modes, and most importantly, a sizeable and active player base. You can participate in regular deathmatches, bounty matches, and special rounds where you are restricted from (or to) piloting your Titans.

Titanfall 2 is essentially Halo but with parkour and giant mechs. It's hard to ask for a better combination.

Destiny 2

Halo Infinite might be in the hands of 343 Industries, but Bungie started the franchise. After Microsoft and Bungie parted ways, the latter company created yet another space opera FPS: Destiny. Unlike Halo, Destiny was designed as an MMO; an experience players could enjoy with their friends for years on end while exploring new dungeons and equipping new weapons and armor.

That game's sequel, Destiny 2, launched in an incomplete, but competent, state and has since been improved. The developers have introduced numerous updates (and plan even more) to keep players coming back, all with shooter mechanics based on those Bungie popularized with Halo. Each update, season, and event gives players yet another reason to return, whether it be to participate in Olympic-themed competitions or to hoard pistols while mumbling "Moon's haunted." But, if you're only in it for the competitive multiplayer, Destiny 2 will keep you occupied with its robust and thriving player population.

It's only fitting that Bungie would help keep you engaged while you wait for the latest entry in the franchise the company started.

Star Wars: Republic Commando or Space Hulk: Deathwing

Master Chief might wear iconic armor, but he is far from unique. The video game industry is full of armored heroes, many of whom band together in elite squads. After all, one man cannot wage war alone, not even Master Chief. However, two games that star armored heroes stand out.

If you want to team up with AI commandos for a single player experience in a galaxy far, far away, you should pick up Star Wars: Republic Commando. As the name suggests, the game puts you in the boots of a Republic Commando. And, since you're a clone trooper, you need to think tactically and command your AI teammates while also blasting droids from here to Hoth. Think Star Wars meets Rainbow Six.

However, if you are in the market for a multiplayer-focused game where you fight off hordes of aliens with your fellow space knights, check out Space Hulk: Deathwing. The game takes place in the Warhammer 40K universe where you control Space Marine Terminators in a crusade to wipe out an alien infestation. The game can be played alone, but the ally AI leaves a lot to be desired, so you are best off purging alongside some friends.

You can't go wrong with either game, especially if you are a fan of their respective properties.

Advent Rising

Have you ever wondered what Mass Effect would look like if its art style was replaced by a semi-cartoonish take on Halo's aesthetics? Wonder that strange question no more thanks to Advent Rising.

When Majesco initially published Advent Rising (the game is currently published by Ziggurat Interactive), the company had big hopes for the title. Majesco wanted the game to serve as part one of a trilogy, and the developers did everything they could to create a gem. The results were not a polished gem, but a gem nonetheless.

Advent Rising doesn't deliver too much in the gameplay department. RPG mechanics are skin deep, and gunplay isn't impactful. However, the game's soundtrack and narrative — penned by Orson Scott Card — keep most audiences going until the anticlimactic end that reads, "To be continued."

Now, here comes one big caveat: On release, Advent Rising was a flop, even though Majesco bet all of its money on the game. But, Advent Rising is by no means a bad game. The original Xbox version is, but not the current PC port that runs much smoother. Since Advent Rising is an old game, your mileage may vary depending on your computer specs, but it is still worth checking out.