This month we will continue our series focused on gaming on a projector and this month we're looking at Halo Infinite. Halo has been a signature game for the Xbox gaming system for several years. This game was released in late 2021 and is the 6th installment in the Halo series. It is a first-person shooter game developed by 343 industries and published by Xbox game studios for the Windows and Xbox gaming systems. It is also available on the Steam streaming gaming platform.
Normally Kam Valentine, who is our resident gaming enthusiast, does most of our gaming reviews. However, he has a PlayStation and his gaming PC is currently broken, so I decided to tackle this article since I have an Xbox Series S. While I am not a hardcore gamer, I do enjoy playing these types of games on a large projector because it's almost like a large interactive movie.
BenQ sent Projector Reviews demo samples of the X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors to write our monthly gaming on a projector articles. BenQ is deeply embedded into the gaming world. And BenQ owns ZOWIE, the maker of gaming monitors for eSports. ZOWIE is BenQ’s brand dedicated to developing professional eSports equipment. So, having a series of gaming projectors from BenQ is a win for us gamers.
For this review, I utilized the BenQ TK700 we reviewed this projector a few months ago. The TK700, which retails for $1399, is a 4K lamp-based gaming projector with a rated brightness of 3,200 ANSI lumens. The projector’s high brightness makes it an excellent option for gaming or viewing the content in a room with moderate ambient light.
Since the BenQ TK700 is targeted at gaming enthusiasts who play games like Halo Infinite, BenQ knows that response time is critical. Switching the TK700’s Picture Mode from HDR10 to HDR Game gives you access to the projector’s Game Settings, where you can switch Fast Mode on or off. With Fast Mode turned on, the TK700 minimizes the response time between the input source and the displayed image.
The TK700 has a rated input lag of 4K@60Hz: 16.67ms, 1080p@240Hz: 4.16ms, 1080p@120Hz: 8.33ms, and 1080p@60Hz: 16.67ms. In addition to low lag, the projector includes a unique game mode for FPS gaming with audio, visual, and optimized latency settings.
I played the game in 4K@60fps as well as in 1080p at 120fps. The TK700’s low input lag rivals the best flat-panel TVs which ensures that gameplay will be responsive enough for all but the most serious competitive gamer and it far exceeds the needs of a casual gamer like me.
Halo Infinite can be played in multiplayer mode with/against others in games like Capture the Flag, Four Versus Four, and Big Team Battles. While more competitive gamers, like our reviewer Kam Valentine, would probably enjoy playing against others, I'm a casual gamer so I would probably get killed pretty quickly. Therefore, I prefer to play games like this in campaign mode because it gives me the opportunity to take my time and explore the world around me.
In campaign mode, the plot is centered around Master Chief, who is a human super soldier as he battles his enemies on a ringworld called Zeta Halo also known as Installation 7 in the year 2560.
If you played Halo 5: Guardians, it follows a similar storyline where the artificial intelligence Cortana and Allied AIs (Artificial Intelligence) rebelled against their creators, the United Nations Space Command (UNSC). Also fighting against Cortana and the UNSC are the Banished, a mercenary organization made up of both aliens and humans that is led by Atriox.
The game begins in 2559 when the UNSC ship Infinity was attacked and boarded by the Banished where Atriox defeats the Master Chief and dumps him in space. Six months later, a UNSC pilot recovers Master Chief floating adrift in space. While the Pilot wants to flee, Master Chief is hell-bent on continuing the fight against the Banished.
The Chief and Pilot travel to Zeta Halo, which has been mysteriously damaged severely. While on the ring, Master Chief locates the Weapon, an AI design used to imitate Cortana to capture her for deletion. Even though the Weapon claims she was successful in her mission, she has failed to self-delete as she was supposed to. Master Chief retrieves the Weapon, and experiences visions of Cortana's memories and thoughts left as residual data.
The game’s semi-open world structure allows you to freely explore parts of the ring-world Zeta Halo setting, which are segmented off from each other and initially impassable. As you explore, you will find Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), which can be captured once you have defeated the enemies in that area. These bases serve as fast-travel points.
Other points of interest found across Zeta Halo's surface include "high-value targets" to eliminate, Marine squads to rescue, and Banished propaganda towers to destroy. Completing these side objectives earns the player Valor, which is used to earn weapons and vehicles that players can access from FOBs.
While playing the game, you will use many of the same weapons and vehicles commonly found in the other Halo games. However, the game does add new abilities not available in the previous versions such as the Grapple Shot, which Master Chief uses to retrieve items and weapons from a distance, make a quick escape, or propel himself into the enemy during a melee attack.
As with all first-person shooter games, being able to see the enemy before they see you gives you a huge advantage. I am not skilled enough to take on multiple opponents all at once, so my best strategy when playing games like Halo Infinite is to take out targets one by one or a few at a time. Since I was using such a massive screen, it was much easier to see the enemy way out in the distance. This allowed me to sneak up on my targets and take them out and quickly go back into hiding.
Also, the TK700 projector’s HDR game mode makes it easier to see opponents standing in the shadows. The TK700 includes BenQ’s Black Detail Enhancement under the projector’s Game Settings. When Black Detail Enhancement is engaged, it is easier for you to see someone approaching in the dark so you can react faster. The TK700’s HDR Game mode also refines its projected image to help disclose movements and details in dark scenes while optimizing colors.
While playing Halo Infinite, I sat about 13 feet away from my 120” screen which delivers an immersive gaming experience that would be hard to match with even a large flat-panel display. While many PC gamers sit just a foot or so from their large gaming monitors, most console gamers sit much farther away from their flat-panel TVs. This makes the experience less immersive, and it also makes smaller targets harder to see.
Another thing I noticed when playing an open-world game like Halo Infinite on a projector versus a computer monitor is other people in the house turn into spectators. As I mentioned earlier playing Halo Infinite, felt like I was the main character in an interactive movie. If anyone (i.e. my wife and kids) were in the room while I was playing, they would start telling me to “watch out,” “turn left” or “try that entrance”. They seemed as entertained watching the game as I was playing it.
Great sound is also essential if you want to be fully immersed in a gaming experience. Halo Infinite is full of sound effects which draw you into the game. This includes lots of witty banter from the Banished. Many times, you hear them long before you see them. The game supports surround sound so you can tell where the enemy is located even if they are behind you.
The TK700 has a built-in single 5-watt chamber speaker which sounded surprisingly good. However, if you are a gamer that wants to be genuinely enveloped in sound, you may want a more powerful external sound system. The TK700’s HDMI input #2 supports eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) input which can send multi-channel audio 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos from a game system to the external audio system.
I only had the opportunity to play Halo Infinite for a few days, so I only completed a couple of missions. The world is expansive enough to keep anyone engaged for several weeks. Overall, I really enjoyed the limited time I have spent playing Halo Infinite, and I look forward to continuing to explore new missions with Master Chief.