“Ugh, not this bucket of bolts again,” I thought the second time Installation 07’s Adjutant Resolution Sentinel mech showed up to grind my Halo Infinite playthrough to a halt. Then he killed me. Again. And again. And again. I was not owned, except I was, and I hated him for it, not least of all because it’s not even a hard, let alone fun, boss fight to get trapped in an endless cycle of failure with.
If you’ve played Halo Infinite, you probably remember Adjutant Resolution as the slowly hovering Eye of Sauron whose laser beams and plasma volleys are no match for Master Chief and his grappling hook. If you remember him at all, that is. I’m sure most people breezed right past him, especially the second time, even on Legendary mode. The Halo monitor is there to stop you from interfering with the Forerunner tech, and he’s terrible at it. Until he met me.
The first time I encountered him, everything went smoothly enough. But by the rematch, I was over confident and in a rush. While I enjoy the moment-to-moment action in Halo Infinite and consider grappling onto a Banished Banshee ship one of the highlights of my time playing games last year, I was disappointed with its campaign. The second half felt like the last few hours of a day-long drive: I was irritable, tired, and just wanted to get it over with. That gave Adjutant Resolution his opening, and he seized it with a vengeance.
During the first round, I came within inches of fully depleting his health meter, only to get shot in the back by one of his companion drones when I got greedy. Instead of making me more cautious, I tried to make up for the time wasted by playing even more risky and aggressive and was once again punished for it. Fully titled, I then continued to bash my head against the wall for what felt like hours but was probably 20 minutes at best. In any event, it was after midnight, and I was furious—at myself, at Adjutant Resolution, and at the game. None of Halo Infinite’s boss fights are great, but his is on another level.
Kotaku’s Carolyn Petit summed up this feeling perfectly on Twitter recently.
“You’re fighting a boss in a video game and on one early attempt you get so ridiculously close that you know it’s totally doable so then you spend another 30+ minutes tying it again and again and never even coming close to beating it,” she wrote earlier this week.
Of course, everyone knows that the second you get a whiff of this happening, you’re supposed to put the controller down, go to sleep, and come back fresh the next day. If it were that easy, though, it wouldn’t happen so often in the first place.
While it can happen with any boss fight, something about Adjutant Resolution felt primed for it. The second encounter takes place in a circular arena with a giant hexagonal column in the middle and smaller ones dotted around the periphery. Because you’re constantly backing up throughout the fight, it’s easy to get caught in front of them, unable to quickly slide behind cover by rolling to the right or left. His aim is often terrible, but occasionally it’s spot on, making it extra easy to get lulled into a false sense of security.
And then there’s the character of Adjutant Resolution himself. He’s British? I have no clue why but for whatever reason he sounds like the snooty butler from The Nanny downloaded into millenia-old alien tech. Borderlands bosses have made me cringe less. Plus, there’s the way that throwaway dialogue gets burned into your brain when it’s repeated ad nauseum in the heat of battle. I don’t remember how many times I had to start the fight over again, but each time, Weapon, Master Chief’s AI companion, would shout, “Oh look, he brought friends…did you hear me? He has friends!” Oh yes, I heard you Weapon.
Of course, when I finally did beat him the next day—quickly and easily on the first try, of course—there was no sense of accomplishment, or even relief. It was too late for either of those. I hadn’t just beaten a boss in Sekiro or finished a new biome in Returnal. I’d beaten a scrub who’d already scrubbed the floor with me. I don’t know if I’ve learned my lesson, but I did, at long last, finish the fight, which is more than either Adjutant Resolution or I deserved. He will not be missed.