If there’s one thing that got us excited during Microsoft’s Xbox Series X reveal event a few weeks back, it was the long awaited announcement of Halo Infinite. While rumours have been flying around for months about the sixth main game in the series being a launch title for the Series X, it wasn’t until Microsoft officially confirmed the news during the live event that we let out a cry of joy. That turned into a cry of pain with the news that the game has now been delayed to next year.
Developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios, the first-person shooter is shaping up to be one of the must play games of 2021, with the eight minute gameplay trailer starring everyone’s favourite armoured alien killer, Master Chief, wielding a grappling hook and blasting enemies in a beautifully designed Halo ring. While we’re still a few months away from the release of Halo Infinite, here’s everything we know about the game and what to expect when it drops.
Halo Infinite is considered a spiritual reboot.
It might sound a little corny describing Infinite as a “spiritual reboot,” but it’s a neat way to keep old fans happy and entice those new to the franchise. As a post on the Halo blog confirms, Infinite is “set firmly in the future”, with “a foundation rooted deeply in the things our team and our fans have fallen in love with – the scope, the scale, the heroism and the moments of spectacle and wonder that brought players together on couches, at basement LAN parties, on Xbox Live and in eSports arenas for years.” It feels like 343 Industries really want people to connect to the game and Master Chief like they did with earlier instalments, while providing modern gameplay and graphics for newer fans.
Even the cover art is a throwback to the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, with Master Chief sporting his classic armour on a nostalgia-inspiring Halo ring.
Master Chief is the only protagonist.
A lot of people got their nose bent out of shape when Master Chief was relegated to a second tier character in Halo 5: Guardians. While Agent Locke was a nice change, we play the Halo games to kick ass as the big Chief, so it’s with great relief that 343 Industries have confirmed John-117 is the only protagonist in Infinite.
“We wanted to build a Chief-focused adventure,” said 343 Creative Director Paul Crocker. “We wanted to get back to how Halo had been in the past and how players had really embraced wanting to play as Chief.”
As far as the plot goes, all we know is the Banished from Halo Wars 2 are back and there’s a small chance Cortana might make an appearance.
Expect a massive open world with a day/night cycle.
In a first for the series, Infinite will allow for open world exploration. 343 Industries is talking up Infinite as “the biggest and most ambitious Halo game ever created,” featuring a Halo ring twice the size of the last two games combined, which is huge. Not only will you be able to explore every nook and cranny of this brand new world, but there’ll also be a day/night cycle, so expect night-time battles illuminated by plasma bursts. Don’t worry about the open world interfering with the main campaign either, with 343 Industries’ Chris Lee telling IGN that the upgraded space will still feature a compelling story.
“I would think about it more like kind of delivering on that promise we’ve had from the past”, he commented. “There’s a lot of open gameplay in those previous games, but they’re always in these linear levels. This time players will have the freedom to explore the ring. But we are telling as story with a beginning, middle, and end that we want to carry the player through as you go.”
Master Chief comes equipped with a grappling hook.
One of the biggest takeaways from the trailer is Master Chief sporting a cool looking grappling hook. Along with the addition of this kick-ass piece of machinery, 343 Industries promises a slew of new vehicles and gadgets for you to employ in your battle against the Banished. There will also be a new upgrade system implemented to help you gain access to new tools and abilities quicker and easier than in previous instalments.
Split screen co-op is back.
Listening to the feedback of gamers who were disappointed by the absence of a co-op mode in Halo 5: Guardians, 343 Industries have brought it back for Infinite. As reported by GamesRader in a roundtable discussion with 343 Industries, the company claimed that they “will have split-screen and we will have co-op when we launch Halo Infinite.”
Along with the classic split screen co-op, Infinite will feature a number of online multiplayer modes that will be free-to-play and support 120FPS, which is excellent news and sure to go down well with fans of the online portion of the game.
This could be the last standalone Halo game for a decade.
In what may come as a shock to many, 343 Industries have no plans to make another Halo game anytime soon. The developer wants to use Infinite as a base to build on the world with Halo related titles and more online content. As studio head Lee explained in an interview with IGN: “Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future. We want Infinite to grow over time, versus going to those numbered titles and having all that segmentation that we had before. It’s really about creating Halo Infinite as the start of the next ten years for Halo and then building that as we go with our fans and community.”
It’s not gonna be this year.
While we were under the impression that Halo Infinite would launch at the same time as the Xbox Series X, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a delay to the game’s launch. 343 Industries have shared that with the shift to working from home for employees, the completion of Halo Infinite has been disrupted. Studio Head Chris Lee has stated that “it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.”
In good news for Xbox Game Pass holders, you will also be able to purchase Infinite through the subscription service on the day of its release. “In addition to games form across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first-party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch,” confirmed Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
Halo Infinite will be released on Windows, Xbox Series X and Xbox One.