Halo Infinite’s gameplay reveal was the big thing that many people were tuning in to see at last night’s Xbox Games Showcase, and it delivered a compelling look into a new Halo game.
What it maybe didn’t do was really wow us with visuals. It looks good, it looked sharp, but did it look totally next-gen? Like it was running on Xbox Series X?
Well… it turns out that it wasn’t. PCGamesN reported that during a Q&A session following the reveal, a 343 developer told press that “The game was captured from a PC that is representative of the experience that players will have on Xbox Series X.”
In fairness, that’s not going to hold back Halo Infinite’s visuals. Running the game on a top-of-the-line PC is going to be as good as a next-gen console or as close that it really doesn’t matter right now.
However, that point does tie in with the next detail, which is that this was an older build of Halo Infinite and clearly still a work in progress. That could explain why distant fog pops out and into existence as Master Chief ascends in the lift, and the less than amazing close up appearance of the Banished War Chief Escharum. The absence of raytracing from the game is something that will be addressed with an update sometime after the game’s launch.
This was revealed by Alanah Pearce after speaking to the developers, which you can see here:
It’s always worth remembering with these things that games often change and improve dramatically over the final few months of development. It’s at this stage that the final optimisations are put in place, that effects are improved or tweaked to improve performance on the various target hardware platforms. For public reveals, those will often have been created and optimised specifically for their showing, branching off from the main path of development to a certain degree and lavished with polish beyond the state of the rest of the game.
But with Halo Infinite drawing some criticism online for its visuals, this wasn’t quite the best foot forward that 343 Industries could have put, and things always start to seem murky when games aren’t running on specific hardware and then there’s some kinds of clarifications needed.
Even so, the game looks and sounds ambitious with an open or semi-open world design and 343 Industries talking about how the game will be a platform for the future, with new stories from the Halo universe told within Halo Infinite instead of new games.