The campaign for Halo Infinite has been re-revealed today in a new gameplay overview video, giving us our first look at the game’s single player for the first time since the infamous gameplay reveal in July 2020.
Halo Infinite will release on 8th December 2021 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.
Halo Infinite’s story takes a few steps away from the narrative of Halo 4 and 5, with humanity defeated by the Banished (which were first introduced for Halo Wars 2), and Master Chief leading a last-ditch resistance on the Zeta Halo. The campaign will stray away from the linear gameplay that we’ve seen throughout the Halo series to date, adopting a semi-open world design that has a blend of main mission objectives, side missions, and enemy encampments that you can find and battle.
The gameplay overview recaps this new setting, showing off a number snazzy environments and locales. The open world provides many opportunities to take on the Banished’s newly constructed strongholds. You can take these on in various ways, picking an approach in a manner that might feel a little familiar to other open world shooters.
Master Chief’s new grappling hook makes a number of appearances to grapple to enemies, grab items from nearby, grapple over to vehicles, and more. There’s also armour upgrades for short dashes and cloaking.
While it has a different tone, there are connections to the Halo 5 story, as Master Chief has to first team up with the new AI codenamed The Weapon, and seeks to find out what happened to Cortana after Halo 5. There will be some new threats to face along the way, such as the agile Skimmer enemy, a Spartan killer named Jega ‘Rdomnai, and a new foes that calls herself the Harbinger of the Truth. Master Chief’s going to be up against it…
Oh, and we got some nice callbacks to the original trailer to show some of the improvements that 343 Industries has made. Want to see what Craig looks like now? He’s in there somewhere.
After years of build up with cutscenes, the Halo Infinite campaign was revealed for the first time in July 2020 (embeded above), showing off the more open world and combat against the Banished. However, it received an awful lot of backlash for the graphical style and polish. While some of that could be pinned on the new dynamic lighting system and day-night cycle now found on the Halo ring, other parts were simply due to art direction and some lackluster character models. It also transpired that the demo, which was part of an Xbox Series X, was running on PC and not on console.
It wasn’t long until Microsoft took a decision to give the studio more time to refine and polish their product, giving Halo Infinite a new 2021 release window. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect and slow work across the entire industry, it’s clearly remained a struggle with Halo co-creator Joe Staten being brought back in to steady the ship. Even with the added time, Halo Infinite will ship without campaign co-op and without the Forge creative mode.
Further Reading: What we learnt from the Halo Infinite Multiplayer Technical Preview
What has been encouraging, however, is what we’ve been able to see and play from the multiplayer. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free to play, and people have been able to go hands on with the game through three tech preview weekends. The first of these focussed on the new AI bots in competitive slayer, while the more recent ones introduced head-to-head game modes and the larger 24-player Big Team Battle.
That delayed development eventually led to a series of multiplayer tech previews, putting various difficulty levels of AI bots to the test and (very briefly) testing competitive Slayer. 343 say that the tech preview was a success on the whole, and gave them plenty of data to narrow down and stamp out issues that it revealed. That said, the tech preview codebase was roughly 2 months old at the time that it went live, so improvements are sure to have already come thick and fast.