Halo Infinite might be the most important game in the franchise since the first title. That's because despite a strong original trilogy and a well-received fourth entry, the franchise hasn't had the best of times in recent years.
Between Halo 5's nonsensical campaign and the Master Chief Collection's rocky launch (and subsequent rebirth), fans are more desperate than ever for a new Halo.
The good news is that they'll get one in 2021, with Halo Infinite being delayed from its initial 2020 launch window. Here's all we know about the game.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection could lose constant updates upon Halo Infinite's launch - September 17
Courtesy of the latest dev update on Halo Waypoint, the Master Chief Collection will soon get its final seasonal update of the year with Season 8 this Autumn. It's looking likely that constant season updates won't be as doable given how massive Halo Infinite is expected to be, and just how many resources will need to be dedicated to the game.
Instead, smaller MCC updates will be offered as and when they're ready.
Credit to PC Gamer for bringing this to our attention.
343 Industries listening to feedback from first Technical Preview, promises to make changes - September 8
The official Halo Waypoint blog stated that 343 Industries will be processing player feedback from the first Halo Infinite Technical Preview and will improve on the game based on the data collected thus far.
343 has listed down the positive things players have said about Halo Infinite's Technical Preview and feedback they will get into, which ranges from small issues like weapons that could have better sound effects or wanting a sprint button to bigger problems like bot AI and wanting the Combat Sensor to be more like older games.
Currently, 343 is in "shut down mode" so they can fix any bugs or glitches that players encountered in the Halo Infinite Technical Preview but promised to work on the feedback, though did state that some issues could take longer than others.
Unverified Halo Infinite Reddit post potentially reveals reasons behind Forge and co-op delays - August 23
A post on the Halo subreddit might have given us a lot of details surrounding the circumstances of Forge and Campaign co-op delays for Halo Infinite. If true, it gives us a lot of food for thought leading up to the Halo Infinite release.
Halo Infinite Forge and Campaign co-op delayed - August 20
In a development update, the Halo Infinite team gave some details on what to expect from the Holiday 2021 release of the game. Joseph Staten, Halo Infinite's Head of Creative, stated that the Halo Infinite Campaign co-op and Forge modes would be delayed until Seasons 2 and 3 respectively.
Halo Infinite Battle Royale Rumors Intensify - August 10
Insider Tom Henderson added more fuel to the Battle Royale fire. Henderson said he's not sure when Halo Infinite Battle Royale mode might debut but believes it's been in development for years now. He also said the BR mode would tie in with campaigns, perhaps as an incentive for people to buy the full package.
Multiple Campaigns and Battle Royale? August 2nd
Release Month Revealed? - July 29th
It sounds like Halo Infinite's release month may have been revealed - by a donut advert written in Spanish, of all things.
Beta And Previews Begin Next Weekend - July 24th
Halo Infinite's previews and technical test will begin next weekend for Halo Insiders. You can find out how to sign-up and see the full collection of details here.
Infinite Won't 'Make or Break' Halo Franchise - June 30th
Speaking to IGN, head of Xbox Phil Spencer said the following:
“I don’t know if this is what you want me to say or not, like when I think about the community but I’m just being honest, I don’t think about it that way, like the future of the franchise."
“Halo will be here 10 years from now. Is Infinite the lynchpin on whether it survives that long? Absolutely not."
“The game has such a rabid fanbase and such a history and lore that it’s just an IP that’s going to be with us. We don’t take that for granted, but I definitely believe in my core that that is true.”
Halo Infinite Will Feature Bots In Multiplayer - June 21st
343 Industries wants the Halo Infinite multiplayer to feel less daunting, and so is adding in customizable bots for players to practice with as part of the game's 'Academy'.
Find out more in the multiplayer blog post.
When Is The Halo Infinite Release Date?
It was recently revealed that the Halo Infinite Release Date would be Wednesday, December 8, 2021, making it the perfect gift for Xbox One or Xbox Series X owners.
Some fans are a bit worried about the Halo Infinite Release Date, mostly due to the lack of previews for the single-player campaign, which has always been a big part of the series.
There's still a good number of months before the release of Halo Infinite so expect a trailer or two for the single-player campaign to come out before then.
We know that the game will launch on the Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC.
Rumours had circulated that the Xbox One generation of consoles would be dropped, but it appears that isn't the case.
But what about PlayStation or Nintendo Switch? It's not likely to happen.
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, recently commented on how he wants to bring Halo Infinite to PS4 to create "a connected ecosystem" for players.
Currently, there is no release date for the Halo Infinite Beta, but we expect it to happen in late summer or early fall if there is one.
Halo Infinite Beta
Although we don't know an official date for the Halo Infinite Beta, we have been assured there will be plenty of chances to play it before the full launch. 343 Industries will be hosting a pre-launch "Flighting Program" for Halo Infinite, very similar to their current Halo: Master Chief Collection test made up of numerous "opt-in flights".
These opt-in flights will "start small and slowly expand out until release" according to a Halo Waypoint post.
Many are expecting a beta of some sort to make an appearance in some form this Summer or early Fall. Testing details will first emerge in July, next week.
A public beta may likely be available to those that pre-order the new title.
Halo Infinite Trailers And Gameplay
E3 2018 Announcement Trailer
Check out the multiplayer reveal below.
Check out the game's artwork below, which certainly feels like a callback to the first title.
We're expecting the game to retail at £49.99-59.99, which is becoming the standard for a AAA title.
Those that have bought Halo Infinite on Xbox One will be able to upgrade for free on the Xbox Series X.
With the game being a first-party Microsoft title, it'll also launch into Xbox Game Pass, while multiplayer will be free-to-play for all on console and PC.
Features And Changes
Thanks to a new "Ask 343" stream, we have a boatload of new info on Halo Infinite.
Here's our pick of the updates:
- The game will have a weather system, including wind, with more apparently coming in the future.
- Enemy variety differs from day to night.
- There is non-hostile wildlife to be found in the world.
- No dual-wielding.
- No playable Elites.
- Equipment can be upgraded, but in multiplayer it's single-use.
- The game is not open world, but does offer tactical flexibility.
- Different biomes confirmed, including swamps, caves, and Forerunner architecture.
- Players can go exploring, despite the structured story.
- Audio logs can be found.
In truth, there's plenty more, but we'd recommend this excellent roundup on the Halo subreddit.
Halo Infinite's story mode is set years after the events of Halo 5.
At the conclusion of Halo 5's ending, we are given a teaser of what seems to be a new Halo ring installation.
Cortana took an evil turn towards the back half of Halo 5.
The new game will take place on Zeta Halo, as confirmed by 343.
Zeta Halo was the subject of a trilogy of novels about the Forerunners, longtime players in the Halo franchise.
Humans were actually living on Zeta, as well as other wildlife (such as those seen in the original trailer), and Forerunner leader, Master Builder Faber, experimented on those poor souls in order to find a way to combat the Flood - the parasitic alien race that tends to get everywhere.
The gives ample opportunity to discover wildlife, hidden remains of humanity, and potentially quite spooky areas of the open world to uncover.
In a bizarre twist, the Banished (from Halo War 2) have arrived to create chaos. The Harbinger and Banished are working together to 'honor the will of Atriox'.
The Banished Return
The game will feature some open-world elements, allowing players to explore areas as much as they want and allowing them to tackle tasks at their own pace.
But, it's important to note that the worlds do have boundaries and limits. While it's not a linear experience, it's not open-ended.
According to associate creative director Paul Crocker, the game will have areas that can be revisited.
“The simple answer is that it takes place in a huge world that is open and expansive," he explains. “We have a storyline that pulls you through it, which is effectively unlocking certain areas. But, as you progress through it, you have the ability to backtrack and explore to your heart’s content. There is a lot to find out in the world.”
Head of Design on Halo Infinite Jerry Hook has revealed brutes will throw grunts at players in Halo Infinite.
Hook also revealed that players should expect the AI to interact with the sandbox more than ever before.
Players can see their TACMAP, giving them an overview of the world and selecting their missions and strategy.
It also shows different mission types, perhaps allowing for side missions and quests other than those included in the main story.
343 have confirmed that multiplayer in Halo Infinite will be free-to-play on Xbox Series X.
Players will be able to enjoy up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times, alongside greatly updated visuals after what was deemed a disappointing showcase in June 2020.
Halo Infinite will offer a battle pass, and it'll only offer cosmetic unlocks.
These passes also won't expire, meaning players can take their time.
Microtransactions, Customisation And Progression
According to Ryan Paradis, Design Director for the Live Team, the team wants to avoid Infinite being a "grind-machine".
"We’re not trying to build a grind-machine that burns everyone out in an attempt to get more game time from them. Halo Infinite needs to be a place where we all look forward to spending time," he explains.
The team is also promising "no loot boxes, no randomness in rewards", while also confirming that all rewards will be cosmetic only and won't affect the gameplay.
“Coloration, along with materials and patterns, will now be baked into the coating, taking the place of the primary/secondary armor color options found in prior games," the blog reads.
Scorpion Punch Armor Coating
Watchdog Armor Coating
Splinter Desert Armor Coating
Nobile Offender Armor Coating
Chris Blohm, the Lead Progression designer, confirms that there will still be in-game rewards earned through playing.
With Halo Infinite going free-to-play, it does mean that there will be some premium cosmetics, but players will still obtain tons of customization content through things like the campaign, challenges, skill, special events, legacy rewards (such as the Halo 5 SR 152 reward), the progression system, and more," he notes.
Halo 5 SR 152 Armor Coating
343 Industries wants the Halo Infinite multiplayer to feel less daunting, and so is adding in customisable bots for players to practice with as part of the game's 'Academy'.
As per a blog post:
Under the mentorship of Spartan Commander Laurette, the Academy offers players the opportunity to hone their skills and get better acclimated with the armaments and environments of Halo Infinite. Recruits will be able to dial-in their marksmanship skills at the target range or jump right into customizable training skirmishes and square off against AI-controlled bots. Training Mode lets you configure specific loadouts, deploy opponent bots of various skill levels, and practice on your own terms. Bots can also be configured in Custom Games to tailor the experience and even in fill-in roster spots for MIA fireteam members.
At present, 343 has not confirmed a Battle Royale mode for Halo Infinite.
Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC players will all be able to play with each other.
343 have confirmed that Halo Infinite will offer Split-Screen Co-Op.
Halo Infinite's Head of Design Jerry Hook took to Twitter to confirm the support of co-op and split-screen in Halo Infinite.
Hook has confirmed players will be able to play the campaign in two-player split-screen or four-player online co-op mode.
Gareth Coker, perhaps best known for his work on the Ori franchise, has a long history of working in videogames, including Minecraft content, ARK, and Darksiders Genesis.
You can check out "Set a Fire in Your Heart" below.
According to German website Xbox Dynasty, the budget for Halo Infinite is rumoured to be a staggering $500 million.