343 Industries are working hard on the next big Halo game, and we got our first glimpse of some proper gameplay for Halo Infinite yesterday at the Xbox Games Showcase. But since the showcase was about “just games” and “no business”, not a whole lot of extra juicy details were revealed. Luckily, the developers have given us a lot of information outside the official gameplay showcase for Halo Infinite yesterday.
Halo Infinite as a live service?
First of all, this is a pretty tricky one to describe, as Halo Infinite will not have any sequels like, say, Halo Infinite 2 or even a Halo 8. The reason being is that 343 Industries sees Halo Infinite as “the start of our platform for the future,” pointing to Infinite being the last standalone title for Halo for quite a while at least.
Speaking to the press, studio head of Halo Infinite Chris Lee said “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.”
So Halo Infinite looks to be like a sort of live service game, but not exactly. It’s weird but it seems like Infinite will be getting several major updates/expansions to the game which evolve the story and gameplay, but would instead be like complete campaigns rather than snippets of an ongoing story a la most live service games. The team has already confirmed that there will be a free ray tracing update for Halo Infinite shortly after launch.
The gameplay demo ran on PC
This isn’t exactly super exciting, as most gameplay demos these days are run on the PC platform, but I thought it was interesting and worth the note. You’d think that Microsoft would debut their 4K 60fps gameplay running on the Xbox Series X, but apparently not. The XSX version will also be able to run at 60fps and up to 4K resolution.
Obviously Halo Infinite is going to look it’s best on PC with optimal hardware and ray tracing enabled, but it’s still interesting to see.
Halo Infinite is being designed for PC
Well, more like being designed with the PC in mind, but the way 343 talks about the PC version sounds like they’re really putting a lot of focus into it. The new Halo is being developed with a new engine, called Slipspace, which will “serve as the foundation for the future of the franchise.” Obviously we already expected this, but it’s nice to see 343 acknowledging that the Halo franchise will continue to release on PC as well as console.
The official blog post states: “the technical enhancements of the Slipspace Engine are too extensive to truly get into here, but one callout is how we are now able to pack in 10 times the processing per pixel, creating the most visually rich game we’ve ever made to go with the most open and expansive environment to appear in a Halo game.”
Halo Infinite will feature a semi-open world
Touted as being “several times larger than that of the last two Halo games combined”, Halo Infinite’s demo seemed to suggest a full open world setting, but it turns out it won’t exactly be a full open world environment to explore. Though there will be “opportunities to discover hidden rewards” and even “assault Banished fortifications in brand new ways.”
It also looks like difficulty levels will be based on objectives, rather than an actual difficulty setting like previous Halo games.
Enemies, upgrades, and co-op in Halo Infinite
Lastly, Halo Infinite will feature 4-player co-op and split screen couch co-op (though it’s unclear whether this is specifically for the console or PC version). For those of you familiar with Halo Wars 2, the Banished also make a return as the main bad guys. And finally, players can find new abilities and upgrades in the world which they can explore and customize in a non-linear fashion.
So there you have it, all the details we know so far about Halo Infinite. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s certainly more than we expected, then again Infinite is due to come out later this year so we should be seeing and hearing more about in the coming months, including an official look at the multiplayer.
What do you think? Are you excited for Halo Infinite? What are you most excited about? What did you like/dislike about the gameplay changes? And which is your favorite Halo? Let us know!