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‘Halo Infinite’: Everything We Know About Xbox’s New Halo Game

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‘Halo Infinite’: Everything We Know About Xbox’s New Halo Game

Words: Musanna Ahmed

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When will Halo Infinite come out?

Halo Infinite was initially set to be released towards the end of 2020 to coincide with the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. It was delayed due to complications from the pandemic and in response to the reception to its first gameplay reveal in July 2020, which led to vicious memes around the game's visuals and performance. This prompted the developers at 343 Industries to take more time on the game, dodging a potential Cyberpunk 2077-like launch.

According to the game's official Xbox page, Halo Infinite is now set to be released during Holiday 2021 - which translates to a launch in either November or December. It's an umbrella term used in the US for the season that covers Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas, although the release of a new Halo may as well be a global holiday itself for a lot of Xbox fans. However, we are still currently waiting for a concrete release date, so don't pencil in any time off from work just yet.

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In an interesting (and tasty) twist, it could be that a doughnut chain has confirmed that the game is releasing in November. A promotion from Krispy Kreme in Brazil, celebrating 20 years of Halo, includes text that reads: "Why wait for November?" Xbox hasn't yet confirmed a November release, but it's not denied this, either. Previous Halo games have released in November, so it could be Infinite follows their lead.

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Halo Infinite trailers

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Trailers for Halo Infinite have been steadily revealed since Microsoft first unveiled the game at E3 2018. The announcement trailer is essentially B-roll footage from different areas of the game, showcasing the various biomes and animals that we'll roll by. That is until we see a glimpse of a soldier carrying his iconic helmet, prompting us to wonder: is this the game in which we could finally properly see Master Chief's face? So far, we've never seen Petty Officer John-117 without his armour, unless you count those clips of him as a kid, or that eye shot. And we don't.

E3 2018 Trailer:

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At E3 2019, we were supplied with a longer cinematic trailer entitled 'Discover Hope' in which we are introduced to a new character, an unnamed United Nations Space Command (UNSC) pilot separated from his family. He's lost in space until he literally discovers hope in the form of a floating Master Chief.

E3 2019 Trailer:

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The following year, Microsoft premiered a gameplay trailer that looked as Halo as Halo can be, featuring all the bells and whistles that makes Halo feel so special to play. But it didn't quite look like it was made for the Xbox Series X - and by that, I'm of course referring to the infamously low-res textures and character models that became the central point of conversation around the game. Poor Craig.

2020 Gameplay Trailer:

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In 2021, fan confidence was restored with a terrific pair of E3 trailers that succinctly dug into both the story and multiplayer elements of the game. In particular, the campaign preview is enticing, offering a simple premise that will hook long-time players and easily connect with new ones: Master Chief's beloved A.I. companion Cortana has gone missing, and now it's his mission to find her. Get the hankies ready.

Campaign Preview Trailer:

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Multiplayer Reveal Trailer:

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Where will Halo Infinite be set?

Speaking with GamesRadar+, 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee confirmed that Halo Infinite will take place in Installation 07, aka the Zeta Halo. This is an unexplored setting in both the previous games and the novels, but is notable in the lore as being the only surviving Halo ring of the core 12 that make up the Halo Array, the galaxy of weaponised ringworlds that have provided the backdrop to the epic battle between the UNSC, the Flood, and the Covenant.

Zeta Halo is controlled by the gnarly Banished War Chief Escharum, who was introduced in the aforementioned 2020 gameplay demo and will likely serve as the ultimate baddie in Halo Infinite. Once we've had enough riding around on the trusty old Warthog, we can expect to have one hell of a boss fight against him. Here's hoping there'll be enough to do on this intriguing new world before then.

Will Halo Infinite be exclusive to Xbox Series X/S?

Not quite. PC players can play all of the same games as their Xbox compatriots thanks to Microsoft's inclusive ecosystem, but those without a decent gaming rig or a new-gen console can experience Master Chief's latest adventure, too.

While the new family of Xbox consoles are the best place to experience Halo Infinite, offering 4K Ultra HD and frame rates up to 120fps, Microsoft's retail page confirms that the game will offer an amazing experience on the Xbox One and Xbox One X, too. And for those who are really against utilising Microsoft hardware for some reason but still want to experience the joy of dusting waves of Flood with a Battle Rifle, Halo Infinite will be a Day One Game Pass title, so you could actually play it on your mobile phone or tablet.

Will Halo Infinite have multiplayer modes?

Will the sun shine in the summer? Will it rain in the winter? Well, there are no guarantees of seasonal weather conditions considering global warming and all that - but a Halo game featuring multiplayer is an even surer bet than climate change.

Halo Infinite's multiplayer looks more exciting than ever thanks to a variety of new equipment that will enhance the pace and exercise your tactical strategies in the heat of the moment. There's a new Grapple Hook that lets you zip around, as well as a new shield called the Drop Wall. I could try to describe some of the frenzied scenarios you will encounter online, but you should really just watch the multiplayer trailer above. It looks awesome.

The best part of it all is that Halo Infinite's multiplayer modes are going to be free to play. You read that right.

Will Halo Infinite have split-screen co-op?

The best part of Halo Infinite's multiplayer mode may be that it's free to play - but the best part of the overall game? Split-screen is back, baby. Tell your friends. After its omission in Halo 5: Guardians, same-screen play with your pal on the sofa is back on the menu.

The developers realised you can't just remove a crucial element of the game and expect everyone to be okay with it. As reported by Video Games Chronicle during a press conference after the Halo Infinite gameplay reveal, the team was asked if the new Halo would have split-screen co-op. Chris Lee unambiguously responded: "Yes, we will have split-screen and we will have co-op when we launch Halo Infinite."

Who is making Halo Infinite?

343 Industries are taking the reins, as they have been for every single Halo game since 2011's Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Admittedly, 343's takeover of the franchise from Bungie hasn't been popular with every Halo fan, and for fair reasons - The Master Chief Collection was a hot mess at launch, Halo 5 took away split-screen and, in the same game, we spent way too much time not playing as Master Chief in the campaign.

This time feels different, though, and it's hoped that 343 will deliver their strongest title yet. Between the return of split-screen and the carefully considered delay (it was a bold move to take away a flagship exclusive from the new-gen console launch), it seems like they are clearly listening to feedback and are striving hard to make sure that fans will be happy with the state of Halo Infinite when it finally launches in late 2021. It's worth being optimistic.

What engine is being used to make Halo Infinite?

343's head honcho Bonnie Ross revealed to IGN way back at the end of 2019 that the Halo series took a break from its typical three-year development to completely rebuild its engine specifically for the next game. The result is a new engine called Slipspace and, while specific details remain vague, an entry from the developer's diary Inside Infinite earlier this year highlights that the new engine will "ensure high execution efficiency across all platforms and PCs, instead of running optimally just on Xbox".

The entry, written by Principal Software Engineer Daniele Giannetti, further promises that it will enable the team to deliver "all our new rendering features and achieve high graphics efficiency on PC CPUs of various size as well as Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One X/S hardware". Sounds like Halo Infinite will be fantastic on whatever you choose to play it on. Unless you try inserting it into a PlayStation, no promises there.

Featured Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios, 343 Industries

Topics: Halo, Xbox, Xbox Series X, 343 Industries, guide, Halo Infinite, Xbox Series S

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