Halo Infinite

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Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite.png
Box art featuring protagonist Master Chief
Developer(s)343 Industries[a]
Publisher(s)Xbox Game Studios
Artist(s)Nicolas Bouvier[1]
Composer(s)
SeriesHalo
Platform(s)
ReleaseQ3/Q4 2021[6]
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Halo Infinite is an upcoming first-person shooter game developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios for Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.[7][8][9] The sixth main entry of the Halo series,[10] and the fourteenth Halo game overall, it picks up the story of the Master Chief, following Halo 5: Guardians.[11][12][13]

Halo Infinite was planned to release with the Xbox Series X/S on November 10, 2020, but was delayed in August 2020.[14] It is now planned to be released in late 2021.[15][16]

Synopsis[edit]

According to Microsoft, Master Chief returns in Halo Infinite, the third chapter of the "Reclaimer Saga",[17] with "his greatest adventure yet to save humanity".[11][18][19] The storyline of Halo Infinite will be "much more human", with the Master Chief playing a more central role than in Halo 5: Guardians.[20][21]

The E3 2018 trailer indicated that the story will be set on a Halo ring that has mysteriously suffered damage and also showcased the design of Master Chief's MJOLNIR armor to return to a design similar to that seen in Halo 2 and Halo 3. 343 Industries later confirmed this Halo ring to be Installation 07 (also known as Zeta Halo).[22] The Banished, a violent mercenary group that splintered off of the former Covenant alien alliance first seen in Halo Wars 2, appear as enemies.

Development[edit]

Halo Infinite is being developed by 343 Industries with assistance from Skybox Labs, Sperasoft, The Coalition and Certain Affinity.[23][24][25][26] It will utilize the new Slipspace Engine. The story entered planning stages in 2015 and was referred to as Halo 6 at the time.[27] An announcement trailer was released on June 10, 2018.[28] The developer said that all of the scenes in the Halo Infinite trailer were running in the engine.[29][30][31] Halo Infinite will feature split-screen again, in response to the backlash of its removal in the previous game.[32] It is also planned to have a beta prior to its release, described as an insider flight program.[1]

Although initially implicated to be exclusive to the Xbox Series X/S, development director Frank O'Connor stated in August 2019 that Infinite was being developed for Xbox One. He said they were "building it so it plays and looks fantastic" on the platform, but would have enhancements when played on Xbox Series X/S.[33]

On July 31, 2020, it was announced that the game's multiplayer portion would be released as a free-to-play game.[34]

On August 27, 2020, 343 Industries announced that Joseph Staten, the former lead writer and cinematic director of the Halo series at Bungie, had joined as Campaign Project Lead for Halo Infinite.[35] 343 Industries later announced that Joseph's role had changed to Head of Creative for Halo Infinite.[36] On October 28, 2020, it was reported by Bloomberg News that (now former) Studio Head Chris Lee had departed the project.[37]

On December 5, 2020, Bruce Thomas, the mocap actor for Master Chief in Halo Infinite, stated in an interview that "it [Halo Infinite] is in the can, and ready to go for next spring." [38][39] Soon after, on December 8, 343 Industries disclosed in a blog post that Halo Infinite will be released in late 2021.[15][16]

Postponement[edit]

In January 2020, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty confirmed that the studio had no immediate plans for Xbox Series X exclusives at launch, preferring to phase out compatibility with older hardware over a longer period, similar to PCs.[40] Development was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing developers to work from home.[41] After the Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, 2020, 343 Studio Head Chris Lee stated that a public beta is unlikely due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic,[42][43] despite Microsoft stating at E3 2018 that there would be a public beta ahead of launch.[44]

On August 11, 2020, it was announced that the game had been delayed to an undefined date in 2021,[45][46] due to a range of factors, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting development.[47] Microsoft initially planned to split the game into several parts but ultimately decided against it. It was reported that 343 Industries heavily outsourced the game to external developers, resulting in development troubles, and was a contributing factor to the delay.[48] Speaking to IGN, a spokesperson for 343 Industries denied that the Halo TV show had an impact on Halo Infinite's development, but IGN states that "the spokesperson did not speak to the report's claim that 'a significant portion of the game is being outsourced to third-party contractors.'"[49]

Music[edit]

Infinite's music is a collaboration between Gareth Coker, Curtis Schweitzer, and Joel Corelitz, overseen by 343 Industries Music Supervisor Joel Yarger.[2][3][4][50]

Marketing[edit]

As the industry exposition E3 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[51] Microsoft revealed the first gameplay footage of Halo Infinite via livestream. On June 24, 2020, the official Halo YouTube channel premiered a teaser titled "SIGNAL DETECTED. TAG DESIGNATION: FOE",[52] which featured an audio clip of an anonymous character who represents the Banished, a faction introduced in Halo Wars 2.[53]

Among the merchandising tie-ins for the game is a partnership with Monster Energy Drink. Participants can earn a variety of in-game weapon skins, player nameplates and weapon emblems. There are also several augmented reality experiences through Snapchat as part of the promotion.[54] Coinciding with Infinite's gameplay reveal was a trailer, "Step Inside", produced by 215 McCann. The spot, showing Master Chief's armor being made, was the kickoff to a wider campaign, "Become."[55]

Following the gameplay reveal for Halo Infinite on July 23, 2020, publications and audiences expressed disappointment over the graphics and performance.[56] Eurogamer wrote that "Halo Infinite looks like the fake plastic trees version of Halo, like a video game designed with Mega Bloks in mind. It pops in all the wrong places. [...] It doesn't feel grounded. It doesn't feel like it has depth. It feels, well, surface level, smooth and uninteresting."[57] Aaron Greenberg, general manager of Xbox marketing, responded in an interview with Inside Gaming: "Listen, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. It's July, we're far from [launch in] Holiday, you're seeing a work-in-progress game." He said that the final game would be a "visual showcase".[58][59] 343 Industries said that the game would receive a free ray tracing update post-launch.[60] Narrative experience director Dan Chosich tweeted: "I want you to know your voice matters + is heard [...] I always want to live up to the legacy that Bungie pioneered. I personally care a lot about honoring that."[61] A screenshot of the gameplay showing a Brute with a deadpan expression, given the moniker "Craig" by internet commenters, became an internet meme embraced by 343 Industries' community director John Junyszek.[62]

In October 2020, 343 Industries announced changes to the player color system in Infinite, replacing the system of primary and secondary colors in past Halo games with "coatings" based on layers of patterns and markings designed to enable "greater player expression". 343 plans to make coatings available through microtransactions as well as rewards for purchasing tie-in products such as Monster Energy drinks, Mondelez-branded snacks, and other items.[63] The plan was received negatively, with fans and critics expressing concern about the impact of microtransactions.[64][65] Junyszek defended the system, stating that it enabled "greater detail and variation" and that other methods of obtaining coatings would be made available as "special rewards" in addition to paid purchases.[66]

In March 2021, Pringles introduced an exclusive Walmart chip purporting to taste like a creature from Halo: Reach as a marketing tie-in.[67]

References[edit]

Notes
References
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  2. ^ a b 343 Industries (June 9, 2018). "Discover Hope". Halo - Official Site. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b 343 Industries (July 23, 2020). "Campaign Evolved". Halo - Official Site. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Ske7ch (July 28, 2020). "Gareth Coker Sets A Fire In Your Heart". Halo - Official Site. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (December 16, 2019). "The next generation of Xbox is just called ... Xbox". Polygon. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Bass, Dina (December 9, 2020). "Microsoft Says Key Xbox Game 'Halo Infinite' Coming in Fall". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
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  10. ^ Tassi, Paul (August 16, 2018). "Microsoft Confirms That Yes, 'Halo: Infinite' Is Actually Just 'Halo 6'". Forbes. Forbes Media. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019. ‘It is Halo 6,’ said 343’s Jeff Easterling during a Mixer stream ... ‘You should just consider it Halo 6. Don't think of it as a weird prequel kind of thing. It's the next story. It's the next chapter in what is going on.’
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  67. ^ "Halo-Branded Pringles That Taste Like An Extinct Bird From Halo: Reach Have Arrived". GameSpot. Retrieved March 4, 2021.

External links[edit]