As many of you know, The Xbox Games Showcase showed off one of their biggest titles. I’m speaking, of course, about Halo Infinite AKA Halo 6. Halo was one of the FPS games that changed everything for that generation, and though the game has changed company hands from Bungie to 343 Industries, Halo is a game that has stood the test of time.
Now the new Halo is set to come to PC and Xbox Series X, and there are a lot of questions that fans and newcomers want answered. As Halo fans ourselves, we want to give you everything you need to know about Halo Infinite.
We’re talking everything we know about the story, trailers, gameplay, news, armor, and everything else you could possibly want to know about the new Halo Infinite. We will of course update this article as news becomes available, so check back with us soon to see what's been updated.
Halo 4 and 5 Recap: Continuing the Reclaimer Saga
Before we dive into the Halo Infinite story, let’s catch you up/refresh your memory on the Halo 4 and 5 story. The full Halo saga is long and complicated and has everything to do with ancient races including The Flood and The Forerunners. So let’s just give you a quick bare-bones recap of Halo 4 and 5 (otherwise known as The Reclaimer Saga).
Halo 4 is pretty straightforward with an alien called Ur-Didact, a powerful Forerunner who shows up with a device, The Composer, that’s capable of wreaking vengeance and annihilation on the human race for their past atrocities to the Forerunners.
It ends with Master Chief saving the day but at a terrible loss. A gut-wrenching loss of Cortana (which is a better love story than Twilight ever told) and a reminder that soldiers are people too and are allowed to grieve.
Halo 5 is a little more complicated. Doctor Catherine Halsey (model for Cortana) accuses Cortana of betraying the human race. She’s trying to awaken The Guardians, Forerunner tech that could potentially destroy the universe but were made originally to police the universe.
Master Chief goes after her (because he also thought she was dead after Halo 4) to a planet called Meridian. Meanwhile, the UNSC sends the Osiris team after Master Chief to try and bring him home because they thought Cortana was manipulating him.
They fail in their first attempt but find a way to slip-space into Sanghelios (a planet that the Forerunners hid a Guardian on) to continue the chase. Once Osiris lands on Sanghelios with an escort from the Swords of Sanghelios, Osiris fights alongside The Arbiter to help free Sanghelios from the Covenant’s grasp. However, they’re really doing this to fight their way to the Guardian to use it as a jump point right to Cortana.
This brings all the groups to a place called Genesis (a little bit of an allusion for you), and Master Chief attempts to get Cortana to stop what she’s doing. She refuses and goes along with her plan. AI across the universe pledge their allegiance to Cortana. All but the UNSC’s Roland join her and are able to get the UNSC Infinity to a safe space where Master Chief is reunited with Dr. Halsey for the first time since his training program. Hi Mom!
This ending was actually also talked about in Halo Wars 2 where we find and fight The Banished, an elite Covenant force who rebelled near the end of the Human-Covenant War. Clearly they still hate us and now, according to the trailer you can see below, will most likely be just one of the main enemy forces that Master Chief will be fighting against.
Story and Trailer
After being revealed in 2018, Halo Infinite has finally been given a trailer, showing us eight minutes of gameplay footage:
We’ll get into the guns and stuff later, but the first gameplay reveals introduced a Banished leader named War Chief Escharum, the leader of The Banished on this Halo ring who appears to be the main antagonist. 343 told IGN that Escharum “is connected to The Banished in a fundamental way,” and calls this Halo ring his last stand.
“This is my last fight, a true test of legends,” Escharum says at the end of the gameplay reveal. “Our story will outlive us both. Set a fire in your heart, Spartan. Bare your fangs. Fight hard. Die well.”
As far as we know, The Banished and The Covenant will most likely be the main baddies. I can already hear you ask, “What about Cortana though?” Well, Twitter user Xepyal noticed something from the E3 2019 trailer: a series of red flashes in Master Chief's visor that, when spliced together, form a QR code.
Believe it or not, that code led them to this audio clip. So as far as we know, Rogue Cortana from the end of Halo 5 and perhaps a part she left behind in Master Chief’s head may play into the plot.
Can anyone say “AI Cat Fight?”
Unfortunately, this is all we really know about the Halo Infinite plot right now. So, let’s move on to all the other aspects of Halo Infinite.
August 27, 2020 Production Update:
It was announced just leading up to Gamescom 2020 that Joseph Staten was hired to help shepherd the game along. This Halo veteran has joined developer 343 Industries as the project lead for the Halo Infinite campaign.
For those of you that need a little background on who he is, Joseph Staten was the writer and director of cinematics for Bungie’s first three Halo games and held various creative positions on other titles in the series.
He was also a writer and co-creative director for Destiny. He left Bungie in 2013, before the studio released that game. Staten returned to the Microsoft fold the following year as a senior creative director on the Xbox Games Studios team.
I'm thrilled to join @Halo to help them ship Halo Infinite. As the project lead for the Infinite Campaign, I will be supporting the team's existing, great leaders and empowering them to do their best work. https://t.co/pQiNPQVBZs— Joseph Staten (@joestaten) August 27, 2020
According to the latest Halo community update, Staten “will be focused on supporting the campaign team’s existing, talented, creative leaders and ensuring they have everything they need to create an awesome Halo game.”
Fans are obviously excited, Staten working on the project now seems to give the a little more legitimacy that fans were looking for.
On August 11, 2020 the official Halo Waypoint announced that Halo Infinite would be, unfortunately, delayed. While they gave no specific date, they did tell us it would be in 2021. Studio Head, Chris Lee, said this in the update:
Today I want to share an important Halo Infinite development update with the community. We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision.
The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries, who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday.
We know this will be disappointing to many of you and we all share in that sentiment. The passion and support the community has shown over the years has been incredible and inspiring. We wanted nothing more than to play our game with the community this holiday. The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”
While we all wanted this to be a launch game for the Xbox Series X, that clearly won't be happening. The console maker makes clear that there are, "More than 50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X." So it looks like we need to wait just a little bit longer. We can all do that, right?
Halo Infinite will be coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC. It will also be a part of Xbox Game Pass, so anyone with that will be able to play on day one. I would say “for free,” but you’ve been paying the subscription fee, so technically it’s not free.
Don’t want to use the Xbox Game Pass for some reason?
You can always buy Halo Infinite for full price on Steam.
Publisher, Developer, and Genre
The Halo Infinite publisher is Xbox Game Studios, the developer is 343 Industries, and its genre is Shooter.
According to Xbox's website, Halo Infinite has an ESRB rating of RP (Rating Pending). This means the game is awaiting final rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
According to German website Xbox Dynasty, Halo Infinite's development budget is over $500 million. This would make Halo Infinite the most expensive video game ever produced. And that doesn't even include the marketing costs.
Download Halo Infinite wallpapers, social media banners, and more from halowaypoint.com's "Press Kit 2020" post.
While many people were quick to point out that Halo Infinite’s graphics look like Mega Bloks Master Chief, Aaron Greenberg, Xbox Marketing General Manager, responded to these “concerns” and memes sent by fans and critics alike during an interview with Inside Gaming:
"Listen, we're in the middle of a global pandemic," Greenberg explained. "It's July, we're far from [launch in] Holiday, you're seeing a work-in-progress game." He also stated during the interview that the final version of the game will be a "visual showcase."
As seen in the gameplay reveal, Halo Infinite will have a more open world than past Halo games. The section we got a look at was several hours into the game, at which point it sounds like Master Chief can tackle various objectives, though 343 says there's still definitely a linear story to follow. Studio head, Chris Lee, told IGN:
What you saw in the demo that we showed, you have this map. There's this huge open section of the ring. As you get to that point in the game, this is several hours into the campaign, then you have the ability to traverse that whole area and explore where you want to go on the ring.
That's what we mean by open and explore the different places that you can go to. There's definitely a sense of freedom that you haven't had before [in Halo]. You will get to choose your path there. But we do also want to tell that story, so while you're doing that we want to keep the story moving forward versus like a nonlinear story or something like that.
Associate Creative Director, Paul Crocker, also talked about how they want Master Chief’s mission to feel more heroic. So, even on your way to a specific point on this open map, you will run into other obstacles and not just driving endlessly from point to point. “We really are trying to make sure there are things for Chief to do that reinforce the heroism and the hope he brings to humanity and those are pretty strong draws around the world,” said Crocker.
There will be many spots open for Chief to drive, fly, and run to. 343 said they wanted the Ring to have a bit more life to it. They added a day/night cycle and wildlife running around the open areas.
A staple of “new games in a series” weapons, The Grappling Hook finally makes its debut in the Halo series. While there are upgrades for Chief throughout the game, we aren’t sure if this is a starting gift or if you get it a bit later on. We do know that it’s used for grappling towards enemies or pulling them to the Chief, climbing to elevated areas.
It would also be used for pulling some items into your hands. For example, that amazing little scene where Chief grapples the exploding barrel to toss it at the Grunt in the turret gun. I might have screamed. No shame.
The Halo Infinite reveal trailer gave us a lot of info on just some of the weapons we’ll see. There will obviously be some old favorites such as the Assault Rifle, the Magnum, and the Plasma Pistol, but new enemies means new weapons.
Here are the new weapons you'll be able to find and fire in Halo Infinite:
- Ravager: A Banished three-round burst energy weapon that runs on plasma fuel.
- Mangler: A Banished pistol with giant kinetic projectiles that fires more slowly than the UNSC pistol but deals more damage.
- CQS48 Bulldog: A new UNSC riot shotgun that replaces the classic shotgun.
- VK78 Commando: This UNSC rifle can go full auto and is good for mid-long range.
- Pulse Carbine: A familiar but not quite identical version of the classic Covenant carbine weapon.
GamesRadar recently reported that Halo Infinite will indeed have split-screen co-op. For those of you that miss the old days of dark basements, Doritos, and hours of gameplay with your pals, we know those days can return once again 343 Industries confirmed its existence: "We will have split-screen and we will have co-op when we launch Halo Infinite."
It was disappointing when Halo 5: Guardians left out couch co-op. However, when a bunch of angry nerds talks about something they miss, 343 was keen to pick up on your voices. Clearly this isn’t a huge factor for many online kids, but for those of us who still want to put the hurt on younger cousins at family gatherings, this is a must!
The Halo Infinite box art is obviously a throwback to Halo: Combat Evolved.
If you thought the Halo Infinite box art looked familiar, it's because it is. Some of you may not have been old enough to play Halo: Combat Evolved, but we can guarantee you’ve seen the box art for it. This is a clear nod to the box art for it.
That certainly says something to us. The game is a “spiritual reboot” for the franchise, but the gameplay we've seen so far definitely references the hyper-pigmented, colorful fun of the first few games in the series.
It's clear 343 Industries is trying to evoke some of that magic that first made Halo so special, while still firmly planting the game in 2020. While people seem to still be up in arms about the graphics, it’s hard to ignore what they were really trying to do. The people at 343 are clearly fans of Bungie’s work and wanted to give them as many nods as possible.
Halo Infinite Has Two Pugs Making Alien Noises
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Meet our favorite pug, Gyoza. 🐶🔊 The best friend of our studio's Technical Art Director, his grunts, breaths, and excitement are sure to make for some... interesting sounds in #HaloInfinite. #halo #xbox #343industries #sounddesign #sounddesignsaturday #fieldrecording #pug #pugs #pugsofinstagram
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The best news about the production that we could find was obviously that 343 Industries has Pugs working for them. While originally it was reported that Gyoza, the studio's Technical Art Director’s best friend was the only furry monster providing animal sounds for an unknown Halo creature, we can happily report that there's a second pug doing the exact same thing.
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Meet Buddy the pug 🐶🔊 Buddy, the best friend of a Program Manager here at 343, adventured to the recording booth for our final #SoundDesignSaturday post. His time spent with the 343 Audio Team was filled with snacks, drinks, and plenty of pets. We hope you've enjoyed a look behind-the-scenes with our Audio Team over the past year. We can't wait for you to see, and hear, more about Halo Infinite in the coming months ✌️ #halo #xbox #343industries #haloinfinite #masterchief #sounddesign #fieldrecording #pug #pugs #pugsofinstagram
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The second Halo Infinite dog voice actor is called Buddy, and he's also been in 343 Industries' studio recording snarfles and chortles for an unknown role. This has to be our favorite part of the production.
When will Halo Infinite be released?
Halo Infinite will be released during "Holiday 2020."
What platforms will Halo Infinite be released on? Will it be on Game Pass?
Halo Infinite will be released on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC. It is also coming to Xbox Game Pass.
Is Halo Infinite a reboot or sequel?
It's clear that 343 Industries did some soul searching in anticipation of making Halo Infinite. A post on the Halo blog confirms that Halo Infinite is considered a "spiritual reboot" and should be considered a game "set firmly in the future, but a foundation rooted deeply in the things our team and our fans have fallen in love with - the scope, the scale, the heroism and the moments of spectacle and wonder that brought players together on couches, at basement LAN parties, on Xbox Live, and in esports arenas for years."
Will Halo Infinite be open world?
Halo Infinite will have a more open world than past Halo games.
Will there be a Forge mode?
It will be a part of the game for sure.
Will there be Competitive play?
If Halo 5 is any sign of what’s to come, we can say, yes, there will most likely be competitive and casual play.
Will Halo Infinite have Multiplayer?
On July 31, 2020, the official @Halo Twitter account confirmed that Halo Infinite will have multiplayer. It will be free-to-play and will run 120FPS on Xbox Series X.
Will Halo Infinite have co-op?
GamesRadar reported that 343 Industries confirmed Halo Infinite will have split-screen co-op at launch.
Will Halo Infinite have a “Battle Royale” mode?
No. 343 Industries writer Jeff Easterling said “I’ll tell you right now, the only BR we’re interested in is Battle Rifle. The original BR. So, calm yourself.”
Will there be a Halo Infinite Limited Collector’s Edition?
So far no one has answered this question. However, since it’s a launch title, we can expect Microsoft to do something fun for it. Only time will tell.
Are there micro-transactions?
Maybe for multiplayer, but definitely no "loot boxes." Also, if there are actual MTs, it will most likely copy the Call of Duty Warzone model, where players can buy multiplayer “vanity purchases” like skins for your player and guns.
What new weapons are in Halo Infinite?
Halo Infinite's new weapons include a Grappling Hook, Ravager, Mangler, CQS48 Bulldog, VK78 Commando, and Pulse Carbine.
Is Halo Infinite the last Halo game?
Halo Infinite is the last standalone Halo title for the foreseeable future.
Yes, you read that right … 343 Industries has no plans to make any other standalone Halo titles in the future. Instead, Halo Infinite will act as a platform for further Halo experiences in the future. It's an interesting structure, but one that takes reference from the Master Chief Collection.
Studio head Chris Lee explained this idea in an interview with IGN:
Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future,” he 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.
This opens the door for them to add on to the game from here for as long as they want to. While they have stated, “No, there won’t be a Battle Royale for Halo at launch,” that doesn’t mean five years from now if they’re still a staple in gaming culture that they won’t consider it.
This could also be 343 Industries looking to make other games, just as Bungie did. Halo is a license to pretty much make whatever you want.
What are you most excited about for Halo Infinite?
Are you wowed like we are?
Do you have some comments about the new Halo Infinite?
Tell us in the comments below!
Top image via halowaypoint.com
This article was written by John D. AKA SomeBeardy2Love. John has been gaming for over 30 years, has a podcast, and watches nothing but anime and Bob’s Burgers. He has a sponsored beard and a modest book collection.