Last night Microsoft opened its big Xbox Games Showcase with an extended look at Halo Infinite. Finally we got to see gameplay, and even if the demo was running on PC rather than an Xbox Series X it still demonstrated the developer’s intention to make the game a “spiritual successor” to the original Halo: Combat Evolved from 2001. Following the show, 343 Industries spoke to a range of gaming pundits and went into more detail about what to expect, which we thought worth rounding up.
The new Halo ring is a persistent open world
Though not explicitly made clear from the 8-minute gameplay demo that featured Master Chief duking it out with the Banished, 343 went onto confirmed after the show that Halo Infinite will be a lot more open-ended compared to prior Halo games.
"There's a lot of open gameplay in those previous games, but they're always in these linear levels,” 343 studio head Chris Lee told Gamesradar. “This time players will have the freedom to explore the ring. But we are telling a story with a beginning, middle, and end that we want to carry the player through as you go."
Lee also explained that what we saw in the gameplay demo occurs a ways into the game, where players will be given the ability to roam the new Halo ring in a more expansive fashion. “There’s definitely a sense of freedom that you haven’t had before
”, he continued. He then confirmed that Halo Infinite will feature its own day/night cycle to let you roam around the world during different times of day, and that Chief having a grappling hook opens up more traversal opportunities.
In addition to multiplayer, Halo Infinite’s campaign has 4-player split-screen
Halo 5 received a lot of flack for ditching split-screen multiplayer – a series staple – in favour of a more online-centric approach. Teams of four could play through the single-player campaign as a squad, sure, but you were at a loss if you wanted to do so with a friend in the same room. You know, just like the good ‘ol days. 343 Industries recognised the demand, however, revealing that split-screen co-op will be back for Halo Infinite.
Creative director, Paul Crocker, told Eurogamer as part of an online preview that the game is intended to be “a love letter to Halo” and that part of this was that split-screen co-op for up to 4 players would be part of it.
There are no current plans for a Halo Infinite 2
Because Halo Infinite is designed to be a more persistent fare, 343 Industries was quick to dispel any assumption that a direct sequel will be happening any time soon. The developer confirmed as much in an interview with IGN, where Chris Lee expressed: “Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future.”
“We want Infinite to grow over time, versus going to those numbered titles and having all that segmentation that we had before,” he said. “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 doesn’t explicitly confirm that Halo Infinite will be a traditional Live Service game in the Destiny mould, just that new story experiences and content will be continued to be added for many years to come. It’s called Halo Infinite and not Halo 6 for a reason, and anyone who theorised as much were directly on the money.