As one of the headline titles for the Xbox Series X, Halo Infinite is up there as our most anticipated shooter for 2021.
After a fairly disappointing first showing, Halo Infinite is now set to release at the end of this year. Luckily for us, developer 343 industries are ones for constant communication with several development blogs chartering the rocky road to launch.
Here is everything we know about Halo Infinite so far.
Open World Halo Ring
Infinite is doing away with the linear structure of levels and chapters that the franchise has relied upon for so long. Instead, With Halo finally embracing open worlds, the new Zeta Ring will be totally open for you to explore.
In an interview with IGN, former Studio Head Chris Lee said: “There’s definitely a sense of freedom that you haven’t had before [in Halo].
“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,” Lee explained.
We can expect to discover new areas, upgrades, and other secrets hidden across the Zeta Ring with plenty to keep us occupied between story missions.
It was also recently confirmed that, for the first time in Halo’s history, you’ll be able to throw items off the edge of the Halo ring.
Another first in the franchise’s history, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be completely free to play.
You’ll still need to fork over some cash to play the campaign (or just subscribe to Xbox Game Pass), but the idea of a free-to-play Halo multiplayer has us incredibly excited.
Making Infinite easily accessible for new players will do wonders for keeping the game active for as long as possible. This is especially the case when 343 Industries also that Infinite will be the platform of Halo for the next ten years: “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,” [via IGN].
The antagonist force of Halo Wars 2 is returning to fight against the Master Chief in Halo Infinite. This faction is a mercenary organisation that rebelled against the Covenant Empire after the end of the war against the Humans.
The main villain takes the form of War Chief Escharum, the leader of The Banished splinter-cell that has taken over the Zeta Halo. Towards the end of the original gameplay trailer, we can see Escharum deliver a message to the Master Chief, taunting him while laying out some of their motivations.
The Banished don’t seem too dissimilar to the Covenant when it comes down to actually fighting them. It wouldn’t surprise us if there was also another enemy faction in Halo Infinite that 343 are keeping under wraps for now.
Grapple Shot and Drop Shield
As seen briefly in the debut gameplay trailer, Master Chief has a couple of new gadgets in his arsenal. The Grapple Shot enables the Chief to soar up to new heights, thrust himself towards enemies, or even throw explosive items across the map.
The drop shield is similar to the bubble shield that we’ve seen in previous Halo titles. It acts as a portable cover system and can be deployed to block incoming fire from one direction. Both of these abilities appear to be on a cooldown timer. These gadgets harken back to the series previous equipment system which used to include items like a Jetpack, Active Camouflage and Sprint.
Lee also told IGN that new gadgets can be found and upgraded by exploring the open world: “We do have a light upgrade system for Chief as he explores this ring. He’ll be able to upgrade equipment items.”
With a returning enemy comes new weapons to play with. Thanks to IGN, we have a detailed list of the ones seen in last year’s gameplay demo:
- Ravager – A Banished three-round burst energy weapon that runs on plasma fuel. The fuel level is, as always, represented by a percentage. There is a blade on the end of it that slightly increases melee damage.
- Mangler – A Banished pistol with giant kinetic projectiles that fires more slowly than the UNSC Magnum but deals more damage.
- CQS48 Bulldog – New UNSC riot shotgun that replaces the classic shotgun. This one is upgraded with a drum magazine and 12 gauge over the classic shotgun’s 8 gauge.
- 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.
These of course appear alongside Halo classics, including the Magnum pistol and the Assault Rifle. It just wouldn’t be a proper Halo game without those two weapons.
Craig will be there <3
Everyone’s favourite Brute will be immortalised in Halo history as even the developers have taken a shine to him.
Head of Xbox Phi Spencer said that we likely haven’t seen the last of the loveable dude [via GameSpot]: “I think Craig will be around for many, many decades in the Halo lore. You’ll find his pictures all over the place. Probably in games somewhere.”
Developers are so taken by the Craig meme that they’ve even started wearing t-shirts with his face on them around the office. “We actually have these t-shirts, I didn’t wear it today, which is Craig’s face. I love that the team embraced that, it was just so funny, “ Spencer said.
We don’t have a specific release date yet, but Infinite is scheduled to release before the end of 2021.
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[Featured Image Credit: Bungie]