Why I’m Excited (And Cautious) About Halo Infinite

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Microsoft recently showed off more footage from the highly anticipated Halo: Infinite, and there’s a lot to be excited about. Specifically when it comes to the campaign.

I’ve always been more interested in campaigns than multiplayer. I loved the story mode for Injustice 2 and DOOM (2016), but I don’t think I ever even opened the multiplayer for either game. And while I do love Halo‘s Multiplayer, it’s the campaign that I always end up going back to.

But Infinite doesn’t seem like just another Halo campaign. It looks like 343 are hoping to make this new game a departure from the Halo formula and take the classic franchise in a new and interesting direction.

Open World?

The gameplay at E3 last year seemed to be showing that Infinite will be an open-world game. They even showed off a map reminiscent of other open-world games.

However, to my knowledge, 343 have never used the words “open-world” when describing Infinite. At E3, the setting of the game, Zeta Halo, was stated as “The largest most open environment that [343 have] ever built”. So it seems like the game has very open levels with side objectives and lots to explore, but not actually be an open-world game.

However, the game could work similarly to New Mombasa in Halo 3: ODST. The mission titled “Mombasa Streets” essentially acted as the hub for the game, where the player explored the city, fought enemies, and found collectibles on their way to the next objective. Once an objective was reached, a mission started that was more linear in terms of levels.

It’s possible that the Zeta Halo will act as the hub world from which you can access other, more linear levels similar to the other games from the series, just like New Mombasa from ODST.

ODST is a great game, and if Infinite works in a similar way, I doubt many fans would complain. But the idea of it being a fully open-world game may be a red herring.

It’s Got Some Good Visuals

The biggest complaint that fans had after last year’s trailer was the visuals. Everything seemed to lack detail and it wasn’t the best looking. The Brutes, in particular, looked terrible, which lead to the infamous Craig the Brute memes.

Thankfully, the footage showed off this year looks like a big improvement. Especially Chief’s armour which looks much more detailed.

Infinite is even returning to the classic Halo art style from Bungie’s games. 343 tried to make their mark on Halo 4 by reimagining the design of a lot of classic enemies. Grunts, Jackels, Elites and even Forerunner machines and architecture were redesigned for 343’s games. Fans were not happy with the redesign and always preferred the old Halo look over 343s take, so Infinite‘s return to Bungie’s style is a welcome one.

Hopefully It Still Has that Halo Feel

343 are really trying to make Halo Infinite a big departure for the series and take the franchise in a new direction. And that’s all great, as long as it still feels like Halo. The grappling hook does look pretty cool and things seem promising so far, I just hope they understand what makes a good Halo game.

The main thing that’s got me slightly worried is the crosshair. Since Halo 2, Bungie decided to make the crosshair lower on the screen, rather than it being in the centre. If it’s in the centre of the screen, then when you aim at an enemy half your screen will be the floor and half the sky. Bungie decided to make the crosshair lower than the centre to allow a larger portion of the screen to be taken up by the sky to show off the scenery of the level. It’s something they even continued with Destiny.

343 changed this in Halo 5 which didn’t look as good. This wasn’t the biggest problem with Halo 5, and I am nitpicking a bit, but still. 343 changing the crosshair to be in the center of the screen shows that they didn’t understand why it was lowered in the first place. Of course, Halo: CE also had a centered crosshair, so you can make a good Halo game with this.

We’ll just have to wait and see if Infinite can live up to the classic Halo series or not.

I’m curious to see how Halo Infinite will compare to the rest of the series. It’ll be fun to see whether or not 343 can recreate what made Bungie’s classic games so special.

Halo Infinite is set to release later this year.

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Dan Waterman

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