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Cut Halo 5: Guardians levels

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This page discusses elements of deleted material and cut content. Some information on the page is sourced from game files and may not be verifiable through external sources. Where possible, such information should be clearly-marked and replaced with a proper external source as soon as one is available.
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Halo 5: Guardians cut content

Cut content


To check out cut content for other Halo games, see here!

During the development of Halo 5: Guardians, a number of levels and maps were cut.

Campaign levels[edit]

UNSC Infinity Hub[edit]

"Above is an early space I prototyped with the talented RJ Ranola (That’s his geo you’re seeing in the background there). We mapped the area out from above, using the resulting proportions to flesh out the interior. Shon Mitchell built a functioning version of that door at the top. Patrick Hammond may have also been involved. No piece of AAA game art is a one-person deal, and much of what gets done early-on can (and most likely will be) rewritten."
— Concept artist Paul Richards discussing the production of this level.[1]

The UNSC Infinity Hub was a planned "weapons down" campaign mission for Halo 5: Guardians that was cut during production.[1][2] The level bears a strikingly similar premise to "Infinity" - a cancelled Halo project intended as a hub through which Halo 5: Guardians and all future Halo content could be accessed.

Reef City[edit]

One level prototyped for the game, but ultimately cut, was a larger vehicle-action level set on Sanghelios just prior to Battle of Sunaion. Titled "Reef City" in development, the level was to have focused on the war between the Swords of Sanghelios and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, and featured a massive excavator walker similar in scope to the Scarab encounters of previous games. Much work was done to animate the walker, including it destroying parts of the city, though only one screenshot has been posted of the level.[5][6][7]

Reef City was first revealed by Halo 5: Guardians designer Jayce Diaz in a thread on Twitter, to celebrate the game's eighth birthday. In a reply to the post, designer David Ellis also noted that a level he worked on was cut, which was to have been a nonlinear level involving Blue Team. It is unclear whether this level was to have been Reef City or another level [8]

Tsunami Station[edit]

The level known in development as "Tsunami Station" would later slowly morph into the level Battle of Sunaion in the final game.

Tsunami Station was one of the oldest campaign levels iterated for Halo 5: Guardians with prototyping and early design works using Halo 4 assets taking place by at least March 2013. In these early designs, the level was to take place in a storm with waves slamming into and ripping apart level geometry. As well, the wind would have affected Non-playable characters, grenades, and sometimes the Player character.[9][10]

Later, the mission was split into two levels; one focusing on Blue Team and one focusing on Fireteam Osiris. Each level would have been slightly shorter than the one featured in the final game, and both would have featured the Arbiter fighting as an NPC, with the Locke mission showing him fighting in out-of-bounds zones. These iterations of the levels did not progress far into gameplay prototyping, and as such blockouts posted by level designer Jayce Diaz lack proper combat encounter zones.[11][12][13][14]

An early level layout for the Tsunami Station levels was to feature Banshee gameplay inspired by Halo 2.[15]

Multiplayer maps[edit]

A number of very early Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer map prototypes can be found in the files of the leaked Halo 4 tags build, alongside many cut Halo 4 levels. They can be signified by the file prefixes NG - shared by the map filenames in the final Halo 5: Guardians build and presumably standing for Next Generation (referring to the then-upcoming Xbox One console).






  1. ^ a b c d e f Tumblr, Paul Richards (Retrieved on Oct 21, 2021) [archive]
  2. ^ a b c d e Tumblr, Paul Richards (Retrieved on Oct 21, 2021) [archive]
  3. ^ ArtStation, Halo 5 - Infinity Atrium (Retrieved on Dec 28, 2022) [archive]
  4. ^ a b Shae Shatz Creative, Halo 5 (Retrieved on Dec 21, 2019) [archive]
  5. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "Happy birthday, #Halo5! Fun fact: there’s a cut level that took place on Sangheilios before Sunaion that had big vehicle moments, big destruction moments, & even a successor to the Scarab! (It was too expensive and narratively not necessary at the end of the day). RIP Reef City!" (Retrieved on Oct 28, 2023) [archive]
  6. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "I meant to say after some Massive cuts in other areas, Reef City no longer made sense in the narrative and became too expensive. BELIEVE ME I agree Blue Team needed more of just about everything lol" (Retrieved on Oct 28, 2023) [archive]
  7. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "Wish I still had in-game footage of it because a LOT of work was done on animating it destroying parts of the city. I don’t even have the animated stub in work I did or footage of how you fight it :-( Goodnight, sweet Tyrant." (Retrieved on Oct 28, 2023) [archive]
  8. ^ Twitter, David Ellis (@DavidEllis): "RIP my original pitch for the nonlinear Blue Team mission." (Retrieved on Oct 28, 2023) [archive]
  9. ^ The Sprint: All In
  10. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "And to think, this level sprouted from me messing around with phantom winds and animating waves :-) Some of this was shown on the documentary series, The Sprint; specifically, Season 2, Episode 1." (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  11. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "As I mentioned previously, the Battle of Sunaion level (AKA Tsunami Station) went through a ton of iteration. At one point, it was even 2 separate missions! One Locke, one Chief. They had different paths & goals, & wouldn't meet" (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  12. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "but the Arbiter would be involved in both (In Locke's case, there would be moments where you saw him fighting off enemies on nearby platforms). This version of Sunaion was more, "Megachurch atop Sea Docks" and didn't really feature an underbelly, but was..." (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  13. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "very layered and played with pits and clamber. The mission lengths would have been a bit shorter than what shipped, though. These spaces didn't have a bunch of encounter design work done (hence the lack of combat spaces that look viable), but I think it would have worked well :-)" (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  14. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "For a million and one dev reasons, this shifted and changed into what we know today as the Battle of Sunaion mission, and I'm immensely proud of the work the entire team did to bring it all together." (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]
  15. ^ Twitter, Jayce Diaz (@Jayce_Face): "The Sunaion mission changed A LOT during production. it once had this Banshee flying section inspired by Halo 2!" (Retrieved on Oct 25, 2021) [archive]