From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Halo Infinite is an upcoming video game serving as a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, which is being developed by 343 Industries, Certain Affinity, and SkyBox Labs, and published by Microsoft Studios. The game was first unveiled during the opening to Microsoft's E3 2018 conference, with a release date originally being set for late 2020. On August 11, 2020, it was announced that due to ongoing difficulties in development due to the COVID-19 pandemic - among other factors - Halo Infinite is to be delayed, with a new release date set for December 8, 2021 and then further narrowed down to Holiday 2021., with a series of Technical Previews through the Halo Insiders program beginning on July 29, 2021.
As the next chapter in the Halo Universe, Infinite will focus on the Master Chief and continue his story following the events of Halo 5: Guardians. It has been described as a "spiritual reboot" for the franchise.
Characters and setting
Infinite has been described as being a "platform" for the Halo franchise for at least the next decade. It is intended that the game be added to over time, rather than utilizing the previous system of numbered titles. However, the game will not be a live service one; it has been likened as being more akin to Halo: The Master Chief Collection in this regard. The gameplay is inspired by the original trilogy, especially Halo 3, along with the gameplay from Halo: Reach, Halo 4, and Halo 5: Guardians, with a focus on the use of Equipment rather than Armor abilities. Unlike the original trilogy, however, the player has the Sprint ability as well as the Slide ability from Halo 5: Guardians. Like Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite will not feature playable Sangheili in multiplayer or dual wielding at launch.
The campaign takes place on a single Halo ring; the campaign has been described as being larger than the campaigns of Halo 4 and 5 combined. The campaign will have four player online co-op and two-player local splitscreen co-op. As a result of shifting focus towards a higher quality product at launch, the campaign co-op mode will not be available at launch, but 343 Industries plans to include it alongside Halo Infinite's Season 02, approximately three months after launch.
The game will have dynamic day/night cycles. Enemies will sometimes act differently per the time of day (e.g. Unggoy sleeping at night). Some weather elements will also feature, such as wind, and fog coming in at different altitudes. Rain and snowstorms won't feature at launch, but may be added in the future.
Infinite's multiplayer mode will be free-to-play and will support 120FPS on Xbox Series X. Cross-play and cross-progression will be available, allowing players to carry customization and progress across all platforms. Competitive playlists will be restricted based on input devices across platforms. The game will have some form of microtransactions in multiplayer and an "out of game" progression system. 343 has also confirmed that loot boxes will not be present. Furthermore, Infinite will have seasons similar to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, with each season lasting approximately three months as well as special events known as "Fractures".
The game will have a number of multiplayer maps including the following;
A major update to Halo Waypoint will be released in parallel to Halo Infinite. Players will be able to access armor customizations, Battle Pass progression, and gameplay stats on the Halo Waypoint website and mobile app.
The Academy is a training mode that allows new players to learn the flow of Halo combat and veteran players to warm up before heading into matchmaking. Players will be assisted by Commander Laurette Agryna, a Spartan supersoldier in charge of training new Spartan recruits at the Avery J. Johnson Academy of Military Science, a hidden outpost on a frontier world. There are several sections to the academy, such as a live fire range where players can test out weapons on AI controlled Spartans and a movement course that allows new players to become familiar with Infinite's movement.
Most notably, the Academy allows players to create matches populated by AI bots to test out their skills on hostile opponents. Bot difficulty, starting weapons, grenades, and the amount of bots can all be changed in game. Bots will come in four types: Recruit, Marine, ODST, and Spartan; with the primary differences between them being intelligence and resourcefulness. All bots can use equipment and will keep track of power weapon spawns and will try to use them. Higher level bots will use the Grappleshot.
Forge will be included in Halo Infinite, featuring an "Undo & Redo" buttons. As with Halo 5: Guardians, Infinite will feature weapon variants of several weapons. Due to technical complexities involved, Forge will not be available at launch, but it is planned to be included alongside Halo Infinite's Season 03, approximately six months after launch.
The Battle Passes from each season will remain in-game for future purchases, allowing players to unlock armor permutations from past seasons at anytime. The season system will include an evolving story, centered around the player's avatar.
A sequel to Halo 5 had entered the planning stages by September, 2015. By this point, the developers were aware of where the story would go, and had begun writing the game. The game has been referred to offhand as "Halo 6," before the official title was announced at E3 2018. Frank O'Connor has argued that the next installment would feature "a much more human story". The studio plans on keeping the cooperative mode introduced in Halo 5. Halo Infinite will have two-player splitscreen, as will all other future Halo FPS games. Early "blue-sky" concept art was produced during this year, depicting the game's setting of a broken Installation 07.
As of June 2017, it has been confirmed that Halo Infinite will not be discussed "for quite some time", implying a longer development cycle. Halo Infinite will have a beta at some point prior to its release. Halo Infinite will also have more focus on the Master Chief by "doubling down" on him. There will be no Battle Royale mode featured according to Jeff Easterling's claim “The only BR we're interested in is the Battle Rifle”, in response to the popular trend during a livestream.
Since the launch of Halo 5: Guardians in October 2015, 343 Industries has been developing a new game engine—Slipspace Engine. The engine was built to help the development team fully realize their goals for the upcoming successor to Guardians, Halo Infinite. First announced with an engine demonstration at Microsoft's E3 2018 conference, Halo Infinite is still currently in relatively early development. The trailer depicted the Master Chief aiding Marines on a Halo installation, encountering wildlife similar to deer and rhinoceroses. None of the wildlife will be hostile to the player.
On a Mixer stream on December 19, 2018, several 343i employees confirmed that players who liked Halo: Reach's armor customization would be pleased with Halo Infinite's. Black undersuits for the multiplayer Spartans was also confirmed. Players who reach SR 152 in Halo 5: Guardians will be rewarded with the "Watchdogs" armor coating in Halo Infinite.
E3 2019 provided more information about the game. It showed an early scene from the game where a pilot of a derelict Pelican finds the Master Chief floating in space in front of a damaged Halo, retrieves him and powers his suit back up; preparing for battle. Another scene shows the Master Chief moving inside of an environment resembling a Halo's control room, and preparing a AI chip with the explicitly deliberate goal of "reconnecting" with someone or something. Additionally, an audio file hidden within the trailer's HUD sequence features Cortana's voice remarking that "This... This is part of me. I don't know why. I don't know how. But it is me."
The Xbox Games Showcase in July served as a substitute for E3 2020 which had been cancelled by the Covid-19 pandemic. A demo was streamed showing the Master Chief and Echo-419's pilot crash landing on Installation 07. It featured gameplay showing an "open-world" gameplay, the return of Sprint, gameplay with the new weapons and two of the new equipment: the Grappleshot and the Drop wall.
Development of the game was slowed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the pandemic eventually contributing to the game's delay for a 2021 release. The game was originally planned for a release on November 10, as an Xbox Series X launch title.
During the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase segment of E3 in June 2021, 343 Industries presented a trailer for the campaign and multiplayer. Multiplayer gameplay, including 4v4 arena, Big Team Battle, and player customization, were shown.
In July 2021, the first Multiplayer Technical Preview went live for selected members of Halo Insider Program. This first preview tested 4v4 bot multiplayer matches, Academy's Weapon Drills, and UI tests on Infinite's Battle Pass, Challenges, menu, and Spartan customization.
By 20 August 2021, Halo Infinite development has entered "shutdown" mode, where the focus has shifted towards bugfixes and reviews on campaign and multiplayer.
Flighting via the Halo Insider program will take place sometime in the summer of 2021. Bots, challenges, a truncated Battle pass and only a select amount of Arena maps will be featured in the Flight. All invited accounts will be given a set amount of in-game Credits to use on unlocks. These unlocks will not transfer to the full release of the game.
Halo Infinite is being developed with cross-play and cross-progression available on the Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC. All platforms support customizable options in field of view and input devices, with players being able to use controllers as well as keyboard and mouse on all platforms. As such, the game also offers additional gameplay settings for keyboard and mouse users, including triple keybinds, advanced sensitivity, and acceleration sliders. Halo Infinite on PC supports interface with Steam and Discord, and comes with customizable in-game settings, including a wide range of display aspect ratios (including 21:9 and 32:9 formats) as well as advanced graphics options.
Halo Infinite will be the first debut of a new artstyle introduced by Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier; Bouvier having worked as a concept artist for the series' expanded media, drew heavy inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise and fan feedback, while ensuring that the fidelity of those designs would take full advantage of the Xbox One's capabilities. The game will focus on the Master Chief, with 343i having taken feedback on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5. The studio has stated that they are making changes to how they approach the game's creation, while also taking new and unexpected directions. Community involvement in the game's design will be utilized, with community members being able to join early flighting programs to give 343i direct feedback.
When designing the setting, inspiration was taken from the Pacific Northwest. "Sub-biomes" also feature, representing said biomes from the Northwest. Some unique areas called "Deadlands" appear, representing war-torn areas of the ring.
Halo Infinite will feature an advanced audio system unlike any seen in previous games. Using a new sound mapping system, in-game audio will be more realistically affected by features of the environment, such as walls and doorways. Another new feature coming with Halo Infinite is "audio threat prioritization," which alerts the player to threats by making the sound produced by enemies—especially that of incoming fire—louder than sounds produced by the player and their allies.
E3 2018 trailer
On June 10, 2018, an announcement trailer for Halo Infinite was released, showcasing the ideas of what 343 Industries have in mind for the game.
E3 2019 trailer
On June 9, 2019, a new, five minute trailer for Halo Infinite debuted alongside the announcement of Project Scarlett. This trailer introduced a new human character, and revealed John-117's fully redesigned armor, alongside a damaged Halo installation.
343 Industries YouTube video
On January 30, 2020, a video was released, that showcased what the developers have in mind for the game as well as shared some comments on the Slipspace engine.
The Art of Halo Infinite
To coincide with the game's release, an associated art book is set to release on December 31, 2021, showcasing the artwork for the game created by the team at 343 Industries.
E3 2020 substitute: Xbox Games Showcase
The online Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, 2020, released the Become – Step Inside trailer, followed by a 9-minute demonstration of the campaign gameplay. The Campaign Gameplay Trailer was released as a follow-up.
Inside Infinite is a series of monthly updates made by 343 Industries, where several members of Infinite's development team talk about the updates they have made on the game since the Showcase demo. Starting from December 2020, Joseph Staten and other team members have revealed and talked about specific themes in each monthly update, with the updates being planned to be disclosured during 2021:
During the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase segment of E3 2021 on June 13, 2021, Studio Head Bonnie Ross and Head of Creative Joseph Staten presented a teaser for the campaign and the Multiplayer Reveal Trailer, "A New Generation". The multiplayer reveal was followed by additional content and information on the following days:
Season 1 Cinematic Intro
During Gamescom 2021, Joseph Staten presented the cinematic intro for Halo Infinite's Season 01: Heroes of Reach, focusing on the origins of Spartan Laurette Agryna.
Following their initial reveal over the weekend at the New York Toy Fair, Microsoft has revealed higher-resolution images of the new Halo Infinite action figures that are on the way.
The items, which are made by Wicked Cool Toys in partnership with developer 343 Industries, include collectible figures and "premium" helmets. The 6.5" Master Chief figure is particularly noteworthy because its art and design is seemingly based off his MJOLNIR armor design from Halo 1-3, before 343 changed things up when it took over the franchise from Bungie.
The images also reveal that there will be new figures for Halo Infinite's villains. Some of these villains remain as TBD (To Be Determined/Decided). One such villain has been revealed to be Hyperius.
Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft has given more details about the Xbox Series X, including technical specs and consumer-facing features like its new Smart Delivery. In the process, it also reaffirmed it will continue to support some of its current initiatives, like Game Pass, for the upcoming Halo Infinite.
In the announcement, Microsoft confirmed that Game Pass will continue to include first-party games, specifically name-dropping Halo Infinite. The post also briefly mentioned its array of 15 Xbox Game Studios in relation to Game Pass. In addition, the Series X will be backward compatible with previous Xbox generations, so any Game Pass games from prior generations will be playable too.
Halo Infinite is also the flagship product for Microsoft's new Smart Delivery feature. That means the user will be able to purchase it and any other participating game on Xbox One, and when he/she upgrades his/her hardware to the Series X, the user will already own the next-gen version. Third-party participation is voluntary.
All this means that whether the user plays Halo Infinite through a Game Pass subscription or a full game purchase, they will get the upgraded next-gen version of the game when you get an Xbox Series X. Microsoft was expected to share more details on the Xbox Series X at its E3 2020 presentation, though this is to be replaced with a "digital event" due to the cancellation of E3 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.