Halo Infinite is an upcoming video game serving as a sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, which will be 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 2021.
As the third chapter in the Reclaimer Saga, 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 in some way 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.
Infinite has been described as being a "platform" for the Halo franchise for 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 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.
Infinite's multiplayer mode will be free-to-play and will support 120FPS on Xbox Series X. The game will have some form of microtransactions in multiplayer and an "out of game" progression system. Lootboxes may feature, but they won't be purchasable with real-world money.
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 Jan 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 29, 2020, showcasing the artwork for the game created by the team at 343 Industries.
E3 2020 substitute: Xbox Games Showcase
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.