Described by developer 343 Industries as “a spiritual reboot” of the series, “Halo Infinite” showed off some gameplay to highlight the Xbox Games Showcase.
Riding on the nostalgia train that several remakes and reboots tend to do, “Halo Infinite” did so in the nearly nine minute-long teaser video.
Everything’s there—the assault rifle, the slow pans of alien architecture, the crowds of pestiferous aliens, that iconic military-green armor. The music, too, instantly transports you to a previous era of “Halo,” Kotaku notes.
Yet it wasn’t all about looking at the past. “Halo Infinite” will be one of the first big titles when the Xbox Series X launches later this year, so it definitely had to show off some new features. That’s where Master Chief’s grappling hook and map implying an open world come in.
Some fans expressed disappointment with the graphics on Twitter, saying that the sneak peek bore an uncannily strong visual resemblance to the original trilogy—fine, in fans’ eyes, for an Xbox 360 game, but not exactly as jaw-dropping as what you’d expect from a Series X launch title.
“This really speaks to the spiritual reboot concept that we started this project with, where we really wanted to take the learnings from ‘Halo 4’ and ‘Halo 5’ and […] look across the entire history of the Halo franchise and embrace the most iconic elements and bring those forward for gamers today,” said Chris Lee, of 343 Industries, during a closed-door Q&A session following today’s showcase.
At that same Q&A, nobody from 343 Industries explicitly said the words “open-world” though. Instead, many of them said, “a huge world that is open and expansive.”
The level that was shown no doubt has the trappings of an open-world shooter. But that level happens several hours into the game. 343 hasn’t shared what comes before—or after. Is all of Infinite as open? Or is this the only section with such an expansive playground?
One of the biggest drops of new information was the return of split-screen co-op, something missing in “Halo 5.” 343’s Jerry Hook confirmed that “Halo Infinite” will have both local co-op and four-player co-op although Kotaku says that it’s unclear if local co-op will also be four-player or if two separate Xbox consoles are needed.
According to Lee, the game’s campaign is several times larger than the “past two ‘Halo’ games put together.” It’s also the cornerstone of the future of the “Halo” franchise. There isn’t a planned flagship entry after this one, and any new content will likely get introduced like a drip feed.