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Halo Infinite: Release Date, Gameplay, and What We Know So Far

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Halo Infinite remains to be on the top of gamers’ minds despite all the reworks and delays the game has gone through. While Xbox and developer 343 Industries have released trailers and gameplay footage of Master Chief’s next adventure, there’s still quite a bit of mystery around Halo Infinite. For one thing, the final look of the game is still up in the air and we still know little to nothing about the story. We’re sure to hear more soon though as the game is the centerpiece of the upcoming Microsoft and Bethesda Showcase at E3 2021.

When is the Halo Infinite Release Date?

Halo Infinite has a Fall 2021 release date following an announced delay in August 2020. At the very least we know the game is scheduled to launch later this year, but we don’t know the exact month or day.

Halo Infinite was originally scheduled to release during holiday 2020 onto the Xbox Series X, PC, and Xbox One with Smart Delivery support. At one point, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said first-party games like Halo Infinite will available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.

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Is Halo Infinite Open World?

To date, we’ve only seen exactly nine minutes of gameplay that was released during the 2020 Xbox Games Showcase Livestream. From that footage, it was clear Halo Infinite was designed with more open-world gameplay in mind to give players more freedom.

Rather than linear levels, the Master Chief will be able to explore around an entire halo ring where players might come across a skull in the environment or happen across a Covenant outpost.

Playing as the Master Chief will also feel different this time since he now has upgrades and a tech tree. Overtime players will unlock new equipment such as a drop shield and a grappling hook. Halo games in the past have had upgrades like rocket packs and armor locks, but instead of limited pick ups it appears these upgrades will stay throughout your playthrough.

Unfortunately, though, dual-wielding won’t be coming back once again but you can potentially knock enemies off of the halo ring.

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Halo Infinite Graphics

Halo’s graphics have been a hot debate for years. After strong community feedback over Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians, and Halo Wars 2, 343 Industries went back to more legacy aesthetics pulled from the original trilogy.

Unfortunately, even with the new/old art style the community wasn’t satisfied with the visual fidelity Halo Infinite presented. The gameplay demo was filled with object pop-in, plastic-like textures, and flat lighting. To that end, 343 Industries has promised to raise the overall level of fidelity and presentation of the final game.

We’re hoping to get our first glimpse of Halo Infinite’s reworked graphics at E3 2021 soon.

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Halo Infinite Story

Halo Infinite and its story were first teased with a trailer at E3 2018, a cinematic trailer called Discover Hope at E3 2019 with a secret audio message from Cortana, and lastly a teaser video with a message from The Banished.

In July 2020, IGN got a chance to sit down with 343 Industries developers Chris Lee and Paul Crocker to reveal more about the game’s story and villain. First off Halo Infinite takes place well after the ending of Halo 5. The rampant Cortana is nowhere to be found and the effects of her AI uprising are still a mystery.

But what is clear is Halo Infinite’s main enemies are The Banished in Infinite – a rogue faction of Brutes from Halo Wars 2. The main villain is the banished’s leader War Chief Escharum who has taken control of the halo ring as his last stand against the Master Chief.

There could also be another mystery character that’ll play into the story that’s called “The Harbinger,” which may or may not be Cortana.

Is Halo Infinite Co-op?

343 Industries confirmed Halo infinite’s story campaign will support co-op for two players in local split-screen and four players while online.

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Will Halo Infinite Have Microtransactions?

A job listing for an Online Experience Design Director at 343 Industries revealed Halo Infinite will have microtransactions. The job description includes the design and implementation of “progression in- and out-of-game; microtransactions and integration of our business plan throughout the game; and, finally, social and engagement features that encourage players to return again and again with their friends.” It’s worth noting microtransactions have existed in previous Halo entries.

Responding to a Halo YouTube creator’s concern over microtransactions in Halo Infinite, Studio Head Chris Lee said, “We’re still working through final plans and will share more when we are ready, but I can definitely say that Halo Infinite will not include real-money loot boxes.”

Will Halo Infinite Be Cross-Play?

Halo Infinite will support multiplayer cross-play and cross-progression across PC (on Microsoft Store and Steam), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Will Halo infinite have Battle Royale?

343’s Jeff Easterling and James Bachici stated long ago in June 2019 that Halo Infinite won’t have a battle royale mode and noted that “the only BR we’re really interested in is Battle Rifle.” No one at the company has stated a change in opinion since then.

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Andrew Smith is a freelance contributor at IGN. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewtsmith.


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