It's been almost a year since Microsoft released information about Halo Infinite. As part of E3 2019 The Xbox company, together with the developers from 343 Industries, provided us with a first render trailer with the great title "Discover Hope". In it, the creators not only demonstrated the power of the new Slipspace Game Engine. The Master Chief's return was also officially confirmed when he was apparently lifelessly fished out of the ether, breathed life back into his MJOLNIR armor and a first look at a halo ring was given to us.
As part of her Xbox Showcase on July 23 have finally let those responsible follow further details – and above all showed gameplay! An approximately nine-minute demo gave players and the press first insights into what to expect when Halo Infinite (buy now for € 24.99) will be released in this year's Christmas sales, for the PC, Xbox One and as a launch title for the simultaneously appearing Xbox Series X. We also had the special opportunity to additionally listen to a presentation by the developers and to answer them in a subsequent Q&A with our most burning questions.
A game for newbies and veterans
Speaking of questions: If you have read the first paragraph and understood only terms like "Master Chief", "MJOLNIR" or "Halo-Ring", you do not have to worry now that Halo Infinite might not be for you. Of the Shooter will to continue the story of the fifth part, however, should not require any solid previous knowledge. One reason for this is that Infinite is a "mental reboot" acts. Accordingly, the developers tried to give the title a new and fresh coat of paint, but at the same time to maintain the feeling of wonder, mystery and hope. The new halo is a mix of the familiar and the foreign. So you can easily embark on an adventure if you haven't touched the row before. Veterans, on the other hand, are happy to see some familiar faces again. With the Brutes, for example, the developers have brought back one of the franchise's most popular opponent types.
Source: 343 Industries
Of course, a few new people also appear on the scene. There would be your companion, who is simply called "the pilot". It is supposed to be a kind of counterpoint to the master chief. While the Spartan is portrayed as the greatest soldier in the universe, the savior of humanity, the pilot is just a normal guy who also adds a bit of humanity and down-to-earthness to the narrative. On the other side, War Chief Escharum was introduced in the trailer, which led the Banished alien mercenary faction to victory against the human UNSC and took control of the Halo Ring. This should clarify the antagonist question for Halo Infinite. Of course, the title will also have other characters to offer, but the makers didn't want to reveal anything about them yet. After all, you want to leave a few surprises for the release. We will only find out later whether the Flood or the Blue Team are making a comeback.
The largest halo world ever
Instead, we took a closer look at the gameplay demo shown. According to the makers, it should be located around the middle of the campaign, where the Master Chief and his pilot are fleeing the Banished. However, her Pelican gets under the violent fire of enemy anti-aircraft guns, so that the two are forced to land and first of all to tidy up on the ground. As a result, we get to see the Halo Infinite game world for the first time, which is located on a fully realized Halo ring and is ridiculously large. In the previous parts, the sci-fi shooter was characterized by its sandbox-like structure and playful freedom. Infinite puts it a step further and is more than twice the size of the two previous campaigns combined – which of course offers a lot of possibilities.
Source: 343 Industries
The halo ring can be crossed, for example, using the Warthog and surveyed using the TacMap. On this map you can set personal waypoints, select missions and to a certain extent design your adventure yourself. Explore the mysterious alien environment at your own pace, discover hidden rewards or attack banished forts – as you like. The developers deliberately never used the term "open world" in this context. Instead, associate creative director Paul Croker said the design was somewhere between an open world and several smaller zones. Even dynamic weather was not confirmed upon request, just a kind of day-night rhythm. For example, the makers told us that we should be looking forward to watching a sunset over the Halo Ring.
New toy for the chief
Source: 343 Industries
The halo ring is of course not a quiet vacation idyll. Infinite also shoots properly again, for example with the iconic assault rifle of the Master Chief. You can also fire up the alien Gesocks – whose AI has been improved so that it now reacts smarter to your actions and uses the environment more tactically – but also with new means. In the demo, the developers presented the Drop Shield and the Grappleshot. The former is a portable protective shield that you can use to ward off enemy shelling or even distract grenades. The latter shoots a grappling hook, which you can use for locomotion, but also in combat: with it you can pull opponents towards you, hang shooting from the ceiling or catapult yourself towards enemies, and then use the rifle butt to pull them over your head . Other toys can be unlocked later in the game or found in the world, and then even upgraded! That suggests at least a corresponding tab in the menu.
Finally, we also have to go into the presentation of Halo Infinite. It was a complete success. The shooter looks impressive, the slipspace engine conjured up great colors and effects on the screen. We especially liked the lighting. On PC and Xbox Series X, the shooter will also run at 60 frames per second and in 4K resolution. The soundtracking and background music by Curtis Schweitzer and Gareth Coker made us want more. The demo drove epic sounds into the ear, the orchestral soundtrack with choral chants perfectly accompanied the breathtaking images and caused some goosebumps.
We are now all the more excited about what the developers at 343 Industries will have to offer us in the coming weeks and months. Soon the US studio wants to respond to the multiplayer, in the context of which a possible co-op mode might also be highlighted. In our presentation it was neglected, so far we only cling to a statement from community director Brian Jarrad. He confirmed in an article in 2019 that Halo Infinite would bring back the split-screen mode.
After the gameplay demo I definitely want more!
The first game scenes for Halo Infinite made me want to finally take the controller in hand and save the whole universe with my own hands. Unfortunately, I am still denied this for the time being, as developer 343 Industries canceled the planned beta phase due to the corona pandemic in the short term. At least I can console myself with the fact that the makers seem to be on the right track with the latest adventure from the Masterchief. With the reboot approach, newcomers and veterans are satisfied equally, with Escharum you have found a serious villain, the (half?) – open game world on a halo ring looks great and the gameplay with its various minor improvements and additions also leaves one behind round impression. Now there is only hope that multiplayer and co-op mode will also convince, then Halo Infinite could become a really strong argument for many players to buy an Xbox Series X.
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