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Xbox Series X killer exclusive could launch in two parts — here's why

(Image credit: Xbox)

Halo Infinite has already been delayed until 2021, and now it looks like it may release in multiple parts whenever it does arrive. 

In an interview with Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that it was a distinct possibility that Halo Infinite’s campaign might ship at a different time to its multiplayer. We suspect the campaign would arrive first then the multiplayer segment second, if this proves to be the case. 

Halo Infinite was meant to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X but was delayed due to the problems of developing a game under coronavirus lockdowns. When we first got our glimpse at Halo Infinite this past summer, many fans were disappointed by the game's visuals. So we’d not be surprised to see 343 Industries work on improving the graphics of the next Halo game before it gets released on powerful Xbox Series X hardware. 

Releasing the campaign separately to the multiplayer would at least give the Xbox Series X and wider Xbox ecosystem some new Halo action to sink its teeth into, even if it means effectively bisecting two components that make the Halo franchise the icon it is today. 

“But I think we want to make sure people feel like they have a Halo experience. I think we can look at options like that. So, yeah, I think that’s something to think about, but we want to make sure we do it right,” Spencer said, when asked about the potential of releasing Halo Infinite’s in different sections. 

However, Spencer said the decision to do so will be with Bonnie Ross, head of the Halo franchise, and the Halo team. Of course, such decisions can be tricky given campaigns of some games tie in very closely with their multiplayer element. And if the multiplayer were to be released before the main campaign there is a risk it could give away certain story elements. 

We need to take this with a pinch of skepticism, as it would be an unusual move for Halo Infinite to be released in a semi-segmented form. No Halo game has been released like this before, so 343 Industries would be setting a new precedent for the franchise. 

Furthermore, some people are more into Halo multiplayer than the campaign, so releasing the game without a multiplayer mode straight away might annoy some Halo fans. And this further adds some concern about the strength of exclusive or first-party games for the Xbox Series X. When it launches on November 10, alongside the Xbox Series S, it doesn't look set to have any real heavy-hitting exclusives, despite launching with big third-party titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla.   

That being said, Xbox Game Pass could lend a hand here, as that subscription service has a huge range of current and older-generation games to play that tap into the power of the Xbox Series X. In fact, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be optimized for Series X and Series S at launch, allowing Halo fans to enjoy older Halo games at up to 120 frames per second or at 4K depending on their preferences.

Furthermore, Xbox Series X backwards compatibility promises to be very comprehensive. So Xbox fans might have to wait for a new Halo and the likes of Fable 4, but at least they’ll have plenty of games to play at launch.