Halo Infinite is coming December 8 and a good few of us here at Tom’s Guide couldn’t be more excited for it. But while our Jordan Palmer got his hands on the multiplayer technical test for Halo Infinite, there's still a good bit we don’t know about the game.
Developer 343 Industries has explained there will be large open-ended areas for Spartan 117, aka the Master Chief, to explore and complete missions in different orders.
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But aside from that, and how the Banished will be at least one of the main antagonistic factions, we've not heard much more about the single player or Halo Infinite as a whole.
With that in mind, here are five things I’d like to see from Halo Infinite.
A variety of ways to complete missions
As mentioned, Bungie has said Halo Infinite will offer "so much more flexibility to take down Banished bases from all different angles, to progress through the game in your own way." I hope 343i delivers upon that promise, by really running with the idea of an open-ended approach to Halo action.
I want to be able to forge my own route around big Halo maps, so my playthrough can be different to that of others. But I’d also like to see a more creative approach to the game’s action. While Halo is about running and gunning, I’d love the idea of being able to stealthily approach an enemy encampment under the cover of darkness with a silenced weapon, entering the place and dispatching Brutes and other enemies quietly and efficiently. Then in another playthrough I could to go flying into the same spot in the iconic Warthog, running down Grunts and creating an awful amount of noisy carnage.
While I’m not expecting Dishonoured in space, the ability to improvise on the fly from stealthy sneaking to all-out action would be a joy and a proper refresh of the traditional Halo format without completely ruining it.
Varied weapons and vehicles
The Halo series has some of the best weapons in gaming, from the bullpup assault rifle to the roaring shotgun and wacky Needler. But I’d like to see some fresh guns for Halo Infinite, rather than reimagined versions of the current weapons; the last two Halo games arguably over-designed the simple elegance of the aforementioned weapons.
So far, we've seen the harpoon-like Skewer, energy weapon Heatwave and grenade launcher Ravager as new guns to play with. But, ideally, I want something a little more outlandish or designed for specialist situations rather than guns that pop enemies a little faster and louder than others. I’d like to see the ability to combo weapons and abilities, or guns that offer alternative fire modes for a little more tactical action.
The same applies to vehicles. There are plenty of things to pilot or drive in the previous Halo games, but I hope 343i has some fresh ones in mind. I’d love to pilot a pelican, or maybe even a capital ship in some large-scale space combat.
A lot of different environments
Speaking of variation, I want to see Master Chief explore all manner of different situations in Halo Infinite. The previous Halo games manage that, to an extent, though some ended up with maps that felt a little same-y to playthrough in their action; the original Halo’s Library mission comes to mind.
Ideally in every mission, particularly if they're open-ended, I want to have something new to gawp at and grasp with each area we move into. Sure that’s asking a lot, but there's so much rich lore now in the Halo Universe for 343i to tap into and get inspired by.
A branching story
The first three Halo games and Halo Reach had rather solid stories with a few twists and turns. But Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians rather let folks down, with rather weak or convoluted plots that needed some outside reading or tried to tell a story from too many perspectives or characters.
So while I want to see Halo Infinite focused on the Master Chief, but at the same time I'd like the open-end nature of the game also allow for the player to have more of an influence over certain parts of the story. That would make Halo Infinite feel more re-playable. I'm not saying it should go down the whole guns-and-conversion route of Mass Effect, but some small story beat changes based on the player’s actions would go a-ways to injecting some innovation in the Halo series.
A visual treat
Halo Infinite will be a cross-generation and cross-platform game, coming out on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. But despite that, I'd really want to see 343i push the capabilities of the Xbox Series X. We’d like to see ray tracing enabled for Halo Infinite on the Series X and some of the best gaming PCs, as well as just a high level of graphical fidelity. And high-end sound mastering, as well as a bombastic soundtrack, is also on my wish list. The original Halo did that for the original Xbox at launch, so I’d like to see the same ethos applied with Halo Infinite.
At the same time, I'm hoping 343i refines the art style of Halo Infinite to be more in keeping with the cleaner, less fussy aesthetic of the first four Halo games made by Bungie, rather than Halo 4 or 5. If Halo Infinite can hark back to the original's style but sport high-end 2021-era graphics then I'm likely to be left with a big ol’ grin on my face.
With only a few months to go before Halo Infinite finally arrives, I have my fingers crossed that the year-long delay will result in a new Halo game that sees a roaring return to the series, while tickling my nostalgia glans, and takes the Halo series into 2021 and beyond.