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Halo Infinite release date, trailer, gameplay, leaks and news

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Halo Infinite is almost here, and it could be the biggest and most important installment yet in Microsoft’s iconic first-person shooter series. Not only will Halo Infinite be the first core Halo game in 5 years, it’ll also herald the launch of the Xbox Series X, and could be the first great showpiece for Microsoft’s next-generation console.

And now that Sony has thrown the gauntlet down by revealing an impressive slate of PS5 exclusives that includes Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon: Forbidden West, the pressure is on Halo Infinite to garner the same excitement for Microsoft's new console.

Details are currently thin on Halo Infinite, but teasers so far suggest that we’ll see a major evolution from previous Halo games — possibly with a more open-ended world to explore. And based on some recent info drops, it looks like a classic group of Halo enemies is set to make its return.

Here’s everything we know so far about Halo Infinite, including its release date, trailer and what we expect from Master Chief’s big return.

Halo Infinite release date 

Halo Infinite is slated to release in Holiday 2020 alongside the Xbox Series X. It doesn’t have a firm date just yet, but we expect both the game and the console to hit around November.

We’ll likely get a much better look at Halo Infinite during Xbox’s July exclusives event, which will be focused on first-party titles and is confirmed to showcase the new Halo game.

Halo Infinite PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X: Where will it launch?  

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite will launch for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X simultaneously, so you won’t need to upgrade to Microsoft’s next-gen console in order to play it. The game will be immediately available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers, and judging by previous Xbox Game Studio releases, we expect there to be cross-play and cross-save across all three platforms.  

Halo Infinite trailer 

Our most recent tease of Halo Infinite came on June 24, via a short clip that contains an audio log that reveals the return of The Banished as an enemy faction. The Banished are a mercenary group that broke away from The Covenant, and were the main antagonists as well as a playable faction in Halo Wars 2. 

The game’s initial announcement trailer from E3 2018 shows off some kind of mysterious new game world filled with wildlife. We see a small group of soldiers put out a distress beacon, before things cut to Master Chief who begins to drive to the rescue in his warthog truck. It’s then revealed that we are once again on a Halo ring. 

The E3 2019 ‘Discover Hope’ trailer is a bit heavier on story. We see a new UNSC soldier character in distress on a spacecraft, who appears to be holding some kind of holograph that contains a recording of his wife. He later finds Master Chief floating in space and rescues and awakens him. The Chief is later told “we lost” while gazing at a destroyed Halo ring, before the pair come under attack and decide to fight. We also get a tease that Cortana, who was corrupted in Halo 5, is back.

Halo Infinite gameplay 

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: Xbox)

We’ve yet to see proper gameplay for Microsoft’s next flagship FPS. The game’s official website claims that it “takes the franchise in ambitious and unexpected directions,” which could suggest major gameplay changes or possibly even a more open-world approach to the story campaign. 

As reported by Wccftech, an Xbox insider on the Read Deal Xbox podcast suggested that Halo Infinite could have a "single shot" campaign in the vein of God of War for PS4. Sony's acclaimed 2018 title all took place within a single cinematic shot, making it one of the most immersive single-player experiences yet -- and a formula that could shake up the Halo experience in a really exciting way.

The game will be powered by 343 Industries’ new Slipspace Engine, which looks gorgeous judging by the small cinematic clips we’ve seen so far. We expect Halo’s signaturely satisfying shooting to come back, as well as the new movement and combat options (including dashing and ground-pounding) from Halo 5. 

Halo Infinite leaks and toys 

Several Halo Infinite toys have leaked early, hinting at some characters we could expect to return and debut in the new game. A recent Funko Pop leak from anerdydad on Instagram (via Gamerant) teases three new toys: Master Chief, Master Chief with Mark VII Armor and Mark VII with Vakara. ‘Vakara’ is the new tidbit there, and is speculated to be the new AI character to take Cortana’s place. 

Gamerant also reports that the Brute enemy faction could return to Infinite, based on a seperate set of leaked Mega Construx toys. These characters were last seen as major antagonists in Halo 3, but were also featured in 2017’s Halo Wars 2 as part of a faction that rebelled against the enemy Covenant. 

A new set of Halo toys were revealed at Toy Fair 2020 in February, confirming the return of classic Master Chief armor and weapons as well as a placeholder box for “villain TBD.” 

Halo Infinite story 

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Warning: Spoilers for Halo 5 follow!

Based on the ending of Halo 5 as well as the small tidbits from the Infinite trailers, we can start to piece together what the story of the new game might be. Halo 5 ends with a now-corrupted Cortana taking control of various AI throughout the galaxy while using an ancient Guardian construct to trap Master Chief and his crew. 

Chief and company are eventually rescued by Jameson Locke and Fireteam Osiris, but Cortana manages to get away. The game has a bonus post-credits ending on Legendary difficulty, which teases a new Halo ring while Cortana hums in the background. 

That likely sets the stage for what we see in the two Halo Infinite trailers, which also feature a new Halo ring and reveal that Cortana is back -- and probably up to no good. Cortana could very well be using this new Halo ring to forcibly take over the galaxy, which would mean that the Master Chief has a big fight on his hands. A June 2020 teaser also suggests that Halo Wars 2 antagonists The Banished will serve as a main group of enemies, making things even more difficult for Chief and co. 

Based on both the trailers and the negative reception to Halo 5’s campaign, it appears that Halo Infinite will focus entirely on Master Chief as the main playable character. Halo 5 spent a bulk of its campaign focused on new character Locke and FIreteam Osiris, which didn’t go over very well with fans. Here’s hoping Halo Infinite is the return to glory that players want when it launches later this year.