The console wars are raging right now. Though the Xbox Series S and X may be winning over the PlayStation 5, that lead is likely to grow even further as 2021 rolls on.
A big part of that is Halo Infinite. Halo has always been Xbox’s premiere exclusive series but its absence from the Xbox Series S|X launch left a big hole that the console has overcome. With no word on games like God of War Ragnarok and Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, the release of Halo Infinite could mark a turning point in this console generation.
But what exactly have Microsoft and 343 Studios revealed about the game to this point? Here’s everything you need to know about Halo Infinite.
The release date for Halo Infinite was announced at Gamescom 2021. Halo Infinite will launch worldwide on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on December 8.
Begin your Spartan Journey on December 8, 2021 – and, prepare for battle with a #HaloInfinite Limited Edition Xbox Series X Bundle, and Elite Series 2 Controller.
— Halo (@Halo) August 25, 2021
Halo Infinite was originally set to come out on November 10, 2020 as a launch title for the Xbox Series X and S. The game’s release was pushed deep into 2021 a few months prior to launch, but exact reasons weren’t given. It likely stemmed from global restrictions impacting development resources, as well as other issues related to the game’s development.
Yes, Halo Infinite is set to come out on PC alongside the Xbox Series X and Xbox One releases. Though it hasn’t been explicitly stated by 343 Studios, it is widely expected that Halo Infinite will have a simultaneous worldwide release across all three platforms.
Crossplay, super ultrawide, triple keybinds, and so much more – #HaloInfinite on PC is being built from the ground up with the platform’s strengths in mind. Read about the team’s vision and what PC players can expect in our latest Inside Infinite.
— Halo (@Halo) April 29, 2021
The decision comes as part of a larger strategy by Microsoft to move away from exclusive games and instead make first-party titles available on both active Xbox consoles as well as on PC. Halo Infinite isn’t going to be alone in this regard, meaning the Xbox One likely has a few years left in the tank.
Yes, Halo Infinite is currently planned to have both crossplay and cross-progression across the Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series S|X platforms. This will allow players to compete both with and against each other across all three platforms and also enjoy any rewards they have unlocked.
Similar to Call of Duty Warzone, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free to play across each platform it launches on, but that won’t be the case for the entire game. Those looking to play Halo’s story mode will either need to purchase the full version of the game or be a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass.
At present, it’s unclear whether there may be other restrictions or potential workarounds when it comes to Halo Infinite’s co-op modes. There may also be other game modes at launch or released over time that get hidden behind a paywall.
Demo footage and promotional materials for Halo Infinite left some fans of the franchise believing that the game will have open world level design, but this is not true. Halo Infinite will have similar level design to other installments in the series, but there will be greater freedom of movement in certain levels that has the appearance of being open world.
Though Halo would actually be very well suited for an open world environment given its focus on vehicular combat and the ability to fly around with Banshees, there will still be defined areas where missions will take place. It’s highly likely that players will find themselves on a spaceship or two, but that doesn’t guarantee an open-world environment.
343 Studios is planning for Halo Infinite to be the last game in the series for an extended period of time, and possibly forever. The goal is to make Halo Infinite a dynamic experience that the developers can alter to stay relevant over an extended period of time.
“Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future. We want Infinite to grow over time, versus going to those numbered titles and having all that segmentation that we had before. It’s really about creating Halo Infinite as the start of the next ten years for Halo and then building that as we go with our fans and community,” 343 Studios’ Chris Lee said.
While this might sound overly ambitious, it’s actually not out of line with what has been seen in other AAA game releases in recent years.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is coming up on its eighth birthday and remains a heavily played game thanks to Grand Theft Auto Online. Established multiplayer games are also seeing major overhauls that keep them fresh over time, introducing new game mechanics or new modes that radically change how people play the games.
Odds are that 343 Studios’ plan is to release something that stands on its own initially, but has the modularity to be changed over time in ways that are more similar to Fortnite than other similarly positioned games.
It is unknown whether Master Chief will die in Halo Infinite, but there is a chance that it could happen.
Historically speaking, video game publishers have been very reluctant to decisively kill off the lead characters in long-running franchises. Ignoring the likes of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, Konami refused to kill off Solid Snake at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, and Commander Shepard can survive through the end of Mass Effect 3.
If 343 Studios is serious about ending the Halo franchise for the foreseeable future, one way to do so would be killing off the Master Chief. Master Chief being definitively killed in Halo Infinite would put a bow on the series and would likely generate mainstream attention.
That said, there many different ways that Halo Infinite could end that don’t see the Master Chief dying. Alongside being cryogenically frozen once again, he could ultimately ditch the Spartan suit to finally give fans a good look at his face and retire, or he could simply keep on being the Master Chief that we all know.