A lot is riding on Halo: Infinite. Xbox One was the definitive “loser” of this console generation, though current exec Phil Spencer saved some face with Game Pass and other changes. But going into next-gen, the biggest thing fans will look forward to is Halo – the name synonymous with Xbox itself.
The Xbox doesn’t compare to PlayStation with exclusives, but it has always had Halo. Even if the series’ fifth iteration has been divisive, there’s no denying the impact Halo once had. Microsoft’s secrecy surrounding Infinite is for this very reason.
But we should still get excited for Halo: Infinite, and here’s why.
Developer 343 Industries has undoubtedly learned from their mistakes. Halo 5’s story was a mess. It retconned most of the setup from Halo 4 and failed to provide any impactful moments.
Infinite is a soft story reboot that calls back to Halo’s original days. Also, the plot will focus purely on Chief, not bounce between two stories like 5 and 2.
The studio is also working on a new engine, the Slipspace Engine, bringing back the series’ classic art style. Halo franchise director Frank O’Conner says :
[Slipspace is] more powerful for next-generation development, but also more nimble, so the creatives and engineers are able to work more easily and iterate faster.
Does this mean Halo: Infinite spin-offs and DLC? Most likely.
Despite the controversial campaign, Halo 5’s multiplayer is top-notch. It was designed alongside esports pros, and we can expect Infinite to be no different. 343 has already revealed a partnership with Esports Engine for all related events.
Thanks to the Master Chief Collection, every Halo except 5 is already or will be available on PC. Halo: Infinite is no different, and will launch on Game Pass, too. The platform’s 10 million+ subs will have Infinite at launch, on PC, Xbox Series X, or Xbox One, at no extra cost.
If that exposure doesn’t ensure a return to form, I don’t know what will.
Microsoft has kept tight-lipped on Infinite, so we should expect the franchise at its best. We’ll learn more this July 23rd at the Xbox event.