halo in­fi­nite

HALO GOES BACK TO THE PAST BE­FORE GET­TING BACK TO THE FU­TURE

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

First things first: As much as we hate to dash hopes, this is not a hip-hop style col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween 343 and Ir­ra­tional Games in which Mas­ter Chief fights a float­ing racist city. Sorry about that. This is, how­ever, a new game from that most hal­lowed of Xbox fran­chises, the one from which a sim­ple glim­mer off a re­flec­tive hel­met vi­sor can weaken knees. Ladies, gen­tle­men, and rogue AIs: There’s a new Halo on the way.

A new Halo with a be­spoke engine, more­over. The Slipspace engine has al­ready been in de­vel­op­ment for years, and you can im­me­di­ately see the fruits of that la­bor in the raw and shock­ing fidelity of space-rhinoceros nos­trils and un­usu­ally mus­cu­lar space-deer lap­ping water by the lake. What­ever 343’s am­bi­tions for the next Halo, they ap­par­ently ex­ceeded the ex­ist­ing tech, and that’s led some to hy­poth­e­size that In­fi­nite will be a de­par­ture from the tra­di­tional shooter for­mula. That sub­ti­tle, ‘In­fi­nite’, in place of a nice neat ‘6’, also suggests there might be some­thing left­field from the game­play, but th­ese are early days to be pin­ning the game down. By the de­vel­oper’s own ad­mis­sion, the re­lease is a long way off.

343 has em­pha­sized that this game re­news its fo­cus on Mas­ter Chief af­ter an in­creas­ing num­ber of spin-offs and dual pro­tag­o­nist ex­per­i­ments like Halo 5: Guardians, in which the series OG shared half the screen time with Spar­tan Locke. That chimes with an over­all feel­ing of nos­tal­gia that per­me­ates the en­tire trailer.

Other than its ap­ti­tude for ren­der­ing ex­otic fauna in knee-weak­en­ing de­tail, 343 haven’t shown much else of Halo In­fi­nite and its new engine. But there are hints through­out the in-engine footage that paint a pic­ture of the game it might be­come. We see a flash of a ru­ined Pel­i­can trans­port vessel which looks like it’s been grounded a long time, and a longer, more pointed shot of Mas­ter Chief’s hel­met. It’s a dif­fer­ent de­sign to what we’ve seen thus far in the series’ pri­mary blood­line, which has led some to spec­u­late that it isn’t Mas­ter Chief, but a fe­male Spar­tan Com­mando who’s been stranded on the ring­world for many years. Rest as­sured though: Mas­ter Chief’s the pro­tag­o­nist. 343 has also con­firmed that the events of the game take place di­rectly af­ter Halo 5, so

don’t ex­pect a pre­quel dig­ging into pre-Halo 1 lore or any­thing.

The fact that its de­vel­op­ers have made it clear re­lease is a long way off tells us that this might be a next-gen project. The fidelity lev­els of that in-engine footage cer­tainly lend cre­dence to the idea, and if In­fi­nite’s am­bi­tions re­ally are so high it needs an all-new engine, per­haps it also needs the next in­car­na­tion of Xbox hard­ware to re­al­ize it too. 343 made no men­tion of a re­lease date, while any men­tion of plat­forms was con­spic­u­ously ab­sent. We have a feel­ing in our bones that if there was a new Halo com­ing to rock the Xbox One X, Mi­crosoft would be shout­ing about it. There are ru­mors cir­cu­lat­ing that the sin­gle-player com­po­nent will ar­rive be­fore mul­ti­player too, but we’ve never been one to take stock in the games in­dus­try sewer’s cir­cle. This isn’t sta­ble ground to base as­sump­tions on—it’s in-engine, not in-game, and as such it’s sub­ject to all kinds of change at 343’s whim in the com­ing months and—in all like­li­hood— years. Rest as­sured, we’ll be telling you more when we hear it.

above The cin­e­matog­ra­phy re­calls Halo’s early show­ings in 1999, all zoomed-out track­ing shots and dra­matic vis­tas.

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