After what’s felt like an infinity of waiting, we finally have an idea of what Halo Infinite’s campaign will look like. Developer 343 Industries re-revealed the mode for the first-person shooter in a digital showcase today. Take a look:
Halo Infinite picks up after the events of Halo 5, and sees Master Chief trying to figure out why Cortana, his longtime AI partner, went rogue and tried to destroy humanity. He’s seeking another AI, code-named “The Weapon,” who was allegedly designed as a countermeasure to Cortana. The Banished—a splinter faction of Chief’s enemies-turned-allies the Covenant—are in his way.
“How many guns do you need?” one character asks Master Chief, to which the answer is obviously, “infinity.”
It’s been a rocky road for Halo Infinite. Last year, 343 Industries showed off a slice of a mid-game level from the campaign. Though it demonstrated a ton of cool stuff—including an open-ended map and a sweet grappling hook—fans laser-focused on the visuals, making fun of the muddied visuals, certainly not indicative of how Microsoft’s marquee series could look like on its marquee console. (An out-of-context screenshot of an NPC alien was particularly damning. To the community, his name is Craig.)
Some had speculated that Halo Infinite would be an open-world game. Today’s stream clearly showed a large map and some freely structured first-person shooter gameplay (at one point, Chief attacks a Banished base as if he were in a Far Cry), but Microsoft hasn’t explicitly said one way or another whether this is the case.
Shortly after the cold public reception, as first reported by Bloomberg, 343 brought in longtime Halo vet Joe Staten to take the reins on Infinite’s development. The studio delayed the game from 2020 to some time in 2021.
Over the past few months, 343 Industries has conducted a series of “technical tests,” essentially betas, for Infinite’s multiplayer. All of them have been well-received.
Halo Infinite—or, well, most of it—is scheduled to come out on December 8, 2021, for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Its multiplayer will be free-to-play. The campaign, meanwhile, is separate, available for purchase as you would a standard game or via Microsoft’s Game Pass service. It won’t launch with a cooperative campaign nor with ray-tracing. Both of those will come down the line.