Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Developer: 343 Industries
Platforms: Xbox One
But given how promising Halo Infinite sounds, I have hopes for the future of the franchise.
Once upon a time, Halo was one of the premier, prestige franchises in the industry. The release of a new title in the series was an event, and every new game set records in terms of critical reception and sales. The series blazed the trail for shooters on console, and it took years before other franchises could catch up with it.
Once Bungie retired from Halo, moving on to Destiny, 343 Industries, a studio made by Microsoft specifically for the purpose of being the custodians of Halo, took over. However, their time at the helm has been… mixed, to say the least. Halo 4, while praised for its campaign, diluted the multiplayer mechanics of the series severely, while Halo 5 did the opposite, focusing on the multiplayer at the expense of the campaign. Both games were rejected by a lot of Halo purists, criticized for their mishandling of Halo lore, and in terms of critical, commercial, and cultural impact, nowhere close to the Bungie games.
Speaking to GamesBeat, Bonnie Ross, who will be inducted into the DICE Hall of Fame soon, spoke about her tenure at 343i, candidly admitting that the developers had made mistakes along the way, but hoping that the upcoming Halo Infinite will be what fans want it to be.
“Honestly, we have made mistakes along the way,” she said. The community has helped us in creating good learning experiences for us. But I think that when I look at Halo, the universe is the most important character and we are stewards of the universe. And if we’re going to keep the universe alive and healthy, I think that we have to ensure that we are doing right by Halo.“
About Halo Infinite, she said, “I would say that taking over the Halo franchise was taking over an established business but creating a startup company to do that. The thing that I’m most proud of is building an amazing team. I am biased. But I would say that the 343 team has the most talented creators in the in the industry. And I would say, that’s the thing I’m most proud of. The work that they have done, the work we’re doing on Halo Infinite is something that I am so proud.”
To be fair, the little we got to see of Halo Infinite at E3 this year looked great, and it seemed like it might just end up being the return to form that the franchise so desperately needs. It’s unclear what else the game will be like—we recently found out that it will “reward exploration”—but I do hope it returns to being as fantastic as Halo once was.