343 Industries’ new campaign is “several times larger” than its last two combined.
We finally got a look at campaign gameplay for 343 Industries’ Halo Infinite yesterday. While it’s looking fairly good for fans of classic Halo gunplay, the story might confuse those who played the previous game. What happened to Cortana and the UNSC Infinity? According to associate creative director Paul Crocker, it’s something that Master Chief and the Pilot have to find out as well.
Speaking to IGN, Crocker said, “Chief and the Pilot are in exactly the same position as the player when the game starts,” Crocker said. “They don’t know what’s happened. They’re learning what’s happening, together.” The campaign is noted by Lee as “several times larger than our last two campaigns put together” and that the gameplay demo happens about four hours into it. The villains this time around are The Banished from Halo Wars 2 but Crocker says that “It’s not required reading.”
For that matter, you don’t have to read any of the previous novels or comic books. “We don’t want a game where players have to do homework to enjoy this game.” The Banished were chosen primarily to have “something that’s an evolution of the Covenant so you get some of the familiar, but something that’s different [too], and it comes together to feel fresh.”
Halo Infinite is the end of the Forerunner Saga, for all intents and purposes but also serves to set up new stories. “It is the conclusion of events that have been set up in the past, but it is very forward-looking as well,” said Crocker.
Lee added that, “We want places to go and we want new mysteries. It’s setting the foundation for future storytelling as well as tying some of those threads from the past. You don’t need to go through the whole franchise to learn and understand the fiction coming in, but if you do have that knowledge we want to reward that. You’ll see these [extended universe] elements and nostalgic moments. There have been a lot of goosebumps in the studio as we have [finished] different scenes and things that are in the game.”
Finally, regarding the main villain, War Chief Escharum who leads The Banished, he’s described as “is connected to The Banished in a fundamental way.” What about “The Harbinger” that’s mentioned? It’s not Escharum and neither developer is saying anything just yet about who it is (the popular theory is Cortana though).
Halo Infinite is out this holiday season for Xbox Series X, Xbox One and PC. It will serve as a new platform for Halo in the next ten years or so, which means you shouldn’t expect a sequel anytime soon. You can learn more about the weapons, exploration and more here.