Despite multiple degrees of freedom, players can’t just skip story content.
In its latest episode of #Ask343, 343 Industries fielded questions from fans on Halo Infinite, confirming what would and wouldn’t be in the game. It’s already discussed dynamic weather and the lack of playable Elites while re-affirming that the game isn’t open world. Players can still use a Banshee and head to objectives that await later on but there’s a linear story thread to follow.
While you could stick to the main story path, it’s also possible to explore different structures, rescue Marines and much more on the side. The story is meant to be an “ever-present anchor” – you won’t encounter invisible walls but it skipping any story content isn’t possible. As you progresses, new areas will unlock and certain new things may be discovered due to acquiring a vehicle. You could even bring some Marines along for the ride, further reinforcing the developer’s goal of providing multiple ways to play.
One of the more interesting aspects while exploring the world is a systems that spawns encounters based on which vehicle you have (or even if you’re on foot). If you have a Wasp, then certain events will spawn based on that. This isn’t meant to be more difficult but instead changes thing up based your means of exploration.
Halo Infinite is currently in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC and releases this Fall.