As the end of the year draws near, gamers look forward to 2020's biggest releases. For Xbox fans, or fans of the first-person shooter genre, the upcoming Halo game from 343 Industries is one of the most anticipated releases. Based on what the developers have said, Halo Infinite will take the series in an entirely new direction.
There will be no more information on the new Halo game leading up to Microsoft's press conference at E3 2020, where the final details are going to be unveiled alongside final details about the next set of Xbox consoles. For now, here is everything revealed so far about Halo Infinite.
It Will Be an Xbox Scarlett Launch Game
Halo Infinite is announced to be an Xbox Scarlett launch title for Microsoft's next generation. Both the new console and the game are set to launch in holiday 2020. However, Halo Infinite will not be entirely exclusive to the Xbox Scarlett. The game will also be released on the Xbox One and, in keeping with Microsoft's initiative for this generation, it will come to PC as well. Microsoft is currently putting out every new first party release on Xbox Game Pass and while Halo Infinite is not yet confirmed to launch on the service, it is likely to come to Game Pass at launch both on the PC and on console.
The Master Chief Story Will Continue
Based on the trailer released at E3 2019, Infinite will continue the story of Master Chief and Cortana. The six minute cinematic trailer really didn't say too much about what's new in Halo Infinite, but focused on the old. We know that Master Chief is making his return as the spartan behind the iconic armor and helmet. Cortana's status is unknown following the ending of Halo 5, but she will most certainly still play a major role in the plot of Halo Infinite.
It Will Be Bigger Than Any Halo Game so far
There have been many rumors regarding Halo Infinite, its size and how much money has gone into development costs. The game's rumored budget is over $500 million. The game is rumored to be open world and is said to be bigger and more expansive than any Halo game in the past, as the name suggests. We also know that Halo Infinite is using a new engine called Slipspace, which is an early sign that the game is pushing boundaries tech wise.
No gameplay has been shown, and none will be shown until E3 2020 according to Microsoft, so there are infinite possibilities for where this entry will take the franchise. Whether it will be the final Halo game or not, it is clear this game will be more than just a standard campaign and multiplayer modes. 343 is going all in and Microsoft will rely on this, their biggest launch game, to help sell next gen consoles.
Halo Infinite Will Have Microtransactions
According to a job listing seen earlier this year, Halo Infinite will have microtransactions in some form. 343 Industries was hiring a Live Team Design Lead, whose responsibilities would include designing and delivering a "AAA social experience that fosters community" as well as one that "focuses on our fans and their desire to express their passion for our franchise (including but not limited to microtransactions)."
These microtransactions seem like they will be on the up and up. In 2018, 343 studio head Chris Lee confirmed that Halo Infinite will not have loot boxes. Hopefully, the studio is sticking to this promise and has in-game purchases planned that won't degrade the quality of the experience for players who chose not to their money on microtransactions.
Multiple Developers Have Left Mid Project
Halo Infinite has lost multiple key team members during the last year or so of development. In October executive producer Mary Olson departed 343 to join fresh dev Midwinter Entertainment. Olson took the reigns on the project as Lead Producer for Halo Infinite after the departure of Creative Director Tim Longo earlier this year. Longo was also the Creative Director on Halo 5: Guardians and had spent years at 343 Industries. This is concerning, but doesn't necessarily indicate development troubles for a project this big that has so many hands on it and has been in the works presumably since Halo 5 shipped in 2015.
There Will Be a Beta
We know that a PC and Xbox beta for Halo Infinite is planned. Referred to as "flighting programs," it is said that the beta tests "will start small and slowly expand out until release." The wording 343 used makes it sound like these are truly beta tests and not just a demo that is released to increase hype the weeks before release. The developer is more focused on getting and implementing feedback. It's unknown whether or not these beta tests will strictly private or if there will be a public beta eventually.
Halo Infinite is scheduled to release during the 2020 holiday season for PC, Xbox One, and as a launch release for Xbox Scarlett.