Halo Infinite has been officially announced as the next entry in the Halo franchise and Master Chief's story. The reveal trailer for the game shows off incredible visuals including wide open vistas, varying ecosystems, and alien creatures. Based on the trailer and other hints from 343 Industries, will Halo Infinite be the first truly open world game in the franchise?
Starting with the trailer, which is an engine demo for the new Slipspace Engine powering the game, it definitely evokes the feeling of a large open world. What starts as shots of jungles and beaches and caves and deserts are eventually revealed to be places upon one of the franchise's titular halo rings. In particular shots, Marines traverse the landscape and a Warthog bounds over the terrain.
After the trailer debuted at Microsoft's E3 conference, fans were already speculating that Halo Infinite could be going open world. The official description of the trailer on YouTube and comments by 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee describe Halo Infinite as taking the franchise in "new and unexpected directions," which would definitely be true if the Halo formula was thrust into an open world setting.
In addition, from 343 Industries' official website, while describing the effect that the Slipspace Engine will have on Halo Infinite comes this phrase: "A living, breathing world ripe for exploration and endless gameplay possibilities." While this could be stretching to describe Halo's traditional, signature open-sandbox gameplay, this language does appear to sound much grander than what longtime fans have experienced and come to expect from a Halo game.
In a gaming landscape filled with all levels and degrees of open-world and shared-world gameplay, from Breath of the Wild to Destiny to the upcoming games Fallout 76 and Anthem, Halo could very well be entering into that space as well with this entry in the series. There's a lot of to point towards that speculation, but ultimately, we will have to wait until 343 Industries is ready to pull back the curtain further on Halo Infinite.
Halo Infinite has yet to receive an official release date.
Source: 343 Industries