Halo Infinite, preview: a "reboot in the spirit" that promises well

Halo Infinite, preview: a reboot in the spirit that promises well

Halo Infinite, preview

Ambitious, in this way we would define Halo Infinite, the new chapter of the series conceived by Bungie and now firmly in the hands of 343 Industries. This new adventure - for Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X and PC - clearly wants to mark a turning point for the saga and is aiming high, very high. Certainly too high for the previous release date, late 2020 or, in other words, the D1 of the new generation of Microsoft consoles. The presentation of July 2020 had in fact raised more than one eyebrow to the fans of the saga who immediately made them feel their bad mood. Halo Infinite didn't seem to be the game the audience deserved, especially on a technical level. Luckily 343 Industries and Microsoft were of the same opinion and made the very difficult decision to postpone the game for a full year.

Probably one of Microsoft's best Xbox decisions to date - we don't believe Halo Infinite would find itself in a situation as serious as that of Cyberpunk 2077, but certainly the fans would not have liked a work not in the best of its form. Reasoning about it now, however, is useless, because 343 Industries has set to work to improve the game and has not done it silently.

Through their blog, the development team has allowed us to discover all the latest Halo Infinite news on graphics, design goals, multiplayer and more. In our preview we want to collect ideas on the key points of this Microsoft exclusive wait for Xbox and PC.

Sequel and reboot

Halo Infinite is a reboot in the spirit Halo Infinite, as we said, is ambitious, a turning point, a new beginning: these are not just words with effect, but they are the foundation on which the whole work was built. The development team in fact speaks to us of "a reboot in the spirit", intended as a work that does not erase the past (especially at the narrative level), but that knows how to introduce a new freshness that can amaze the players. All this is based on two key concepts: "Heritage" and "Simplicity".

By "Legacy" we mean the willingness to make players feel like they are playing a game they remember fondly. 343 Industries has underlined with some insistence, over the months, that the goal is to bring out a "nostalgic familiarity", as if "meeting an old friend". A fusion of future and past, the latter represented in particular by Halo Combat Evolved. The "Simplicity" is instead the desire to eliminate that superabundance of useless details of Halo 5 and return to the roots of the saga, that is to bet everything on readability and on a clear artistic composition.

Obviously this happens in many ways, particularly in the campaign, whose key objective is to tell the new chapter of the Master Chief story. This great adventure will be tackled alone or in a cooperative. Either way, the team promises an experience that gives the player multiple options to deal with each situation differently depending on their preferred play style. The sandbox nature of Halo Infinite will in fact allow you to approach hot areas from multiple angles, for example by freeing an outpost with brute force, entering directly from the main door, or looking for more indirect ways. The cooperative does nothing but expand these possibilities.

Master Chief is ready to return in Halo Infinite Halo Infinite will also offer a multiplayer mode that will travel alongside the campaign. However, it will be a free to play game, also available independently. But let's not imagine it as a completely separate title: the two experiences will share the same gameplay, as well as the same combat tools (with small changes necessary to make them more efficient for multiplayer).

The word free to play carries with it some concepts and could make the public fear the worst. Don't be afraid, though, as Halo Infinite won't include any lootboxes (or reward boxes, if you prefer), either for a fee or via in-game currency. There will be premium content that can be purchased separately, but it will always and only be cosmetics. However, the latter will also be available in good quantities through the campaign, challenges and special events.

Where we left off…

Halo Infinite: the improvements are mainly related to the lighting system Tra campaign, cooperative and multiplayer there are many ideas ready to express themselves. However, it is true that the first presentation of the game (we always talk about July 2020) left a bad taste in the mouth and what the fans really want to hear is that the team is working to improve the graphic impact. 343 Industries then clearly explained what had not gone wrong and what has been strengthened from month to month.

The answer is a bit of everything, especially in terms of lighting. Halo Infinite, in that demo, still lacked true global lighting, good ambient occlusion, as well as detailed shadows and volumetric lighting. We also talk about the effects of fog and sun, which help to enhance the atmosphere of the game. Let's not forget that the day - night cycle - defined as "the largest implementation to our graphics engine in recent years" - will allow you to experience the setting differently depending on the time of the game. The developers explain for example that encountering a Forerunner obelisk during the day will give a feeling of peace, but at night it will awaken a sense of danger and threat. The team also fixed some texture rendering and streaming issues to improve texture uploads and quality.

In essence, Halo Infinite is a very different game now. Of course, we will have to see it with our own eyes to be able to confirm the goodness of the improvements, but the sincerity with which 343 Industries admitted the limits of the July 2020 demo is a positive indicator of how much the team cares about the project and wants to give fans the best possible version of the game.

Halo Infinite: the day - night cycle will significantly change the atmosphere of the game The graphic impact, after all, is by no means secondary, especially since the Zeta Halo is not seen alone like a background, a setting to forget, but more like a real character with its own story. The developers tell of the great care with which the artistic and design teams have worked together to make the game world not only fun to explore but beautiful to see, from many different angles.

The Ring shows the scars of old battles on the surface, with entire sections flying independently in the sky. This fragmentary nature is also a perfect justification for proposing various settings that are very different from each other.

Variety and freedom, therefore, within a game which, although not a true open world, aims to give players a large space to explore and in which to discover secrets and adventures.

Weapons, shields and grappling hooks

Halo Infinite: the weapons already seem of high quality To embark on an adventure, however, you must be prepared with adequate weapons and tools. 343 Industries has suggested that Halo Infinite will have "a level of armor customization comparable to Halo Reach", if not beyond: unfortunately for the moment it has preferred not to delve into the matter too much.

We know, however, that the equipment of Halo Infinite is seen as "a multiplying force" of the normal gameplay possibilities of the Master Chief. For example, we will have access to multiple weapons that will have various types of damage, more or less useful depending on the situation. The aim is to give us more tools to play with and allow us to create our own role and style within the sandbox.

Halo Infinite: the grappling hook will be an important part of the game Since the weapons will also be available in the multiplayer, the team has confirmed that they will be rebalanced over time after release. Of course, there will also be new weapons introduced via updates, so as to keep the game fresh. Speaking precisely in multiplayer, it is specified that at the beginning of each match we will have access to basic tools and weapons that will allow us to "feel strong", without having to go in search of better weapons, which can still be obtained in the game environment and through combat.

343 Industries has however focused in particular on the single player and, even more precisely, on one of the tools that promise to make Halo Infinite extremely dynamic and interesting: the grappling hook. It's a new way to get around the game world, of course, but it's a key tool within combat as well. Thanks to the grapple it is in fact possible to attract weapons and objects towards you that can then be thrown at enemies. It is also possible to lunge at an enemy so as to hit them with a melee attack.

Not just Xbox

Halo Infinite: Ultrawide resolutions and FOV Halo Infinite marks an important turning point for 343 Industries not only from the point of view of design, but also from that of development, as it will not only arrive on two different generations of consoles (Xbox One family and Xbox Series X | S), but also on PC since the D1, with a version created specifically for computers. It is therefore not a secondary port, but a dedicated version.

In other words, there will be great care in supporting various types of controllers (even non-Xbox), as well as the possibility of using mice and keyboard. You will be able to modify and customize various graphic elements, which will come to the aid of photosensitive or motion sickness players. It will be possible to set a dynamic resolution in order to keep the frame rate stable, fundamental above all for the competitive side.

Halo Infinite: some of the available settings The control system has been recreated, but there will be the possibility to remap the keys, regardless of platform. Xbox versions will also share various of these customization possibilities, such as setting the FOV. Exclusive to the PC version, however, is the support for ultrawide resolutions (21: 9, 32: 9 ...) supported for each element (in-game, narrative moments, menus ...). There will then be options to display the FPS and ping on the screen, as well as to completely hide the HUD: option thought to be able to take quality screenshots. Finally, let's not forget that the game will be completely cross-play between Steam, Xbox, Game Pass: the only restriction will be in the competitive playlists, within which the players will be divided by type of input (controller vs mouse / keyboard). br>
This additional year granted to 343 Industries seems to have been a godsend. Halo Infinite clearly needed more time to perfect. The game looks promising and the gameplay shown in July 2020 (beyond the graphics side) looks solid. There is still a lot to discover and we will probably have to wait until E3 2021 to see the "real" Halo Infinite at work. For the moment, we can say that the development team is passionate and the "reboot in spirit" philosophy seems to be just what the saga needs.


Restart from the roots PC version is independently developed Post-launch support already promised DOUBTS We have yet to see the graphical improvements The armor customization system is still a mystery Have you noticed any errors?

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