Halo Infinite, the campaign in great shape | Preview

Halo Infinite, the campaign in great shape | Preview

Halo Infinite

Yesterday we had the opportunity (finally) to take a first look at the single player campaign of Halo Infinite, one of the main components of the FPS made in 343 Industries. A 6-minute video that was able to give us a lot of information about the title, putting on paper some interesting details regarding the game structure and the narrative plot.

After talking about multiplayer (which promises to be in great shape , together with the gameplay), today we go into more detail on the whole single player sector, analyzing the presentation giving you our impressions on what seems to be a great new beginning for the saga.

Halo Infinite, on the hunt for Cortana

We had left the Master Chief in a situation of "apparent" defeat against the former supporting partner, who had become an enemy, Cortana. In Halo Infinite we are on Installation 07, also called Zeta Halo, one of the most important links in the entire lore narrative of the universe created by Bungie and continued by 343 Industries.

The ring is controlled by the Banished , a faction made up of former species belonging to the Covenant Alliance and led by Atriox, a mighty Brute already seen and known in Halo Wars 2. The faction has completely annihilated the UNSC defenses of the ring and took full control of it. The reason is unknown and it is up to us to find out what is happening and above all where Cortana has ended up, apparently disappeared and defeated by an indefinite enemy.

To be able to solve this "mystery", Chief allies himself with a new artificial intelligence: the weapon, an AI created specifically to destroy Cortana herself, who however has no idea what happened during the Banished attack and what happened to Cortana. Alongside them will be Brohammer (code name), a surviving pilot ready to do anything to get home safe and sound.

From a purely introductory point of view, Halo Infinite stages a story that is perfectly linked to Halo 5 Guardians, almost completely eliminating the idea of ​​"retcon". Many characters have not been mentioned, but it is very likely that the campaign immediately shows their fate (Locke above all). Only once we have the opportunity to approach the game in its final form could we have a clearer idea about the objective of the game, but certainly the incredibly fascinating setting and all the narrative premises, bode well for a campaign full of hits of epic scene and moments.

Who is the mysterious Harbinger, for example? A former prophet (San 'Shyuum)? Or a new species? What happened to Locke, Arbiter, Halsey and the Infinity? Many doubts and few answers, but this can only make the whole story extremely curious and intriguing. In the video presentation you can see many peculiarities, just think of the Protector crashed on the ring which is shown in a short gameplay sequence. Potentially we will have the opportunity to review the Floods, perhaps even the Prometheans themselves, and understand more about the ambitions of Atriox and Escharum, the commander of the Banished forces on Zeta Halo.

A world to explore

For the "second" time in the series, Halo tries to change the register for the campaign, introducing an open map structure. It is important to specify open maps, because it is not an open world, but more or less large areas, full of activities and areas to explore. Each area includes collectibles to find (terminals, skulls etc), outposts to free, marines to save and deposits to destroy.

343 he told us, in one of the first previews, that these areas were revisable and acted as huge missions. Recovering one of the first thoughts of the developers, the equipment (upgradeable) act as useful objects to fight, as well as to move and reach inaccessible places. The huge difference between Halo and any type of open map FPS on the market is mainly dictated by the variety in approaches and verticality, here more enhanced by the grapple and aircraft. Beyond that, the entire game world feels like a huge container of story-related information, as well as diverse enemies and bosses.

We don't have any weapon or vehicle-related upgrades, what we play remains Halo, through and through. The real strength remains, just like in Combat Evolved, our approach: to cross the river or the mound? Using a ranged sniper rifle or shooting wildly with an assault rifle? Do it on foot or aboard a Warthog? Pretend that all of this is exalted a thousand times more thanks to play areas the size of 100 times the missions of Halo 4 or Halo 5 and you have the play equipment of Halo Infinite.

This could make Halo Infinite certainly the video game of the greatest series ever, just think of the thousand possibilities that the game can offer in terms of exploration. But it must be said that this, as repeatedly stressed, is the first verse of the franchise's open map experiment (ODST's attempt remains rather bland). which is why it is legitimate to expect derivative choices (about which we tell you a little below) and more open narrative declinations. This leads us to our doubts: will Halo Infinite be able to give life to an epic and exciting story, despite the possible dispersion of Zeta Halo?


Halo was born as a sandbox structure, not moreover, Halo Combat Evolved was the creator of open map FPS, the forerunner of titles such as Half-Life 2, Far Cry, Crysis. Consequently, what we are seeing with Halo Infinite is none other than the natural evolution of the series, which finally takes advantage of the sci-fi settings of the series, making them freely explorable without closing in linear corridors.

Its structure, therefore, it does nothing but continue with the classic composition of modern open worlds, quality open worlds such as: Marvel's Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, Far Cry, Ghost of Tsushima and so on, which all include the exact same rhetoric: outposts , radio towers, collectibles, albeit represented in a different way. Having described this, Halo Infinite certainly does not point to a certain type of originality, since its strength lies in its dynamism in the approaches and not necessarily in the activities, which, although present, appear as fillers and contours compared to the classic main story.

Certainly, it must be specified, a more original and less derivative structure would certainly have attracted more, but we do not yet know everything that the campaign will have to offer, which is why we cannot yet fully expose ourselves on the subject. But on balance, what we got to see of Halo Infinite, it seems nothing more than a classic Halo with sandbox elements and some already well-established activities of today's open world. A right evolution that does not distort the game and can only make the entire campaign potentially among the greatest ever.

Under the body

Let's now talk briefly about the technical sector. This is not a final judgment, but a first hint, which will then have to be reflected in the full version. During the preview, we were very happy with the improvements on the new SlipSpace Engine, a new graphics engine, which has to cope with the cross-gen nature of the production. A big limitation that has caused delays and problems to the game, also and above all due to the fact that the two versions (Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S) must live together online, together. To make you better understand, Battlefield 2042 will also be released on Xbox One, but its version will be separate, which is not the case with Halo, which instead already includes a multiplayer and a shared co-op (when it is added). A respectful choice towards the fans and owners of the past generation Xbox, but rather problematic on the technical side.

Last year we saw an uninspiring, not to say disastrous, demonstration. This prompted 343 to postpone the game and roll up their sleeves to make the title at least satisfying. The result has been achieved, at least from what has been seen and played. We are not looking at a graphically miraculous title, but the lighting system, the textures, the visual distance and the physics seem to work, especially when we consider the 60 FPS and the dynamic 4K resolution. Now all that remains is the hope of being able to see something more regarding I.A. (always important for the series) and any new natural biomes. The cutscenes, on the other hand, look good, as does the direction (apparently in sequence shot), while the audio and soundtrack could give us truly top-notch moments.

Not all that glitters is gold, of course. Some visual effects are rather bland (just look at the Wasp sparks or explosions), as well as the animations (which by the way have a reduced framerate) and some pop-ups, which show that the game suffers a lot from the cross- gen. In general, therefore, there has been improvement, but we are not facing a product that smells of next-gen, at least from a graphic point of view and the aseptic art style, typical of Halo, does not help in this sense.

Summing up

Halo Infinite seems to be in excellent shape. The technical sector seems to hold up, despite the clear limits dictated by its cross-gen nature, proving to be visually satisfying and solid. The improvements, therefore, are there and are well perceptible; a nice sigh of relief for all fearful enthusiasts. The real doubt concerns the general structure of the sub-quests, not because the title takes its cue from other games, but because it is the first time that Halo faces such a new and impervious environment, a risk that could distort the general formula of the series. and bring players to a redundant and uninspiring platform. 343 will have to be good at presenting a dynamic and varied game world, not trivial and above all well immersed in the main story, a true fundamental point for the success of an excellent campaign. Not all doubts have been dispelled, but certainly now we could arrive at 8 December with a little more tranquility and optimism, for a Halo that promises to be, without a doubt, one of the greatest ever. Despite everything.

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