Halo has been a game that has risen from nothing, to the bar that games try to hit and finally to the mixed review releases of 343 industries. Whatever is said about Halo you can not deny the influence it has had on the gaming industry as a whole not to mention what Halo 2 did for online gaming. I have been a fan since the very first and probably one of the few fans that enjoys the direction 343 industries are taking it in. Nether the less, Xbox wowed fans at E3 last year when they announced their plans for Halo Infinite and this article is going to outline what is happening in the future for this franchise and will hopefully bring some more fans back to the franchise!
Original Halo Makers Bungie Leave Activision
First things first, I think its important to get this out the way right away. Yes, Bungie have announced they are officially leaving the contract with Activision meaning they are an entirely stand-alone AAA game developer right now. This has led fans all over the world, specifically Xbox fans, to jump on the excitement train for Bungie to get picked up by Microsoft to either create Halo again or something completely new. It doesn’t help that Microsoft are fueling these rumours themselves as pictured here:
I have to admit, I loved Halo when it was made by Bungie but I also love Halo now when its made by 343 Industries, yes they are things 343i have done that are not great for the franchise but they are learning from that and Halo Infinite looks to be the greatest installment yet. No, instead I want Microsoft to take on Bungie again and let them create something completely new and exciting. Give them the creative freedom they want and let them come up with something magnificent. Microsoft are collecting exciting and big developers right now to come out of the next generation gate with punches swinging and god is it exciting, this is why I would not be surprised by Microsoft convincing Bungie to either work with them or sell to them in some way. Currently though, nothing is concrete and it is all just rumours. Here’s hoping though.
Now we move onto the next installment in this incredible series- Halo Infinite. People were left unimpressed with Halo 5: Guardians and whilst the multiplayer was hailed as a massive improvement from Halo 4 with regards to how the FPS genre is moving, the single player was seen as lacking vital things that makes Halo what it is. First of all, we only got half a campaign played as Chief himself and then we ended up playing as some random new character with a new squad of Spartans. I get that 343i were trying to change things up a bit but the one thing they could of been certain of was that fans did not want to play as anyone else but Master Chief, maybe Arbiter at a push since we loved that for Co-Op in the third Halo. 343i got majority of their negative reviews due to this point as people weren’t interested in a story that was told through someone else’s eyes. They was also negative reviews due to the story line as a whole due to some people considering it to be stretched thin with pointless areas during the campaign, the two main plots in the campaign was Cortana going all evil and recruiting AI’s for a war against biological species and Arbiter coming to the end of his civil war. Personally, I enjoyed the campaign all though it could of been told in a slightly better way.
When Halo Infinite was shown at E3 they was not a great deal said about it and the trailer was basically an advert for the new engine that Microsoft have been hard at creating: Slipspace Engine (love the name!). The game did look absolutely stunning though, when the trailer opens it looks like an open world RPG type game such as Witcher 3 and I thought we were looking at a new IP with that in mind but then as it goes on you see subtle hints that this is the Halo universe and eventually we see the marines dropping an orange flare, the camera then spans out and in case you did not realize it was Halo already, you get Master Chief partly on screen holding his famous helmet staring out into the valley onto the orange flare in the sky. This game looks amazing and from what I hear Halo Infinite is going to be the best Halo yet, below are a few reasons why.
4 player Split-Screen Halo Co-op
This is probably the news that fans were wanting to hear more than anything, Halo Infinite will have 4 player split screen co-op. Halo is renowned for having split screen play, most gamers have had a gaming session where you get some snacks and drinks and smash out some Halo with the squad on the same console. This fan-favourite feature was excluded from Halo 5 due to 343i ‘concentrating on getting 60fps’ and fans made their disappointment on the matter clear. It is really heartwarming to see 343i listening to the feedback fans had regarding this feature and decided to implement it again, although it can be argued it shouldn’t of been removed in the first place. The question surrounding this now is will it be like Halo 3 where each player is just another Spartan or will they innovate this feature? Everything else on this Halo seems new or different and I don’t think this feature will be excluded from that treatment.
Halo Infinite will have huge PC Focus
This was a rather surprising but unsurprising mention at the same time. PC ports of Halo games have been released previously before but usually much after the game has already released on the console. Halo 5 only got Forge and Custom Games released for the PC. Well, 343i have announced that PC will be treated ‘like a first class citizen’ on Halo Infinite and it will be heavily PC focused as well as releasing along side the console version of the game. This is exciting as it means the PC community are not shunned for their Halo appetite but it is also expected from Microsoft as they seem to be pushing their Windows 10 and Xbox platform to work well together. What will be interesting though is whether Halo Infinite will also be an Xbox Play Anywhere title? If so, Microsoft have yet again shown gamers why they are a top gaming company to play with!
Customization on par with Halo Reach
My favourite news regarding the game is this. Reach had fantastic customization options for you, playing games and completing challenges gave you credits and you could use these credits to buy armour for your Spartan and it really helped you to create your own character as well as giving you a reason to complete the challenges. Halo 5 gave you some nice armour sets but you had to get these from packs you bought with REQ Points you got from playing and winning games, a huge step back from Reach. Obviously, Reach was Bungie’s goodbye game to the franchise but its really great to see 343i realizing what fans loved about Halo and including it even when its not from a game they created. What I also hope to see with this is being able to make your character an Elite like in H3 and Reach, I loved being an Elite in matchmaking especially with the cool looking helmets you could get.
Halo TV Series
Whilst this does not directly relate to Halo Infinite, as far as we know, it is massively relevant to the franchise as a whole. This TV series was announced back in 2013 when the original Xbox One was shown to the world and since then it has been in production hell partly due to Microsoft closing the studio that were working on it. It was actually my first article for Caffeine Gaming. As of last year however, we got information that stated the series was still going ahead and was expected to be released for 2019 late last year. This series is being developed for Showtime by 343i and it is said to be the biggest, most expensive venture on TV to date so much so that is to rival the production cost of Game of Thrones. I am beyond excited for this, the effort that has gone into preparing it is unparalleled with anything else I have heard about. I personally think it will bring in so many more fans to Halo and will concrete 343i position as the rightful owners of the franchise.
Halo Infinite is shaping up to be the best installment yet and I think this is primary because Microsoft intend to keep it around for a very long time. An entire new game engine has been built around it and when developers do that you just know they have a huge commitment to the game it is used for. Look at Frostbite 3 and Battlefield for DICE. I am genuinely excited for this edition of the franchise and just know I will not be able to put it down! Let me know your opinion in the comments below or on our forums.