You can’t do the same thing over and over again without retooling your formula and recalibrating expectations. I mention that because Halo Infinite, the upcoming first-person shooter from 343 Industries, seems like both a nostilgia filled trip and a huge departure from where we left the franchise in Halo 5: Guardians.

The Halo Infinite Campaign Gameplay Premiere trailer.

Before we continue, definitely watch the Halo Infinite campaign premiere that 343 Industries released earlier today. It’s an eight minute slice of the game’s single player experience that is full of things longtime fans of the series will recognize. There’s John 117 towering over mere mortals and Covenant alien scum shooting at him from every direction. John’s suit looks remarkably similar to its original design.

John 117 and The Pilot in Halo Infinite
John 117 and The Pilot in Halo Infinite. 343 Industries

And yet, for all the throwbacks to games past, prepare yourself for the unfamiliar. Graphically, Halo Infinite looks very different from Halo 5: Guardians. John 117’s armor has less detail, and the textures across the game seem dialed back compared to the previous game. That is not to say that this game somehow looks worse than its direct predecessor. Halo Infinite will make full use of a 4K television’s visual capabilities and it will run at smooth at 60 frames per second. That’s according to 343 Industries, which mentioned graphic fidelity in a post about the game on Halo Waypoint a few hours ago.

Master Chief has some new weapons and abilities in this game. The most important of them are the Drop Wall and the GrappleShoot. The Drop Wall is a shield for when you need to hold a position but can’t find any cover. The new Grappleshot will allow you to pull weapons and enemies toward you or traverse cliffs in seconds. I get the sense that the Grappleshot will devolve into people picking it up in multiplayer and yelling, “get over over here” before pulling enemies across the level. I’m not excited about the memes this new way to get around will spawn, but not against the game mechanic as a whole. More character movement never hurt anyone. (On the other hand, that second Mortal Kombat movie absolutely did.)

What might hurt some folks is 343 Industries decision to let gamers traverse the entire world world. Just read this:

“The scale of the environment accessible to players is several times larger than that of the last two Halo games combined with opportunities to discover hidden rewards and assault Banished fortifications in brand new ways”

I interpret this as Halo Infinite having story missions scattered across a huge area and players deciding when to continue with the narrative. I love the idea of giving folks some time to really spend in the game uncovering new stuff that there was hardly ever any time to experience before.

Halo Infinite will have an open-world.
Halo Infinite will have an open-world. 343 Industries

I’m interested in what you guys think of Halo Infinite. I fully admit to having enjoyed the squad control system, additional playable character, graphics, and tone of Halo 5: Guardians. All of those things were thrown out for this game. In fact, 343 Industries even describes it as a “spiritual reboot” in its post about the game.

Halo Infinite launches sometime later this year on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, and Windows PCs. One last new thing: this is the first Halo shooter that will launch on Xbox Game Pass the same day it is available for purchase.

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