343 Industries has shared more details on the recently announced Halo: Infinite, which right now seems like it’s more of an idea than a game. In a blog post, studio head Chris Lee said the game will focus on Master Chief and his saga. This is good news, as Halo 5: Guardians moved away from Master Chief somewhat with a story that split its time between Chief and Agent Locke.
Lee said the team at 343 is well aware of the feedback that Halo 5 strayed too far from Master Chief. “The team also heard feedback loud and clear on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5,” Lee explained. “In Halo Infinite, the game will focus on the Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5.”
In Halo 5, you don’t always play as Master Chief, which isn’t the experience some fans wanted. Seeing the world through the lens of Agent Locke was an intriguing move for the franchise, but as a core entry in the series, some fans understandably wanted an all-Master Chief game. Thankfully, then, it’s good to hear 343 is re-focusing on Chief for Halo: Infinite.
The trailer for Halo: Infinite shown at Microsoft’s E3 briefing was actually a video for the game’s new engine, Slipspace, not the game itself. As such, what you saw is not necessarily representative of what the game will be. Lee added in his statement that 343 is taking its time with Halo: Infinite to make sure it’s the “right game.” He also added that 343 is “making changes to how we approach things,” which could be interpreted in a number of ways.
A current rumour circulating online is that Halo: Infinite will be two separate releases: single-player and multiplayer. According to noted Microsoft insider Brad Sams, the Halo: Infinite single-player experience will launch at the end of 2019, with multiplayer coming in 2020. This is not confirmed, and a Microsoft representative declined to comment when approached by GameSpot.
“The goal of the entire 343 Industries team is to make a great Halo game for our fans that also invites new players into our franchise,” Lee said. “We will have some new and unexpected directions to take folks in and I believe the way we achieve that is to build alongside our community, iterating and improving as we go.”
Also in the blog post, Lee teased that 343 will offer multiple Halo: Infinite “flighting programs,” which are essentially alpha and beta tests. These will start small and grow as time progresses, he said. This is just the latest example of a developer becoming more open and transparent in the development process, and that is good to see. Microsoft is already doing this with the flighting programs it holds for Halo: The Master Chief Collection where select people can check out new updates before launch.