Halo Infinite new graphics
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Halo Infinite wasn’t the mind-blowing next-gen game we were all expecting to see when it was first unveiled last July. Sure, it looked decent in motion, but screenshots like this one quickly became instant memes. 

Microsoft quickly realized their star franchise needed more work and delayed it until 2021. 

Yesterday, 343 Industries released a new monthly update putting the spotlight on Halo Infinite’s “expansive world of Zeta Halo.”

The visual upgrade is staggering. Note, the gameplay images below are from a work-in-progress build of the PC version.

World Design Lead John Mulkey describes the more sandbox gameplay of Halo Infinite. 

“I love the agency we are creating that really doubles down on that premise of delivering on the promise of Halo: CE. Enemy strongholds can be approached from any direction and there are so many options available for how you take on the challenges at hand. Do I blaze through the front gate in a Warthog full of Marines and just light the place up with zero subtlety? Do I scout the perimeter and discover a subterranean entrance that allows me to enter through one of the interior structures? Do I Grappleshot to a sniper tower, take out the inhabitant and begin picking off enemies from my raised vantage point?…there are so many options available that allows everyone to approach the game the way they want and have their own unique experiences. I am excited to hear stories of all the different ways players have taken on missions in the game once we are released.”

343 also says they’re not making an open-world game. “From a distance, it might appear that we’re building an open-world game, but that’s not really the case. We’re making a Halo game; a sandbox shooter where our goal is to make you feel like the most powerful actor in a rich, emergent, sci-fi combat simulation.”

The team describes how its combat zones “connect seamlessly to each other,” and how they want to encourage players to leave the story path and explore Zeta Halo. 

Halo Infinite will hinge on whether the developers can nail the sandbox gameplay loop, and have solid enemy AI to make tackling missions in different ways, actually feel different. 

I really want to see a series of gameplay videos showing the different ways we can tackle an enemy stronghold. 

The monthly updates will continue in March as we hear from the Audio Team, followed by the PC Team in April. And we can expect a massive showing whenever Microsoft decides to hold their E3-style event (typically in June).

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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