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2021-06-18

﹛﹛E3 is right around the corner, and one of biggest games at the show will be Halo Infinite. Announced back in June 2018 and originally due to release as a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S in November 2020, Microsoft has kept fans waiting for some time. But the end of the road is in sight. Here’s what we know about the game so far and what we hope to see at E3 2021 during the Microsoft/Bethesda briefing on Sunday, June 13.

﹛﹛Halo Infinite was officially announced at E3 2018. At the event, Microsoft showcased an impressive-looking trailer, not for the game itself, but rather its brand-new engine, Slipspace. While it didn’t contain any gameplay, the trailer got Halo fans excited for the long-awaited sequel to 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians by demonstrating what the engine is technically capable of delivering. We saw sweeping vistas, a vast world to explore, and all manner of wildlife.

﹛﹛This was all we got until Summer 2020, which is when Microsoft published an extended campaign demonstration for Halo Infinite that showed off new locations and items such as the Grappleshot, which is basically a grappling hook traversal tool that players will be able to use to zip around the playable spaces quickly. In fact, you can even use this Grappleshot to hijack a Banshee in mid-air, which sounds like something out of a Michael Bay action movie. Thinking about the Grappleshot in the context of multiplayer brings up a lot of exciting possibilities.

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﹛﹛Halo Infinite Gameplay Demo | Xbox Games Showcase 2020Everything You Need To Know About E3 Week | Play For All Kickoff Show

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﹛﹛Developer 343 has also since confirmed new details about the weaponry players will have at their disposal, including the Bulldog shotgun that replaces the original. Outside of that, 343 spoke about the PC edition of Halo Infinite, which is built from the ground up for computers as opposed to coming as an afterthought, and that’s great news. We’ve also gotten a peek behind the scenes to see how the audio engineers went about capturing the sounds of Halo Infinite, and this includes recording a developer’s little dog.

﹛﹛Another big piece of the puzzle is that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is free-to-play. This is a huge change for the series, but it’s one that makes sense and might pay dividends down the road if 343 can really nail the execution. Not only that, but Xbox Game Pass members can play the entire game at no extra cost, which seemingly opens it up to a potentially much larger audience that in turn could help the game get off to a great start.

﹛﹛Another element at play with Halo Infinite is the staff turnover and changes to the development personnel. Most notably, game director Chris Lee left the project mid-development, with Microsoft veteran Joseph Staten coming in to help finish the game. Staten worked at Bungie during the early days of Halo. He then co-created the Destiny universe before re-joining Microsoft.

﹛﹛This is just a small sampling of what we know so far about Halo Infinite–be sure to check out GameSpot’s everything we know about Halo Infinite story to learn more.

﹛﹛Officially, nothing for Halo Infinite is confirmed for E3 2021 yet. However, it’s widely expected that Halo Infinite will take center stage at the Microsoft/Bethesda joint briefing. The key art for Microsoft’s E3 show features Spartan soldiers prominently, so it seems all but a sure thing that Halo Infinite will show up and have a major show at E3 this year.

﹛﹛Halo Infinite should be a big part of the Xbox/Bethesda Games ShowcaseHalo Infinite should be a big part of the Xbox/Bethesda Games Showcase

﹛﹛Halo Infinite is the first new mainline game in the series since 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians. A lot of time has passed since then, and a lot has changed in the FPS space. Free-to-play games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and Apex Legends are all dominating the genre these days, and Halo Infinite will have to deliver something special to compete and reclaim some of the aging franchise’s former glory.

﹛﹛I hope Microsoft goes all in on Halo Infinite’s multiplayer at E3 2021. After all, multiplayer is the bread and butter of the franchise, and it’s more important than ever these days due to the industry’s general trend toward live service and ongoing games. Halo is known for its forward-thinking, super-fun, and team-based sandbox multiplayer, and I’m hoping we see Microsoft’s vision for the future of Halo multiplayer at E3 this year.

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﹛﹛No one saw Halo 5’s MOBA-style Warzone mode coming back in 2015, and I’m eager to see whatever other new and exciting innovations 343 has in the works for Halo Infinite. The studio has said it has no plans for Halo battle royale, but the game will have to offer something new and fresh beyond Slayer (which is still important!) to really make Halo pop and give lapsed players a reason to come back and invite new ones into the fold.

﹛﹛2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Halo and the Xbox brand overall, so expectations are high for Microsoft to really stick the landing with Halo Infinite. A strong showing at E3 could be exactly what the franchise needs to rekindle some of its former glory and get people excited and interested in the game ahead of its launch this holiday.

﹛﹛Halo Infinite is scheduled for release this holiday across Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. It’s included with Xbox Game Pass, and, as mentioned, the multiplayer is free-to-play.