Lament at the possibility that we could be playing Master Chief like Reinhardt, because it has been revealed that 343’s Halo Infinite played more akin to Overwatch or Valorant early in its development, rather than its own progenitors in the arena-shooter category.
Reddit user ‘lolwhatsareddit’ collated information from around the internet supporting the notion that the Halo Infinite development team at 343 made a prototype multiplayer mode that, rather than being a classic arena-style FPS, let players choose heroes. They also theorised that the switch back to the traditional multiplayer shooter mode we have now is why the game was delayed and is having trouble finding its identity.
Surprisingly, Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier appeared in the Reddit thread to confirm that the rumours are indeed true. “This was actually cut from my article late last year,” Schreier says. “Yes, 343 spent a while prototyping a hero-based system. I don’t remember exactly when they switched to the current version (and the tweet linked here seems exaggerated to the point where it’s mostly false) but I can confirm that they were working on various hero-based prototypes. In fact, I think there were both PvP and PvE prototypes built.”
We could have seen a very different style of Halo multiplayer than we’re used to, then. But, while 343 Industries tested out various hero-based prototype builds of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer – including both PvP and PvE – Schreier is quick to lay to rest the idea that this switch was the cause of Halo Infinite’s current problems.
“Yes, people spinning this as some sort of a “this is why the game was ruined” story are exaggerating to the point of falsehood,” Schreier explains on Twitter. “The production problems, as I wrote about last year, were largely the result of a lack of coherent vision, frustrating tools, and the contractor system.”
Yes, people spinning this as some sort of a "this is why the game was ruined" story are exaggerating to the point of falsehood.
The production problems, as I wrote about last year, were largely the result of a lack of coherent vision, frustrating tools, and the contractor system
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 24, 2022
While 343 eventually decided to stick to the tried and test arena-shooter gameplay formula, it would certainly be interesting to find out more details of what could have been if they hadn’t scrapped the hero-based concept. And who knows, maybe it will still make an appearance in the game someday. Master Chief with Earthshatter? Yes, please.